5 Tools To Help Grow Your Social Media Presence

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Jason Grad is a guest contributor for Nonprofit Hub, and Founder of Bstow. While working in Corporate Sales at Yelp and running Yelp Foundation, he witnessed ALS Ice Bucket Challenge incentivize donors to give to charity. From researching how to create incentives for donors and establish recurring revenue streams for nonprofits, he built Bstow—a round up app for charity.

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There are a myriad of products out there now for handling your social media following; many of them are bad, some of them are good and a precious few are indispensable. Let’s get to the bottom of it. Here are some tips and tricks for how to take advantage of the most useful platforms out there.

Crowdfire

Use this tool for straightforward audience growth on Twitter and Instagram. With the ‘Copy Followers’ feature, you can instantly follow the followers of brands that are similar to yours. By doing so, you are putting your brand in front of people that you already know are going to like what you do. If you have a nonprofit that helps animals, for example, this will help put you in front of people that follow other animal nonprofits. They’re likely to follow your brand back, and like your content, too.

Pro tip: Crowdfire is much better on mobile than desktop. You can follow/unfollow 100 per hour. Let the button-mashing begin!

Buffer

5 tools to help grow your social media presence important

Buffer helps you schedule your Twitter content in advance. While Crowdfire will help you grow your audience by sheer volume of engagement, having great content will increase conversions. Content is valuable only if you provide the right people with the content; that will help you start a warm conversation. With Buffer, you can schedule content for multiple platforms and for different users.

Pro tip: Include an image in every post. Yes, every single one. Images drastically increase conversion.

Hashtagify.me

Not sure which tags are the most popular? Use this site to find out. By searching for tags related to your business, it will show you all related hashtags as well. Click around and write down the most popular tags (that are relevant to what you do) to implement in your posts.

Pro tip: This is a good baseline for scheduled content—but to really schedule great content you want to join conversations, rather than just start them. This means posting content that incorporates themes that are already trending.

Trends Tabs

Posting great content means joining existing conversations and being on trend.

It’s a lot easier to get exposure if people are already consuming the kind of content that you’re posting. We like to take current trends and find ways to make them relevant to our social impact initiatives. Twitter Trends can be found on the Home tab of the desktop site. Instagram also has an entire section dedicated to what’s currently trending.

Help

5 Tools To Help Grow Your Social Media Presence Important

Pro Tip: Taylor Swift is really popular, pretty much at all times. Surprise!

Upwork

Want to have an amazing social presence but don’t have time to do it yourself? You can use Upwork to find freelancers from all over the world. I’d recommend using spreadsheets to create a system of checks and balances.

My virtual assistant helps out a lot with content and other random tasks that come up throughout the day that my team doesn’t have time to execute on.

Pro tip: Make sure that the potential hire is willing to have a video call with you first, and that their Internet connection and English proficiency are both good. Also, use small test jobs at first to help you hire smart.

Google Analytics

Smart marketing means knowing where your traffic is coming from. If you notice a certain channel is doing better for you than others, it might make sense to prioritize that channel or find out what you can do to optimize other channels. When you open up Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium to see what’s driving traffic the most.

Pro tip: Create conversion goals.

Cyfe

This is another tool that will pull in all of your analytics from different sources and show it in one beautiful graphical display. The amount of customization is incredible here.

This is the only non-free tool on this list, but you can find promo codes online that will cut it down to ~$10/month for unlimited users and unlimited dashboards.

Pro Tip: There is a feature that lets you share your dashboard with someone for viewing only. This makes it really easy to update your team on all analytics without having to do anything other than click a button or two.

Now get out there and build your following! There’s no need to break the bank to do it.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Social media is not a clean formula. It can either intimidate people who have never managed a company account, or excite them with opportunities to elevate the medium. Over the past three months I've been working hard to grow both my personal and company brands on social media. It's been a big learning curve.

You might think that it is easy with so many tools out there to manage, track and grow your social media presence but it is NOT. I've had a pretty hard time growing my presence even with everything I have going for me but I have found some things that have maximized my social media presence.

1. Generate a constant stream of quality content.

This is key and one of the most important tips out there. When it comes to shaping social media content, the more you plan, the stronger your presence will be. Plan posts ahead of time, edit with care, and use a service like Buffer, Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. I personally like to plan them out a month in advance as I'm a very busy person. Pro tip: quotes do amazing.

2. Use each social media network to its best ability.

Every social platform has a unique function to captivate followers - the most effective campaigns don’t just post the same content on both Facebook and Twitter, they truly explore the opportunities offered on each platform. Facebook caters to a more general crowd and is great for pushing promotions; Twitter lets you have a conversation and interact more with your followers, while Instagram helps display your product and all its uses more vividly.

