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7 Smart Tools to Help Improve Your Social Media Branding

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Building a strong brand is critical for every business, and social media has quickly become the ultimate space to expand your audience, and scale your brand to the next level. 

With around 3.8 billion people around the world now regularly scrolling through their favorite social platforms, the medium offers huge potential for businesses to improve their performance – but with so many people logging on, there’s also a challenge in differentiating your brand, in order to stand out of the pack. 

Social branding has become the touchstone of digital marketing. Social branding helps businesses increase brand awareness, connect with relevant communities, and establish their place within consumers’ lives, through regular, ongoing contact.

But how do you do it? How can you map out a strategy that will maximize your social branding efforts, and improve your social media performance?

Here are seven lesser-known tools you can use within your branding process, each of which caters to a specific element in an effective branding system.

1. SE Ranking: Produce Share-Worthy Content

The key to successful social media branding lies in creating content that encourages people to share and engage.

The content that you share on social media shapes your brand, which is why it’s important to analyze your content resources and share the right type of content.

SE Ranking is a multifaceted tool that highlights hidden opportunities, and helps you figure out what content will connect best with your audience.

For example, you can use its Competitor Research feature to discover the best-performing content on social media, then “borrow” good ideas for your social media strategy. 

Once you have an understanding of the kinds of content that your competitors create, and which websites link out to them, you can use that info to boost your own content efforts.

2. Crello: Create Your Stunning Designs

Engaging visuals are a must in social media marketing – because we all know that people are more likely to like, comment, and share something that’s visually appealing.

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Crello is a simple solution to help create stunning designs for social media posts – including Instagram Stories, Facebook and Instagram ads, Twitter headers, YouTube thumbnails, Pinterest graphics, and much more.

The platform includes thousands of animated templates, and you can also add animated objects to any static image within minutes. All designs can also be automatically resized to another preset social media format, or to custom dimensions within the app.

Crello’s paid plan starts at $7.99 per month (if you pay for a year), which provides you with access to thousands of high-quality, royalty-free images and files without limits.

Crello is available as a mobile app for iOS and Android, and includes over 25K design templates for all social media formats.

3. Messagely: Use Chatbots

More and more customers want tailored experiences, designed with their personal preferences in mind. And today, 89% of them are looking to connect with brands via messaging – and catering to this, chatbots can be a good option to help increase sales, maximize lead acquisition, and improve the customer experience. 

Messagely provides the capacity to integrate chatbots into different social channels, and the platform is jam-packed with advanced features that can help you to quickly set up and engage with customers 24/7.

The platform helps you better understand your audience needs, and assess potential problems within your chatbot flows. This enables you to take a tailored approach with your marketing efforts, and maximize connection with your followers.

4. NapoleonCat: Improve Your Brand Reputation on Social Media

NapoleonCat enables you to manage all of your social media profiles within one dashboard, covering everything from publishing and conversation tracking, to analytics and reporting.

NapoleonCat

The best thing about this tool is its Social Inbox feature, which enables you to see all of the messages, reviews, and comments from different channels in one place. You can instantly respond to these comments, and ensure that nothing escapes your attention. 

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This feature is especially useful for businesses that have multiple locations on Google My Business, since all of the reviews from all locations can be moderated using a single dashboard. 

That can be a major time saver for businesses that want to monitor their brand/s online, or offer support via social channels. 

5. SendX: Leverage Your Email List

Building a solid email list can be a great way to boost your brand messaging, provide more info about your company, and interact with your customers. But maximizing engagement with your emails often comes down to formatting, and making your messages look more appealing.

Which is where SendX can help.

SendX

SendX uses a drag-n-drop editor, making it easy to create better looking emails, while it also includes a range of templates and tools to help you put together more sophisticated email marketing campaigns.

Sendx also enables you to upload your lists of email subscribers to Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, to create more personalized offers for your email list, and find significant connections. You can also build effective retargeting ads exclusively for people who clicked though within your emails. 

6. Finteza: Measure Your Social Efforts

In addition to building your social media follower counts, you also need to measure how people are responding, based on the additional actions they take on your social profiles and posts. 

Finteza offers an advanced analytics system to measure the effectiveness of your social media campaigns. The tool provides information about the traffic quality to your site, and conversions by channel, helping you measure the actual results of your social media efforts.

With Finteza, you can create funnels on each of your pages to explore user behavior from social media sources. These insights can reveal the elements you need to pay more attention to and develop. 

7. Awario: Track Your Brand Mentions

Word spreads fast, and negative comments spread even faster. As such, you need to have a social media monitoring process in place to track brand mentions, and respond in a timely manner, as required.

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Awario enables you to monitor your social media mentions in real-time, and reply to them from the dashboard. The tool includes a range of features, including deep-dive analytics, sales prospecting, Boolean search, etc.

With its Leads feature, you can also find potential opportunities on social media based on people asking for recommendations, or seeking a solution in their posts. You just need to set up your brand name in the project flow to start monitoring. 

Awario also provides sentiment analysis tools, which track not only what people are saying about your brand, but how they’re saying it. It will then let you know what customers feel, in general, about your brand.

