10 social media tools & resources we can't live without
If you work in social media, you know (without a question!) that there are a lot of tools and resources available to you. Some may even argue that there are just too many... but we aren't those people. 😉
Because our industry is so fast-paced, we often resort to using tools we are already familiar with or trying new tools, not effectively integrating them into our work-flow and letting them go to the "unused app" graveyard (aka 5 swipes in on your iPhone homepage.)
From our end, when tools go unused it's typically because the interface is too complex, the features aren't right and sometimes it's just because the interface is... hard to look at.
What can we say... the people want what the people want!
But don't fret, friends. We've gone and pulled together some of our tried and true favourite social media tools and resources along with our friends in the iMEDIA community. While lots of these have overlapping features, we've gone and outlined what we like best about each one.
1. Sprout Social
What we use it for: Content planning, content scheduling, reporting
What we love about it: Sprout Social's UI is clean, friends. While we favour the desktop experience, the iOS app is just as beautiful and presents a truly seamless transition between both interfaces. The reports are all in bright colours with an infographic feel which makes it super easy to present data to clients (one of the main we were initially so attracted to the tool) AND their approach to a visual content calendar is a refreshing alternative to the dreaded Excel spreadsheet. Seriously, take it for a spin on their 30-day free trial - you won't be disappointed.
2. Tweetdeck (Desktop)
What we use it for: Organizing Twitter content, day-to-day community engagement
What we love about it: As dramatic as this may sound, we can safely say Tweetdeck changed our (social media) life! The nice thing about Tweedeck is you can log in with a single profile and have access to multiple accounts so you can quickly see (and manage!) multiple feeds at the same time. You can also customize your Tweetdeck to monitor the information most important to you. For example, for our @iMEDIA_yeg account, have the following columns set up:
- Home (so we can see all tweets from everyone we follow - and yes, it's in chronological order!)
- User (so we can see everything we've tweeted out)
- Twitter List of iMEDIA Speakers (this helps us curated content from our Speaker accounts)
- #iMEDIA18 (this one is pretty self-explanatory)
The other nice things about Tweetdeck is that you can add/remove columns as required and it's super simple!
3. Social Pro Daily
What we use it for: Staying on top of social media trends
What we love about it: Social Pro Daily is part of the Ad Week family (so you know it's good!) They spit out some valuable content that looks at the trends and platform news, but they also do some really great opinion pieces from folks in the industry.
4. Twitter app (iOS)
What we use it for: On-the-go community management
What we love about it: Twitter for iOS is a clean app and provides a pretty solid user experience. (Sidebar: we can't speak to the Android app only because we don't, erm, own any Android devices... #sorrynotsorry)
5. Cell Phone Camera
What we use it for: Creating content
What we love about it: Without question, there's a time and a place for a real camera, but we've all heard countless YouTubers (with some serious gear) tell us time and time again... The best camera you have is the one you have with you. At this point in time, most cell phones have pretty stellar cameras so take advantage of it!
6. Gary Vaynerchuk
What we use [him] for: Perspective, informed POV, inspiring creativity and ideas
What we love about [him]: Gary is a BA, seriously. Along with his team, Gary produces a $#!* load of content and it all comes from a place of deep knowledge because he has actually put the work to know things work. He's not a talking-head with some wild ideas. He tries, he wins, he fails and he takes everyone along with him on the journey.
Here are some of our favourite Gary resources:
What [the community] uses it for: Saving articles to read/share later
What [the community] loves about it: When we asked our friends what tools they ❤️, Pocket was a strong contender. Pocket can be added as a browser extension and accessed from most devices. Basically, consider it your digital filing cabinet and an awesome alternative to the "I'm going to like this tweet so I can read it later" method (aka our method! Haha 🙈🙊🙈)
What we use it for: Content creation
What we love about it: Canva is a social media manager's best friend (and it's a free tool!) Canva allows folks with no graphic design experience to create on-brand visuals with the help of their many templates. You can also choose platform specific templates as your starting point so you don't have to worry about those pesky sizing issues on each platform.
PS: Just because there are design-it-yourself options available doesn't make you a graphic designer. These types of tools are great to use once you have your visual identity down pat, but can sometimes be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. We recommend consulting with a graphic designer to get your visual identity party started.
What [the community] uses it for: Planning Instagram content
What [the community] loves about it: We have a confession to make... we don't actually use Planoly, but @johnsonave said it's one of her go-to tools and that's good enough for us (plus, she'll be speaking at iMEDIA about Instagram strategies so we figured we could trust her on this one!) One look at Planoly's website will tell you why you should take a serious look at this tool. Instagram is a visual social platform and therefore, having a consistent look and feel to your feed is critically important. Planoly will help you plan out your IG content and even has the ability to create shoppable posts. YES, PLEASE!
What [the community] uses it for: To quote @hellobeverley, "Screenshots, save PDFs, save website content..."
What [the community] loves about it: Again, we're just going to let @hellobeverley take it from here 😂
You need to start. I have the paid version. If I ever lost my Evernote I would literally die. I take screenshots of everything and save all whitepapers in it.— Beverley Theresa 👋 (@hellobeverley) December 4, 2017
Again, Evernote isn't a tool we use (we've honestly tried but it just wasn't the right fit for us) and actually, Beverley's initial recommendation was meant with some "resistance."
nEveruseitagain— Chris Mikulin 🚩 (@cmikulin) December 4, 2017
This Evernote thread just shows that simply because a tool works for one person doesn't mean it'll work for everyone and that's what we hope you take away from this post!
While these are some of the tools we use and love, we're sure you have your own tried and true social media tools and resources.
Share your favourite tools and resources with us in a comment below!