My social media marketing stack

Over the past 12 months I’ve developed a reasonable stack to manage multiple client’s social media channels, content storage and delivery.

The tools used in the stack are:

  1. Google Suite (docs, sheets, drive)
  2. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
  3. Later
  4. Facebook creator studio
  5. SEMrush

I’ve found that including these steps provide for a more positive client relationship which includes accountability and buy-in. 

Let’s take a look at each section and what service it provides to efficiency and transparency. 

The mighty google suite. It’s free and works seamless.

We use google docs for initial discovery calls and learn more about client voice. past success stories and planning. These took the place of a typical white board session with clients due to covid and I haven’t looked back. This is where campaign ideas, strategies goals and loose calendars live. 

We use google sheets as an actual shared calendar. I’ve used sheets as a list view in the past but it was tougher for clients to follow (and not EVERYONE loves spreadsheets.) A calendar view is easier to digest and actually helps maintain campaign content in more accurate rhythm. 

I found a free sheets content calendar from Coschedule.com which works great.

This is where we will turn campaigns into individual content posts and themes – which drives the content creation needs. 

Google drive is used for content sharing, linking and storage for story posts and reels. When a client is providing some or a portion to be able to link it to campaigns and specific posts via sheets saves time and energy moving into another piece of the stack we will discuss a little…later – later.com.

The adobe suite of products is widely regarded at the industry standard for many design and photography software programs and apps. The introduction of some unique features in Photoshop and the broad functionality and sharing capabilities of Lightroom really set them apart from alternatives. 

Let’s start with Lightroom. This app will share and store pictures in real time while dozens of presets to immediately take your image content to the next level. Using presets also allows for a branding aesthetic. Your images start to “feel” the same if you shoot similar content and utilize one or two presets. When working with team members who are in the field creating content, you can get instant uploads to begin scheduling campaigns. While they are at a photoshoot – you are in your office seeing the pictures uploaded. You can begin filtering through and finalizing the campaign shoots with presets. Videos can be added, viewed and organized, but no editing can be done in Lightroom. That’s where Photoshop comes in and more specifically the Timeline window.

Most associate Photoshop with removing unwanted objects from pictures, or making your friend the meme of the day. But the timeline window actually allows for accurate video editing on a CPU (and time) budget. You can resize, edit, add copy text, move said copy text, rotate images, add music, zoom, pan and I am sure I am missing plenty. Oh ya, this is all VIDEO. With an easy to use export to MP4 menu. This has been a goto tool for my content creation for several years.

Once we have that content ready to go, we head to our client friendly platform – Later.com

Later has some very good functionality for post scheduling, content writing and image placement decisions. This is also the easiest platform for clients to navigate and take a visual look at a month of content. I can also easily add them as a team member so they have access to only their content using their own email address. No more sharing user names or passwords. The easy to use uploader and calendar view make it easy to move posts around and play with cadence. Also – this is where I will typically write the verbiage for posts. It has a spell check (the next step Facebook Creator Studio) does not have spell check in the instagam scheduler but it does on the Facebook side… 🤫. So we get to view the post with imagery, words and hashtags. The client can see what is coming and offer feedback and edit or move posts.

I feel like this is where it could end, and sometimes it does. In Later you can schedule single images or videos to auto post, but you cannot schedule one of the more popular forms – and I feel one of the top features of instagram in general – the carousel post. So you have this great looking post that Later will nudge you to post at a specific time. But for this to happen you have to be logged into the correct IG account on your phone at the time of the post AND have those images ready to go in your camera roll. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

So once a post is tentatively scheduled in Later we still have to head over to Facebook Creator Studio for the final scheduling. 

Heading over to the Facebook ecosystem from the beautiful UI/UX that later provides does feel like a bit of a downgrade, but there are some positives.

Facebook has traditionally rewarded content that is posted using their tools. Using the platforms native tools is never a bad idea.

You get another look at the post as it will appear to the end user. Is everything in place? This is the final edit. 

You can schedule CAROUSELS to AUTO PUBLISH. This is the biggest plus for me. It allows for weeks of scheduling at a time for one of the most valuable tools to get your content delivered to more people. Carousels will automatically re-introduce themselves to users timelines who didn’t interact with your first image from the post. Yup, that means your post gets more chances to be seen, commented on, like and or saved. 

Finally we come to SEMrush, which provides customizable reports for your and your clients to review. These reports are auto-scheduled so you can get them sent to the team weekly or monthly. A fully automated reporting system – YES PLEASE!

So that is how we plan, create and execute a social media campaign. Depending on the business you could have several going on all at once and if you’re set up right, all of the pieces should allow for appropriate time management and teamwork. I would love to hear how you’re helping your clients get eyes on upcoming content and increase their role in the process.