There are so many tools for Social Media Marketing that it’s hard to figure out which to use and which to avoid. Which ones are really FREE and which ones just want to lure us in by saying they are free - but then ask for a credit card number after you spend 15 minutes creating your new account? I hate that, don’t you? Anyway, I found some FREE social media tools that I want to share with you. A few have been around for a while and you may already know about them but there are a couple of new ones too. And they are FREE. I signed up for every one of them just to make sure.
1. Canva is the most awesome design tool I have ever used! It is completely FREE. They have templates for everything you would need (Facebook cover page, social media post, etc.) and there are so many combinations of colors, backgrounds, images, text, EVERYTHING. I am not a designer, that’s for sure, but I have made all kinds of awesome things. I made this a few days ago:
2. Hootsuite is a social media management tool that is completely FREE. I have used it for over a year to schedule my weekly content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram and I have never been charged a penny. You can schedule your posts for monthly, weekly, or daily. Just write in the content, attach a picture, video, link to an article or website, and schedule it out for any day - any time or send it out right then. There are a bunch of other perks to Hootsuite but I honestly have not tried any so I will let you figure those out for yourself.
3. Scoop.it is a super-fast and free way to find content about ANYTHING you want. I have been using this for over a year to find content for social media posts that I schedule on Hootsuite. All of it is FREE. Just enter a topic into the search bar and in less than one minute you will have 100 of the most recent articles, blogs, videos, and images about that topic. Amazing!
4. Flipboard is similar to Scoop.it, but it actually lets you choose as many topics as you want and it will gather all the newest articles on those topics. For example, one of my topics is Web Presence and when I click on that topic box I get articles such as “How to Prepare Now for CEO in 2016” from Inc. Magazine and “The most common small business mistakes that lead to failure in the digital age.”
5. Slideshare will instruct you how to make your own slide show for FREE about any topic you want and it will look professional. You can use it for school, business, or just for fun. Tell a story or make a training presentation. Whatever you need, it's easy and effective.
6. Powtoons helps you make a cartoon video even if you have no idea what you are doing (like me). It is absolutely FREE and you can make one from scratch or just customize one that is premade already.
7. Weebly is the amazing FREE website builder tool that you are reading this blog on. I made this website on Weebly a few months ago for FREE. It is easy, there are hundreds of templates, and you can add a store and a blog and whatever else you want in your website. And you do not have to know what you are doing. It is really easy, believe me! Because I had no clue what I was doing and I think it turned out pretty good. Of course, it is a work in progress as always because I continue to update it with new blogs, images, and information.
So, what are you waiting for? You have enough information here to find and post thousands of articles, create your own cartoons, design images, and slide show and then build a website to blog about it. And it is all FREE so get busy and get your brand out there. Just some of my thoughts.
Talk to Me:
Okay, I know that's not really funny. But that's what I want to talk about. Do you use jokes, silly pictures, or humor of any kind in your marketing? I know many people think that humor is not acceptable at work. But there are many more who believe that laughing at work is a good thing. In the past 10 years or so companies have been getting more involved in their employees' happiness and are trying to boost their productivity and job satisfaction with humor. Let's face it, happy workers are better workers. Right?
The same goes for marketing - you want your customers to be happy, right? Humor almost always brings a smile, whether it is really funny or not. Sometimes we smile just because we know the company is trying to be funny and failed. Other times we really laugh out loud because it is truly funny. But think about it - no matter what language you speak, nationality you are, whether you are young or old - you have laughed at some time in your life. And those times stick in your head for a long time. Marketing with humor is not only good to make people happy, but it also helps them remember what it was that made them laugh (your company). And people tend to share what it was that made them smile, spreading your business reach even further.
But you have to be careful with humor. You cannot post raunchy or sexist jokes and you definitely do NOT want to post any kind of racial humor even if you think it is funny. It is NOT funny and nobody will appreciate it. You want to be remembered for making people smile - not for making people mad.
Try to think about who your readers are and what they will think is funny. What is your target market interested in at the moment?
