We know how it is: You work on a project, with clients, write a book or a product. There is barely time to get your daily workload done – and then there is online marketing and social media: You know you should do it regularly, but there never seems to be enough time to get it all done.
But: You can do it!
The solution to this problem is: Use tools. There are a lot of tasks that get easier, more time efficient or simply better with the use of tools. We use them daily. We could not get all our work done without the use of tools.
Buffer has been one of the first social media marketing tools we have been using on a regular basis and it kind of stuck with us. Buffer simply is awesome for scheduling tweets. And it has a free version that allows you to schedule up to ten tweets – that will get you far especially when you are just starting out on Twitter.
Before you read on - we have various resources that show you exactly how to use social networks to gain massive traffic and leads. For instance, check out the following:FREE Step-by-Step Twitter Marketing Guide
FREE Pinterest Marketing Ebook
Buffer can also schedule posts for Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram – but I admit that I very rarely use that. Either there are better ways for me to schedule posts for these networks, or I do not use a scheduling tool for them at all.
But for scheduling on Twitter, Buffer is simply the best there is. Also take a look at the analytics part of Buffer which is great if you want to test headlines or tweet-images.
Actually, images are a good point when it comes to Buffer’s other features. If you are looking for a simple, easy to use way to create images for your social media channels, Buffer’s Pablo is a tool you should look at.
Canva is my goto-tool when it comes to creating images for my online marketing. I am a design-moron. I admit it. When I started creating images for Pinterest, Facebook, and co. the first attempts simply sucked. They were ugly.
And then I discovered Canva and the design templates they provide for free. And I learned a lot from them: About combining different color schemes, typefaces, and images.
Canva sets you up with the right dimensions for many different purposes like Pinterest posts, Facebook adds or Twitter headers. The provide a couple of templates, some free, some for a fee. You can use a ton of elements in your design process and play around with filters.
The free account of Canva gets you far, if you need more templates or elements for your designs, you can pay for each element as you need them. If you need more features, the Canva for work option may be for you.
Hey, before you read on - we have in various FREE in-depth guides on similar topics that you can download. For this post, check out:FREE workbook: CREATE AWESOME BLOG POSTS
FREE Beginner's Guide: START A BLOG
If you need something to get started with designing graphics, take a look at Canva’s design school.
SocialOomph is ugly; it is un-intuitive, and it certainly has a crappy user interface. So why is it on this list of tools I cannot live without?
It has one feature that makes it stand out…
SocialOomph can do recurring queues. If you have a ton of content that is evergreen and relevant to your social audience, you can use all that content to keep your social accounts busy while you are working on all the other things you have on your agenda. Even if you go on holiday or are right in the middle of a client project, you can send out great information on your social accounts.
Some of you may be aware that we are running several Twitter accounts. And we have a ton of great content that is evergreen and interesting to a huge part of our auWhilece. While I would not recommend to repeat yourself over and over again on every network you use, on Twitter this can be a great way to drive a new audience back to your content. Especially since studies show that on average only 4% of your followers will see your first tweet to a piece of content.
Warning 1: You need a lot of content to use recurring queues, or you will sound like an old record with a flaw.
Warning 2: Never forget to be human on your social media channels – no matter how much you can automate them!
SocialOomph has a lot more features that are relevant to social media marketing. If you decide to use recurring queues, you should check out some of their other features.
ManageFlitter is easily the best tool I know for managing your Twitter following. You can find accounts to follow; they help you find accounts you should unfollow. ManageFlitter is the best tool to use in the follow-unfollow routine and help you grow a targeted audience.
We have written several articles about how to use ManageFlitter and ManageFlitter’s awesome PowerMode.
Tweetdeck is an awesome tool that lets you monitor different feeds, for instance, feeds of tweets that mention relevant keywords or feeds of your Twitter lists. Tweetdeck is also awesome if you manage several Twitter accounts and do not want to miss mentions or messages for each account. Simply set up a feed for the notifications or messages for each account.
Tweetdeck is a Twitter client and is absolutely free to use.
HelloBar is a tool that lets you set up popups and banners on your website to convert customers, signups or even social shares. Whatever you want to promote on your website, HelloBar helps you get the right message to your audience at the right time.
Now, before some of you start telling us that we have the wrong banners, too many pop-ups or too much promotion on our blog, let me tell you two things:
- While we love to give you all the marketing advice that you need for online marketing success on our blog for free, we still have to pay our bills, and the blog is a relevant marketing channel
- We test everything we do on our website. We measure and optimize according to numbers and what we do is based on data. So: Even if you do not love it, it works!
Learn to drive traffic, generate leads and convert customers from social media with “The Social Traffic Code!”
In marketing, you often need many different landing pages at various steps in your marketing process. Leadpages helps you create beautiful landing pages that convert.
They come with a ton of templates which you can adapt to your own preferences and purposes. Leadpages also integrate with the most important marketing tools. They also recently acquired Drip our favorite email marketing tool.
There are a ton of email marketing tools that allow you to send regular newsletters. Pricing varies – many newbies start by using tools like MailChimp as they offer a free plan if you have less than 2000 subscribers in your email list. But if you are serious about online marketing, you will start to grow your list and 2000 will not be sufficient for long.
However, if you start using email marketing in a little more sophisticated way with segmenting your email subscribers, sending different email sequences for different types of leads, varying the emails you send based on the actions your subscribers take – you need a better email marketing tool with more options to segment your audience and to keep track of your automation setup.
We tested a couple of tools, and what we figured best for us is Drip. The feature that really sets Drip apart from other email marketing tools is the Visual Workflow. This feature really lets you set up complex customer or user journeys with email sequences and action based workflows.
I admit: The decision to use Drip took our email marketing to the next level. Jonathan also wrote a review on using Drip.
Is hosting a tool? I am not sure if the classification is totally correct. Still, switching our hosting provider from BlueHost to CloudWays solved a bunch of problems for us. And we would never change back!
Jonathan has written two extensive articles on starting a blog using Cloudways and on the process of switching from BlueHost to CloudWays, which turned out much easier than we expected.
Note: If you are interested in using Cloudways for your hosting, you can get $15 in free hosting credits when you sign up with this bonus code: THESOCIALMS
We haven’t done a webinar in a while, but we will be doing one soon. We would love to do more Webinars, but there rarely seems to be enough time for everything that we would love to do.
When we started thinking about doing our first webinar, I had a look at a bunch of webinar software. And honestly, I think there is more than one great Webinar tool out there. The decision for WebinarsOnAir was more or less based on pricing compared to the number of attendees you can have.
WebinarsOnAir works with Google Hangouts. I love the ease of use – and when I started out with the first Webinar, I was really grateful for all the tutorial videos they have that made using the tool very easy.
In case, you are looking for tools to automate your social media marketing efforts, these tools can help.