Small business owners need an effective social media strategy to win in today’s highly competitive digital age. What entails a good social media strategy? First, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Do you want to expand your social media following, generate more sales, acquire new customers and leads, or increase brand awareness? Second, you should also have an understanding of your audience and which platform they prefer using. Third, a good social media strategy needs interesting and compelling content that your audience will find valuable and shareable.
To implement your strategy, you also need an arsenal of tools to help you create and curate content, schedule posts, collect important metrics, and turn data into actionable insights. Entrepreneurs who are just starting with their social media strategy are often working on a limited time and budget. Luckily, there are plenty of free social media management tools that can cater to their needs.
Here are a few of the must-have free tools to jumpstart your social media strategy for your small business.
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7 Free Social Media Management Tools for Small Businesses
Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media management tool offering a wide range of features. Today, it is among the most popular social media management tools, with over 16 million users around the world including Fortune 500 companies, like IBM and Zappos, and top brands like HBO. Hootsuite lets you connect to all the most popular social media platforms. The free version lets you schedule posts in up to three social media profiles. If you need more robust features such as in-depth analytics, social monitoring, and professional reporting tools, check out the pro version of Hootsuite.
Later is recommended if you mainly post photos and videos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This app lets you schedule photo and video posts and doesn’t allow text-only posts. The free version offers one profile for each social media platform, 30-50 scheduled posts for each profile, and access to basic analytics. Later is an excellent app to use with Instagram. The preview feature lets you see how your scheduled posts will look like in your feed. The pro version of Later lets you add more social media profiles and provides more features such as social monitoring and advanced analytics.
Buffer is the app to use if you need a straightforward and easy-to-use post scheduling tool for your social media. The app connects with the most popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and Pinterest). The free version of Buffer lets you schedule posts for up to three social media profiles with access to basic analytics. Buffer is also praised for its clean and simple interface and helpful customer support. Buffer is highly recommended for the social media management newbie.
Tweetdeck is a time-saving app if your social media strategy is focused on Twitter. With its clean and unified interface, custom timelines, lists, and searches, Tweetdeck lets you maximize your Twitter experience. The app also lets you schedule tweets and manage posts on many Twitter profiles at once. The best thing about Tweetdeck is that it is free.
Unsplash is a free stock photo library offering access to thousands of high-resolution images from photographers all over the world. If you need HD photos for your social media posts, just do a quick search on Unsplash and you can find plenty of options. You don’t need to register to download any photo on Unsplash and all photos are attribution-free.
Canva is the app to use if you need to create high-quality graphics on the fly for social media platforms like Instagram. The free version of Canva offers plenty of templates and presets that you can easily customize to fit your needs. Canva has an easy-to-use interface that lets you save time. The free version provides access to 8,000 templates and thousands of stock photos. If you need more features such as custom templates and unlimited storage, check out Canva’s pro version.
Feedly is a news aggregator that lets you add RSS feeds from your favorite blogs and websites. The app is perfect for finding inspiration for your social media content. It curates and compiles a daily magazine where you can get ideas for your next post. The free version of Feedly lets you follow up to 100 feeds.
These top seven tools can help make your social media marketing strategy more streamlined and efficient. If you’re just starting to build your social media strategy, these free tools will help you in your daily tasks.
Dex Baldon is an SEO and Content Specialist of Inkjets.com, a trusted supplier of remanufactured and compatible printer inks and toner cartridges. Inkjets.com has been providing small businesses a more affordable solution to printer ink