The right social media tools can be your best friends. They help you get organized, save you time, money and a whole lot of frustration.
Here are 16 social media tools that I recommend to help you schedule, curate, research, design and measure. Most of those tools are free, some of them offer premium packages.
Posting content to your social networks takes a lot of time. Here are 3 social media tools to help you manage and post to your social networking profiles or pages:
Buffer supports the following social networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+.
Free for individuals, premium package with Pinterest starts at $10/month.
Hootsuite supports the following social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram. This is the social management tool that I use to post on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Basic account is free, premium package starts at 9.99/month
TweetDeck helps you manage and post to your Twitter accounts or Facebook profiles/pages only.
It’s free to use.
Curate and Research
One of the most important lessons for businesses when it comes to using social media is that it’s not about “me, me, and me!” Share other people’s content too. Here are 3 social media tools that help you find and keep an eye on other people content:
BuzzSumo is a content research tool. It helps you:
- Find the most shared content on any topic you choose.
- Find influencers in just about any topic or industry.
- Get alerts based on keywords, brand name, links, author name or domain
- Research your competitors and find their most shared content on social media.
Feedly helps you organize your favorite blogs, news sites, podcasts and YouTube channels and access them all in one place.
6| Twitter Lists
If you are on Twitter, make use of the Twitter Lists to curate and research. Create a Twitter List for industry news, influencers, etc.
If you are on Pinterest, use your boards to curate and research. In fact, I use both my Twitter lists and Pinterest boards for content ideas.
Visual content is huge for social media. Use images to share ideas and create a buzz around your business. Find free high resolution pictures for your social media posts using those sites:
MorgueFile is a community-based free photo site, and all photos found in the archive are free for you to download and re-use in your work, be it commercial or not. The photos have been contributed by a wide range of creatives from around the world, ranging from amateur photo hobbyists to professionals.
Pixabay is my go to site for free visual content. The pictures are very high quality and very high resolution, enabling you to really add a professional look to your site. All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CCO.
PicJumbo offers stock photographs, absolutely free of charge, for use in commercial and personal projects. Premium membership available
Remember to always give proper attribution when using a photo you find through one of these sites (if it’s required).
Check out this post for more amazing sites where you can find free, High-Res images for your social media posts.
Graphic design tools for creating visual content
Not everyone has Photoshop available so here are two sites to help you turn your images into better, more eye-catching visual masterpieces for your social media posts.
Canva is a fantastic graphic design tool for those who want to create custom photos. Make sure to check their blog for tips on graphic design.
PicMonkey is an online photo editing service. You can use for
free*, to edit photos and create designs. A premium version is available.
*Update: As of September 2017, PicMonkey is no longer free. They now offer two membership options: Premium and Supremium.
To create the picture in this post, I used a Pixabay image and added text and overlay using Canva.
Many small business owners trust their “gut feeling” when making decisions and in fact many of you have built successful business using your intuition. But that intuition is based on years of life and business experience; if you are new to social media (and even if you are not), trust your instinct but verify.
Define your metrics
How will you measure your success?
□ Traffic to website
□ Social media engagement – Measure Likes, Shares, Comments, Retweets, Mentions, Favorites
□ Brand awareness – Measure followers’ growth
Use the following tools to measure your success:
12| Google Analytics
Track website traffic, on-site conversions, and sign-ups originating from social media campaigns.
Related Post: Google Analytics 101 – The Basics
13| Facebook Page insights
Track user interaction on your Facebook Fan Page.
1|) Twitter Analytics
To give you details about your tweets and following.
Crowdbooster offers social media analytics with suggestions and tools for businesses to improve their online presence.
Bitly is a link shortener, it allows you track everything you share.
Measuring your social media efforts on regular basis will help you identify positive (or negative) trends, assess what is working and what is not, and make adjustments.
There are hundreds of apps and tools now available to help you schedule, research, and design your content as well as measure your success. The tools recommended above are the basic tools to have in your social media toolbox.
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