If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for free, simple-to-use tools that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your business’ social media efforts.
When speaking with people or delivering workshops there is always someone who mentions a program, app, or tool that they use to manage their day-to-day social media. I truly love when people feel comfortable enough to share a piece of knowledge with the group that has the ability to transform how another person achieves their social media goals! I always take note of the tool, and try it out at another time – to see if it is (a) a good for for my business, and (b) useful to share with future groups.
Over the past 5 years, I have tried and tested lots (and I mean lots) of social media management programs, graphic design programs and apps, video tools, and general “make-social-media-simple” tools.
Here are my top 3 go-to tools:
1 – Hootsuite
Hootsuite is a social media management program that allows users to manage a variety of social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ from a single dashboard. The company was launched in 2008 by Ryan Holmes in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Hootsuite allows me, the social media manager, to plan and schedule updates for a variety of social networks, using the simple month-at-a-glance calendar. If an event date changes, it is simple to drag-and-drop the post or tweet to a new date and time.
Hootsuite also allows me the ability to grant access to clients and outside consultants to assist and approve messaging. When there is engagement, I have the ability to assign someone to respond, or simply have the ability to see when the post was responded to, and by whom.
2 – Canva
Canva is a mostly free, online graphic design platform that comes with a suite of social media templates, graphics, and photos. While there is a premium-paid service, the free service comes complete with what most people will require to create beautiful graphics. Canva has also released an app that allows users to edit photos and designs on-the-go using their mobile device. The app is compatible with iOS 8.1 or later, as well as iPad, and iPod touch, and select Android devices.
What I truly enjoy about Canva is the ability to develop your own templates that work with specific sizing requirements. Updating graphics for blogs, promotions, and contests month-to-month becomes a snap!
Even more, Canva doesn’t limit users to their catalog of imagery, rather they allow users to upload and use their own logos and graphics.
3 – Pixabay
Pixabay is a website designed for sharing high quality public domain photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and film footage. There are currently over 650,000 images for use!
While I always recommend using relevant photos to a company, product, service, or location, sometimes generic photos (e.g. nature scene, fireworks) are totally acceptable in a graphic or for background imagery.
If you haven’t made the connection yet, I’ll help! You can search, find, and download photos from Pixabay and upload them for use in your Canva creations. Then, once your image has reached perfection, you can create a post and schedule it using Hootsuite!
See, I had you covered!