7 Digital Tools We’ve Explored Recently

Every day a new startup, app or company is launching new tools for us to use in hopes of making our digital marketing lives easier. As things change and evolve we can’t help but continue trying out new tools constantly. So lately we have used quite a few new digital tools and below is what we’ve found!

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Canva (Business): A simple new way to design, Canva gives you everything you need to easily turn ideas into stunning designs. The  best part about Canva is that you don’t really need to be a designer and you do not have to be incredibly tech savvy to build some amazing images for your brand. The recent launch of Canva for business has gotten us excited (ps they are offering 2 months free). Not only do you have all of the amazing benefits of Canva but you can have a team stream and share both assets and templates with your team. This is incredibly useful if you have a team that doesn’t always sit under the same roof or if you are a small scrappy startup like us with tons of things to juggle. So far we love it and think you will too!

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Outbrain: As a content discovery tool. Outbrain places your content (blogs) as recommendations on the web’s largest content publishers including sites like CNN.com, People and ESPN. We have slowly been testing out Outbrain to break into the Content Marketing part of our marketing plans. So far we love seeing our content be spread across in other areas and are hopefully attracting new consumers to our blog and eventually tools. Their team is super helpful but so far it’s been a bit hard to drill down to the transparency of where posts are being displayed and if we can select the best display locations. (ps they also have a special right now if you want to give it a try!)


NewsCred: Allows brands to easily manage content creation, distribution, and measurement . We are actually using this great tool now to post this very article! Just a short time in we are exploring everything it has to offer especially for managing and posting our blog along with sharing it to our relevant social media sites.  We are looking forward to ways to leverage NewsCred to really get our content marketing going.

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Slack: A messaging app for teams puts all communication in one place, integrating with the tools and services you use every day. We’ve been using this tool for awhile and have found that it really helps eliminate pointless emails and pulls the team together. Sometimes our entire team isn’t in the same office and it’s super easy to stay in touch, share updates and be ready for anything.  Integrating with tons of different tools to help keep your to do list small and tidy we are huge fans. If you are wondering why to get your team on slack, check out this great article.


Todoist: Manage tasks anywhere to achieve more everyday in work and life. As a list person, I’ve been obsessed for awhile with Todoist. You can create projects, add tasks with deadlines, notes, etc to keep yourself organized (bonus access on phone, laptop, etc). If you go with a business plan you can assign and share tasks with your team and have a simple interface to keep your team organized.


Toggl: Time tracking software built for speed and ease of use allows you to easily track time, sort by projects or clients and bill accordingly. Have you ever gone through a day and felt like “where did the day go”? Well I’ve found it useful to create projects and track my time on projects. This gives you an idea of how long you are spending on various projects (And also feel accomplished #HighFive). Also for any of our freelance friends out there this is an amazing tool providing reports to submit with your invoices to show the hours you are billing and what your time was spent on.

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HootSuite Chrome Extension: Quickly and easily share content to your social networks from anywhere on the web. In addition to already having a partnership with one of the world’s largest social media tool, we love using HootSuite for our social media. In addition, we love the chrome extension. Have you ever read an article and then thought I should share this article on our brand page but realize the timing doesn’t make sense or you’ve posted too much that day? Clicking on the extension allows you to add it to your account and schedule it for later with just a click of a button. If you use HootSuite you must give it a try!


What tools have you discovered or used more often recently? Share your favorites with us!

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Death of Facebook Organic. How to resuscitate it!

Help! My Facebook organic reach is DYING!

There’s been a lot of talk in the past year about how Facebook is limiting organic reach (Tech Crunch Article) and the perception that organic activity is ‘dead’ because Facebook is becoming a “pay-to-play” channel.

Additionally, there are great articles (like this one) from the team at Buffer on how the Facebook algorithm selects valuable content over unloved content. Their blog post can help you stay current with the frequent algorithm changes. The article is great, but be warned it’s quite long. The TL;DR:

The most engaging content will be shown more often on the news feed!

A solid conclusion but brands are still left guessing as to what content they should post today or this week, to drive engagements and lift ROI.

Does your organic fanpage ROI look something like this?


Its just humming along, sideways, so you decide to simply put more resources and money into FB ads because you’ve seen articles about Facebook becoming “pay to play” like this one (from the Guardian).

However, despite the ad spend, your organic ROI stays relatively flat, right? Some days you’re up a bit and some days you’re down without ever knowing why. You post once or twice per day as ‘maintenance’ but can’t figure out what content is going to drive a lift in engagements.

What if there was a way to break out of an ROI flat-line and experience an organic ROI spike like this?

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Here are the organic numbers behind the ROI spike for this brand:


Metric                       Daily avg 2/26 - 3/15     Daily avg 3/16 - 3/26      % Change
Posts Per Day                   2                    2        -
New Fans                  43                   66    +53%
Impressions               24,859                37,644    +51%
Likes                 186                  343    +85%
Shares                   8                   13    +56%
Comments                  22                   29    +31%
Website Visits               2,798                 2,993     +7%
Site Conversions                 678                  783    +15%


How did this social media team succeed across the board?! They learned what content performed the best and received content recommendations for their daily posts.

Ultimately, the ability to identify and learn from the most engaging content drove real business results: 7% more daily website visits and 15% more conversions. While Facebook has reduced the impact of organic posting, brands are still able to improve their content strategy and create a plan to accomplish their objectives.

How was this brand able to identify the content that drives real business results?