3. Telling stories sells product.

You build a market for your product or service by earning the trust of your users. You can't do that by hawking your wares. Put out the best information possible and once people trust you they will purchase everything you have for sale. A good example is my personal JohnRampton.com site. My Twitter and Facebook fan page drive 50-200 people a day to my personal site, where most of what I publish is content submitted by other people. That site drives 10-45 people a day to my company site. Don't sell, teach.

Related: From Bedtime to the Boardroom: Why Storytelling Matters in Business

4. Respond immediately, and be a human.

The best thing about Twitter is that it removes the distance between a company and their customers. Twitter allows you to build a relationship by reacting instantly to feedback and helping your customers with any technical or customer service issues. Knowing this, it’s a shame so many companies schedule posts and go on autopilot, use dry and impersonal language, and tweet taglines for the sake of tweeting taglines. Instead, be sincerely friendly and alert, share fun videos that appeal to your users and respond with humor and kindness, then reach out to people you have reason to think are interested in what you’re selling.

5 Tools To Help Grow Your Social Media Presence

5. Have social media contests.

Facebook loves promotional contests. It takes people less than a second to share an image, and it qualifies them to win free stuff! Who is above getting stuff for doing nothing? Nobody! Give away a good prize on Facebook to really get your business circulating. Take to Twitter to offer a small incentive for pre-ordering your product before it's available. That is a friendly nudge to the people who are thinking about buying it anyway.

5 Tools To Help Grow Your Social Media Presence Like

6. Specialized Twitter accounts.

Dedicated Twitter accounts where people can direct their questions and complaints is a practical way to take the best care of your customers. Have a separate Twitter feed for customer care, complaints and questions. Tell customers that a human is manning the account by simply tweeting, “Mimi is now taking over the customer care account” at the beginning of a shift. End your replies with your initial.

Help

7. Do Q & As.

Use the immediacy of social media to let your customers and potential customers find out more about you. Use an #Ask___ hashtag to find questions on Twitter, or hold an Ask Me Anything on Reddit. As always, be a human: get the face of your company, like the founder, to field questions. I don't do this often as I'm busy. But find 30 minutes a month to do these, they work.

8. Introduce yourself to new markets by following and engaging influencers.

Meeting the gatekeepers is the direct way to enter a specific market. Every industry has its recognized experts, like journalists, academics, entrepreneurs and other thought leaders. These leaders have loyal and passionate connections. By engaging with the people at the top of their industries, you find credibility among their crowd. I went to Freelancer.com and hired someone for $100 to find me the top 1000 people in my industry and write me something unique about each one. Turns out, over the next month I became and got followed by 90 percent of them.

Related: How to Build Your Brand by Awarding the Influencers

9. Do one thing really, really well.

Some companies sign up for every available social platform and expect to execute brilliantly on every one. However, these intentions campaigns often turn out flat, lifeless, and one-dimensional. Their Twitter is a reflection of their Facebook, their Facebook repeats their Instagram. Social media managers should establish a strong presence on just the one best platform for them, then expand it the next most promising platform with fun, well-executed content tailor-made for that platform. It’s much more effective to put your personality and time into making a name for yourself on one platform than to be unremarkable on all the platforms.

10. Post a call to action.

Having a lot of followers doesn’t mean much unless you inspire them to act. Don't execute a new campaign, you should have an idea of the purpose of your campaign. Raising awareness requires a call to share your content and “like” your page, while a customer acquisition campaign should implore people to subscribe to your newsletter. Don't do this often, but do it to prove results and pay for your time!

11. Have a signature move.

Use a nice, recurring little flourish to draw people into your unique vision. Whether it’s an inside joke, a small but regularly occurring contest with a fun edge, or a personal connection to the social media poster (people respond better to other humans present as humans, and not brands). I like to use humor!

12. If all else fails, be yourself.

If you’re a social and charming person IRL, but not necessarily social media savvy, there’s a simple solution to add your own twist online: just be yourself. Be helpful and passionate, stay on message, but don’t stress about sticking to the script. If you’re passionate about your product or service, then let that passion flow from your fingers. After all, enthusiasm is infectious, and people will always be responsive to genuine moments.

5 Tools To Help Grow Your Social Media Presence Among

Here's to becoming social media giants!

5 Tools To Help Grow Your Social Media Presence For A

Related: Authenticity Is Your Brand's Greatest Social Media Asset