By Jennie Wong
The Charlotte Observer.
Are you using the latest social media tools?
The do’s and don’ts of social media may be familiar to you by now. As a business owner, you know you need an online presence on the right platforms, and you know your posts should add value, be visual and happen consistently.
If you’re a solopreneur or have a small team, there’s likely little time for social media on top of everything else.
Luckily, there are more and better social media tools than ever, and many are free to use. Here’s a sample of what the cool kids are using these days.
SCHEDULE POSTS: There are many third-party tools for posting to Facebook and Twitter and their brethren, but all the chatter seems to be about Hootsuite versus Buffer. In a nutshell, Buffer leads on points for simplicity and Hootsuite leads on points for capability. If you’re managing social for just your own business, check out Buffer first, then Hootsuite. If you’re a professional social media manager, you’re probably already using Hootsuite.
DESIGN GRAPHICS: Charlotte, N.C.-based social media content specialist Katie Harding recommends PicMonkey for its ease of use and range of graphic design options, including photo editing, touch-up, collage and social media covers.
Also worth a try is new entrant Canva, which is purpose-built for social media graphics and virtually eliminates the need for sizing or a separate stock photo source. Canva also offers design tutorials on everything from cropping to color schemes and a blog dedicated to better social media posting.
FILL YOUR FEED: Social media strategist Beth Blecherman, who was named one of Time Magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011, recommends news aggregator Feedly. “I like Feedly because it pulls in updates from my favorite news sites and then I can share directly from that stream, either to a platform like Facebook or Twitter, or to a posting tool like Hootsuite or Buffer.”