So, what do you think is funny? Does it make sense to more than just you? Try it out on other people before posting it because once it is out there you cannot take it back. Even if you delete it you can be sure that someone already saw it and shared it. Just some of my thoughts.
Share some of your jokes or funny pics with us. We will tell you if they are funny or not.
Okay, here is a good subject! How often do you see a post on Facebook and say to yourself “Why the heck would they post something like that? Who cares what you had for breakfast?” Seriously, some people just post way too much information (TMI for those who do not know what that means) and do not think anything of it. But later on in the day you notice that the crazy post actually has over 100 likes and more than 50 comments! People really like to talk about that stuff. Apparently, if you want to know if your old boyfriend is cheating on his new girlfriend or maybe what the people at Walmart are wearing you are in good company. Some studies (I don’t know who does these studies, just take my word for it) show that these types of posts about common things such as pictures of their dinner or what they are watching on TV make up almost 70% of the Facebook posts on any given day! And if you want to know how mad your friend is about “something that somebody did to someone else” just wait a few minutes. These same studies show that every six minutes there are over 1000 posts about random anger with no “names mentioned.” Who are you kidding? That person knows EXACTLY who you are talking about. And be honest, you know you are guilty of the same thing. You just HAD to share that picture of your cat doing that cute thing she does, right? Just some of my thoughts.
With all the social media sites available now, it is almost impossible for someone to be invisible online. What does this mean to those of us who work online? It means we have to live a transparent lifestyle in business and our personal lives. This does not mean you have to tell everyone your private business on your Facebook profile every day, in fact it is exactly the opposite.
Let’s say you heard about a company you are thinking of doing business with but you do not know anything about them. The first thing most of us would do is Google them, right? Have you ever Googled yourself? You may be surprised how much information you actually have on the internet. So, you Google the client and see who owns them and what information is available online about them. Once you get some information, this can lead to more information, and then you will find even more information! By the end of your quest you can probably discover what this person ate for dinner yesterday and how they had to rush back to work and meet with a new client. This would be a good example.
A bad example is when you see on their Facebook and Twitter is how they got so incredibly drunk last night that they did some really stupid things (with sordid detail) and ended up in jail for assaulting someone. This is not the kind of person you want to be doing ANY kind of business with, right? The thing I am trying to say is that even if you are the kind of person who went out and had some drinks last night and got into some trouble – DO NOT post it on your profile or on anyone else’s profile either.
Everything online is public information, even when you think it is private. The more you share the more we can find out about you, so be sure to only post what you want other people to know about you. Look at the big scandal with the Ashley Madison site and cheating spouses. Their motto is “Life is short. Have an affair.” On their home page it says 100% Discreet Service, SSL Secure Site. Not so true anymore, is it? So, be careful what you post and where you post because it can cost you a good job or even your marriage. Just some of my thoughts.
Social Media Marketing is extremely popular right now. Red hot. Experts are saying that Content Marketing is the next big thing in Social Media Marketing. Do you know how to create good content that will attract more readers and keep them engaged? There are many ways to achieve this, but the best way is to either learn how to research and write your own, or hire some excellent writers who can do it for you.
Pulling readers in by writing about what they are interested in may seem easy, but first you have to do the research to find out who your target market is, where they are, and what their interests are. This is no easy task. In fact, there are firms out there who profit off doing just that for you and thousands of other companies out there.
Research is the hardest part of this, and if you are not one of those kinds of people who can sit and read for hours then you may as well start looking for someone to do it for you. It takes time and patience to get enough data to know what kind of content you should be putting out there. And it is not just about writing what interests your readers. It is also about what you can offer them. Sure, it is great if you want to write articles about automobile mechanics or woodworking, but if these are not even remotely related to your business then you are just writing a newsletter. This may help your readers but it will not really help you.
The thing you have to do is to find a connection or a middle road to meet with your readers that can help both of you. Say you have readers who want to find new clients for their small companies. You can offer them some marketing advice or - even better - to market their business for them. In this way you will help each other out and it is a win-win situation which will make everyone happier, keeps your readers coming back, and gets you referrals and new clients.