Man, social media is getting complicated, isn’t it? The attention to detail is extreme, and it is pretty much becoming mandatory for any brand to work as a team to accomplish their social goals. A little effort doesn’t go a long way anymore. Now it is all about the full scale social strategies if you want visibility and lead generation.
So, when you have to have an entire team working on your social media, what do you do to stay organized? A good collaboration tool – or more than one – is your best bet. It will let the manager of the team stay on top of things, and give everyone involved in social marketing a firm grasp of their role. That means fewer mistakes, and more productive engagement.
These are the eight I would personally recommend. Having maybe two or three of them for different purposes will give you and your social media team exactly what you need.
Google Drive is the most obvious on this list. I personally like it more for cloud storage of past blog posts, and as a database for strategies and data. It is a great tool for tying together all of your content, not just the social, so your team is always up to date and can go back and find something they need off of your main site.
Plus it’s free, and nearly everyone alive has a Google account these days. So it is a very convenient and efficient tool.
Coschedule is, to me, a hit and miss tool for the social aspect. On one hand, it does have a social planner and will auto-update your attached accounts. But on the other it isn’t exactly a social dashboard.
I would recommend it more as a tool for integrating social and content planning, so everyone is on the same page. It is a very good editorial calendar, with a hint of a social element. So worth getting, especially given how cheap it is. And it integrates with WordPress, right there into the dashboard. So it is easy to use for anyone.
I am going to come out and say this right now: I love Trello. Out of everything on this list, this is going to be the tool that I gush about the most. It is super easy, visual, versatile, and budget friendly.
Your team can use it with pretty much no instruction, since it is all pretty straight forward. I use it for team collaboration, personal project management, group project management, personal life planning, and I have even created Feature Roadmaps and Launch Timelines for startups. If you want to go a step further, allow anyone to contribute so they can offer suggestions for improvements.
With Basecamp, it can be hard to say whether it is a good tool or not. Features-wise, it is fantastic collaboration and project management option for both teams, and freelancers with an active client base.
But it starts at $29 per month, and is as much as $79 per month. Which means it is a bit of a steep price for a lot of startups and smaller businesses with a tight budget. Still, if you have the cash it is an undeniably helpful app.
I have never been a huge fan of Evernote, but I know so many people who use it that I had to put it on the list. Collaborate with others, curate content, save links, and put it all in one place.
I would say the best thing about Evernote is that it is a major application, and so it integrates with just about everything. Making it a pretty useful tool if you need to go from one program to another, as well as across multiple devices.
I like Slack for its community building. You can create channels with multiple hashtag run sections for people to join. So you can actually create an account, and then make different areas for different projects.
It is very helpful it you need to communicate with multiple team combinations, especially since you can invite and lock out as necessary.
You have probably come across Skype at least once in your life. I know I use it on a regular basis, in spite of other tools coming around to take its place.
In fact, many clients prefer it as a method of communication, and so a lot of freelancers and teams for small businesses or startups already have it installed. It can be an easy way to hold meetings and keep on top of one another.
Want to streamline your team collaboration? This is an app that promises to do that for you, creating a high performance team of members that pretty much run themselves.
I have never used Redbooth, but I know several people who have and that swear by it. It starts at only $5 per month for small teams, and as low as $15 a month for businesses, so definitely not a bad choice.
Do you have a tool to go on this list? Let us know in the comments!
Editor’s note: In the light of big news coming up of Facebook pioneering war against social media identity theft, we thought this piece by SEOchat contributor was very timely. Enjoy!
Social media has become the top way for brands to increase awareness of what they’re doing, from promoting new products to interacting with customers. Experts encourage entrepreneurs to regularly post high-quality content in the hopes followers will share it across their own networks.
This means spending hours developing insightful updates, linking to your own great blog posts, and sourcing images from stock photo sites.
After putting all of this work into your content creation efforts, it can be even more disturbing to find your information posted on another site. It may even be a competing business’s blog or an industry magazine. Even if the site credits you as the author of the work, using your content without compensating you for it is a violation.
“There are several situations where social media content can be stolen,” says Robert May, founding attorney at The May Firm. “Increasingly publications are using social media posts as part of their news stories, as seen here. When they get permission first, it isn’t a problem.
