As social media platforms keep expanding, it becomes increasingly necessary to utilize social media tools to make the most out of them. Social media management platforms offer a wide range of advantages for businesses of all sizes. These tools save time and effort by allowing you to schedule posts in advance, analyze data, and track progress.
With so many social media management tools and platforms available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose one that fits your needs. Factors such as pricing (some are FREE!), audience size, user-friendliness, and the types of analytics offered are crucial things to consider when selecting a social media management tool.
Keep in mind that each platform is unique, so understand the features offered by each to make sure they align with your marketing strategy. With the right social media tool, you can streamline your marketing efforts and maximize their potential.
Here are some of the ones that I use and recommend to clients:
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT PLATFORMS
Hootsuite – ($99/month; though annual discount is nearly 40% off)
Hootsuite is a powerhouse with functionalities like scheduling posts, social listening, and real-time analytics, to name a few. The streamlined dashboard and user-friendly interface make social media management a breeze. If social media management is stressing you out, give Hootsuite a try! It might just make your life a whole lot easier.
Planoly was the first visual planner for Instagram and it’s beautifully crafted to be simple, clean and easy to use. It also helps in simplifying social marketing on TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube too!
Later (formerly Latergramme) has grown from a simple social media scheduling tool to the #1 visual marketing platform for Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. It also has really useful blog articles and emails
If you are really new to using a social media post manager, then Buffer is a great place to start. Focusing on just a few platforms, you can organically grow your audience on social and beyond.
TOP SOCIAL MEDIA CREATOR TOOLS
Canva – (design work; FREE or upgrade to Canva Pro for only $14.99/month (or $119.99/year).)
Canva is an online design and visual communication platform with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere. With the Pro account there is a content planner that you can schedule content (with IG, FB, Tw) directly from Canva
Capcut– (video editing; FREE to download and use, with no hidden fees or in-app purchases.)
When it comes to video editing, CapCut is a game-changer. It offers some amazing features, is extremely easy to use, and is compatible with a variety of platforms. One of the key features of CapCut is its ability to add and remove clips easily. You can trim and cut videos, add effects, and transitions all with the click of a button. Plus, the interface is extremely intuitive and user-friendly.
Resources to Help You Understand and Better Engage on Clubhouse
Yes, Clubhouse is Another. Social. Media. App. Cue the eye roll and know that I did not want to engage either. I don’t need another thing to do (or distract me) and was happy to sit this one out. But I can’t (I’m blaming Jen Lehner) and I don’t think you should either.
It’s so accessible – audio-only – no video or no carefully crafted, beautiful, witty, meme-type posts. You can come and go – there’s no feed where people can see where you have been or what you have posted. They can only see if you are in a room in real-time (or maybe see when you were last active).
Think of Clubhouse as a virtual event or conference where you can go wherever you want, where you can listen, learn and meet like minded people and industry experts from around the globe. It’s also possible to chat, ask questions and even collaborate with peers and celebs.
You can be as passive as you want – listening in on rooms; or as active as you want – raising your hand, getting on ‘stage’ (not as scary as it sounds) or even hosting rooms and starting clubs. How you choose to use Clubhouse is up to you.
For those of you interested in learning and connecting; or focused on growing your community or sharing your expertise or thought leadership. I really think it’s worth your time to check it out.
Yes, you can get sucked in and lose hours of time mucking around. Yes, there are loads of people on there who are shameless self-promoters and hustlers who take up too much time and space on the platform – or as A.J. Jacobs put it “It’s like a bad podcast: poorly edited and only available on single speed.”
But for every bad experience, I’ve been equally blown away in other rooms by the generosity of the moderators and speakers to share not only their time, wisdom and insight (for FREE) but to graciously offer connections, opportunities, collaborations and sometimes even work!
In truth, the rooms I’ve enjoyed the most (besides the ones I host with my indie bookstore owner sister Holland – see more below) are the rooms where I don’t really know the subject well or I’m curious to learn more or go deeper on a subject.
And that’s why I’ve been recommending Clubhouse to clients and friends (and you) because it’s a way to share your expertise and make connections in an intimate, easy engaging way! No flying to a conference to be on stage, no complicated video prep or production and no glitches trying to do collaborative virtual LIVE meetings.
Is it for everybody – not necessarily! But I really believe for many that Clubhouse is an innovative platform worth investing some time and strategy, especially while it is still in its relatively early stages.
