Are you curious about social media marketing equipment? This is a topic I was recently asked about by a reader. Whether you’re just starting out or ready to move your efforts to the next level, this list is for you!
Ready to level up your social media marketing game? Here’s a list of the best equipment, hardware, and software you’ll need to start developing a professional social media video strategy.
Equipment Every DIY Social Media Marketer Needs
I definitely espouse the philosophy that one should just. get. started. no matter what equipment you have. Seriously. Thinking you have to have all the perfect equipment before you can start creating your own videos, podcast or other content is simply procrastination at work. You CAN get started with natural lighting and the cell phone in your pocket. I’ve been creating videos for a few years now and I’ve only ever used natural lighting and my phone until this year when I finally bought a ring light! When you’re ready for an upgrade, or to polish your look and sound a bit, here are a few things to consider.
1. Ring Light
This is the ring light I bought. It comes in other sizes, but the 12 inch is plenty big! I will say, the “foot” that is supposed to attach to make your camera holder turn sideways didn’t work for me, but I don’t use that anyhow. When my static electricity accidentally shorted the whole thing out, I reordered exactly the same one, so I definitely recommend it!
2. Laptop Microphone
This is the microphone I finally decided to buy when I started my podcast earlier this year. I went with this one so it wouldn’t take up space on my desk and WOW it has REALLY good sound, I think. You can listen to me using it over on the BeFlawsome Podcast.
3. Phone Microphone
This is the corded mic I have on hand to plug into my cell phone for making better sounding videos from my phone. I don’t use it as much as I should…but I have it!
And there are days when I could NOT survive without my noise-cancelling headphones. These Sony’s were expensive, but super comfortable and VERY quiet. My husband can watch TV right beside me and I don’t hear what’s going on. They work best with Focus At Will music! They’re also GREAT for airplane travel…if and when we’re able to do that again.
5. Laptop Stand
I don’t know about you, but working on a laptop for 8+ hours a day has taken a toll on my neck. There are two pieces of equipment that are helping me stay in the office and out of the chiropractor’s office (well…some anyhow). This folding laptop stand is similar to the one I have, that I borrow from my teens when they’re not around. It makes sitting on the couch to work a whole lot easier on my neck. Don’t tell Dr. Paul I said so 🙂
6. Wireless Keyboard
When I am working in my office, I prop my laptop up on a box so the camera and screen are more eye-height, and I use a wireless keyboard to improve the ergodynamics. Improve, not perfect. I quite like this one from Logitech, but it is a bit on the small side.
7. Anti-Glare Screen
I recently decided to try an anti-glare screen protector for my laptop too as I was having a lot of headaches. When you spend as much time staring at these screens as I do, you’ll try anything to improve it. The one I bought is out of stock, but this one seems similar.
One of the best things I bought this year was a tracking, rotating phone stand. It’s perfect for holding my phone on my desk while I make TikTok videos close up, but it would also be great for tracking a speaker who walks and talks, or a Zumba instructor who can’t always stay in frame, etc. When turned on it actually will follow you from side to side, moving your phone to keep up! The one I bought looks just like this one, but mine has the brand name GimbOWL printed on it.
One other thing I am hoping to find a good deal on is a gimbal…a device for holding your cell phone and stabilizing it when you make videos. It keeps down the shakes and makes everything look smooth and professional when you’re holding the phone. This brand has a good reputation in my circles, so I’m watching for deals on these.
10. Social Media Books
Here’s a bonus for you… some books I recommend…not necessary, but not a bad idea! Who knows if there will be good deals on these books this season…I sure don’t, but these are a few of the ones I’d definitely recommend you pick up either way.
Storytelling is becoming increasingly important in social media. This is one of the books I’ve picked up for my summer reading list. Tamsen is a master at developing your story.
The latest book on my virtual shelf, this guide is IDEAL for beginners looking to understand how social media works on different platforms.
Must-have social media marketing tools for 2021
Creating content for social media is an essential part of the game. Visual content gets three times more engagement on Twitter than plain ol’ text, so good visual content can help you take it to the next level.
With Biteable, you can easily create engaging, entertaining, and informative short videos to share on social media.
With a host of free video templates, footage, music, and animated scenes, Biteable is a godsend for anyone who wants to create studio-quality quickly without needing expensive resources like film or sound recording equipment.
Biteable was created to be super easy to use and one of the cheapest tools of its type on the market. Most features are available even with free accounts (it’s pretty cheap to upgrade to Premium anyway) so why not add a bit more excitement and spark to your social media content by creating some short, super-shareable videos?
Buffer started off as a scheduling tool for Twitter. Today, it supports all the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google + (for the one person who still uses it.) Let’s take a look.
You can do some pretty neat things with Buffer:
- Use the chrome extension to add articles and content from the web to your Buffer queue or share content on the go.
- Automatically shortens links you share. If you’re Bitly user, you can connect your accounts.
- Upload custom photos and videos (or use ones pulled from the article you shared).
- Access complex analytics to track your content’s performance.
- Create a posting schedule so your content gets spread out throughout the day.
- Reply to posts from inside Buffer.
- Add team members.
A social media dashboard like Buffer helps you fill your social media feed with relevant and exciting content without spending half your life logged in to Facebook and Twitter.
Research is a crucial part of marketing. If you want to do well and leave your competitors in the dust, you need to understand what they’re doing and if what you’re doing is working or not.
Buzzsumo is a research tool which tells you how your content is doing and who’s spreading the word.
Sometimes when you sit down to create content, you’re on fire. Other times it’s like pulling teeth and you’re just grateful to have met a deadline. It’s impossible to guarantee success, but a tool like Buzzsumo can help you increase the odds.
One of the most powerful research tools on the market, the functionality includes:
- Find content that’s most shared on social media channels – you can enter your own or someone else’s domain and see what’s been shared socially.
- Find influencers related to particular topics.
- Get alerts based on keywords, brand name, links, author name, or domain.
- Track competitors and do an analysis based on their content.
- Use it to research keywords and trending topics your audience is interested in. You can use it to find interesting new posts to share or to search for content ideas based on what’s performing well.
- And, if you’ve got some cash to splash, Buzzsumo Pro is a powerhouse for competitor research.
An oldie, but a goodie. TweetDeck is a dashboard application that makes managing Twitter a whole lot easier.
The browser-based tool provides a streamlined, simple way to watch and monitor custom segments and lists. It also provides more upfront visibility into mentions, messages, and other Twitter components.
It’s a smart tool that makes recommendations on which updates (across Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) should be promoted based on engagement stats and other data sets.
It provides advanced targeting for social ads to help drive higher conversions, and it also has its very own ad builder to make creating ads quick and painless.
Pricing: custom pricing based on needs/function.
If you’re new to social media marketing, then you’re probably in need of tools to get started without breaking the bank or learning a brand-new skill set. With so many social media platforms and apps out there, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and burnt out. But you don’t have to be.