Unfortunately, less professional sites fail to get that permission. Sometimes a site uses an original photo or copies a blog post that has been linked on social media. In more extreme instances, a business owner may find a fake account has been set up using his own name and likeness.”
Whatever the type of theft, it’s important to act quickly to make sure the content is removed. Here are a few steps you should take if you find your social media content has been stolen.
Step One: Make Contact
Before doing anything, send a friendly email politely asking that the content be removed. Don’t use forceful language in this initial contact. Simply state the action you would like to have taken as a result of the letter. If you want the content removed, ask politely that they do so within a certain number of business days.
If you are agreeable to being compensated for your content, state the price and offer removing the content as an alternative. Hopefully the offender will remove the content and send a letter of apology for the inconvenience. If not, wait the stated number of days before taking further action. If the content was posted on a site by an employee of an organization, take your complaint further up the chain before checking into outside options.
Step Two: Check the Terms of Service
While you’re waiting, carefully review the terms of service on the social media site where your content was originally posted. Facebook allows you to report copyright infringements using this tool, while Twitter’s tool is here.
Both are products of the Digital Millennial Copyright Act (DMCA), passed in 1996 to protect copyright holders from online theft. You may also want to check into the policies of the website where the content is posted, since they’ll have their own copyright infringement notification procedures.
DMCA Takedown Notice
In addition to the tools offered on various social media sites, copyright holders can also have content taken down using a DMCA Takedown Notice. You’ll need to determine the Internet Service Provider hosting the site where the content is posted and direct your letter there.
After an investigation, you’ll often find that the content is removed without having to wait for the person who posted it to respond. DMCA charges for the service through its site, but you can craft a letter for free using the instructions provided on the National Press Photographers Association site.
Contact an Attorney
When other recourse has failed to bring action, it’s time to seek legal assistance. Although attorneys will charge an hourly fee to help with copyright infringement, often content can be removed through a cease and desist letter. Such a letter packs a heavy punch when it comes from a law office.
If for some reason that letter doesn’t achieve results, however, an attorney can go through the courts to have a cease and desist order placed on the content, which requires that it be removed.
Having your content stolen can feel like a violation. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to let offenders know that you won’t allow your photos and text to be used for free. By having tools in place to use in the event your content is stolen, you’ll be prepared to take action if it ever happens.
Instagram has been around for a while but most businesses haven’t yet figured out how to best utilize the platform.
Here 5 actionable Instagram marketing ideas for you to start with!
1. Invest in Instagram Ads
This tip is contributed by Janette Speyer (Partner at Web Success Team and Hot Ice Media)
We run a small agency in Los Angeles specializing in consumer goods. Many of our clients are in the food industry. As we all know, Instagram is a powerful visual messenger. It did not take long to convince everyone to try it out.
Our Facebook rep showed us how to navigate Power Editor. (Power Editor is a 3rd party app that Facebook uses for ad placement.) Although I am used to working on many ad platforms, this one does take a little getting used to.
Once we found our way around the app, we were ready to think strategy. The holiday season is a perfect time to start promoting any product. So we built a concept around the time of year when shoppers are looking for new ideas.
We debated if it was best to show the product in the imagery or just stick to a single picture that would convey the brand's qualities.
It is often difficult for our clients to omit their packaging pics in the message. We opted to indulge them and let it run to see what came back to us.
Targeting the right audience
The benefit of using Instagram on the Ad Manager is that you can use the same parameters that you use in other Facebook ads. Our target markets are already defined and it is a good starting point for our first campaigns. We can always tweak later as the results come in.
We are happy with our initial findings. Although far more expensive than regular Facebook ads, Instagram ads are worth the money. Even more so if you are if you are in the consumer goods business. Prices range from about $1.50 an impression to $3.50 on the higher side as opposed to Facebook that ranges at $.10 to $.60.
What about B2B?
We did a personal test for our business to see what kind of engagement we would get. B2B is not as appealing as a good piece of pumpkin pie or a turkey. Surprisingly, we got lots of positive feedback.
So a few takeaways
- It is a visual vehicle so this is a great opportunity for "show and tell"
- You can use videos to tell the story
- It is not widely used yet. So now is the time before the noise level gets too high
- 80% of traffic these days comes from mobile
- You can use your budget for both Facebook and Instagram at the same time for more exposure. (Facebook will show that same ad on both platforms)
Paid reach is a necessity for most business. We have a unique opportunity with these low-cost platforms. Take advantage of this now before those prices go up. I was around in the days of traditional advertising and the price was prohibitive.
