Today, 30 June, is Social Media Day!
"Hold on," you may say, while scrolling through your Twitter feed with your free hand. "Isn't every day social media day?"
Well, yes, but the idea of Social Media Day is to take a step back and appreciate what a huge impact social media has had on our culture. Because social media is so pervasive and has such a firm hold on the daily lives of so many of us, it's easy to forget just how transformative its meteoric rise has been.
Today is also a good day to look at how to be more strategic with your use of social media and get more out of all that time you put into it. So here are 30 useful articles to help you create better Instagram stories, brush up your banners and profiles, integrate social media on your website, and much more.
Make Better Images for Social Media
From cool YouTube banners to eye-catching graphics, this first set of articles will show you how to make better social media images—even if you're not an expert.
Here's the problem. Social media platforms are inherently visual media, but many of us are not great designers. Enter the online social media image maker. This article shows you how to create impressive graphics like the YouTube banner below—all from your web browser, with no special software or design skills needed.
Banners are critical on social media. You need an effective banner at the top of your profile to tell people who you are or highlight a key product or service offering. And you can then use banners in your posts or ads as effective visual calls to action, cutting through the noise and grabbing precious fragments of people's dissipated attention. Find out how to create banners using a variety of software and web apps.
What if you want to use the same image on multiple social media platforms? Well, you could spend ages looking up the right dimensions for each one and saving multiple version of the image in different sizes. Or you could use a simple Sketch plugin that does it all for you. This four-minute video could save you countless hours of pointless grunt work.
If you want to make a professional YouTube banner with all the right dimensions and the perfect look for your audience, read this step-by-step tutorial to create the banner below from scratch in Adobe Photoshop.
Style goes a long way on social media, and the banner below is just oozing style. I'd probably click on it if it popped up in my feed. Find out how to put it together in Adobe Photoshop.
Create Awesome Social Media Video
Having some good eye candy in your social media profiles is a good start, but if you really want to get your followers engaged, you need to try video. Here are some articles to get you started.
Did you know that on social media, square video is almost 80% more popular than traditional landscape video and gets a 54% better watch-through rate? So if you're still putting out video posts in traditional landscape format, you're missing out. Learn how to create square video the right way.
Remember what I said about square video? Well, it's true, but if you're primarily targeting mobile users, vertical video can sometimes work even better. It fills the screen nicely as people hold their phones vertically and scroll through their social media feeds. Learn how to create effective vertical video.
In the old days, Facebook was mostly about simple text updates on what you were doing or how you were feeling. Then it evolved, and images came to dominate our feeds. Now, video is king on Facebook. So find out how to increase your reach by creating engaging videos for Facebook.
There are several good reasons to add closed captions, aka subtitles, to your social media videos:
- Millions of people have some form of hearing impairment.
- Many people browse social media with the sound switched off.
- You can provide closed captions in multiple languages, reaching more viewers around the world.
Find out how to add closed captions to your social media videos:
Manage Social Media More Effectively
If all the different platforms and comments and replies and posts and hashtags and conversation threads are becoming too much to keep track of, these articles will help you bring some sanity and clarity to the sometimes overwhelming world of social media.
As we all know, social media takes time. If you're trying to build an audience, you need to post regularly, keep up with comments, engage with your followers, and so on. It can be exhausting, and if you're not careful, it can take over your life. So check out this list of helpful social media scripts and plugins that will help you schedule posts, manage your followers, track your stats, and more.
Above, we looked at time-saving scripts and plugins. This article is in a similar vein, but instead of looking at plugins for particular tasks, it reviews some of the more comprehensive social media management tools. These tools are built to help with everything from scheduling posts to monitoring brand mentions, tracking follower counts, and more.
12. Tweet Like a Pro
If you follow more than a handful of people, your Twitter feed quickly becomes a tsunami of random opinions that washes over you every time you open the app. Learn how to use TweetDeck to bring a little order to the chaos, while also doing useful things like managing multiple accounts, scheduling future tweets, and more.
We've already looked at social media management tools, but what's different about this post is that is zeros in on just three of the most popular tools and compares their features to help you decide which one is right for you. Get an in-depth look at each app and understand its pros and cons.
- Social MediaHootsuite vs. Buffer vs. Sprout Social: What Is the Best Social Media Management Tool?Brenda Barron
Master Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are a great tool for communicating with your followers, and they're often overlooked or poorly used. Find out how to make the most of Instagram stories.
