Tools to Manage Social Media Accounts
So tools of the trade. So, we're going to talk about a handful of different services that I recommend that you potentially check out that might help make your life a little bit simpler when it comes to the idea of scheduling posts, or furthering the expandability or the feature set of different platforms, in order to help you improve cross-linking, cross promotion, and all sorts of other things. Now, the first one we're going talk about is called, If This Then That, IFTTT. They have mobile apps for both, all major platforms, and, of course, they have desktops, you can access it from the web. And essentially what it does is that, it allows you to connect to your services, the different platforms together to If This Then That. And then it works exactly like it sounds for you math gurus out there, where you can sit there and create the equivalent of an equation where you're saying, if this happens, do this. And you can kind of string them together. And so, this one that I created essentia...
lly is saying, "If any new photo by Colby Brown Photography," my Instagram page, "is posted, then post a tweet with the same image in it," the actual direct image to my Twitter account, "and copy the caption." So, normally in this situation, Instagram does not work well with Twitter. What happens is that they used to connect, but eventually something happened from the business end of things and Twitter decided that it did not want to take direct uploads from Instagram anymore. So, any time that you share a post from Instagram to Twitter it's going to share a link back to the original URL on Instagram. Not nearly as effective, shows up as a link in Twitter rather than a full image. And so for a lot of people, they want other options. Now again, I mentioned sometimes it's not great to necessarily duplicate stuff, but there are times where you might find some of this advantageous for you to be able to help you as you're building your stuff. Because I think you have a little bit of leeway when it comes to posting your stuff out on multiple accounts as you're growing, just more so once you get a little bit momentum, then you have to be a little bit more specified. So, you can connect this with pretty much any other platform out there. You can say, "If I post to LinkedIn, do this on Facebook. If I post to my Facebook page, do this to my personal page." Whatever you want to do, and you can even control, like, how the captions work and stuff like that. So, you can change the captions, or you can sit there and say, you know, "Check out my latest post on..." Like for this, what I could do to make it valuable is that I can actually edit the captions that would happen on Twitter and I can say, "Hey, check out my latest post over on Instagram, hashtag or tag Colby Brown Photography." And so every time something posts, that's what's going to come out. So, it kind of works as a cross... or works as cross promotion. So, instead of having the same caption as just duplicating content, every time you post out to Instagram it's posting out to Twitter saying, "Hey, you might want to follow me over here. This is kind of a new cool post." Can be helpful. And again, like I said, it works with all the different platforms out there: Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and this I created myself it's called an applet where you're creating these little recipes, but they have tons of them already built by other people. So, you can sit there, and you can scroll through and you might find something that you never thought you'd want to do by connecting your different accounts together. So, If This Then That. Hootsuite, so Hootsuite is a service that is quite popular for a lot of social media users out there. And essentially what it is, is it's a place to help you manage all of your social media accounts. Now, Hootsuite's free service which is free, I think only lets you connect to a single platform, but for a couple of bucks a month you get access to I think 10 or something like that, 10 different profiles depending on how active you are. And what it does is it helps you schedule posts, but it doesn't only help you schedule posts, it will help you look at more statistical information and data to truly find, to easily find the best times of the day to post. Because you'll get engagement graphs, and statistical information, on all this stuff based on a series of what you've done online. And it can recommend stuff depending on what level of account you choose to have with them. So, you also have kind of message and mentions trackers. Like any time your accounts are mentioned, you can kind of track those, so you can make sure you're following up with conversations across multiple different platforms, which is huge. And it, right now it works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. So, on Instagram, I believe both on Hootsuite and Buffer who we're talking about next, I believe both of them allow you to actually post directly to Instagram. So, it's really, really kind of helpful, that's the APIs for Instagram have been locked down for a while and there's only a few places that allow you to post directly to them. Buffer I definitely know is one of them and I can't remember actually, honestly if Hootsuite is in that. But it is important to know because most of the time you have to be there physically pushing to Instagram every single time. So Buffer, the difference between Buffer and Hootsuite is that Hootsuite is a social media managing platform, and it lets you manage all of your social media accounts, and kind of pulls all that information together, whereas Buffer is more of a content scheduling platform. So, think of Hootsuite like more of a social media manager to help you out, Buffer is more of helping you manage your overall content. It can be helpful, it can offer a lot of different services as well, has a great app. I believe the free account gives you access to three different platforms, with three different social accounts. I use the paid service for The Giving Lens, so that I can give access to people that we have hired to handle our social media, and we can kind of