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    How to manage your social media activity on a shoestring budget

    12 September 2016

    Laptop with hands and bar charts

    Many tourism SMEs struggle with trying to keep up with their social media channels. Small budgets and limited time and resources mean that tourism SMEs often wonder how they can manage to stay in control of it all. Channels like Twitter can be particularly beneficial, if you use them for customer service. But how do you manage to stay on top of Twitter and Facebook, let alone any other social media channel while still engaged in the day-to-day running of your business?

    Thankfully there are a few tools out there which can make your life a lot simpler. 

    Social media dashboards

    Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to measure and track your social networks and activity effectively. They help you to keep an eye on your competitors, to benchmark your activity against theirs and to learn from their successes as to what you could potentially adapt to your own customer base and iterate, with your own angle and style.

    These dashboards allow you to schedule your posts and tweets so that even when you are not in the office, your social media activity is taken care of 24/7. They also offer helpful analytics to assist you with identifying which of your content is generating the most return on investment – so that you can repeat that success time and time again.

    You can use these social media dashboards to monitor the conversations your followers are having on social media platforms, like Twitter, for example. This will help you to spot an opportunity for you to step in whenever your business/your local area is mentioned and tweet a special offer/discount to that customer.

    Try out social media dashboards for free

    If you’d rather try out a social media dashboard first without paying upfront, Hootsuite offers a free plan that allows you to connect up to three social media profiles and provides you with three analytics reports. There is also some basic scheduling available with the free plan which allows you to set one post at a time to publish. 

    In addition, Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial of its social media dashboard, while Buffer offers a free option for its social media dashboard which you can use to schedule posts for one social media platform only.

    Tracking and measuring your social media activity is the key to understanding  where your revenue is coming from and crucially, how best you can generate more of it.

    Create graphics for social media for free

    One of the most useful design tools out there today is Canva—they offer a free and paid version of their design tools. While you do have more scope with the paid version, ‘Canva for work’, you can also achieve quite a lot with the free version.

    Canva allows you to design graphics for social media posts such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest graphics. It has useful templates for creating infographics, Facebook and Twitter cover graphics as well as templates for designing marketing materials such as flyers, posters and gift certificates.

    Visit the Canva website to get started creating graphics for your social media accounts

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