At this point, Clubhouse is “invite only” and only available on iOS (Apple). I’ve got invites I can share! Let me know (email or DM) if you’d like one or go ahead and download the app to get on the waiting list. It will notify your friends who might also have invites to share.
Then come on in! I co-host a “room” every Thursday at 12:30 ET / 11:30 CT with indie bookstore owner, sister Holland Saltsman where we chat about “Books, Business & Beyond” and love to welcome folks new to Clubhouse. Here are upcoming links:
And follow us on Clubhouse to get notifications for future rooms!
I’m also thinking of offering a “Clubhouse Concierge” service or class. Would you be interested? I’d love to hear what you think about Clubhouse, if you need help figuring it out, technically or strategically – or if you’re looking for a co-moderator to help you get started!
With the popularity of Instagram continuing to grow, many new users are starting to feel a little more adventurous and ready to make the leap from simple Instagram posts to using the Instagram Stories feature. If you are not familiar with HOW to post an Instagram story, you find this easy 4-step guide here.
If you are on the fence about WHY you should be using Instagram Stories, here are the reasons that it’s a good idea for you and building your platform:
> Stories are a great place to EXPERIMENT. Because they disappear in 24 hours, posts to Stories do not need to be perfect in composition, color or branding guidelines. You can test some new content ideas as well as try out the constantly upgraded features*. Also, you can get a sense of what your viewers most respond to. (*If you are starting out – keep it simple with hashtags, handles and locations; or step up your game with GIFs and filters!
> Stories provide a great opportunity to UP YOUR VIDEO SKILLS. Again, think of Instagram Stories as a place to PRACTICE doing videos – either short form or long form, selfies or videos of other people, places and things.
> Even though they “disappear” in 24 hours, Stories CAN BE DISCOVERED and SHARED by others who are tagged in your stories. I see influencers repost others stories where he or she is tagged, again great way to let others do your marketing for you.
> If you want to keep your story on your Instagram profile, you can always add it to HIGHLIGHTS or POST it directly to your feed. Think of your Instagram Stories as “rookie content” that when it does well can get promoted to your main feed or your profile.
> You can actually get your followers to ENGAGE with your stories. Not only can viewers reply via message or emoji, they can answer your “polls” and “ask you questions” using the myriad of features. (If you have teenagers, they have mastered most of the newest features – ask them for help!)
Think of Instagram Stories as a great opportunity to share with your followers a more casual, personal behind-the-scenes access to what’s going on in your world. It doesn’t have to be the buttoned-up, beautiful and perfectly branded posts that many have come to expect from Instagram feeds.
Need some inspiration? Here are several people who I think do an great job of using Instagram stories:
Ann Handley (Chief content marketer, Marketing Profs): @annhandley
Jessica Gordon Ryan (Chief Influencer, GimletStyle): @gimletstyle
If you have been interested in trying Instagram Stories, consider an Instagram Story Challenge. Try posting stories everyday for a week! If you tag me (@sheesalt), I promise I will reply and repost and encourage you to keep up the good work.
Share your Instagram handle in the comments below. And feel free to ask any questions you might have about Instagram Stories.
Hosting an event? Want to make sure it is a big success for the organizer, attendees, presenters, and event sponsors. Using social media as part of your event marketing strategy, you have a terrific opportunity to create significant momentum and interaction.
You can increase engagement and overall awareness of your events with a solid social media plan. Here’s how:
Social media is a great way to promote your event to your target attendees, but it doesn’t stop there. During your event, social media provides a great opportunity to interact with your audience in real time. It also allows attendees, presenters as well as organizers to share and amplify the event presentations and overall messaging.
Post event, a social media strategy means you can use crowd-sourced photos, presentation comments, reviews, blogs, recaps, podcasts and videos about your event. If you have a regular event schedule, seeing the great comments, videos and photos is a great way to bring in new people to your next event. It’s a great after-event list building tool as well.
You also have a great way to continue the conversation. You can use feedback surveys to create a graphic about the most valued presenter, or the most commented keynote. If your presenters agree (and they will) you can share slides and commentary after the fact and compile a few of the real-time comments for a great way to generate interest in your next event.
Using social media before, during, and after your event is no longer optional.