work collectively together to create more of a strategy wrapped around what we're posting, and when we're posting, and where it's going. But, it's another great place to go where you can sit there and create stuff, schedule it, have it work with the other content you have. And like I said, it's not as much as a social media manager to help you overall, it's more so on content distribution and scheduling. So MeetEdgar, now MeetEdgar is one that I wasn't able to provide screenshots for to show you necessarily how it works, but what makes MeetEdgar unique is the fact that they, well, they actually might offer a free trial, but it's like $50 a month or something like that. But regardless, what it does is that it allows you to repurpose your content. So, let's say you've created a ton of content, you've created a lot of content over three or four months, or six months or eight months or a year. Now most of us forget what we've posted before, and most of our followers have changed, like we're growing our following, right? So, people that have engaged with you in January are going to be different, possibly, than the people that are engaging with you in December. So what MeetEdgar does is they... everything you put into their system becomes part of a larger cycle. And if you have a ton of content to share, what it will do is, once it's gone through its cycle to help you schedule posts, is it will find the best times to start repurposing the content that you've already shared. So, you can take stuff that you've used back in the day, and automatically will help start filling gaps inside your content cycle of where you want to go. So you can sit there and take those post and do something with it. That's pretty handy, because a lot of time I have to think back and look back and say, "When did I share this again," or, "What did I do?" MeetEdgar handles all that for you, which is kind of nice. Now again, it's really only handy if you have a ton of content, otherwise it's probably not worth it. But if you find yourself posting a lot, finding some momentum, it can be helpful to help take the stress of constantly having to always have brand new content and repurposing some of your old stuff. A lot of the other social platforms or social services we've been talking about don't have this feature. BuzzSumo is another one I wanted to talk about. Now BuzzSumo is generally used for more marketing departments and marketing firms. And because of that it's priced higher I can't remember what it is, but it's expensive. But you are allowed free access a couple of times a day, I think they're checking your IP user address or something like that, essentially to figure out what is trending across the Internet in terms of social space. So, I can sit there and put into BuzzSumo and say, "national parks," and it's going to show me the content that has been created and shared across different platforms, and it's going to show me the total engagements for them. So, I can sit there and say, "national parks Yosemite," and they'll show me what content has been posted onto Facebook or other places, URLs that have been shared, all sorts of content, and how many shares it's gotten, how much likes it's gotten, all this other information. So it's a great place to look for trending information. If you want to sit there and say, "Hey, I want to create something, and I want to look at what's popular right now," or, "I want to look at what has been well received before," you can go to a place like BuzzSumo, and again, like I said you can't send in a hundred queries a day, but you can send in a little bit and get some statistical information. So, it's worth checking out if you're looking for that extra content, we've talked about with a few questions you guys had saying, "I can't create content three or four times a day on all these different social platforms," you need help. What do you do? We talked about that idea, finding content that's connected to the type of work that you're doing or that's connected to what your followers are interested in, and this might be an interesting way to jump in there and see if you can find some statistical data that might help you say, "Oh, hey, this post or this link about national parks and Yosemite has done exceptionally well across Facebook. So maybe I should use that link and I should share it out there. But this other one didn't do so well, so maybe it's not being treated this nicely." Either way it's a great place as a resource to find different types of content. Now, Facebook Business Manager now, again, this is part of Facebook, but it's more in-depth than what we've talked about before. So what we talked about before was just inside information, a statistical information about how your posts were doing. Now, Facebook Business Manager is different in a sense that it's a place to utilize, especially if you are an admin or an owner of multiple pages. And what it does is, it allows you to put multiple different pages and accounts together in one. So you can create add accounts, and you can have your page admin access, and all those different type of stuff in a single location, whereas before you constantly had to log in, and sign out, and do all this other stuff. So, if you manage multiple different pages or you have different pages attached to the companies that you work with, or whatever it is, it doesn't work with personal profiles, but specifically for information it will pull all this stuff together. And when you have ads going, it's going to tell you how they're doing and what's happening. You can easily get and create audiences. You can get to add manager and all these other places that are worth checking out if you have a business profile. And again, a lot of this stuff is all revenue focused, so I'm not talking about it in this course, it's something more so that we go into in the course where I talk about monetizing your social media, or your social media presence for outdoor photographers. But it is a great place to go, like I said, if you own more than one account for whatever reason, you can attach everything together and it's a good place to go, have all this stuff together in one place.