On social media, unlike on your own website, you have to follow the format of each platform, and there's a limit to what you can customise. So it makes sense to take advantage of every opportunity to make your profile your own—and one of the most overlooked ones is the Instagram story cover. That's the little circle that appears on your Instagram profile to indicate a story for people to view. Watch this video to see how to customise it.
Don't worry—until I read this, I didn't know what a colour story was either. Apparently, it's a series of images or videos stitched together into a story, linked by the consistent colour palette they follow. Learn more about what a colour story is, see how to choose a palette, and start creating your own colour story.
More Instagram story tips in this post. This time, you'll get tips on curating images into an engaging slideshow for your followers to enjoy. Learn how to pick out the images, organise the story, and use a template to tell the story most effectively.
Instagram's default grid is notoriously boring. Learn how to break out of the confines of those endless rows of three squares and create something more visually appealing. Then run them together as a compelling story. From choosing a theme to selecting photos and putting together the grid, you'll learn it all here.
Instagram stories are often just fairly random collections of images. But why not actually tell a story? In these examples, you'll see how to use images to represent the words in some famous song titles. Can you guess them?
If you think Instagram stories are too short for a meaningful how-to tutorial, think again. See how you can make a how-to tutorial out of a series of images and videos with text instructions overlaid.
Optimise Your Social Media Profiles With Code & Plugins
You can find some great plugins to help you integrate social media into your website. And, if you're comfortable with writing code, you can even make your own social media apps and customisations. See how it's done in these articles.
Because so many people are now so accustomed to using social media, you really need to make your website social media friendly. Why not let your visitors contact you on your site using Facebook Messenger, scroll through your Instagram feed, or more easily share your articles? This article shows you the best WordPress plugins to do all that and more.
With so little space to define yourself, you need to make the most of every inch of your social media profiles. Learn how to craft the best bio, use appropriate imagery at the right size, which link to include, and more.
(Update: to optimise your Instagram profile, check out the newly launched Milkshake app.)
Have you ever shared a link from your site on Facebook, only to find that it didn't pick up the right image or information? Have you seen pages shared from other sites that looked better, and wondered how they did it? Learn how to use the Open Graph Protocol to make sure your pages look as enticing as you want them to, and watch the extra clicks roll in.
In this article, we've mostly been looking at simple tools you can use to up your social media game. This tutorial is a little different. It involves delving into the code of the Twitter API and using it to build a scoreboard that gives insight into your top followers.
Social Media Tips for Businesses and Freelancers
Some businesses take to social media like a duck to water, but many others sink without trace. Find out why, and learn how you can use social media to build an engaged following and attract more customers.
OK, enough of all this creative stuff. Let's look at the hard numbers. Learn how to track your return on investment (ROI) from social media, so that you can see whether your efforts are paying off.
Sometimes, you just need a beginner's guide—and not only if you're a complete beginner. Even if you already use social media, it can be helpful to go back to basics and make sure you've thought it all through, have set appropriate goals, and are following the right strategy. That's exactly what this tutorial will help you do.
There's too much inspirational stuff on social media. Here's some good old-fashioned doom and gloom. Well, consider it more of a reality check. For some small businesses, social media can be a huge waste of time and money—especially if they're not being strategic about it. Find out if this applies to you, and learn how to avoid the despair of wasting a whole afternoon chasing half a dozen likes.
Social media can be a difficult world for artists to master. It's not surprising: the sort of person who chooses to spend hours, days or months in quiet isolation working on a creative project is unlikely to prosper in the rowdy rough and tumble of social media. But the ten solid tips in this article may just help a few struggling artists find their audience. Ah, if only Van Gogh had discovered Dribbble...
28. Find Your Voice
Social media is very different from traditional media. What worked for businesses in the past simply doesn't work on social media. There are some brands that use social media very effectively, and many others that come across as wooden, stilted, or fake. What distinguishes the two groups is that the successful brands have found their authentic social media voice. Discover how you can find yours.
Maybe someone's asked you to write a recommendation for them on LinkedIn. Maybe you want to write some recommendations in the hope that people will return the favour. Or maybe you just want to recognise a job well done. Find out how to do it effectively, with useful examples of both good and bad recommendations.
Many small businesses are on Instagram these days. But being on Instagram and making the most of Instagram are two very different things. Learn how to take better photos and build a bigger, more engaged audience.
Happy Social Media Day!
I hope these articles have been helpful. If there's anything you'd like to learn that hasn't been covered here, let us know in the comments. Or, since it's Social Media Day, why not come and say hello to us on social media: