So I’ve been in Social Media for a while, a long while, as the trends and strategies change so does the work I do on a daily basis. Tools come and go, apps come and go, Facebook changes and suddenly you’re scrambling to find the right way to work around the new features. Everybody has their way of working, I’m extremely organised and that has been a top quality of my work with my clients, they dig it. Strategy is big to me and so is giving each and every client the feeling that I only work with them… that’s hard to achieve when you’re a freelancer, Social Media never sleeps but you know, I like my sleep!
Here’s a little list of the tools I like to use, not giving away all my secrets but gives you an idea of what’s out there and what can make your life much easier if you’re working or venturing into Social Media Management.
1. Facebook Schedule:
There’s tons of ways to schedule on Facebook but my favourite is still Facebook itself. There’s nothing wrong in scheduling posts, of course, as long as you make sure you’re being engaging and don’t become mechanical. Facebook schedule tool is easy to use and it’s right there on your Facebook Page, what’s easier than that? You can also manage them later if need be, edit time and text, you can also access them via the Pages app for your phone… that’s a big plus in my book!
I’ll take Hootsuite over TweetDeck or any other app out there that manages Twitter. Feeds are easy to create, monitoring is a breeze and it’s visually pleasing. Again, nothing wrong in scheduling as long as you’re not being spammy and know how to use it right. When I work with large teams that have access to Hootsuite I love using the business version… you can keep track of conversations and see who retweeted and/or answered tweets, takes the stress out of not knowing if a query was answered! Their app for iPhone and iPad is just the same, easy to use and makes it a breeze to take your work on the road.
Pinterest rocks and that’s that. I have seen Pinterest shoot up visits to a website like never before, double the traffic, triple! Learn how to use it right and don’t underestimate it’s power. Work on a strategy, understand it’s analytics, keep track of your work, it’s a gem in Social Media.
4. Brand monitoring:
This is a tricky one, very few free brand monitoring platforms are 100% effective but we all know how important it is to keep track of that’s being said in Social Media about your brand right? Tools come and go, some of my faves are SocialMention.com and the Mention App… these give you feeds on your keywords, your brand, etc. They will show you when someone’s posting your content or sharing it and even who is talking about you on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Also, don’t forget the good old fashioned Google Alerts, you must never forget to set these up and check them regularly!
Communication is key when you freelance in Social Media, Skype has become such an amazing tool when it comes to meetings, communication, calls, just generally staying in touch. Also, it’s easy to install on your phone or your iPad, instant communication on the go. Sometimes screen sharing gets funky on Skype so I use Screenleap.com, no charges, easy to use, 100% functional. Also, if your client is very very very needy and loves to communicate at all times, suggest them to use WhatsApp or Viber on their phones, it’s instant SMS communication without the charges.
I keep all my files on Dropbox, it keeps my computers clean and all my files completely accessible from any of my devices. I usually take my iPad to meetings, never do I have to scramble to find a file or remember on which computer I have it… it’s all there. File sharing is also a breeze with this tool, if you handle large amounts of content, it’s way easier to share files on Dropbox with clients than on any other similar service (in my opinion). Again, I know I mention this a lot, it’s on my phone, my iPad, my laptop and my desktop, that’s a huge plus!
7. Google Docs & Analytics:
I’m not a huge fan of Google, it’s never really done much for me but Docs and Analytics are two Social Media staples. I’m big on recording my work, keeping track of my posts, customer feedback, I write everything down, you have to. Google Docs make it so much easier to edit and share documents with your clients, they can see your work online without having to constantly ask if you’ve done something, posted this, added that. Analytics are huge in Social Media, if you don’t know how to use them, read them and understand them then you must close shop! No work is worth the time and the money if you can’t measure your efforts and show results.
Reporting is a huge part of what I do, nothing of what I do on a daily basis matters if I can’t prove to my clients that my work is worthwhile. SproutSocial.com is a great analytics tool for Social Media in general. It’s a paid service but worth every penny. Have you ever tried to understand Facebook Analytics? hah! SproutSocial will do the work for you, give you clients real numbers, show them that what you’re doing works, show them in numbers, graphs, stats, it’s more important than you think.
Every Social Media Manager must know a little photoshop, period. Social Media now-a-days is extremely visual, everything you do must be branded, catchy, exotic, eye-catching, engaging, you get the picture. If you can’t handle images, fix them, put them together, crop them or brand them, you’re short of a lot of opportunities.
10. A good eye!
Ok this is not a tool but if you don’t have a good eye than maybe you’re not the person to work in Social Media. All platforms, from Facebook to Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are completely visual, have you noticed? Facebook photos are huge on Timelines, images are the key to engagement, pick something that draws the fans and your numbers will sky-rocket, use something tacky and you’ll be left wondering why nobody likes or comments. You can’t train a good eye or grow one at that… every visual you use will make the difference when it comes to numbers so make sure you make every post count!