Having the right tools and using social media correctly in today’s fast paced online environment can be crucial to your business or general social media goals. Whether you are promoting a book, marketing your business, or just want to share your interests and engage with the world at large; having the right tools makes a big difference.
But what if you haven’t got the budget to be spending a ton of cash on tech?
Thankfully there are plenty of apps and tools you can use for free. Here are just a few.
(Please note I am not an affiliate for any of these services, they are just ones I use myself and find helpful).
At this point in time Buffer is by far my favourite online buddy.
This tool allows you to schedule posts across all your social networks and, with the help of a nifty browser extension, allows you to add posts to your ‘queue’ as and when. You can literally be marketing while you sleep. The free version allows you to add one account from each social media platform, whereas if you upgrade to the ‘Awesome’ plan (which by the way is very reasonable…I would even say cheap) you can add up to 10 accounts and benefit from other functions such as RSS feeds.
The great thing about this tool is that you can keep your buffer account topped up and go on holiday; your social media will still be working for you. They even provide suggested posts!
2. Twitter Apps
There are lots of apps available for automation and following on Twitter. I suggest the easiest way to find what is right for you is see what is working for other people. You can usually tell if a Twitter user is using a free app, as it will be displayed somewhere in the tweet (at the end of the welcome tweet for example).
Personally, I am not a fan of automated messages on Twitter, even if it is just ‘thanks for following’, but it works for some people, and I admit that I have even responded to a few messages myself, even though I knew they were automated. I guess it all depends on your message and if it is compelling enough. Mostly however, they are not, and Twitter does not encourage it either.
I use Twitnerd which is great for seeing who doesn’t follow you back, and vice versa and I like their Follow Friday tool. I also use Unfollowers.com which along with your follower and unfollower metrics for the week also shows the users who have mentioned you, along with other useful tools such as an automated welcome tweet and various stats.
Trello is a tool designed by the awesome guys at AppSumo (If you haven’t seen some of the apps these guys have come up with, then get over to their webpage now…a lot of them are free). It is a cross between a vision board and an online project manager (or ‘to-do’ list). What is great about this tool is that it allows you to invite others to your boards as well. If used well, who knows what you can achieve. From planning your wedding to managing a business project, Trello can help.
Design social media posts, covers, profiles, presentations, posters you name it, Canva can do it. You can even use your own dimensions and upload your own images. It’s simple to use and you can use their images and layouts too, some of the images are a dollar (US) each to use or are free. I admit that I simply love Canva.
Now there is simply no excuse not to have banging cover photos and nicely designed posts on your social media platforms.
5. Pablo by Buffer
I know, I know, it’s another Buffer app. But this one is relatively new and allows you to make your own social media posts with images…for free! It is so simple to use, and we all know that images can drive engagement and make your posts more shareable. I have found this particularly the case on Twitter.
Pablo has a range of images and quotes to choose from, or just upload your own. It really is that simple.
There are of course lots of other free online tools available, and more are being created every day. We are living in fascinating times and there appears to be no limit to innovation when it comes to social media and driving engagement. The above listed are just some of the tools that I currently find helpful and no doubt will evolve or even be supplanted in (probably) a relatively short time.
What are your free online tool suggestions? What do you use? Would love to know. Share your thoughts in the comment box below.