AWESOME TOOLS TO HELP YOU UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA GAME!
Social media is an essential part of marketing your jewellery or craft business. It is one of the lowest cost marketing channels available to small startups. However building your social media presence can take a lot of time and effort in terms of curating great content, drafting copy and creating fantastic photos and graphics. I remember when I first started I made an assumption that I would spend 80 % of my time designing and making jewellery and 20% promoting and marketing my craft. In reality I probably spend 70% of my time promoting and marketing and 30% making!
But the good news is that there are some handy tips and tools to help you spend less time on social media and more time making and creating!
1. Camera Apps
Believe it or not, you can take amazing images for your social media using your smartphone. This is great as it isn’t always convenient to carry your SLR everywhere and is perfect for behind the scenes shots. There are lots of camera apps available that give you lots of control over the editing of your photos from adjusting exposure to sharpening your image. The one I like best is Camera + App for iOS. Every photo I take for social media on my phone is taken with Camera +. This app gives me the flexibility to edit my photos in just a couple of minutes including adjusting the brightness and exposure, cropping and straightening, and then I just save the edited photo onto my camera reel on my phone ready to post! If you are on Android then the app I hear recommended by Android users the most is ProShot. Snapseed is also great for photo editing photos taken on your phone so you have lots of choice in this area so do test a few out to see which one you like best!
2. Canva for work
To create professional looking graphics for social media, the tool I use most is Canva. Canva offers a free version which is jam packed with templates and fonts and they offer optimized image sizes for most social media platforms. Everything is drag and drop and it is really easy to create brilliant images with overlaid text in no time at all. My one bug bear with the free version was that I had to add in my brand colours every time I created a new graphic which was a bit of a pain.
An example graphic created in Canva.
However I recently upgraded to Canva for Work where you pay a small fee every month but which allows you to upload your custom fonts, colours and logo to be used over and over again and you can create your own templates which has saved me so much time! You can also now create one image and resize for other social media platforms at the touch of a button – just click on File in the top left corner and then Magic Resize and pick which platforms you want an optimized image for – so quick and easy! You can then download your finished image in web or print quality. Canva is currently only available on a desktop browser but I am hoping an app is in the works!
If you want to simply overlay text but don’t have time to work on a desktop or laptop then Wordswag for both iOS and Android is a great way of doing this directly on your phone. The app allows you to take a photo to use, or to upload one from your photo library. There are lots of pre-loaded fonts and phrases, or you can just type in your own text. You have control over the font style, colour and image transparency. You can even watermark your image with your logo which is a nice touch. Fantastic for creating simple graphics with overlaid text on the go!
4. Scheduling Apps
Sometimes it is useful to be able to schedule your social media posts in advance (we all deserve a holiday right?). There are many social media scheduling tools available including Buffer, Hootsuite, Onlypult (Instagram), Sprout Social and lots more that allow you to plan and schedule your social media posts in advance. The trick is to make sure that the one you pick has all the functionality you need and covers all the platforms you use. Most of these services charge a small fee for their full suite of services, but you can usually use a free version with limited functionality, or have a free trial to test it out to make sure it is for you.
Popular social media scheduling tools.
5. Pinterest Button
Pinterest is a great tool in your social media arsenal, as unlike the other social media platforms, people on Pinterest tend to be ready to buy. So you will want to quickly and easily pin to your pinterest boards. This can be a bit laborious, but a nice way to do this more easily is to download a pinterest button onto your browser. This means if you find an image you want to pin, you just need to click the pinterest button and you will be able to select the board you want to pin to. You don’t even need to leave the webpage you are on to do it.
6. Unfollower Apps
When you start building your presence on a social media platform typically if someone follows you, you follow them back. But, as you become more established you might want to become pickier about who you follow and focus on accounts that inspire you, have amazing content or that your target audience follow and engage with. You will also find that some accounts follow you and then unfollow you as soon as you follow them back. A good way to keep an eye on this is using a service such as Statusbrew. This app covers Twitter and Instagram (sadly not Facebook) and allows you to check which accounts are not following you back and who have unfollowed you. I wouldn’t get too worked up about unfollows – they are a natural part of social media although the first couple of times it happens you can be a bit rubbish. Look at it as a blessing – they probably would never have bought from you, and this way you will be left with a more engaged audience.
7. Cloud Storage
You create a lot of content for social media and often you need to access it on the go. Services such as Dropbox or OneDrive are a great way of accessing content from multiple devices and saves you from emailing files to access them when out and about. It is also good having a backup of all your work rather than saving everything on your devices.
8. Sell on Etsy App
If you are an Etsy seller I would thoroughly recommend the Sell on Etsy app for iOS or Android if you don’t already have it. It not only allows you to add and amend listings from your phone, but also lets you manage orders on the go which is fantastic! The best feature from a social media perspective, is that you can create shop updates through the app which drops the post into the homepage of people who have favorited your page. You can also share listings and shop updates directly from the app to your social media feeds such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest including clickable product links which is a great time saver.
9. Page Manager App for Facebook
The Pages Manager App is a similar idea to the Sell on Etsy App but for your business Facebook Page. It allows you to respond to customer queries and messages and get access to your page insights. You can set up your notifications on your phone so you never miss a message.
If Instagram is your favourite social media platform you will want to check out Iconosquare. It is great for giving you powerful analytics about what content is working best, and will help you with the all-important hashtag research to ensure your Instagram posts reach your target audience!
The most important thing I would stress about social media that although it is hard work to build and maintain your following, you do not have to be active on every platform. Pick the ones you enjoy the most and that your target audience hang out on and focus on them, and hopefully some of these tools and tricks will help give you some valuable time back!