Category: Social media tips

Visual Social Media Toolkit: The tools that make social media image and video creation easy

Social media marketing is tough, you need to be present, you need to be creative, you need to be strategic. So then how is it possible to do all of this when perhaps as either business owners and marketers our time is limited and all of these things are different skill sets? TOOLS of course!

Over the last few years as social media has become a mainstay in marketing the tools for managing social media have become more and more sophisticated. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are the norm in a social media managers life now as being able to batch schedule to free up time for engagement is key to a successful, consistent social media strategy.

There are more impressive tools out there for image and video creation too, if you haven’t heard of Canva yet… where have you even been? – Canva is a visual social media tool where you can create fantastic images for your social media profiles without the need for a designer or photoshop skills.

These tools above are more or less staples of a social media managers business tool kit. How did we even manage before Canva and Buffer? I suppose there was Pic Monkey... Actually Pic Monkey is also pretty good, having had a major update recently, also you can’t really crop with Canva (or at least I haven’t worked out how to) with Canva you can crop and create transparent PNG images, with Canva you can but you have to pay for that, not much mind you but I always think it’s best to have a few tools in your bag. For cutting your images out onto a transparent background normally you’d have to use photoshop or pay a designer to batch crop your products, well no more is that the case, there’s 2 tools I use to cut out busy backgrounds and they are clipping magic and background bonanza. Both have a free version and both have a paid version and you are talking a few small pounds per month and the tool literally evaporates your backgrounds in a click of a switch.

Adobe not wanting to be left out of the easy templated image creation space launched Adobe Spark, it’s free, it’s fantastic and it’s very easy to use. Again no photoshop skills required, perfect for your blog headers, facebook and twitter images. All cropped to the right size for each social network. Actually Spark has even more to offer than the Canva’s and Pic Monkey because it also offers a video creation template (well several actually) you can upload or use the free stock images and video provided to create some great videos with text overlay and music, you can also easily record your voice over the top with a click of a button. They also include story templates which takes the planning out of the videos slightly, meaning if you have a creative video / slideshow idea then it’s easy just to populate the story very quickly. It’s also worth mentioning that Buffer have an Image creation tool too called Pablo (awesome name, I know) It’s very easy to batch create images and you can schedule them straight out though buffer.


Then there’s the image apps for your phone, i’ve personally been in love with Wordswag App for a long time now, it so easy to use and to create attractive images within seconds from your phone. There is an issue though, now that so many people are using it some of the designs do look a bit samey.. so it’s okay to have the tools but I think you still have to think creatively in terms of the images you create.. have you seen someone else using the same images and fonts? if so try to change it up a bit. Typorama is also a staple on my iPhone, it’s practically the same as wordswag, in fact the free images library they use is the same (pixabay) but the font are different. With both you have the ability to upload your logo to make your images look branded. It’s worth sticking to a design type or colour scheme for all of your brands content this way you’ll become instantly recognisable over time to clients and potential customers on social media. Some other similar tools I have on my phone for this reason are PicsArt, Photocandy and of course Canva (There you go Canva…. is that enough of a shout out for you).

Not only have the image creation tools exploded over the past couple of year but video tools are also getting more and more sophisticated. The more we use our smartphones to create the more there became a need for post production video tools that we can use easily on our phone, not only that but many of us don’t want to be on screen and so there are tools that make it really simple to create video (literally drag and drop) with stock image and animation just like Adobe Spark I mentioned earlier. These include web tools like Biteable, Biteable is one of my personal favourites it’s free or low cost (I would get the paid version to remove the Biteable branding literally £100 for the year). They have heaps of animation and footage available that you can drag drop and edit easily. Then there’s Animoto, again Animoto is a great tool for creating drag and drop animation.


The video apps for your smartphone are so easy to use, so easy that it even makes video creation fun! Now you can be creative without needing the technical skills to see your stories instantly come to life! Tools like Ripl are fantastic for creating templated short video for social media. Like Typorama (I mentioned earlier) there is Videorama which literally does the same thing but for video. If you are an iPhone user i recommend that you use iMovie the app for post iPhone video production, it’s so easy to use and it’s free! Perfect for editing short pre recorded video.

