I’ve been asked to give a quick overview of which app(s) to use to kickstart a social media presence. Here’s the thoughts that come to mind; comments welcome. Psssst this is nowhere near comprehensive, and I’m no expert 😉
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter all allow cross posting i.e. you can set it up so that when you tweet, a Facebook post is done automatically or vice versa
Instagram is hashtag driven. Use hashtags liberally to increase engagement. Overuse of hashtags appears to be well tolerated on Instagram, whereas it’s not at all the done thing on Twitter or Facebook. But as you use each platform you’ll get to know the best way to post.
Hootsuite is a social media aggregator, allowing viewing of all your SM channels in one online dashboard. Usage is limited if you use the free version, but paid allows a very high amount of versatility. Best thing about Hootsuite is you can select which post goes to which channel at what time (yes you can future-post with Hootsuite).
IFTTT is an app that allows you to do lots of things with your channels, e.g. program regular posts each day/week/month, plus many more too numerous to describe. Of course don’t overuse auto-posts for risk of appearing bot-like on social media, but used cleverly and sparingly it can save a lot of work, and tweet/post when you’re offline on your behalf..
For posting video there’s a couple of new choices on the block, in addition to the obvious YouTube. Vine is good for funny little videos to increase engagement and drive traffic to your other channels, and the latest greatest is Periscope which is just great for spontaneous broadcasts that you can pre-shout about on other channels, then post-shout towards the recording which is available online for a short while afterwards.
LinkedIn is a place where it’s good to have a professional profile, and you can write articles here that are more serious and less social, but still promote them on your other channels.
Google+ now feeds your business page into search results. Thus having a Google+ page for your company will increase your appearances in Search. Keep in mind that most Google’s are done on mobile devices nowadays, and thus being there makes might make a lot of sense with respect to your target audience.
You’ll need to submit email addresses for all these new accounts. You might, for security, set up an email that’s solely for Social Media use, and make sure it’s well protected against spam and phishing. Gmail does a great job of this. In addition, have another secret email address that’s never referred to elsewhere, never given out online at all, and used solely for Account Recovery. i.e. if you lose your MyCompany.SocialMedia @ gmail.com address to a hacker, you can recover by using MyCompany.PasswordRecovery @ gmail.com; but of course this needs to be set up at account opening – no good after hacking done(!)
Buffer is a great way to share posts later at random times e.g. you find a good article browsing but it’s the wrong time of day to tweet it out -> Buffer will time it optimally and tweet for you in the future for best impact.
Also essential to combatting those pesky hackers is exclusive, strong passwords for all these new accounts. Long complex ones that are different from one site to another. Best way to achieve this is to use a password manager. I use and recommend 1Password, but this article shows a good small handful of alternatives to help you decide. I’ve never used the iPhone Keychain app myself but believe from my Apple-expert contacts that it works well and is recommended.
Other apps that are handy and recommended for managing your online presence:-
Evernote – lists, data, notes and attachments all in one indexed searchable online space
Pocket – save your links from anywhere anytime to just one place for later reference e.g. references for blog articles
Also consider having a spot on Foursquare & Swarm so that users of these apps see you in their “nearby” lists when they’re local. You may choose to be lowly or highly active on these geo-channels – this really is something you’d decide based on levels of engagement achieved locally on these particular platforms. Of course Facebook offers geo-locatability too, but these are included for completeness.