Organizers, attendees, and presenters now rely on social media for event updates and to connect with others. Sponsors will also appreciate the chance to raise their profile at the event, and increase their visibility to those who can’t attend live via social media posting and sharing.
To help make sure an effective social media strategy is part of your next event, I’ve created a Social Media Event Checklist. It provides the plan for a smart strategy and allows you to make sure your social presence before, during and after your event supports you, your event and your attendees.
Learn How Kate Shares Content About How To Be A Better Person
Author Kate Hanley recently released her newest book, “How To Be A Better Person” in response to the discovery that “how to be a better person” is one of the top Google searches around the new year. With so much great and useful information in her new book, Kate had many options for promoting it. In a recent (technology challenged) Facebook LIVE interview, we discussed her strategy and the things she learned along the way to book launch. We also explore how sticking to her mission is what makes her successful on social media – with a side of slime, memes, and whippee-wows!
N: What has been a game changer in terms of the online marketing behemoth that you have now for building a platform, and for your book launch – what’s the game changer for you?
K: I like social media. I legitimately do. However, I’ve always liked to use it when I’m inspired and when I feel like I have something to share or when something cool happens. I have been more resistant and flummoxed about how people post on social media and get some consistency.
So, what has really been a game changer for me has been embracing structure and planning. I feel like I’ve found a good way to marry structure and inspiration. I pick a theme for a week. For example, I’ve been doing micro-blogs on Instagram that follow the 8 sections of my new book, “How To Be A Better Person”. Things like showing love, and working well, and being healthy.
For example, one week I’ll talk about being healthy. Having that framework of the subject then allows me to be inspired to come up with 3 or 4 ideas and think about how I can represent them visually and I feel like it has helped me be consistent, and still feel like I’m being true to myself.
I did try to outsource someone to post on my behalf and it just didn’t feel right to me. I feel like one of my social media strengths is that I’m vulnerable and real. So, outsourcing didn’t exactly work for me. I did get outside help from you, dear Nancy!, figuring out what that structure would be and that was 2 thumbs up with a circle and a snap!
Yes, you are so good and natural, especially in the live video format. It was a treat and easy for me to ask you “Why don’t you do more Facebook live?” Most people cringe, but you said: “Okay great, no problem.” And you come across so authentically and naturally which is great.
Right! And you can speak to the fact that I was asking “Are you sure people will want to hear about the book for 8 weeks?” And you had to hold my hand through that.
Absolutely. Part of engaging on social media as an author is actually getting people into the book. You are answering their question “Why would I want to read it?” And you provide examples of what they can expect in the book, right?
Yes! And that reminds me of something which I think can be a conflict for authors. The idea of giving away your content for free. How much is too much? How much is too little? I haven’t found the ceiling yet of what feels like giving away too much content. I think that the more you can really give people the more they can experience what the book is like.
There’s always more in the book. I guess I could post a tip a day for 400 days but still, ofthat’s not the same as having the book in front of you and having a reference that you can easily turn to.
Diving into a section of the book for a week and talking about it in my newsletter and on Instagram has helped me melt some of that resistance.
Yes, there’s the typical fear that “why would anyone buy the book if I’m telling them what’s in it?” But think about it, putting up a button on your website or social media saying “buy my book,” is a BIG ASK of someone who’s never heard of you before.
For you those of us who know you and love you, it’s no problem. We get it, we’re going to pre-order. However, breaking your content up into pieces to baby-step people into your book gives them a little warm up. They get a chance to get to know the awesome Kate Hanley, the person, the expert, before they buy in.
Seeing this content sharing as a door opener is very important.
Next question: What is your favorite platform? Where do you feel most at home, or the most in connection to your people?
It’s interesting. I love Facebook. If you look at my usage (and I don’t really track any of that and I’d only want to as a way to bring more awareness) in terms of where I go the most frequently, it’s absolutely 100% Facebook. Mostly on my personal page – but I do love building engagement on my professional Kate Hanley author page.
I post about my work on both of those places. In terms of experience and how it makes me feel it can at times, make me feel overwhelmed. Like a single drop in a vast ocean. I know Facebook is a business, and I know that if you want to make an impact and get seen you have to “pay to play.” I get that.
I love the engagement I get on Instagram. It’s closest to my heart.
That brings me to my next question. When you first started talking about your book launch, you weren’t new to Instagram, but you were confused about how to use it, right?
Yes. I didn’t know how visual my stuff was. I talk a lot about different ways to think for example. How do you take a picture of that? That was a barrier that I just had to get over.
It definitely makes me think. I have 401 tips in my book and some of them are more visual than others. So, I try and look for ways to share that. But even pictures of the book in a bookstore, or photos of people reading the book itself, it is very pretty. That’s something for authors to think about.
I think the cover is pretty, but when you open it up inside – it’s also really interesting. Some pages have gold flecks, and some have other colors.
I just got over not knowing and figured it out. For example, when I was talking about health, I took a photo of my vitamin D tablets that I take every day. ItIt forces you to think creatively.
There’s also something about the engagement that makes it worth it. It would be nice to line up my posts in advance and you can still go in when you’re inspired – like I like to be – you can change it up but you’re not starting from scratch.
I do like Twitter too because it’s so easy. I don’t like that a Twitter post only has about 15 minutes worth of currency, but it’s something I feel like is easy to stay on top of because you don’t have to craft it quite so carefully.
What are you doing this year, with this book launch to reach more people? You’ve had 2 book launches in a year and that’s a lot. What are you doing differently now?
I am extending how long I’m talking about the book. You helped me and coached me through a pre-order package with bonuses and well in advance. Which was not easy to do especially when you release 2 books in one year.
And you changed your website and did a rebrand.
Right! It was really helpful. If I have a list then I know what to do and I can do it. If I have to figure out what goes on the list, then that can take me a really long time – so I might never even make the list.
So having your help there was invaluable. We did the pre-order campaign to reach out to those who already know, like and trust me. Those people who are already following me on social media and/or who are on my email list. That was really cool.
I have extended the time I’ve been talking about it. It’s only been a month – but it feels like a year because time is moving so fast. I feel like I’m still continuing to gain momentum. And because I don’t have another book coming out in six months I’m staying on this longer.
My last book was called “Stress Less”, which applies to different parts of life but How to be a Better Person really does touch all parts of your life. I’m being inspired by the content in the book to find ways to talk about it for a longer period of time.
It has been fun to think about how to leverage my content. I love to do that. How do I take one idea and use it in different ways? What goes in the newsletter and on my website? What goes on Instagram only? What goes on Facebook and Instagram? What’s just good for Facebook? I thrive on the variety, so it’s been helpful to have some structure along with some experimentation and adventure.
You did a video – for the other book and for this book. Talk to us about book trailer videos.
I did do a video in the past, and it was very different because, there was voiceover with B-roll of me and my kids (because we’re low-cost talent!) We shot it at my house and that was really enjoyable and fun, and I think it helped bring people into the book.
This time around, the book trailer video was more of what my husband (who is a web designer, animator, and digital artist) calls a whippee-wow—a really cool-looking, animated, digital experience. This video has a 3D version of the book flying around. It suited the book. Each video suited the topic of the book. It got about 5,000 views — it was very simple, and I do love working on them.
If you are working on a book and want to talk video trailers reach out to me. I love the idea of distilling it down to this one idea. I think all I did was show quotes and had one line of text. I edited ideas until I had the one core idea.
Also – authors make sure you have some text on every frame because if someone is watching but has the sound off then they will still know what’s going on. That wasn’t really an issue with the last video, so it was kind of cool to figure out the latest and greatest when it came to the video trends.
Great advice, Kate.
Now, what is your secret sauce? The magic of Kate Hanley when it comes to connecting with your people?
Right. Golly, I feel like I need someone else to answer that question for me! That’s a hard question!
I think that I can cover somewhat heavy topics with a mix of levity and realness.
For example, I did a Facebook live about stress relief (above). My son was home that day and it was hot out, and he was playing with slime. It melted, and we had this slime disaster and I was trying to clean it up while I was on my FB live. My hand ended up covered in slime and I think slime even got on the ceiling.
That was very real. Melissa (who was on the FB live video) says relatability and I think that’s what I’m trying to get at. I don’t live in a glass house that’s for sure.
Right – my word for you was authenticity and relatability which is accessible authenticity. I remember the video where you daughter was your camera crew when you were opening packages. It was very real, no worry about special lighting or anything. It was awesome. And make us all feel like we want to be in “Kate Hanley’s world.”
I think Facebook Live has really changed things and maybe edged it ahead of Instagram. It’s so easy you just turn on the button and start talking. The ones I watch are like that – I had a friend who was doing her Facebook Live the other day while using a toothpick. I loved that!
You also find the best viral videos to share. I don’t always like that, but you have a knack for finding the ones that will make me stop and actually watch! That is a skill – not everyone has it.
That makes me so happy. That’s my mission statement. I wrote a mission statement for my Kate Hanley author page. It is: I promise to only share useful content related to being a better person and feeling your best, and the highest quality means.
That’s perfect. You are definitely living your mission.
If you don’t mind sharing your stats with everyone. Part of the platform as an author is knowing your numbers. That’s important. But we’ve also talked about the quality of engagement being the most important – I know that’s a big factor for you. But what metric or stat are you proud of or want to share?
I started my website in 2005. It was MsMindBody for 10 years. From the very beginning, my take was I don’t care about traffic, I’m not hoping to write a blog post that goes viral someday so I can say I got a million visitors in one month. I want to be able to demonstrate that I have a relationship with people and know that they have invited me into their inbox.
So I have always really prized my email newsletter subscriber numbers. That’s really what I look at the most. That also keeps me thinking about what do my people need? What can I create and give away? How do I draw in just the right people who are going to be digging my special sauce?
That’s a fun, creative lens that inspires me to think about what those people need to hear when they sit down on Wednesday mornings when my email arrives in their inbox.
Here’s an interesting insight from my rebranding. I have 1,613 likes on my Kate Hanley author page. I rebranded over the summer of 2017 from MsMindBody.com to KateHanley.com. I wanted to change my Facebook page and have all my social media to reflect that change. I had been msmindbody for 10 years and I felt like my subject matter was broadening and I felt like maybe I was hiding a bit behind that, so I made the change.
I noticed that after the change, I stopped getting as many likes. I think that might be because the new “title” which is my name, doesn’t really say what I’m about the way that MsMindBody did. I’m happy that I did it and there’s still growth, just not as many as before.
I want to get back to stats for a minute. I want to talk about what is my most favorite discovery with you in terms of stats. Is it okay for me to share the most popular page on your site? Does that steal your thunder?
Sure. We discovered that two-thirds of my web traffic is coming from a blog post that I wrote – I think it has to be about 5 years ago, titled, “How I Stopped Hating My Husband and You Can Too”. What that means is that people are going to Google and are typing in “I hate my husband” (or some version of that) and my blog post is popping up.
This makes me really happy because that post talks about maybe it’s not all your husband’s fault. Maybe there are ways that you could be co-creating the situation and that means that there are tools that are at your disposal to use to make it better that don’t require you to try and make someone else change.
Things can shift and get better and I’m happy that people are finding that post instead of a post about hiring an attorney or something else.
Right – and that’s information that you can use and act on knowing that there’s an audience looking for information like this. You can create other content around that or that complements this post. I also found this to be such an incredible example – of how good content will continue to be found and read – it just keeps going.
I know. It’s amazing how evergreen it is.
Lastly, what do you do to get away from this stuff? Away from the social media and the things that can be consuming especially when you’re doing a book launch? Do you have rules about it or do you recognize triggers when you know it’s time to take a break? Or – share your tips from the book that help us manage social media.
I don’t specifically talk social media in the book, but I do talk about building focus and that means minimizing distractions. One of my favorite apps is called the Self-Control app. It is meant more for desktop/laptop. You can blacklist sites and you can set a time limit for access to those sites.
When writing this book, I had an aggressive deadline. I set the time to 15 minutes in the beginning and worked my way up to one hour, so I could focus on writing without the temptation to hop on social media. It really helped me eliminate the distractions, so I could sit down and write and get the book done.
I also love using airplane mode on my phone. Totally amazing. You also have to turn off wifi, but it’s great because you don’t see the notifications.
I appreciate all of the zest that you bring to this discussion. Thank you for doing this video and for sharing your experience. It’s been a dream watching you bring this gem of a book to launch and beyond and see your continuing enthusiasm for it.
Thank you, Nancy. It wouldn’t have happened without you giving me structure and some marching orders and encouraging me.
Do you have questions about Kate’s book launch? Post them in the comments below and I’d love to answer them or have her reply. In the meantime, if you want more information about Kate and her life-changing book, How To Be A Better Person, check out her website, sign-up for her fun newsletter (you won’t regret it), or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!