Gifs are trendy again, remember myspace? it used to be bursting with fun and colourful animated gifs! Well, they are back! Since the major social networks started to accept Gifs we’ve all gone gif mad. If you aren’t in on the Gif action, then download the Giphy cam app or Gif X, these tools enable you to create fun and eye catching images right from your phone that you can embed in blogs and share on social media. Oh again, they are so simple to use.






Avatars of yourself are a fun way to show your personality without having to show your face, BitMoji is wonderful for creating your own avatar to share on social media or to add to your Canva images and so on. It’s actually owned by Snapchat and so integrated seamlessly. This app is available for your phone or even as a Chrome extension. You can even dress up in different outfits depending on the way you feel. Get the keyboard extension too so you can reply to social media massages with a simple avatar that gives a visual representation of how you are feeling. Emoji Me is also top for this, you can literally create an emoji that looks exactly like you wrinkles and all!

Convincing the boss to pay for you to come to Social Day

So you are a Social Media professional, a marketer or someone in your organisation who has been given the task of looking after client accounts or your own company Social Media channels. You want to come to Social Day but need to convince the boss to let you put the ticket on the company or get time off to let you attend.

Staying on top of the current trends, understanding the challenges and looking at where future of social media is going is integral to doing your job effectively.  Social Day offers insight from over 15 speakers, in the format of workshops, presentations and panel debates.  A chance to network and discuss the issues with other delegates who are as passionate about social media as you are.
We understand that convincing the powers that be to take a day out of the office for an event is often difficult, in fact getting you to come out of the office for anything other than annual leave is difficult.  Your dedicated and hard working so why should you take a day out?
1) This event is in London, no matter where in the city you live or where in the country you are, it’s easy to get to! no flights abroad to pop on expenses.
2) Speakers – Workshops and sessions that are run by some of the biggest names in the industry including the Head of Twitter EMEA.
3) Content – Keeping current is challenging in a fast paced market, our programme has been designed to bring some of the key issues to life, Influencer Marketing, Livestream, Video content and Virtual Reality to name a few.
4) Network – no other event offers you the chance to network with so many like-minded social media specialists. We have created ample opportunities throughout the day and have set up drinks reception for after where you can meet new contacts.
5) Video – It’s hard to digest a whole day’s content, that’s why within the cost of the ticket we record every session so you can watch at a later date. When the boss asks what did you get from the event, you can show them!
6) Cost – look at the cost of a days training, you could spend anywhere from £300 to £1500! (which is often not recorded for you to watch back) For less than £150 you get access to some of the brightest minds in Social Media who are going to give you actionable advice on the day!
The full programme can be found here – look out for further announcements!

Rethinking the Future of Social Media: Victoria Taylor Live at Birmingham

Victoria Taylor was keynote speaker at Social Day Birmingham in September 2016. Victoria Taylor of Blend Social and Summit Live UK talks about Rethinking the future of social media. We recorded the session and have made it available to our members.
You will hear about:

  • Customer Experience
  • The importance of communication and relationships
  • Storytelling

Watch the video here.

Not a member? Join here. 

Quick Tips To Improve Your Digital Presence

It is no secret that the future is digital, however so many businesses are still behind online. In this blog I’m going to give you some quick tips to help you improve your online presence.

Have a good website

A good website doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes all you need is a simple website unless you’re selling online, and you must make sure that it is kept up to date. Make sure you out relevant images on your website and if you don’t have any photos of your own, find great stock images on Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash.

Consider starting a blog on your website as this can help grow your traffic. Try to blog up to three times a week, but once a week is enough. This can can give help get links back to your website and can improve your Search Engine ranking,

Don’t spread yourself thin

Start small on Social Media and make sure you can handle one platform well. Unless you have a team or dedicated social media marketer create content for each platform, it’s best to keep to one or two platforms.

Reply to comments and questions

Many small businesses tend to forget or overlook comments or replies to their posts, which is completely the wrong thing to do!  Each time you reply to or like a comment (I’m getting scientific here!), a small shot of dopamine is released into the brain and the person experiences a feeling of euphoria, in similar ways to nicotine. People love it when brands mention them!

