There are so many social media platforms, different types of content to share and audiences to reach. How you go about sharing quality content, driving traffic to your website and ultimately creating leads for your business is a full-time job. Staying ahead of the curve can mean all the difference in the world on social media and for your bottom line.
These resources are available on the Internet and in many instances they are free to start out. Knowing the right tools to use for your social media marketing can save you time, make you money, and deliver returns on your investment. With so many tools, applications, and programs vying for your attention, we decided to narrow down a list of the absolute best resources you should be using right now. Enjoy!
Photo Editing & Sharing
Chances are not everyone has or can utilize Photoshop. That’s why easy and free resources like Canva were developed. Canva is as easy as signing up, choosing the correct specifications for a specific social media channel, and layering a meaningful quote or promotion over a product image. There is no limit to how many designs you can create and once you have an account, Canva stores all of your designs in one easily accessible place.
Similar to Canva, Fotor lets you create designs and images for your social media feed. With Fotor you can combine photos and create collages. It doesn’t hurt to have an account with both, as each has a selection of design templates to choose from that update monthly. Perhaps the most important aspect of the Fotor platform is the pre-designed specifications for the ever-changing social media parameters.
Get active in your Instagram community with the Repost app. Search for hashtags related to your brand or business and find out who is sharing content relevant to your products. If you are cultivating a new hashtag, Repost is a great outlet to redistribute your branded content. Repost also allows you to find Instagram users, tag their photos with the original handle, and share their content on your news feed. It’s a great way to demonstrate you are active in your community and show off your branded hashtag.
When Instagram posts are split up into 9, 6 or 3-piece grids, they are done with a separate application. Showcasing an image in a larger space stands out on any Instagram account. We especially like using the app for great photography and brand promotions.
Scheduling & Monitoring
There are many social scheduling tools on the Internet. With Social Sprout you can publish, schedule and even post to different platforms. Each post can be categorized, so tweets can be monitored by type of content (i.e. promotional, sale, content that directs to website, shared content from another source, etc.). Also, within the platform is a robust set of analytics. Use this resource if you regularly schedule to Twitter on a daily basis, but also need to share content on LinkedIn and Facebook.
This resource is specifically aligned with Twitter. It also monitors conversations going on in feeds you follow. You might want to follow influencers, competitors, and hashtags. It’s easy to login and know at a glance: mentions, follows and feeds from competition.
Take a deep dive into your Twitter social channel with AudioSense. Find out the best times to tweet for optimal engagement, monitor recent Twitter followers, and more. We recommend using it daily!
Like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite allows social monitoring and scheduling from one easy platform. This tool will help you post from each client account easily without having to log in and out.
This service does the research for you by scouring the Internet for mentions of your brand and/or products. The set-up is as easy as plugging in a company name or keyword you would like to keep track of across the Internet and social channels. The program will notify you by email each day of new “mentions.” Never miss a blog post, social share, or article featuring your company (or competitor) again.
This free application can be a lifesaver when it comes to organizing content to be pushed out on social media. It makes for a great organizational tool to store blog topics, checklists, works-in-progress, and finally posts ready to go out. Trello is easy to jump right in. It’s especially useful for keeping track of checklists and projects.
With so many great ideas floating around, it can be useful to quickly store in one simple place. Slack can be a great tool for communicating between coworkers and teams. It is also a great place to share and store content ideas for social. Slack is widely used as a means to reduce email clutter. With its quirky and easy to use interface, it has been adopted in offices small and large.
The social media behemoth offers a robust and free array of analytics. Make informed decisions based on insights of how past posts have performed. Understand the best times to post and types of media to share for the most engagement on Facebook. The platform has a stake in the quality of content you share, so it is important to pay attention to insights from Facebook to determine engagement. Without taking into account the data provided within Facebook, the platform could penalize you by not showing your content in the news feed.
Discover top tweets, followers and more with the free Twitter analytics tool. Keep track of how your posts are doing from month to month in order to make informed decisions on what is working and where there is opportunity for improvement. Twitter analytics keeps track of new followers, impressions, and engagement for you as well.
Instagram doesn’t offer analytics within the app just yet, but Iconosquare can help you find top posts, engagement and more. While Instagram isn’t necessarily a big driver for website traffic, it plays an important role in brand awareness and community engagement. Instagram remains strong as apart of an integrated social media effort and with it; your efforts there should be measured.
This secret weapon of savvy individuals is something you can benefit from for free. CreativeLive provides free live-streaming video and broadcasts courses online everyday. The San Francisco and Seattle-based start-up offers courses in a range of creative categories and one of them is “Business and Life”. If you search their course catalog for “social media insights” you will find courses from the industry's top experts. They even have a course on the inner workings of Canva for social media called, “Graphic Design Made Easy With Canva”.
Among online education companies, Skillshare is at the top. Slightly different than the free live-streaming model, Skillshare requires an upfront subscription fee, which gains you access to their full online library of courses. Find marketing experts giving away their hard-earned insights in the marketing field and walk away with all of the latest social media best practices with this low-cost service.
These programs are a great start to a well-executed social media marketing campaign. With little cost up-front for each program, it’s worth trying out new tools to see what works best.