The Essential 8: FREE Social Media Marketing Tools
The two most common things I hear from small business owners when it comes to their struggles on social media are, "it takes too much time," and, "I'm not sure if I'm doing it right."
If that feels familiar, you're not alone—but they're also not bad problems to have. Social media can take up a lot of time, especially when it's done well, but there are plenty of solutions that can help you save time and still reap the rewards of good social. Although the biggest key to success is having a good strategy, there are tons of free resources that can help small business owners save time, create great content, and measure their success.
Unless you're running multiple accounts, all of these are completely free, and incredibly useful when it comes to planning, scheduling, and creating beautiful social media posts. Without further ado, read on to get my list of 8 free tools you can start using today.
Having a cohesive Instagram gallery is important. At some point, everyone will find themselves with a few photos on hand, unsure of what to share next and in what order. With Planoly, you can visually preview your Instagram gallery to plan for the right flow of content. You can even publish posts through Planoly, and they have an easy-to-use mobile app.
The short version: Buffer lets you plan everything, and get analytics that are easy to understand. It’s a must have for anyone DIY-ing their social media. Schedule your posts ahead of time for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. (Note: the Instagram functionality won’t let you directly post through the platform, but it will send you a reminder push-notification).
I love Squarelovin, because I am obsessed with data. If you don’t have data, you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, and you can’t improve. Squarelovin gives you incredible success measurement for Instagram, and it’s highly visual. They use a lot of graphs, charts, and have an intuitive user interface. Here’s a screenshot from my personal account. This is a graph that shows average likes per post over time, but there are a ton of other cool visuals in the platform.
Canva is any DIY social marketer’s go-to for graphics. Create Instagram or Facebook ads in minutes, upload your own photos and logo, customize text, and use their icon library for free. You’re welcome.
Want to know what hashtags to use on Twitter? Ritetag lets you search a hashtag and get instant stats on how popular it is. There is a paid version, but you can still get estimated hourly statistics for free, and that’s really all you need. It also gives you suggestions on related hashtags (see below), and they offer a free chrome browser extension.
Let me preface this one by saying, I am a big advocate for creating original content. But I do realize that there’s a time and a place for stock images. Unsplash offers free stock photos that I find to be far better quality, and much more social-media-worthy, than any other free stock image site. (Pro tip: grab some of these images and drop them into Canva!)
Linktr.ee is just about my new favorite thing for Instagram bios. It lets you offer more than one destination through one link, which can be great for business selling a product. You can read more about using Linktree in my last post.
Sometimes you just need to track clicks on one link. For that, Bit.ly is a great free tool. It’s great for Instagram bios, or even within emails if you want to track your CTR per hour.
That’s it, y’all! (Yes, I said y'all— I’m from Texas). What other free tools are you using? Any on this list that you’ve used? Anything you need a tool for that isn’t covered by one of the above? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email directly here.