Social Media can be a big, scary place, with one too many options… but there are tools out there that can help you. (Most of them are even free!) Here are 9 free Social Media Marketing tools that we’ve enjoyed and think you could really benefit from. If you don’t have an entire Marketing team to manage your Social Media accounts… save some of your own time and resources by signing up for some of these time-saver tools!
All of these tools are either completely free or have a basic “free” package that can be used for smaller businesses. Each of these tools will bring you valuable information to help your business grow!
HOOTSUITE (Free for 3 social profiles, basic analytics and up to 30 scheduled posts at a time.)
Hootsuite is a scheduling tool. It allows you to create and schedule posts that will automatically post on most platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Even for Instagram, which doesn’t normally have any free automatic posting apps, you are able to schedule an Instagram post, and Hootsuite will send a notification to your phone which will allow you to easily copy and paste your post content to share to Instagram. Hootsuite also allows you to download basic analytics like follower growth and engagement.
Hootsuite is great for getting ahead on creating your content and making sure you have posts lined up for the week or month! It also has other abilities that are cool, like setting up “streams” that allow you to keep track of your competitors, certain hashtags, and more, all on one dashboard.
SPROUT SOCIAL (Free 30-day trial for any of the three plans: premium, corporate or enterprise level.)
Sprout Social is another user friendly scheduling tool that saves you time when you have multiple channels or brands to manage. With three simple categories, you can publish, engage and analyze all your content with this handy tool. By using the Smart Inbox feature, you can keep a pulse on what others are saying about your brand and view all your customer engagement and questions in one easy location.
Sprout Social also offers a technology called ViralPost™ that will find the optimal times to post on your social media channels by looking closely at your audience’s behaviors.
MAILCHIMP (Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.)
Mailchimp is an email marketing tool. It works hand in hand with your Social Media campaigns and is a great tool for capturing your customers emails. You can even create Facebook ads directly in Mailchimp.
We like Mailchimp because it’s a simple tool that creates beautiful email campaigns. You can even set up automated emails that allow you to schedule your newsletters, contests or campaigns at more strategic times. Mailchimp can also provide you with built out sign up forms so that you can easily capture emails on Social Media or your website.
FACEBOOK INSIGHTS (Free for Facebook pages.)
Facebook gives Facebook businesses, products and brand pages free analytics and reporting. These statistics are VERY valuable! It tracks your engagement, reach, likes, follows and can even tell you a detailed report of WHO your followers are and where they live. Insights can also give you a precise schedule for every single day of the week of your optimal posting time, meaning, when most of your followers will be on to see your post! Tracking these statistics and following an optimal posting time can help get your posts seen by more people and increase your engagement. You can also view your top performing posts so that you can see what is working and what’s not! This is one of the BEST FREE TOOLS out there!
INSTAGRAM INSIGHTS (Free for Instagram Business accounts.)
If your business is using Instagram and it isn’t a business account yet… GO SWITCH IT NOW! (Sorry… didn’t mean to yell!) Go to Options on your profile and hit that “Switch to Business Profile” button.
Just like Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights can give you valuable information and statistics on your growth and engagement. It can also give you optimal postings times based on your audience and your profile. Following these stats and posting at the optimal time will help engage your current followers and help get your post seen by more people who could be your new customers!
GOOGLE DOCS (Free! You just need to create a Gmail account if you don’t already have one.)
You may be asking… why is this on here?! But, Google Docs is actually a big part of our content creation and management strategy. You can create spreadsheets and documents that can easily be shared with other people. And the best part… you can share and work on Google Docs together at the same time as someone else! You can even limit someone’s access to the document. For example if you want someone to review your document and not edit it, you can send them a special link that only gives them viewing or commenting access. We love Google Docs for keeping our posting content organized and easily accessible.
A video camera app that takes mini looped videos (kinda like a GIF). Video content is growing and the popularity of short videos is undeniable. Instagram now has “Stories” which allows you to share live video content and pictures and videos you’ve taken within the last 24 hours. Facebook has also now included Facebook Stories on their feed and have been using Facebook live for some time now.
Your followers want to see more video content, and an easy (and super fun) way to do that is with Boomerang! These fun little videos are easy to take and easy to share. You can add them as a regular post on your feed or take one live and upload to Instagram or Facebook Stories!
CANVA (Free with limited storage, team member access and template options.)
If you don’t have a full Marketing team, you probably need some help in the Graphic Design area. Canva makes creating great looking posts easy! It’s a website and app that allows you to easily design and create graphics, documents and more. Anyone would be able to use it and create social posts with their templates and tools. Use it if you need to add pretty text or other elements to a picture, or use it to create an ad.
So you may not be a content writer, but don’t let that stop you from pushing out GREAT content to your followers! This app can be added as an extension to your Chrome browser, and it will automatically highlight grammar and spelling mistakes in all your work. Obviously some things need to be shortened for Social Media, and using slang is fine depending on your persona, but everyone needs a little spelling and grammar check at times!
If you would like to chat more about these tools or have any questions about Social Media Marketing, contact us here!