Unless a comment is spam, you should at least acknowledge it with a like. Make sure to set out times to reply to all comments and questions, and spread these out throughout the day. This keeps your profiles looking active. If you don’t have enough time for this, consider hiring a social media manager,

Sometimes, you will get disgruntled customers commenting on your picture, but don’t fret! Instead, try to resolve their issue. Try getting them to contact you privately and if they don’t, always act in a professional manner.

Schedule posts

Simetimes, we just don’t have time to post every day. We forget and our pages go stagnant. There is a way around this. We love Buffer as a scheduling tool, it’s super simple to use and is free for up to three profiles! There are other options available like Hootsuite and Meet Edgar. On each of these you can input RSS feeds of your own and your favourite blogs and schedule rhem to go out at the best times for your business!

Top tip: install the relevant toolbars for your desktop and mobile browser so you can schedule things quickly as you read them! 

Avoid tacky images

Social Media is very visual, images, videos and GIFs work very well. If you’re not a confident designer, websites like Canva can be really helpful for creating stunning content. Also, there are mobile apps like WordSwag and Typorama – just have a search on the App Store. Avoid using the cheesy stock images that are available, there are some beautiful ones too!

Keep the images you create consistent with your brand guidelines by using the right colours and fonts, and include your logo where possible. Make sure you have images that are the correct size for the platform.

Pin important announcements

On Twitter and Facebook, you can pin your important posts to the top of your profile. This means that everyone who visits your profile will see that post. This is a great way to get more eyeballs on certain pieces of content, advertising a competition and for company announcements.

Be a human!

The most important thing for you to do is be a human. Don’t talk like a robot or excessively use stock images, show off the real thing too. Your audience can tell the difference.

Write your posts in a way that matches your brands voice, how you would talk to your customer face to face. Social Media is all about conversations.

The Importance of Adding Value To Your Social Media Audience

The secret to a successful social media campaign is out! and it’s this simple: Give your audience or community VALUE! Is this obvious to you? Or does that confuse you? – Whatever, it doesn’t matter, offering value is the best way to build a great audience and build your influence on social media! In this post i’ll explain why… but first let’s look at the mistake many businesses make:

Many businesses make the mistake on social media of setting up and just posting the occasional piece of information. They don’t post regularly and they are not consistent. But this isn’t the worst mistake. The worst mistake is sharing posts or content that is all about them! They talk about promotions and products and services. They say things like: Check out our new products! or for a service you can trust give us a call and so on. Blah, blah, blah… right?

Ask yourself…. Would I want to read that on social media? … Would anyone else want to read that? And what would make me want to follow a page or social media account? – Even better… What would my target audience want to hear to make them follow me on social media?

These are some of the most simple questions you can ask, but people forget how important these simple questions are.
In all honesty to get people to engage and to want to follow you, you need to be offering something in return. Some VALUE!!

The best way to look at this is to change your mindset around social media and marketing in general. Don’t think: How can I promote myself  or my business on social media but how can I educate, inspire or offer and additional free services to my audience?

What you want is to get people to want to see and share your content, so they want to follow you, they look forward to your content, they want to engage with you and of course to trust you so much they want to be associated with your brand and buy from you.

Once you have an engaged and listening audience, they’ll begin to trust you – this is how you build influence through social media! – Easy right? So what are you waiting for?

50 Social Media Marketing Tips from Businesses, Experts and Advocates

Overwhelm is sometimes what we get when looking for social media marketing tips for business, where do we look? why does everyone have a differing opinion? what works and what doesn’t?
Here’s a collaborative post with heaps of great social media tips all in one place from the real people using social media every day! Not just the experts. With a mix of tips from business owners, social media users, experts, marketeers and advocates this list is the ultimate!

