Being a social media manager means lots of things: You’re an art director, graphic designer, content creator, writer, researcher, blogger, organiser, photographer and strategist.
THE DREAM is to have a whole creative team at your whim, however it’s not always the case. But I think I’ve got some things which can make your life a little bit easier.
Now I have been told that I have some predictive powers, so let’s see if I can read your mind right now.
Let me look into my crystal ball…. 🔮 Close your eyes and think about all the things you struggle with as an SM manager…
Are you constantly looking for royalty free images?
Do you find yourself nagging the design team to get your graphics made and feel like an extreme nuisance all the time?
OR you don’t have the luxury of a graphics team, so you either have to do without any awesome customised graphics or spend hours on end trying to make something look kind of pretty?
You need to find new ideas for content all the time?
Content must be uploaded and created on the go all the time?
Absolutely confused as to how to make fun, exciting and creative content?
To get the job done, I have some tips and tricks using some extremely helpful tools that will make your life much, much easier.
Read on to learn about the top 10 tools you need!
Don’t let number 10 fool you, Dropbox is an extremely helpful tool for every social media manager; not only to send files to your team and clients, but to make sure you’re armed and ready to post content at any point of time. Because Dropbox is a cloud-based platform, you can access it from any computer without having to have yours on you. Secondly, you can have the app on your smartphone so you have the content in your pocket. Upload your content once onto one platform and have it available in multiple locations. Perfect for video and image content!
- 2GB Free
- 1TB $9.99/month or $99/year
- Unlimited $15/month
The reason I’ve chosen Evernote as Number 9 is along the same lines as choosing Dropbox for number 10. Evernote is a fantastic collaboration tool for you and your team or again for carrying your content around in your pocket. I find that this is an awesome way to store your written content or any documents that you may find helpful to have on hand without notice anywhere, anytime.
I love using Evernote to share content with my amazing writer. She pops it into Evernote and I can upload it whenever I need to. We can keep track of everything that is new and published and it’s really easy to manage because it is such a visual tool. Download a desktop version for your computer or the mobile version for your phone or tablet.
Totally FREE! 👍🏻
As a social media manager, you will know that video content is a massive contributor to increasing your reach, impressions and engagement on your social media platforms at the moment. So now YOU, as a social media manager, have to know how to make your own video content. A lot of the time you’re going to need to be creating content on the go, so having editing software on your phone is SOOOOO good! You can edit at the hairdresser, on the bus, a train or in the doctor's waiting room. iMovie works really well because you can do more high quality, complex video content on your desktop version or a quick image montage on your phone - they complement each other perfectly.
*Expert Tip*: If you are covering social media content for live events, real-time video content is a must! iMovie is quick and easy to use, but the real star quality is how quickly it will export your video. Don't wait for up to an hour to export, just wait minutes.
For me, video editing is actually my chance to be really creative, so I don’t mind doing it at random times of the day, but I understand if you aren’t as in to this as I am ;) (haha). But seriously, making some of the most unproductive times of your day into productive times is very satisfying. Another time this is super useful is if you’re lacking ideas for your content for that very day and you need to think up something quick. Videos are always going to get you some good results on your page, so it’s a great back up plan!
An Android option which I would highly recommend is Pocket Video (also available on iOS).
iMovie costs $7.49 on the Apple Store and $21.99 on the Mac App Store.
Layout is a super easy collage app that will make creating some beautiful collections simple as pie. Collage apps have always annoyed me because they’re overcomplicated and they leave a watermark on your content. Layout is great because it gives you a really good range of arrangements, unique compilations and has a simple border if you choose to use it - and that’s IT! It may seem too simple but sometime too many features are overrated.
How much will this set you back? Nothing! 🙌🏻
Sourcing royalty free images for your social media content and blogs can be a real nightmare. You want to be able to use these images standalone and also with text - so they have to be good! Trying to find images that are good quality, relate to your topic and add value is so important but has been very difficult, until now! Well I found the answers to your image headache. They’re royalty free and I have never been stumped when it comes to finding an image I’m looking for with these sites on hand. Thanks to Hootsuite for this amazing blog of 20 sites of royalty free images.
Free, free, free.
When it comes to creating and maintaining your social media strategy, you have to keep on top of the ever changing rules of the social sphere. To make sure you’re always up to speed with what’s happening, Social Media Minute with Jan Rezab is an amazing resource to keep you updated. His videos help explain everything so clearly so you won’t miss a beat.
Follow him on Facebook here.
Now this tool is pretty freakin’ awesome! It’s photo editing software (like Photoshop) and also a creative photo suite (with filters and stuff!).
With Pixlr's photo editing part you can do heaps the handy things like make the background of any photo transparent and change the colours of your image plus it’s really easy! And with the creative suite, you can fix up the photo (exposure, colour, brightness etc.), add filters or create cool artistic images. You really need to check this out. Anyone that knows me also knows how much I love a good price. But what's even better than a kick-ass price? A price tag with only 00s! Pixlr is a completely free web-based platform.
Back to the strategy stuff, Paul Ramondo takes social media marketing to the next level, and - trust me - his content is an extremely powerful tool and it REALLY helps. I follow Paul on Snapchat and his “Social Media Marketing Tips” are so helpful. Plus the content on his Facebook page, website and Youtube channel is something that you definitely need to bookmark in your browser. Paul really helps you plan a strategy which will achieve the best results for your social profiles and refine your strategy. Some of my best ideas have been sparked by tips that I’ve seen on Paul’s snapchat. You can read his blog, sign up to his newsletter, download his e-books and sign up to his exclusive private Facebook group for discussions with other like-minded individuals. The majority of Paul's content is FREE, especially if you add him on multiple social media platforms.
Pablo by Buffer, a web-based service, is THE bomb! It will make you look like a pro and it makes any graphics job a breeze. You can either use the search engine to find a photo or import your own, add effects, import a logo and add some text. There’s even an inbuilt quote section so you can add a quote too. And it’s FREE!
Now hitting on the point about being a graphic designer; don’t spend hours and hours trying to figure out how to use complicated graphics programmes. Now, you can make the coolest social media graphics using Spark Post by Adobe. It has its own whole royalty free image library, content inspirations and a massive range of fonts, themes and layouts. They just introduced a new feature enabling you to turn your content into animations - how COOL is that? Plus... Drum Roll Pleeease. It's FREE.
If you managed to get to the bottom of this blog, CONGRATULATIONS! I applaud you. I hope this has helped. You may have learnt something about me through this blog, I really really like free stuff haha. Please feel free to leave comments/questions below or flick me an email.
Let me know if you have any apps/resources/programmes to add to the list.