If you have experience in Instagram advertising, please also help SEOchat forum member in this thread.
2. Re-Market Your Creatives
This tip is contributed by Martini Fisher (Author of "History, Prehistory and Biological Evolution" and many others)
I started on Instagram about two weeks ago. It was only about a week before my last book came out. I used Instagram to show my face. People respond to faces and they don't get to see my face in my books, of course, so Instagram is good for that. I also used it to put a few snippets of little paragraphs and dialogs from my upcoming book, as well as some visual triggers I used.
In my research I took a lot of pictures – so I chose some good ones and uploaded them on Instagram. And I put some photos of random daily activities there.
It works for me. The photos involve my readers in my writing process, and they get a sort of "backstage pass" to what I look like and what I do on a daily basis. The dialogs I put in there give them little teasers of my upcoming book, and I met a couple of bloggers, reviewers, and fellow writers through Instagram as well.
3. Build Your Personal Brand
This tip is contributed by Sunita Biddu (Social Media Strategist & Blogging Coach )
I have started taking Instagram seriously just recently. I haven't marketed any project yet but personal brand marketing has worked very well. Well enough that it got me one big collaboration and two high paying clients. Played with this FAST social networks and figured out three most important things.
- RIGHT Instagram Hashtags Matter. I could clearly see the difference in response for posts with hashtags, without hashtags and posts with right hashtags. There are some key hashtags such as "awesome", "amazing", "instagrammers", "instadaily" etc. that flood your posts with response when used. Plus the most relevant and popular hashtags about your posts.
- Right Timing: A post made at 9pm received 85 responses within 5 seconds of posting. A post of similar quality posted at 2pm receives hardly 6 responses. You can imagine the power of timing.
- Your Bio Counts. Once you attract your audience, they would like to know more about you and that's where you bio would make the difference.
4. Build Loyalty
This tip is contributed by Lukasz Zelezny (Head of Organic Acquisition)
My personal experience with the platform differs in many ways from the potential that it offers many different brands. Any brand that wants to maximize organic reach will definitely be able to extract plenty of value from Instagram. Personally, I have not yet used Instagram for marketing in any formal capacity and I personally believe it will be difficult to use it in my specific case for selling anything in the near future.
However, there are brands that will be able to utilize the platform for marketing, and it is in some ways better than Facebook. I've read studies which show that Facebook users are far more likely to turn away from brands than Instagram users; in fact, Instagram users are actually receptive to following up with brands and engaging with them in a proactive fashion.
Instagram isn't as crowded when it comes to marketing. Virtually all marketers today use Facebook to promote products and services, but less than half report using Instagram. Because of this, I would definitely recommend that brands take a look at Instagram to see whether their business model is compatible with marketing in Instagram broader community.
It's also worth noting that Instagram doesn't filter out organic reach in order to force brands into paid marketing. Facebook used to offer a similar approach, but then limited organic page reach to boost marketing revenue. Instagram theoretically allows 100 percent of followers to see each post. Because of this, it's hard to deny that Instagram has marketing potential.
Instagram – at least for some brands – can be a great way to boost reach and fulfill marketing objectives. Its effectiveness will vary by industry and niche, but it's definitely worth looking into.
5. Extend Your Connections, Increase Your Interactions
This tip is contributed by Doyan Wilfred (Growth-hacker and content marketer)
Just like on all the other social media platforms out there, visibility is key.
In order to be successful on Instagram, begin with interacting. You should publish less and be actively engaging with other users.
Comments are more powerful than likes. Comment a lot!
Here’s how to manage your Instagram comments and likes.
Bonus Ideas and Resources
- Create an Instagram-based service. For example, this site lets you print our Instagram photos easily
- Integrate Instagram into your current site content to co-promote your Instagram channel and visual content using site. There’s a wealth of WordPress plugins for that (Here’s a handy guide on how to install WordPress plugins)
- Partner with a charity. Instagram is full of active non-profit startup that enjoy huge engagement. Support one of them to both do something good and build visibility on Instagram
Are there more Instagram marketing ideas? Please share in the comments!