"Social media is a bit of a nightmare!" Yes....I say this and hear a lot of therapists say this too. There are so many tools that can be used to manage your social media and promote your private practice, which makes it very overwhelming.
So, I have made my ultimate list of the top 7 tools I use on a regular basis.
There are 3 major social media tasks, (1) Creating Content (2) Scheduling & Posting Content (3) Finding Content to share. I have divided the tools into these categories.
I would suggest you try at least one tool and let me know how you get on. (Please copy and share the link with colleagues/groups who would also like to learn to manage their social media)
Make scheduling and creating content easier by following the checklists and ideas in our brand new A5 Ring Bound Social media Planner for Private Practice.
(Tools are shows as of September 2018)
1 Creating Content
Canva is my absolute go to desktop platform to create content from quote images (like the image above), blog images, event promotion images, pdf download giveaways and lots more!
Canva is a FREE tool you can start using right away. There is also Canva For Business which is a paid option with more features. However, I would suggest starting with the free version, as it is going to cover all that you need to create content for your social media.
There are lots of templates you can copy and paste your quotes or content on to. Use your branded colours, upload your logo and you will be able to create beautiful branded images.
If you are a fan of using your phone to create content, then Typorama is your go to app!
Download the app to your phone and get creative. These images are great for social media. You can also add your logo as a watermark and use your branded colours.
Tip: Copy and paste a quote from google and add it to an image on your app. This is a great way to share content without hours of designing as the fonts and word templates are already designed for you.
Video is a great way to catch your audience attention and will get pushed to the top of feeds on Facebook. With Lumen5 you can create beautiful text video where the text flashes up with video or images behind it. Use this kind of video to:
Share your blog highlights
Share top tips
Share seasonal messages
Share upcoming event details
And more of your creative ideas......
These videos look great on all social media platforms. Lumen5 offer a square option which is great for Facebook & LinkedIn.
Your logo can be added as a watermark (as shown in the image above) and at the end with a call to action, all of this makes your video look VERY professional. It takes time to get used to the platform, however once you get a hold of it, it is a very effective and quick way to create very valuable content for your social media.
I would suggest to create at least one video per month and save this for posting at later dates.
Lumen5 is also a free tool with paid features.
2 Scheduling & Posting Content
Planoly For Instagram
Plonly is a lovely web-based tool that can be used easily on your desktop or mobile. You can visually plan and schedule your posts for your instagram account. You can even schedule your Stories.
Once your image has been posted Planoly also gives you stats and insights into how far your posts are going and who is liking them etc.
I love the look and feel of this tool as its very bright and user-friendly. Like all tools, if you are going to use Planoly, take some time to set up your account and try out some scheduled posts. Remember you can always delete posts and start again if you are really unhappy with something.
If you need any help setting up your dashboard, I am happy to offer coaching on this.
TweetDeck For Twitter
TweetDeck is a web-based tool to help you manage your Twitter account. It is accessed on your desktop or tablet from your web browser and it is also free. This is one of the best tools I have have found to manage notifications, direct messages and specific content.
If you have been using Twitter for any length of time, you will know that it is a VERY busy platform that could take up a LOT of your time. By using TweetDeck you can filter out content and make your time managing Twitter as productive as possible.
I would suggest you spend some time setting it up and then at least once a week, open the dashboard to reply, share and like content. Using your Twitter app during the week is a great way to share content on the go.
You can also schedule from TweetDeck. I also use TweetDeck to schedule content. You can add images to your tweets but not video.
If you need help setting up TweetDeck or getting to grips with it......please be in touch and I will talk you through it via online coaching.
Visit Twitter's How to use TweetDeck page for more information about setting up your dashboard.
Buffer For All Platforms
Buffer is a great FREE tool that can be used on your desktop and your mobile. Buffer does exactly what it's name suggests......buffers your content until a later time.
Buffer allows you to choose what days and times your content will be sent out. So its a matter of just adding your content, choosing your social media platform to be sent to and schedule. (Buffer does the rest for you)
You will not need to post anything through the week once you have set up content in your Buffer queue. This is a great way to manage your social media.
TIP: You can add 12 'Welcome to the new month' posts for each month of the year. Add an image and schedule to be posted at the start of every month. This way you will not need to remind yourself to post this content. (Get creative and think what else you can schedule well in advance)
Once you have set up your social media accounts in your Buffer platform, you can add content as you search through the internet or if you come across something valuable on social media that your audience would benefit from.
Adding your images and videos to Buffer that you have created with Canva and Lumen5 is a great way to share your content without constantly physically having to add them to your social media Channels.
I would recommend everyone using social media to promote their practice to schedule a core amount of content to help keep your profiles ticking over especially if you don't get to post anything organically (Straight to the platform).
Schedule 1 article, 1 blog (either yours or a colleagues) and one image per week. This would mean finding 4 articles, 4 blogs and 4 images For the month.
If you schedule these over a month you can add other content too, but if you don't manage to your profiles will still be active enough.
3 Finding Content To Share
Sharing a variation of content is a great way to keep your social media profiles fresh. Post Planner allows you to share quote images, articles, status posts (like question ideas) straight from your their platform to your profiles.
This tool is a PAID TOOL. At the moment of writing this blog it is £7/month. I feel this is a great investment as it saves time and energy but adds great content to your social media.
Like Buffer, you set up your Post Planner profile with the days and times you want to post. When you find something you want to share, you add it to your schedule and Post Planner sends it out for you based on scheduling set up.
You can add a website who shares great content to your Post Planner profile. Every article this website shares will appear in your Post Planner account and you can choose what to share.
TIP: Spend 1 hour per week checking through your Post Planner for nice new images and articles, add them to your scheduling queue and enjoy the freedom of a scheduled social media account.
If you have made it all the way to the end of this blog I get that you really are serious about managing your social media accounts so that they do not take over your week and month.
As I mentioned at the start of this blog, you do not need to use all of the tools, try at least one at a time. TIP: If you struggle with content creation, I would advise that you invest in Post Planner and start finding great content that way.
Please share this post if you have any colleagues who would benefit from getting some help to manage their social media accounts.