4 Social Media Tools to Try in 2017
By Maggie Christ, social media manager
The social media landscape is ever-changing. Therefore, there’s a lot of experimenting or trial and error for companies whenever something new comes along. It can be scary to risk time, energy and sometimes money on a new platform or content sharing tool when you’re unsure of how it will perform. However, these risks tend to pay off for companies willing to give them a try.
With this in mind, I challenge you, just like we at Commonwealth PR challenge ourselves and our clients, to be creative, take a risk, and try at least one of the following social media tools:
If you noticed your friends’ photos at the top of your Instagram feed in the last few months, you may be familiar with Instagram stories. But it’s not only for sharing photos and videos of elaborate donuts or pictures of cute dogs. Companies have started using Instagram stories to build excitement for events, to tell a story bit-by-bit, entice audiences to read longer articles, or offer a behind-the-scenes look at an office or location.
You can also share photos and short videos via a Boomerang, which is a short video that repeatedly plays forward and backward. This tool is offered through Instagram, so you don’t need to know anything special to give it a try.
Test it out during your next staff meeting or event. Snap a few photos, caption them and send them off to your followers. Don’t forget to check back to see who viewed your story. The ability to gather metrics on who is viewing your story is a great perk.
Boosted Facebook Posts
Facebook is continuously changing its algorithm and companies are finding it harder and harder to get attention without spending money. However, you do not need to have a huge budget to be effective. Facebook’s minimum spend is $5 or $2.50/day for a longer campaign. And with boosted posts, you don’t need to plan out several photos to test or create new ad copy. Find a post that leads to your website that is performing particularly well and boost it for $5 or $10. You can target friends of followers, or people in your geographic area, to reach users that aren’t already following your page. You’ll likely get more engagement than you would on your normal page and will garner more likes.
Pro tip: Once you’ve started getting likes on the post, click the list of those who liked it. You can invite each person to like your page if they don’t already do so. There is a limit; you can only invite 500 new followers a day.
Even without a ton of Snapchat followers, you can get exposure on the ever-growing, soon-to-be IPO platform. Set up a temporary geofilter for your office or location of an event. Geofilters are overlays in Snapchat that are available in specific, public locations. Invite people through other channels to snap a photo and use the filter. People on SnapChat do not have to follow your organization or know it exists to find the geo-filter. When they take a photo or video in the location, pick and scroll through the filter options, yours will be among the others. This works especially well for colleges, hospitals or medical facilities, and brick-and-mortar stores where people spend a lot of time. They don’t necessarily have to be in your shop or office to pick up the geo-filter.
If you’re struggling to curate interesting articles or you want to keep an eye on competitors, Feedly is a great tool for you. Set up feeds by topic, source or client to easily scan through timely articles and blogs. You’ll see the latest from hundreds of sources all in one stream, making it easy to find the newest content to serve up to your audience.
Get marketing and PR tips every time you open a browser. Zest is a Chrome browser plugin that offers up fresh content to help you learn every day. Even more, you can submit your writing to Zest by clicking the extension icon. If you’ve written something great about branding, blogging, social media, or influencers, submit your blog to Zest to get more eyes on it. You could serve as a resource to others (and bring a little attention to your brand).
Not all of these tools are particularly new, but they might be new to you or offer fresh solutions to new problems. Set some time aside to test one or two of these each month. Some will work, some may not. But by the time you’ve tried them all, there will be new platforms, tools and methods to test.