Conclusion

If you want to build a strong brand on social media, using tracking and response tools is the best way, and each of the apps mentioned above provide great functionality on various fronts. 

To choose the right tools for you, you need to have a clear understanding of your business goals, and what you want to achieve. Once you’ve established that end goal, you can then work backwards to find the tools that support those goals – rather than going to other way, and using the tools available to guide your approach.

Once you have a clear path, and the tools to track your results, you can then ensure you’re advancing in the right direction with your approach.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Plans to Establish an NFT Marketplace, Expanding Beyond Profile Pictures

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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps


If it’s happening on social media, Meta wants to own it, so it comes as no surprise that the company is currently working on ways to tap into the popularity of NFTs. But Meta actually envisions a bigger future for digital goods, beyond cartoonish profile pictures, which will eventually expand the core functionality of the NFT transaction process to facilitate the transfer of various kinds of digital goods within its planned metaverse.

Sorry, I should say the metaverse, as Meta is keen to underline that it won’t own it, as such (antitrust lawyers take note).

As reported by The Financial Times:

“Teams at Facebook and Instagram are readying a feature that will allow users to display their NFTs on their social media profiles, as well as working on a prototype to help users create – or mint – the collectible tokens, according to several people familiar with the matter. Two of the people said that Meta has also discussed launching a marketplace for users to buy and sell NFTs.”

The first element noted here is already in progress – last June, we reported on Instagram’s initial test of a new ‘Collectibles’ option which would facilitate the display of NFTs in the app (as discovered by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi).

That test also pointed to facilitating the sale of NFTs in the app, with a process for bidding and buying NFT images.

The latest element in this process includes attaching a digital wallet to your account, much like you would on OpenSea or other NFT transaction platforms, so the experiment seems fairly well advanced in this respect.

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That likely points to Instagram making a move on this soon, and where Instagram goes, Facebook tends to follow, so that part is no real revelation versus what we already know.

But what is interesting is how this process could be built into Meta’s broader metaverse plans, and the sale of digital goods, beyond just profile pictures (PFPs). Because really, that’s just the starting point, and there’ll likely be far more value in buying other digital products and services in the next stage of connection.

Which is where much of the confusion about the current state of NFTs lies. Yes, there is major potential in the purchase and ownership of digital goods, as we’ve seen in various game worlds, where users can buy add-on features like skins, weapons, abilities, etc. For many young consumers, this is already second nature – but while much of the value in these items is aesthetic, providing an opportunity to ‘flex’ your latest purchase in each app, there is also a practical value and usage, which is different to PFP projects, the main focal point for current Web3 early adopters and those keen to be at the forefront of the next digital shift.

Overall, PFPs don’t provide much value, and likely won’t remain a key focus for digital ownership. Many of these projects hilariously claim to be ‘metaverse ready’, which is not possible, because not even the metaverse is metaverse ready at this stage, with the schemas and parameters yet to be established that would enable cross-platform transfers and usage of digital goods in the broader space.

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Some PFP projects are working to build out broader community benefits and usage options for owners, which will extend the value beyond their images alone. But really, the true value of NFTs will come in other digital goods and items, which looks to be the true focus of Meta’s NFT push.

Indeed, back in October, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that NFTs could eventually be used to support a new market for digital goods in the metaverse, not just profile images, while Meta’s Head of Metaverse Products Vishal Shah has also noted that the underlying NFT transaction process will eventually make it easier to sell digital products in its apps.

In this sense, PFPs are only the beginning of what could be possible with digital items more broadly, and with Meta also continuing to work on its own cryptocurrency , it does seem likely that, eventually, it will be able to facilitate broader digital transactions through the NFT process.

But those NFTs won’t be limited to PFP images, which is the main criticism of the current NFT market. Why would you pay to own an image that you can view for free? Why would you pay to only own the receipt of a digital image, and not the full copyright and commercial re-use rights (for most projects)?

Legally, there are still some issues to be worked out in this respect, but if you view NFTs as a gateway, of sorts, to broader transactions of all kinds of digital goods, from avatar clothing to skins, to in-game weapons, items, spells, etc. When you consider that NFTs don’t have to just be images of smiling monkeys and cats, you can start to see the broader potential of NFTs as real value items, especially as we increasingly spend more and more time in these digital environments.

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Essentially, early NFT adopters are indeed early, and many are putting far too much stock in PFPs, and getting ripped off as a result. But the broader view is that these digital items will have more use and expanded application in the next stage.

Which is why Meta is looking to move in, and build more tools to capitalize on this initial interest. So while you may view those NFT bros as being a little overzealous, and overexcited about buying JPGs, consider that there will be more to the scope of NFTs in future.

That doesn’t mean that you should care about what image you use for your profile picture, or that you should be looking to buy up a ‘VeeFriends’ NFT drawing (please don’t). But those images are just the start of a new online marketplace.





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Instagram Expands Video Remix Option to All Videos, Not Just Reels Clips

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Instagram Expands Video Remix Option to All Videos, Not Just Reels Clips


Instagram is expanding on its TikTok-like toolset by adding the capacity to remix all videos that people post in the app, not just Reels, increasing your options for creative response and engagement.

