We are all familiar with the ins and outs of social media marketing, but sometimes we need a little bit of help. When we were learning content marketing, there weren’t as many tools as there are now, but times have changed and there are lots of apps and sites available to us that help us do our jobs smarter, faster and with more of a strategic focus. In our attempt to make our social media academy your one-stop social media marketing guide, here are eight social media marketing tools you can use in 2017.
What’s Your Social Media Posting Schedule?
Do you have one? You should. Because we have to tell you, it makes life a lot easier. PromoRepublic (of course we mention our tool first!) not only offers a great content calendar that helps you nail down your social media posting schedule, it also features a social media content generator that is packed with ideas inspired by different industries, holidays, trends, events and more. A team of graphic designers and copywriters creates templates that are ready for you to customize with a logo and any of your own copy, and scheduling content is a piece of cake. You can even view data about your posts like the number of views you received (organic and paid), clicks, visits, likes, comments and shares. For an all-in-one social media marketing automation tool, it’s got a clean UI and a great support staff. Of course, we built it that way.
What Do You Use to Choose Keywords?
SEO certainly isn’t dead, but it has changed a lot in the past 9 years or so. The things that we used to do to boost our ranking on search engines are not the most effective anymore, and, in some cases, are not even on the up-and-up. It’s not like all of us were unethical in 2009 – the search algorithm has simply changed since then. In a Forbes article from January 2017, John Rampton talks about the yesteryear of keyword ratio and keyword density – basically the rules a marketer had to follow in order to get their keyword into a post as often as possible without breaking Google’s rules. That’s different now. Google pays attention to keywords in relation to the context of your site.
SEO for Social
This doesn’t mean that keywords aren’t important. They are. But in this time of semantic search, we have to be more strategic about keywords and sets of words so that Google will know what our content is about. That’s what makes us rank higher. But where does social fit in? Matt Cutts told us in 2014 that Google crawls social sites the same way they crawl any webpage. So, to oversimplify the issue, social might not factor too highly in your website ranking in terms of social signals, but social links do matter, so what you name the link you’re sharing can make an impact on your SEO. And, in the days of hashtags and social searches, forget Google. Think about new fans and followers you want to reach. How are they going to find you if you don’t use the right keywords? There are tools to help with that.,
In a nutshell, SEOPressor is a plugin for WordPress. So if you aren’t using WordPress as your CMS, it can’t help you. If you do, think about it as Yoast on steroids. It tells you the health of your SEO site wide, and notifies you if you have pages or posts that lack meta titles or descriptions, posts that are not optimized and more. See, the cool thing about that is once you have all your blog posts and pages that you will be sharing on social optimized correctly, your keywords, titles, meta titles and meta descriptions are perfect to share on social to get the maximum impact. And if a post goes viral? It means more traffic to your site, sure, but it gives you an enormous SEO boost too, which is a longer term benefit. Truthfully, the tool has so many features that it’s a little overwhelming, but the site has introductory videos that help you understand, and the cost is fantastic – starting at only $9 per month. You owe it to your content to make sure your SEO is on point.
How Are You Listening on Social?
While PromoRepublic offers tons of wonderful, pre-made templates that are available to you based on industry and more, we need you to know your industry and the interests of your audience. That’s just a content marketing best practice – social listening. There are tools, two in particular, that we think are great.
You can’t start listening on social in a vacuum. You have to start with a few relevant keywords or phrases in your niche to see what’s out there. If your first list doesn’t yield results, you need to refine it until you start seeing articles and posts that are possibilities for you.
BuzzSumo is pretty flexible. You can just take a look at what topics are trending now, and then dig down deeper to find how they relate to your industry. Then, you can search for topics, keywords, or key phrases to narrow down your search. You can even discover influencers in your industry that you might be able to partner with. It isn’t a cheap tool, at a minimum of $79 per month, but if you’re trying to get a handle on your industry, it’s a great tool to use.
Another great tool to understand how topics are being discussed socially is Tagboard. Tagboard lets you search by keywords, hashtags and more to see what people are talking about. Not only that, it helps you develop deeper insights to topics you might want to post about. You can also keep track of your brand and product mentions. You have to contact them for pricing information, but Tagboard is looking like it might be a big deal in social listening.
How Are You Tracking Social Analytics?
What if you want to track the performance of your WordPress links across social platforms? Or, what if you want to pull all of your social media metrics into the same place? And, what do those metrics mean to your ROI? It’s a lot to think about. And while you could pull metrics off of each individual social site, that would be extremely time consuming. So, what is the solution?
Social Metrics and ROI
You have to know how your social posts are performing in order to know what’s working. If there was an all-knowing Facebook marketing guide for 2017, a ultimate guide to Twitter, and so on, the biggest chapters would be on metrics.
Social Metrics Pro
Social Media Pro is a WordPress plugin that lets you see all your likes, pins, +1s, tweets, shares and retweets all from your site’s dashboard. It tells you if your posts are underperforming, when they’re performing well and helps you see if there are social channels that you’re neglecting. You can also export to a CSV for easy reporting to clients and stakeholders. It’s super affordable at a maximum of a one time $47 fee, too. BUT, not every site runs on WordPress. What then?
We got you! While there are tools that exist that will pull all of your social media data into one place so that you can create dashboards and analyze data. However, the most robust one of all is not interested in clients that will pay less than $50K, and most of the others require you to schedule your social posts through them in order to get your data. PromoRepublic tracks it all for you, albeit not on your WordPress dashboard, and we are still relatively new, so we can add features and other analytics as our customers request them.
How Do You Stay Organized?
While you’re busy googling Facebook marketing tips or information about the correct post size for Facebook in 2017, as you build a social media presence for your own brand, or for multiple brands, you end up with many social accounts, email addresses and other things that you need passwords for. How do you remember all those passwords? It isn’t safe to make them all the same, and when you’re monitoring and posting to a client’s social accounts, you can’t put them at risk.
Time Management and Organization for Social Media Marketers
Actually, one of the things that social media marketers talk about most (among ourselves) is how hard it is to stay organized and manage time. Most of us will say it’s important to set a schedule for yourself, prioritizing tasks that have the biggest impact. Having the tools we have mentioned in this post will help, using PromoRepublic will too. And we have one final tool suggestion for you that will make life easier. Say hello to managing passwords effectively.
A free web extension, LastPass lets you store all your passwords securely. You just have to remember one password – your LastPass password. All your other passwords will exist in a “vault” equipped with bank-level encryption so that your data is always safe. You can manage all your personal passwords here too, like your bank account login, health records, personal financial accounts and more, so that you protect your data AND your clients’ data.
Those are the tools we’re recommending for 2017. Stay tuned to the Social Media Academy for more tips on how to become a more efficient social media marketer!