8 Companies Changing the Social Media Game

How many of these are you using to get the most out of social media?

learn more about Sujan Patel

By Sujan Patel


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

No doubt you've got an arsenal of tools to help you leverage social media as part of your marketing strategy. But, like any toolbox, it can get overloaded as you add more and more items. Perhaps it's time for a little spring cleaning -- okay, fall cleaning -- and an update to the apps and tools you're using to build your social media presence.

Related: Top 20 Social-Media Tools to Add to Your Arsenal in 2016

To meet strategic objectives, improve follower engagement, and . . . well, just have some fun, I've compiled a list of eight companies that can offer you a new approach to social media.

1. Canva

According to research, color visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by as much as 80 percent. Given that need to make social content more visual, Canva is a great tool you can use to create high-quality visuals without the need for costly subscriptions to programs like Adobe Creative Suite.

With Canva, you can use included stock images, backgrounds and illustrations, along with text layovers, to create perfect social-ready images in minutes. Templates help you to look like a great designer, so you can start adding more than just basic stock photos to your social content.

"Nearly half of marketers (45 percent) selected blogging as their most important content, followed by visual assets (34 percent), and then videos (19 percent)," says Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner.

2. Buffer

There's finally a tool to help you post your social media content across multiple accounts. Buffer is one of the easiest ways to create content and schedule it out to sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and more. Do it all in one place, with a queue of content that saves you tremendous time for tying content marketing to your social media efforts.

3. FollowerWonk

FollowerWonk may be limited to Twitter, but this Moz app helps you dive deep into your followers. Find, analyze and optimize social efforts with a variety of follower info, including when followers tweet, their location and who the influencers are within your own vertical. You can also track engagement and follower drop-off after certain posts to help retarget your content strategy and improve influencer engagement.

Related: 18 Effective Social-Media Tools That Will Save You Time

4. Adobe Post

Along the same lines as Canva, Adobe Post is a terrific free tool that lets you create stunning photos for your social media content as well as any blogs. Choose from millions of photos -- or use your own -- to create a stunning presentation for your followers.

5. Quuu.co

No matter how strong your content game is, you absolutely need to curate content on a regular basis. Quuu.co provides the hand-curated content that's most relevant for your fans. Just select relevant interest categories that matter to you and your audience. Quuu then sends the most interesting pieces in those categories to your Buffer account.

"If you're not showing up during the prospect's self-determined buying journey, you're not in the game," says Brian Clark of Copyblogger. "But if you are showing up via content, you've got a chance to tell a truly different story . . . you'll get the shot at proving you truly are better."

6. Openr

Wouldn't it be great if you could drive more action from the content you share? Openr lets you apply a branded call to action that hangs at the footer of any content you share, using a custom shortlink -- perfect for social media. It's a great way to remind users of who shared the content and when they land on or get to the bottom of a piece of content; it then steers them back to your social channels for continued engagement.

7. ContentMarketer.io

ContentMarketer actually offers a number of services, but the most relevant for your social media marketing is Notifier. Craft content and include the names and social accounts of influencers, then use the Notifier tool to let those individuals know that you're talking about them. It's a smart way to get your content seen by that influencer network, get those people to share the content and connect directly with influencers.

8. Animoto

Visual storytelling in social media is becoming more important to engagement than ever before. Facebook is even giving priority to native videos as opposed to video links from external sources, with native videos receiving 30 percent more views than videos posted from outside sources.

Instead of spending a lot of money on video production, just use Animoto to create engaging videos on the fly with just a few clicks. It's a cost-effective way to take advantage of 30-second Instagram video ads.

"Some of the most terrifying moments in my life occurred in my early days of improv," shares Tim Washer, SNL writer and senior marketing manager at Cisco. "After learning a few simple principles, I began to feel comfortable in front of an audience with nothing but trust for my team and an empty mind.

"I reluctantly began to understand what Del Close meant when he preached "follow the fear.' In the world of corporate communication and content marketing, it's fear that keeps us from our best: fear to be different, fear of not getting promoted, fear of failure."

Related: 6 New Social Media Marketing Tools the Experts Use. You Should, Too.

Don't ever be afraid to get in front of the camera and create video. It's one of the best opportunities for telling a story and making a real connection with your audience.

Connect with Entrepreneur on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

Sujan Patel

Entrepreneur and Marketer, Co-founder of Web Profits

In his 14-plus years as a marketer and entrepreneur, Sujan Patel has helped hundreds of companies boost online traffic and sales and strengthen their online brand reputation. Patel is the co-founder of Web Profits and Mailshake.

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