These valuable tools will make social media management easier

These valuable tools will make social media management easier

Would you be surprised if I said 24% of small businesses in the UK don’t use social media at all? And that of those that do, less than half are using it on a consistent basis?

One of the main reasons why? It takes too much time and it’s too much work.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you’re here because you’re one of those people. That you have great intentions with social but just can’t seem to find the time (or sometimes the energy!) to get down to it.

And it’s not surprising.

If you’re opening up Twitter, Instagram or Facebook every day and deciding on the spot what you want to post, it’s going to feel like it takes forever.

The good news? Lots of clever businesses have created super valuable tools to help make social media management easier for you.

This post is a list of my personal favourites. It’s a list of the ones I use for my business, and my clients, to manage multiple social media posts and channels every single day.

I’d go as far as saying that adopting just one or two of these tools will make social media feel a hell of a lot easier for your business.

Sound good? Let’s get to it.


Firstly, let’s go over why this whole social media thing matters for your small business with a few powerful statistics.

So now you can see why you should be using it, let’s talk about the tools that are going to make social media management easier for you.

1. Google Sheets

The first step to easier social media management is to have a plan in place. Without it, you’re absolutely going to spend too much time thinking about what you need to be posting.

Your plan doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple google spreadsheet will do. In fact, that’s how I manage all the social media content for my business.

My social media planning sheet is split down into six categories: date, post copy, image, link, call to action category and notes.

Social Media Plan

This is where I plan out all of my social posts, usually at the end or beginning of a week and I copy this directly into my social media scheduling tool.

Having a dedicated time to getting everything planned out helps so much with social media procrastination and absolutely makes things easier in the long run.

If you’re still unsure, you can download my handy (and free!) Google Sheets social media plan template below.

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2. Buffer

I use Buffer to schedule almost all my social media posts (I use Tailwind for Pinterest). Why? Because it’s super simple to use, affordable and keeps everything in one place.

Once you’ve signed up and connected your social media accounts, Buffer will suggest the best times for you to post your social media content. Which makes it really easy if you’ve got absolutely no idea when you should be posting to get the most out of your content.

As the timings are all set up for you, all you need to do is add your content and hit schedule.

How to use Buffer to make social media management easier

If you have time to batch create your posts, it’s even easier. As you can schedule a whole load at once and not have to worry about your account sitting stale. I do mine once a week and can sit back with the knowledge that there’s content going live across my accounts every day.

Make sure you physically check your social accounts as well though. Scheduling is great but scheduling absolutely everything can take away some of the personality of your account. Dipping in to engage with what other people are saying, re-post awesome content and reply to any comments is also key to social media success.

If you’re only managing one social platform then Buffer is absolutely free. After that, it’s $10/month (around £8) for up to 10 channels. Find out more about Buffer’s pricing plans here: https://buffer.com/pricing

3. Tailwind (Pinterest)

If you think Pinterest could be super useful for your business, but find it all a bit overwhelming you’re not alone. Pinterest can absolutely explode traffic to your website if used in the right way, but one of its downsides? Pinning enough original content to use Pinterest successfully takes a heck of a long time.

Sure you can download browser apps to help you, but the single best thing I’ve found is Tailwind.

Like Buffer, Tailwind sets an automatic schedule for you and assigns your pins a publishing time. You can also bulk upload the images you want to share (its best feature in my opinion), assign boards, enter descriptions and it automatically adds your website link to each pin.

I can’t stress how much time this has saved me in Pinterest management for one of my key clients, allowing me to focus on creating all the good content to pin!

Your first 100 pins on Tailwind are free, after that it’s a very reasonable $9.99/month (around £8). Find out more about its small business pricing here: https://www.tailwindapp.com/pricing/small-business

If you’re really keen on growing your Pinterest traffic I can absolutely recommend Summer Tannhauser’s free Pinterest resources - she’s the ultimate Pinterest guru and 100% knows her stuff.

4. Canva

Canva is a fantastic free tool for creating social media graphics. And, since posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts, everyone should be including images with their social media content.

I create all my social imagery on Canva. It’s super simple to use and has loads of pre-loaded templates, images, and fonts. If you have set branding guidelines it will work for you too as you can change colours, and add your own images and text.

How to use Canva to make social media easier

If Pinterest is on your social media hit list, Canva is even better. Those super pinnable long images everyone is posting? A lot of them are produced in Canva. The Sway has a fantastic tutorial on how to create a Pinterest graphic in Canva.

5. Trello

I use Trello to manage a lot of my business tasks and social media is no exception. I use it primarily with clients so they can sign off the social content before I schedule it to Buffer but there are lots of ways it can make life easier for your business.

If you’ve never heard of it, Trello is essentially a project management tool and can be used to manage a whole host of business processes. The biggest benefit, however, is that Trello boards can be shared with other people.

This means that if you’re collaborating with a colleague or contractor on your social media, it gives everyone complete visibility. It also has a very handy checklist option and you can include images and comments so everyone is on track with the status of each post.

And the best thing? It’s completely free to use! Here’s a great example board of how Trello can be used to make social media management easier.

6. Flipboard

As advice goes, everyone should be following the 80/20 rule when it comes to social media posting. That means 80% valuable, useful content and 20% promotional posts. But where do you find that valuable content?

There are lots of ways: Buffer has a built-in feature, Google Alerts are still as effective as ever, but my go-to? Flipboard.

Flipboard essentially rounds up all the internet’s best articles on your given topics and holds them in one place for you. So if I have planned to post some social media news that’s relevant and helpful for my Twitter audience, for example, I’ll hop over to Flipboard to see what’s being said.

How to use Flipboard to make social media easier

Once I’ve found an article I like (tip: make sure you read the content first, lots of people choose these based entirely on the headline and find too late that the content isn’t relevant) I simply copy the link and paste it into Buffer with a nicely written caption that tells my audience what they will get by reading it.

This makes planning interesting, high-quality third-party content an absolute breeze. It’s also absolutely free. To sign up simply go to the website here: https://flipboard.com.
 

Have you ever used any of these tools? How have they made social media easier for you?


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Charlotte ShearmanComment