conductor headline research

4 Social Media Tips & Templates to Save You Time

Kerry Butters Social Media 4 Comments

Do you spend hours each day on social media?

Are you looking for ways to increase your productivity?

Social media templates can fine- tune your processes, boost your efficiency and save you lots of time.

In this article we’ll be looking at where to find templates, as well as how to create and use them in your day-to-day social media marketing.

#1: Image Templates

Not only should you create cover photos and profile images, but you should also create images that contain a call to action. Images on social media are thought to increase clicks by 14%.

Cover and profile images should be unique, strengthen your brand and reflect your brand personality. Check out Kristi Hines post to find out the correct dimensions for your cover and profile images.

Consider how you can create a buzz around your cover image and get creative.

kes butters twitter

For example, I had a talented animator – ScribbleStache – create my Twitter background so that it’s a little more fun than the standard. It often attracts comments and compliments and has helped to develop my personal brand.

While I do have a profile image that’s the same style, a personal brand should include a face so I just use an image.

Social Media Examiner’s Twitter background is a great example of strong branding. It uses consistent colors and the recognizable logo in both the cover and profile image.

social media examiner twitter

Tip: If you don’t know how to work with graphic design software, give Piktochart and Canva a try. Pagemodo also provides templates for Facebook cover and timeline photos, as well as Twitter headers.

These all provide a simple drag and drop interface for creating images that look great.

For day-to-day marketing images, try Spruce a free tools that allows you to create images with custom text overlays for social media.

#2: Social Media Tips – Headline/Posting Template

Carefully crafted headlines can increase clicks by as much as 500% according to a 2013 Conductor study.

To boost click throughs to your content, you should construct headlines that tell the reader explicitly what the content is about.

conductor headline research

Image source: Moz

As the image shows, posts that contain numbers outperform any other type by 15%. Addressing the reader directly also works, as do ‘how to’ posts.

This is because with these types of headlines, you’re instantly telling the reader how you will solve a problem for them.

Consider how you can apply these to your own content. On fast-moving social platforms such as Twitter, these types of headlines are used copiously. Think about how you can make yours stand out from the crowd.

Norman Nielsen Group (NNG) state that “attractive headlines and titles are critical in making the right first impression. Concise titles that sound authentic and relevant get noticed.”

With this in mind, keep it brief and succinct. Consider what will make the reader click through to the landing page and as NNG advise:

  • Ensure that the headline works out of context – consider how it would work if all images and sub headers were stripped away in search and on other platforms.
  • Don’t use ‘fad’ words – popularity might give your headline an instant boost, but will it stand the test of time? (For time sensitive news though, it’s OK).
  • Front load the title with keywords
  • Leave out unnecessary and convoluted words

You can find Twitter headline templates here and you should check out Copyblogger’s How to Write Magnetic Headlines too for further tips.

headline hacks by Jon Morrow

Also take the time to download Jon Morrow’s 52 Headline Hacks which is a great resource for learning how to construct viral headlines.

#3: Social Media Reporting

88% of marketers want to learn more about proving social media ROI, according to Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2015.

It can be difficult to know where to start, and templates provide a great way to boost your confidence when it comes to knowing what to include.

Social ROI should be closely tied into the goals of the business in order to provide actionable information. First then, decide on your goals and consider how these can be achieved.

Goals could include:

  • Increase in traffic
  • Newsletter signups
  • Leads and conversions
  • Content downloads
  • Contact page inquiries

It will depend on the business and its overall goals however. Research from Domo found that 40% of marketers don’t know how to prove ROI for social media and other activities.

social return on investment

52% of marketers asked also said that they feel frustrated by the amount of time it take to create reports.

To prove ROI, it’s necessary to first understand how much budget is being spent on social media and how much it’s worth based on the goals that you’ve set.

You’ll also need to consider KPIs and how these can help you to determine a monetary value.

These include:

  • Likes/follows
  • Engagement (shares, comments, retweets)
  • Impressions and click through rate
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Leads/conversions

You can set up goals in Google Analytics as well as collect data through social analytics to help you to calculate social media ROI.

Dragon Search Marketing has a useful social ROI calculator that you can use to create a quick overview.

dragon search social calc

Have a look at the calculator and use it to create a template of your own, paying attention to all of the necessary costs and placing a monetary value on your goals. You can do this in Excel if you’re familiar with using formulas to make calculations.

You can find a pre-filled template here from Dog-Eared Social which can be easily adapted to suit your needs.

#4: Strategy and Planning

Social media without strategy is like a car without a steering wheel – directionless.

Research shows that strategy plays a key part in being able to prove ROI, so ensure that you create one and document it.

Initially, you should collect all of the information that you need.

  • Which social networks you’re going to use
  • Who your audience is (create buyer personas for this)
  • When your audience is most active on social media for each platform
  • How you’re going to measure results (data analytics)
  • Who will create both written and graphical content
  • How you will address your audience
  • Goals and means of calculating ROI

When it comes to the latter, work from your business’s brand identity and style guides to inform how you will engage with the audience. Consider how you would like the brand to come across and the age and interests of your audience and tailor tone and personality in your posts to suit.

This will give you a good foundation from which to work and boost your confidence when it comes to ROI reports.

Once you’ve done all of this, get together your posting schedule. Try Hubspot’s publishing template to help you with this.

hubspot social media planner

The tabs at the bottom of the template allow you to create schedules for each of the most popular networks. You can adjust this to suit your business and its goals.

You’ll find full instructions for both using and adapting the template to suit your needs on the Hubspot link above.

It’s also worth taking a look at Tommy Landry’s article How to Build a Social Media Strategy Template for a step-by-step guide on creating your own template.

Julie Neidlinger’s post on creating a template in 3 steps (with a free template included) is also worth checking out.

Conclusion

Social media marketing can be extremely time consuming and as such, it pays to spend a little time on the initial set up. This should always include the creation of templates to save time going forward.

Social analytics (such as Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, etc.) are maturing and these can now be used to help you plan and execute great social media campaigns.

It’s also worthwhile delving into the analytics the scheduling tools that you use provide as these can also prove highly useful.

It’s perfectly doable to prove social ROI and is somewhat surprising that so many marketers struggle with it. Define your goals and understand what your traffic, engagement and other metrics are worth and it will soon become second nature.

Happily, there are plenty of social media tools available to boost productivity.

As well as the above, you should also consider creating templates for social listening to monitor brand mentions.

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Kerry is the founder and director of markITwrite, a published author and an established authority in the technology niche. Kerry has a background in both publishing and tech and writes extensively across corporate & business tech, web development, SEO, social and marketing and gadgets. A lover of all things internet and the written word, Kerry is an avid reader, a prolific writer and something of a geek.

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