As you can see here, now, when you’re viewing any video on Instagram, you’ll be able to tap on the ‘Remix this video’ option to create your own take on it, facilitating more participatory consumption of video content in the app.

Users can also choose to switch off remixes in their video settings.

Instagram video remix

As explained by Instagram:

“Remix gives you ways to respond to and reinvent the creative videos shared on Instagram every day, collaborate with others and get discovered by new audiences. We’re excited about how our community has embraced Remix on Reels and we hope this new feature gives people new ways to collaborate, showcase their creativity and find inspiration in the vibrant diversity of videos shared to Instagram every day.

Instagram added its Reels remix option last March, and this new functionality will greatly expand on the amount of video content that people can use to build upon with their own responses and creative takes, which, again, leans into the core use case of TikTok.

One of the biggest elements of success for TikTok has been participatory content, and essentially letting users contribute to memes, as opposed to merely consuming them.

Memes have become a key communication tool for the younger generation, providing a simple, engaging way to give their take on the various issues of the day. But till TikTok came around, meme usage was limited, as you couldn’t easily remix or re-share a meme for different purpose.

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But TikTok changed that dynamic, essentially making memes participatory, enabling all users to not only consume, but to also iterate each based on the trend. It’s the logical extension of meme culture, though no platform has been able to tap into it the way that TikTok has.

Which is why Instagram’s looking to get into the same. And while providing TikTok-like options is likely helping Instagram to retain some of its audience, and stop them migrating to TikTok instead, it’s still not the best way for the platform to regain its leadership in the space, and re-connect with younger audiences, as per Meta’s stated ambition moving forward.

Because copying features invariably means that you’re a step behind – you can’t copy something unless another platform is already doing it, and if another platform is already doing it, then you’re already missing the trend.

Young users will gravitate to the platforms that lead the latest trends. Snapchat, for example, lead the way on ephemeral content, Instagram was once the place to be for the latest visual tools and displays. TikTok is now the leader on short-form, interactive clips, and if Meta truly wants to win them over once again, it will need to get more original with its additions, providing new, must-see, and must-use ways to interact and engage.

Much of that focus likely comes back to its coming metaverse push, but I’d still prefer to see Instagram zigging when other platforms are zagging, and introducing at least some new tools and options that haven’t been ripped off from another trending app.

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But as noted, it must be working, at least to some degree, because it keeps doing it, with TikTok basically the product development department for Instagram right now.

Maybe its coming NFT display options will change this, or maybe IG has something else in the works for video content. Till then, we have more replicant functions, which may help improve overall engagement, but likely don’t give it much of a boost in terms of credibility and leadership.  





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Instagram Will Now Reduce the Reach of Posts That are ‘Likely’ to Contain Bullying of Hate Speech

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Instagram Will Now Reduce the Reach of Posts That are 'Likely' to Contain Bullying of Hate Speech


Instagram is implementing new measures that will proactively limit the reach of feed posts and stories which ‘likely’ violate its rules around hate speech, bullying and the incitement of violence, as part of its expanding efforts to reduce game and user risk in the app.

As explained by Instagram:

“Previously, we’ve focused on showing posts lower on Feed and Stories if they contain misinformation as identified by independent fact-checkers, or if they are shared from accounts that have repeatedly shared misinformation in the past. Today, we’re announcing some changes to take this effort even further. If our systems detect that a post may contain bullying, hate speech or may incite violence, we’ll show it lower on Feeds and Stories of that person’s followers.”

So how will Instagram determine whether non-reported posts might contain these elements?

“To understand if something may break our rules, we’ll look at things like if a caption is similar to a caption that previously broke our rules.”

Instagram further notes that if its systems predict that an individual user is likely to report a post, based on their past history of reporting content, it will also show that post lower in their personal feed.

Which seems pretty foolproof, right? There’ll be no new influx of ‘shadow ban’ reports or similar as a result of IG putting more reliance on machine learning to determine post reach.

Right?

Yeah, it could be somewhat problematic, and considering the efforts Instagram has gone to in the past to explain away shadow bans, it’s seems inevitable that this will lead to more accusations of censorship, bias and other criticisms of the platform as a result of this shift.

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Which is probably not such a bad payoff, if it works. In theory, this could be another key step towards limiting the spread of bullying and hate speech, both of which have no place in any public forum, and no right to amplification and broadcast via social apps. Instagram is also under pressure to improve its efforts in protecting young users from bullying and abuse, after the Facebook Files leak last year suggested that parent company Meta had ignored research which showed that Instagram can have harmful mental health impacts for teens.

Anything that can be done to stop the spread of such is, at the least, worth an experiment, while Instagram also notes that it has previously avoided implementing automated systems of this type because it wanted to ensure that its technology ‘could be as accurate as possible’ in detection.

Which suggests that it now has the required level of confidence in its processes to ensure good results. So while there will undoubtedly be more reports of mistakes, and more accusations of overreach, invoking some amendment in the constitution (always incorrect), if it works, and reduces instances of harm and mental anguish due to bullying and hate speech, it will be entirely worth it.





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