Social Media Marketing is Too Important to Let the Intern Do It!

By Eric Meyerson

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These 6 Social Media Tools Can Help You Get the Best Results

Many small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are finding themselves overwhelmed and discouraged by social media.

What happened? Wasn’t social media supposed to be easy, intuitive, and quickly learnable for SMBs? With all of the recent changes to the algorithms, many SMB owners feel like they don’t know which tactics actually drive results on social media anymore.

Many are just giving up. They feel like social takes too much time for the meager results they’re producing, so they are delegating responsibility for social media strategy to junior employees or interns, based on the belief that “Digital Natives” will better understand how to get followers and engagement.

Bad idea. Social media is a critical part of any marketing plan, and with more emails delivered to Spam or deleted, unread, it’s more important than ever.

You need a strategy. You need to be on the right platforms and posting at the right times. But most importantly, you need visual content. The desktop computing era is waning, and your customers are spending more time each day on social media on their mobile devices. These platforms all run on photos, videos, GIFs, and other vivid visuals.

But never fear if you’re not a pro photographer or digital artist. Here are 5 simple tools to help anyone produce more, better visual content to keep your audiences growing and engaging. This is the best way to stay connected to your customers in 2018.

  1. GIMP: GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a free, open source image editor, available for Windows, OS X and other operating systems. GIMP gives you the ability to do Photoshop-level editing of images, with mostly similar capabilities to Photoshop, but it’s free! Social media is getting more “visual” all the time, and images get some of the highest engagement rates on Facebook. This means that your business should invest some time in creating unique visual content that is specific to your business, brand and key messages. GIMP can help you do this, without having to spend money on professional editing features that you don’t need.
  2. PicsArt: What if you want to make great photos and images for social media while you’re on the go, without all the features of a desktop solution like GIMP? Use PicsArt – a mobile app that lets you create amazing photo art on iPhone or Android. There are lots of ways to use this app to make your visual content look better – from basic touch-ups to fun filters, to really fascinating and beautiful photo creations. Be sure to dig into the Effects to make cool art quickly. PicsArt can help you create professional looking visual content to represent your business on social media, much faster than you might expect.
  3. Timehop: Everything old is new again on social media! Many small businesses are getting good results by resurfacing older posts. Is your business participating in #throwbackthursday or #tbt on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? If not, you should! Timehop is a great tool for this it resurfaces older posts from past years. People think that social media is all about the new hotness, but the most emotionally resonant content is nostalgic in nature. Timehop can help you recycle old posts on social media and drive engagement – such as reminding your customers of fun photos from last summer’s special events, or re-sharing some customer-generated content (like a photo contest involving your business). Timehop is a great way to reinforce the emotional connections that you have with your customers.
  4. Easil: Visual content for social media is more than just photos. What if you need custom flyers, banners, infographics, event invitations, or specially sized images that suit the specifications of the social media platforms? Try Easil! This tool is more than just a photo editor; it’s a DIY drag-and-drop graphic design secret weapon. Easil is a fast and easy tool to build graphics and templates for anything you need; it can help you save time and look sharp on social media without having to budget for professional graphic design.
  5. Giphy: All businesses should incorporate GIFs into their consumer marketing communications these days. GIFs are short, silent animated graphics, such as tiny clips from movies; they are popular on social media as a way to react to posts in a humorous or exuberant fashion, and their strong visual impact (they’re almost as powerful as videos, but without the bandwidth and time commitment) tends to drive strong engagement on social media. Giphy is a great tool that helps you find and create GIF animations.
  6. Sensai: Why has marketing on social media has become so hard? It’s largely because today there are so many variables that must be managed in order to achieve success, making it virtually impossible for any one person to keep up with it all. What if you could find a tool that uses the power of AI to help you stay better organized and get smarter about marketing on social. That’s where Sensaicomes in. Its AI technology constantly analyzes your social media actions – on a post-by-post basis – and provides specific recommendations to help improve your performance (customers who put this personalized guidance into action saw their follower growth accelerate by 129% on average).

Don’t assume that social doesn’t work anymore, or that it’s not a good use of time – you might just need to adjust your social media strategy. Get more visual. Think more strategically about what kind of visual content you can create and share. Maximize your back catalog of older posts and happy memories. With a few adjustments, your business will have a more visually appealing social media presence in no time.

Eric Meyerson is Head of Marketing for Sensai, a new startup that gives businesses, creators, and artists the power to transform their online influence with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Eric is an industry veteran in social media, marketing, and consumer technology, and a former marketing leader at Facebook and YouTube.  

Social media stock photo by niroworld/Shutterstock

This post originally appeared on SmallBizDaily.com