We recently hosted our very first Social Media Coffee Morning where we invited local businesses for a chance to hear about the latest in social media marketing news and how it can be applied to their business, as well as tips and tricks to help them with social media strategy. February’s topic was all about the easy-to-use and free social media tools that are right there for our disposal. Here are some of our favorites!
If you ask those in social media marketing what their favorite social media management platform is, you will be met with a lot of different answers! There are so many different scheduling tools out there we can use, many with a free version, but which one you choose will be completely down to your personal preference. We suggest trying out a few of the different free versions to see which works best for you (All plans and pricing are correct as of March 2019).
Buffer is a very easy-to-use scheduling platform. It is very easy to navigate and has no frills, but if you are wanting to get more in-depth with your analytics, you can upgrade, with plans starting as low as $15 per month. The free version lets you connect three different accounts and schedule up to 10 posts for each.
Hootsuite is probably one of the more well-known social media management platforms out there. It is always evolving and is a great way to work with teams. Their free version allows for three platforms and up to 30 scheduled posts.
Later is a new social media management tool that is making plenty of waves as it’s quickly becoming a favorite for many who love Instagram. However, it will allow for posts to other social media platforms too. The free plan lets you connect one social media account and schedule 30 posts (Twitter gets 50). The paid plans start from as little as $9 per month.
Planoly is all about visual marketing. If your main focus is Instagram (as it’s the only platform allowed at the moment), it may be worth giving Planoly a try. Schedule up to 30 posts on one profile for free.
We do love a bit of Twitter here at Digital Flamingo, and when we want to have a better look of what’s happening with hashtags or schedule in tweets, we like Tweetdeck. Of course, it’s only for Twitter, but it’s absolutely free to use. Watch your timeline and hashtags in real-time and keep your messages and scheduled posts all on one platform.
Creating Free Graphics
Everything you post on social media should have a visual of some sort. Creating your own graphics to go along with your posts can be vital in effecting sending across the right message to your audience. You don’t need to be a graphic designer though! Get on board with Canva, if you haven’t already. Make your own social media graphics for nearly any platform, as well as other promotional material, with plenty of free-to-use templates and pictures. Upload your logo and put those on the graphics you create too!
Adobe Spark is a good alternative. You can also do videos. We find that using Adobe Spark in Microsoft Edge works best.
Looking for that perfect picture to use on your social media or blog? You should always use your own or royalty-free image to ensure you do not infringe on copyright. We like the stunning images found at:
With these, you can ensure you are getting a high-quality image. Alternatively, you can use Google Image Search and choose Labeled for Reuse under Usage Rights, but the pictures aren’t always the best. We suggest checking on the above sites first to see what you can find.
Other Free Social Media Tools
ManyChat Messenger Bot – This is a great way to get started if you’re interested in implementing a messenger bot. No coding needed! Your audience can subscribe and get alerts when you have something like a new blog post. Click through rates surpass e-mails by far (30-60%)!
BuzzSumo – Find content that’s already proving to be popular and share it, or even better, write your own take on it and share it everywhere since you already know it is a trending topic in your industry. This free social media tools gives you up to ten entries from the last full year, but paid versions allow you to narrow it down.
A Little Time Spent Now Saves A Lot Later
Take your time in going through all the free social media tools and see what can be beneficial to you. Create graphics and save photo that can be useful in your social media planning. Spending a bit of time now gathering all the assets you need in your social media marketing plan will save you a lot of time and hassle in the future! Take advantage of al these free tools, and if something works particularly well, you may consider paid versions.
If you feel you would benefit in some insight on what direction to take your social media marketing strategy in, talk to us at Digital Flamingo! We love helping businesses create a plan that works for them and their audience, as well as going through all the tools they can use to relay their message across all types of social media platforms. Get in touch to discuss our various social media marketing solutions and how we can help your business.