Does this sound familiar? You create a Twitter account, post messages for several days, and then slow down to once every few days. Soon it’s been weeks. The most recent post on you company Facebook page is from 2017. (You downloaded Instagram but haven’t used it.)
You aren’t alone.
Even better, there are many tools available to help you get started (again) and keep your momentum.
Here are four that I recommend.
Canva offers an online suite of tools that make it as easy as possible to create graphics, illustrations and charts. You can add photos, choose fonts and other items for a highly designed presentation. Canva works for social media messaging, but also for PowerPoints or blogs, business cards or posters. Canva tutorials make design fairly easy, even for people who have never designed anything. Most of the tools are free, although some photos, for instance, cost $1 each. Upgrades with more tools start at $12.95 per month per user.
If you have ever forgotten a task you assigned yourself, or had to remind a crew member of the assignment due today, you know that keeping a schedule in your head has flaws.
Trello is a project management tool that allows the boss to create a project, assign tasks and keep track of who is doing what. As Trello likes to say, you can “organize everything (literally, everything — from the day-to-day operations of your business to your next family vacation).” Members of your team (or family) can access a calendar that sends deadline reminders. They can chat online with one or many team members in real time and add other applications like Dropbox to their dashboards. If you like embedding GIFs into your communications, you can create a library of them for easy access. And all the tasks you perform most frequently can be added to your dashboard. Cost ranges from free to $20.83 per month for large organizations.
Sometimes all you need is a list of the people who post on social media for your company. The list will tell you what type of messaging they have been assigned, when they will post it and on which platform. You can scratch it out on a whiteboard in the meeting room or an Excel spreadsheet that you update and send to the team each morning.
Or you can use Google Sheets, an online spreadsheet that is shareable with others and can be loaded with information from any internet-connected device. You can access Sheets from your phone, tablet or desktop. It’s free and you can pair it with other Google project management software. You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use Sheets — but if you are, you can write your own custom code. Tutorials here and here give you all the guidance you will need to get started.
Investigate Sprout Social when you have built a vigorous social media presence that you are having trouble keeping track of. Sprout empowers you to create and monitor consistent social media messaging for your company or organization. You or staff members still have to write the messages but with Sprout you can analyze traffic and determine communication history – which customers communicate with you most often or for the first time. With a Sprout dashboard you can manage all your channels – Twitter, Facebook, etc. – at the same time. A shared content calendar provides a comprehensive view of upcoming messages across your entire team and who needs to review, edit and approve content. You can download Sprout for a free month, after which prices range from $99 to $249 a month.
You don’t need all these tools to ramp up your social marketing but you might start with one and, once you’re comfortable, add another. These programs also help if you have more than one person, or multiple locations, contributing to your social media.
As with all new projects, it’s important to take the first step, and then keep on going. It may continue to seem a little daunting, but it’s better than staring at that ancient and lonely post on your Facebook page.