Providing content to feed the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest monsters for your business can be an all-consuming task. When you’re doing it for your business and clients as well, it can be quite daunting. We at CPML Social are basically lazy. If we can find a way to automate things or just make our lives a little easier, we jump at the chance. Below are just 5 of the tools we’ve found to help us find content, create content and make it prettier and more relevant.
I can’t say enough how helpful this site has been to a couple of people who have trouble drawing stick figures. Whether it’s creating banners or inspirational quotes that are sized for the various platforms (no 2 could be alike), infographics or eye-catching images, Canva makes it simple to do. The site itself and many of the elements (backgrounds, images, and icons) you can use are free. Or you can also upload your own images and graphics. Canva also has a wide selection of professional images and graphics available for only $1 per use.
We are excited for the soon-to-be-released Canva for Work. Some of the previewed features look like they will be great time savers. Canva for Work will be a subscription service, though pricing has not yet been announced.
There are a bunch of them out there. We commonly use Alltop, Content Gems and Feedly. The way that content aggregators work is you give them a subject (i.e. Facebook or Jazz musicians or real estate ) and they will present you a list of sites that commonly feature articles on that topic. You select the sites you want to follow and each time you go to the aggregator’s site you’ll see a list of articles from that provider. Some will give you the top 5 articles; some will give you a lot more. Most aggregators are free.
Buffer, Hootsuite and Sprout Social are 3 of them. CPML Social uses Buffer. These sites will allow you to create a schedule of tweet and update releases for each platform. Your job is to keep the bucket filled. Send a tweet to your queue and it can be the next in line, at the next scheduled open slot or you can also set a custom time for release. Whether you send out 4 or 10 or 100 tweets a day, just fill up the queue and the scheduler will make sure they get out.There is a free service that gives you 1 or 2 platforms to schedule plus a range of for-a-fee programs that give you more.
Rite Tag Composer
Rite Tag is a free browser extension that assists with hashtags, images and general update/tweet optimization. Plug in a hashtag and the app informs you how many views that hashtag is getting per hour and the rate of re-tweets and shares. It will also give a few suggested open-source images you can use (this needs a little work). We’re still getting used to this one but it looks like a real timesaver.
Trello isn’t a social media tool, it’s a free cloud-based collaborative workspace. Basecamp and Wrike are 2 others. CPML Social uses Trello for client notes, organizational meeting logs and to keep lists of articles that we think should be shared. Trello keeps us organized and keeps the back-and-forth texting to a minimum. As it is cloud-based we can use it whether we’re on our desktop/laptop in the office or on a tablet when we’re having a meeting with a glass of wine on the patio.
We hope you’ll find these tools helpful. We’ll be passing along other tips in the near future.