We all love tools, right? Anything that can help us to be able to get more done, in less time, and still retain quality. Many of us have used tools like Hootsuite and Bufferapp to help us get the job done in social media. Sometimes, however, we need something just a little more concentrated and directed at the needs of specific social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. In this article, I'll introduce three cool tools about visual media and three cool tools that will help you get those images and media to go viral!
First, the Image
Before sharing the media, it is helpful if we have something to share. Now, don't just go out and search for images on Google and grab anything you find. We have all heard the horror stories of people receiving legitimate fines for using images that they did not have license to use (knowingly or unknowingly). That is why we need to be sure that we have the license to use the images. This can be handled by a stock photo or stock image source.
I have recently found a great resource for free stock images offered by IM Creator. In the past, I have found some “free” images that are not quality level that I prefer. The images at IM Free are excellent! Many of them are artsy. They are also very appealing. My husband is a photographer, but I have often teased him that sometimes I just want a simple photograph of some paper clips for a blog article. IM Creator has that and I don't have to pull out my credit card or PayPal account to “pay” for them.
Now that you have your image, you need to get it ready for social sharing. It is possible that it is ready, right out of the box, but maybe you want to add some text to it. Another great idea is to add your logo in the lower right, so that people know where to find you when they see the awesome image. You may want to create a popular quote image. Whatever image you use, you will want to size it correctly for the social network that you will be using. This could mean different images for basically the same purpose, each for the different social network. Fortunately, there is Canva, to help you do just that!
Canva comes ready-made with the optimal sizes for all of the social networks. It also has some cool freebie graphics, too, but their higher quality images cost about $1. That is where it is helpful to obtain your high quality graphics from IM Creator and then upload them into Canva, for use there. Also, be sure to upload your logos and branding components, so that those are ready in Canva. Here is a great article, by Gail Gardner, on the use of Canva for social media marketing.
Also, you can check out this YouTube Playlist collection of Canva Tutorials that Ms. Ileane put together called The Ultimate Collection of Canva Tutorials – Design Graphics for Your Blog, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and more.
I have always been on the look-out for an excellent tool to schedule pins. It seems that I could spend hours on Pinterest and it is always all-at-one-sitting. That isn't necessarily conducive to pinning throughout the day. If I did pin throughout the day, I would become distracted and want to hang out on Pinterest! So, the idea of scheduling the pins is very appealing.
Way back, I discovered ViralTag. It had evolved from a free tool, prior to that, and it seemed that when the name changed, people no longer talked about it as much. I was thrilled to be one of the first people and to get it for only $5 per month. It worked quite well. It is still a great tool. Ms. Ileane is very fond of it to, here's a video she did called Pinterest Scheduling with ViralTag.
The new tool is fabulous and it has a free option (not that it is about money!). It is called BoardBooster. What happens is the tool creates “invisible boards” within your Pinterest account. This allows you to spend that hour or so, like I do, pinning to your invisible boards and they will automatically trickle out, at timed intervals. In addition to the scheduler, there is another tool available, called the Pin Doctor, to find any broken links or broken images, helping your boards to look their best.
Comparing BoardBooster to ViralTag, it is easier to use and cheaper. This makes it my new favorite tool for Pinterest scheduling.
Pros: The ease of use; the price.
Cons: None so far.
I love using Latergramme!
The way that Lategramme works is brilliant. Similar to the Pinterest BoardBooster, I can sit down in one sitting and load up all of my images for Instagram, via Latergramme. Then, I can drag and drop them on the calendar for the specific day that I want them posted. I can add all my hashtags to the instagram post and log out. At the appointed time, my device (i.e. iPhone) will notify me (through a little jingle) and let me know that it has a post ready for Instagram. I “touch” the button and the Instagram app is opened on the device, allowing me to submit post.
Ok, it isn't automatic. It does require interaction with the device. It also means I need to keep my phone near me so I am ready. However, I am a bit OCD on wanting to put together my quote images “just so” and this allows me to load them all at once, into Latergramme (up to 30/mo for free). Then, it takes 5 seconds, per post, to complete the process, at the appointed time.
Pros: Time savings and web-based scheduling and planning.
Cons: Still requires device; costs quite a bit to go beyond 30 per month.
Images and Video: MavSocial
Fortunately, MavSocial does offer a free solution to send your images and video to Facebook and to Twitter. If you want to spend money, you can add social platforms like Tumblr, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Chinese platforms RenPen and YouKu.
While some social media sharing tools do not make sharing of images and video easy, MavSocial was built with that in mind! The tool does not stop there, though, and provides analytics that will help you to see what is actually converting. So, if you have a quote with kittens and the same quote with puppies, you have the opportunity to use the MavSocial analytics to see which one is shared more. This will help you to plan out your content according to what receives the best response, allowing you to truly go viral with your media-rich content.
Pros: Image posting all in one place; campaign analytics.
Cons: Pricey to go beyond Twitter and Facebook.
There you have it, a quick walk through from start to finish, getting media rich content out to your followers and an opportunity to go viral. What tools have you found helpful in sharing your images and videos?