And true to our social media roots we asked these guys on Social Media and every single one of them is collaborative and hugely generous with their advice for you. First I asked people on Anchor (The new audio / radio style social network) you’ll be able to listen to the responses! Then Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. So in no particular order we bring you 50 social media marketing tips for real businesses from real businesses:

1. Lisa Nichols: Know your audience! – Work out who your target audience is first

2. Mike Russell: Use If This Then That (IFTTT) – And use the Twitter search option to interact

3. Adam Green: Create value for your followers – by creating value you create attention

4. Inga Deksne: Clarity, Consistency and Curiosity

5. Rob Lawrence: Being consistent and posting little and often

6. Mark Longbottom: Locate, Listen and Engage the people you want to talk to

7. Elvira Tynan: Engagement is Key

8. The Enthusiast: Be useful to your audience

9. Alex Ighalo: less is more.

10. Lisa: Remember to keep it personal and engaging

11. Luc Benyon: Choose the channels where your audience are most active

12. Luc Benyon: Play to your strengths

13. Paula Thornton: Keep it SMART

14. Gemma Lloyd: Most importantly be social!

15. Liam Batch: Choose carefully which platforms best suit your business.

16. Susanne Wakefield: It’s a balance, be professional and approachable.

17. Susanne Wakefield: Be yourself!

18. Morgan J. Ingram: Formulate your own Hashtag!

19. Loredana Baranga: Be consistent and persistent.

Think about what you are going to post and plan your Social Media presence ahead.
Always keep in mind that your posts should be 80% about your target audience and 20% about your company, your products or services – in other words Serve. Serve. Serve.
Create ENGAGEMENT with the 3 Q’s:
Ask your followers Questions: ask for their opinion, feedback, pick their brain
Use Quotes relevant to your industry
Use Quandaries
Find Loredana here

20. Richard Howes: Demonstrate interest in someone you’ve just followed by engaging with one of their earlier Tweets—@Bridger Howes Limited

21. AftonNegrea.com Keep on top of your relationships with Close (App).

22. Susie Gasparovic – Be real, honest and authentic.

Instagram: susie_g_consulting/

23. Mike Delgado: Listen, use monitoring tools and join Linkedin communities.

24. Big Dave: Start small to avoid overwhelm.

25. Don DiBrita: Make sure that your social media plan includes your offline customers.

26. Kyla Sims: Use Flipboard.com to find relevant content to share with your audience.

27. SocialSocial: Know your target audience.

28. Victoria Hill: Quality not quantity.

29. SocialSocial: Social media is not advertising or broadcasting.

30. Nikki Cochrane: Always be adding value.

31. Rachel Mostyn: Listen and join the conversation.

32. Don’t just speak, listen first.

33. elevateitnow: Patience and measurement.

elevateitnow on Instagram

34. Lisa Nichols: Post content that elicits a REACTION.

35. Lisa Nichols: Re-purpose your content NATIVELY 4 each platform.

36. Ali Meehan: Don’t automate responses.

37. Lisa Nichols: Use a content calendar.

38. Ali Meehan: Twitter is just networking online.Use same rules you would in person 2 person situation

39. Susie Ellis: Your Facebook main image is clickable!

40. Lucy Hall: Use phone apps to create quick visual content easily

41. Katya Varbanova: Integrate livestream into your social media marketing strategy.

42. Lucy Hall: Give your audience a choice as to how they consume your content.

43. LocaliseApp:Join in with local twitter chat conversations using hashtags

44. Steve Harris: Leverage video content

45. Sarah Butler: Organic reach on Facebook is tough for SME’s but the ad platform is great for targeting so trial some ads.

46. Vintagevibe: Show your audience a little of the real you.

47. Grant Cunningham: Keep the fun in social media!

48. Sarah Butler: Be consistent with your branding on your social media platforms.

49. SocialDay: Don’t argue with negative comments, politely move them to a private forum and discuss there.

50. Katya Varbanova: Use crowdfire to send automated welcome messages to your Twitter followers when they follow you, but be sure to engage with real human interaction after this.
Katya on facebook

There it is! 50 social media tips from some amazing collaborative people and businesses from all over the world! Enjoy! And don’t forget to follow the ones you like the most.

What tips would you add to this post?

We’ll do a part 2 soon.

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