How to Analyze Your Content:

  1. First, define your goals on social media (drive sales, engagement, site visits).
  2. Experiment with a variety of post types, timing and content themes.
  3. Export your post results from Facebook and Google Analytics into excel. Merge Facebook post data with Google data using UTM parameters as the connection. (This can be tricky)
  4. Tag each post with themes or any descriptor (‘celebration’, ‘user images’, ‘pants’, ‘discount’) to classify posts by their content.
  5. Run a pivot table to determine your post theme cohorts which would help you identify if ‘black skirts’ drive higher sales than ‘dark wash denim’ over the time period.
  6. Optimize the content calendar on the next campaign reflecting this data.

There’s a couple issues with this:

  1. Bandwidth - It takes a lot of excel gymnastics to get the data you need. You may involve your data scientist or digital marketing analytics team to arrive at actual resuls. If you could do the data analysis yourself, do you have the time of day?
  2. Speed - Assuming you have the data team, how often could you connect and receive recommendations from them? One week or one month later to make the necessary adjustments simply isn’t fast enough in social.

Doesn’t sound like much fun does it?

And if you’re doing the above already, my condolences. (I could never excel in excel.)

This is the moral of the story:

Better Content -> More Engagement -> More Shares -> More Fans -> More Conversions

Finding out what content works is good for everyone. Its great for your fans and drives business results for your brand.

The faster you can make the necessary change and see what’s working for you the better. In fact, if you could estimate the engagement of a post, based on content type or theme prior to posting, wouldn’t that be useful?

And what if you didn’t have to work in excel anymore (unless you really loved it). What could you do with that time?

Shameless LiftMetrix plug: LiftMetrix can do this for you. LiftMetrix was built to help social marketers determine which post themes drive the highest ROI. LiftMetrix connects the dots to your site to measure full conversations and conducts tagging analysis to provide you with recommendations. Our customers have experienced a 20% lift in their ROI after following our plan.


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Spending just $100 in Ads can still produce ROI on Social Media

Content is King

Well we all know that content is king and these days if you don’t have good content you might as well forget engaging with your audience. But once you have great content it can still be hard to get it out there and to the right people. That’s where ads come in, we know it’s annoying that Social Media has become a bit of a ‘pay to play’ platform but you can still play with just a small budget each month.

Once you’ve decided you will ‘pay to play’, it’s important to keep in mind that targeting is a huge factor. Sit down and think about who this content will resonate with the most and the more narrow your target is, the more likely that audience will engage. With all three main platforms (Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn) you can really narrow down your audience to interests, age groups, or even job level on LinkedIn so you can be sure to get the audience you want.

Facebook Targeting Options
Facebook Targeting Options
Twitter Targeting Options
Twitter Targeting Options
LinkedIn Targeting Options
LinkedIn Targeting Options

So now that you’re ready, we’ve put together some example budgets to help you understand how $100 might go far enough! We recommend using these budgets as a monthly plan but also think using one may allow you to understand your audience’s reaction to your content and help you create a budget of your own each month that works best for you.

Just Getting Started Plans

When you are just getting started, not only do you need to push your content but you also want to grow an active audience to be there to see your content when you’re not boosting it. Don’t forget we’ve also shared tips on other tactics to use to grow your followers on Twitter & Instagram in this great post.

Plan 1

Facebook ($40):

  • New Likes: Spend $1 per day (Moz found that $1 per day can grow you audience by 4,000 people.)
  • Boost Content: Pick your two best pieces of content and boost them for $5 each

Twitter ($40):

  • New Followers: Spend $1 per day (Wordstream put together an interesting comparison chart for Facebook and Twitter ads, showing that your dollar per day might gain you a higher click rate on Twitter yet might get you more views on Facebook.)
  • Twitter Cards: Choose your two best pieces of content and spend $5 each in a twitter card


  • Sponsored Update: Select your two best articles and spend $10 sponsoring them

Total = $100

Plan 2

Facebook ($55):

  • New Likes: Spend $1.5 per day
  • Boost Content: Pick your two best pieces of content and boost them for $5 each

Twitter ($34):

  • New Followers: TargetGrow or similar tools, Minimum plan starts at $19/month
  • Twitter Cards: Choose your three best pieces of content and spend $5 each in a twitter card


  • Page Ad: Place an ad promoting your LinkedIn business page ($10)

Total = $99

Wordstream Comparison

We Want Engagement Plans

If you already have a following but seem to be lacking engagement, these are the recommendations for ad budget to get through the noise and get noticed. Keep in mind staying active and engaging with your audience will help keep up the momentum.

Plan 1

Facebook ($30):

  • Boost Content: Pick your three best pieces of content and boost them for $10 each

Twitter ($40):

  • Engagement Ads: Choose two pieces of content specifically asking for Favorite or RT and spend $10 each
  • Twitter Cards: Choose your two best pieces of link/image content and spend $5 each in a twitter card


  • Sponsored Update: Select your two best articles and spend $10 sponsoring them

Total = $90

Plan 2

Facebook ($32):

  • Boost Content: Pick your four best pieces of content and boost them for $8 each
  • Website Clicks: Leverage your blog content and drive clicks to your shareable posts spending $14

Twitter ($44):

  • Follower Engagement: TargetGrow or similar tools, Minimum plan starts at $19/month
  • Engagement Ads: Choose two pieces of content specifically asking for Favorite or RT and spend $10 each
  • Twitter Cards: Choose your three best pieces of content and spend $5 each in a twitter card


  • Sponsored Update: Select your best article and spend $10 sponsoring


Don’t forget to always test and analyze! If one platform isn’t getting you results, adjust your content or adjust some of your spend to another platform. For example if Twitter is getting you great engagement you may want to consider putting some of the Facebook budget towards Twitter for the next month. Any other budget breakdowns that have worked for you or ways to maximize your Social Media ROI? Share them with us!

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