February 2, 2017

Free tools for social media creatives in 2017

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Published: 2 February 2017 

Social media marketing is a crucial part of any business's digital marketing strategy in 2017. It’s a great way to be able to gain new customers, as well as create customer loyalty. It’s a free and easy way to promote your brand. But, as with any element of digital marketing, social media can often be time consuming, and as such some businesses don’t engage with social media as often as they should.

However, there are tools you can use to make your social media strategy more cohesive and automated. Best of all, they won’t even cost a cent.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a tool that lets you manage social engagement, publishing and analytics. Within one platform, you can easily manage all your clients, rather than switching between different tools. It is built on the “idea that the world is better when businesses and customers communicate freely”, and works to streamline and enhance those conversations.  Social features include smart inbox, monitoring, social CRM, publishing, analytics, collaboration, account structure and mobile.

Sprout Social offers a 30-day free trial, and then users will have to upgrade to a plan. There is a range of four plans to choose from with various pricing options. For those just starting out with social media management, the Deluxe Version is $59 per user per month. While at the other end of the scale, the Enterprise starts at $1500 per month for 10 users.

Buffer

Buffer is a great tool to use if you’re short on time, and aim to drive traffic and increase engagement on social media. Using Buffer, you can create schedules for when you post on various social media platforms. This means you can have posts going live when you’re not in the office, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to publish content manually. It’s super easy to use and very time efficient.

There are five pricing options available. For an individual, you can get a free account. This allows you to have one social account per platform, and post 10 times per day per profile. Meanwhile, the large package is $399 per month, and allows you to schedule 2000 posts per profile. All paid options come with free 7 or 14 day trials.  

Babbly

Babbly’s slogan is ‘Give a share. Get a share.’ The platforms revolves around sharing others content to get shares to your own content. This platform allows you to share to multiple networks with just one click. You can schedule your posts and control when content goes live. Babbly helps you reach your target audience at the peak time - rather than your content going live when your audience is asleep. The auto shares are posted at timed intervals, so you don’t have to worry about spamming your followers and losing customers. This platform is completely free, you just need to sign in with your social media accounts.

Canva

Canva allows you to easily create beautiful designs and documents. It’s easy to use, with a drag-and-drop feature to allow you to make graphics. Use Canva’s layouts to create stunning social media graphics. There’s tonnes of different document types to choose from, and you can also generate graphs and edit photos. With so many options to choose from, there’s sure to be something that’s right for everyone! You’ll be growing your social media following in no time with the graphics produced from Canva.

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark allows you to quickly design custom made social media images. The stunning images you can produce will allow you to get an edge over the competition and expand your social media following. Adobe Spark includes professionally-designed templates that you can easily modify to make your own, or use a theme to make your photograph more professional looking. Projects are automatically synced, so you can edit them on your computer, tablet or mobile. The Adobe Spark app is completely free.

TweetDeck

For those that take their Twitter activity seriously, you’re going to want to use TweetDeck. This tool allows you to manage your Twitter account in depth. Not only can you post tweets, but you can schedule them. For extra management, it can also be easily integrated with Buffer. TweetDeck is completely free and doesn’t have a limit on how many accounts you can use. Just log in with your Twitter account and you’re good to go.

Hootsuite

Use Hootsuite to manage your social media campaign in one place. It allows you to connect with customers in a quick, safe space. All your social media platforms can be managed from the one tool, making it extremely time effective. Hootsuite includes real-time analytics, and allows you to monitor your social return on investment. You can protect your brand by monitoring messages and mentions.   

There are four different plans to choose from, starting from $12.99 per month, billed annually, to $139.99 per month, billed annually, or custom pricing for enterprises. Some plans include free 30-day trials, so you don’t have to pay until you’re sure you love it.

SocialClout

SocialClout is your gateway to social media management. It works to help you monitor any mentions of your brand across social media platforms. It will provide you with insightful reports to help you monitor your mentions and progress, with visual graphs that are easy to understand and interpret. You can use the platform to manage social campaigns and generate leads.   

There are four different plans to choose from. There is a free plan, a $49USD plan, $99USD  plan, or if you’re an enterprise you can get a quote. These plans alter what social media platforms you can use, how many accounts you can use, how many reports will be generated and what analysis is done.

SecureMySocial

For businesses with a social media campaign, you don’t want to risk damaging your reputation with an information leak or problematic material. SecureMyBusiness is the ultimate tool in social media security. It addresses business, legal, regulatory, physical and human risks of social media. It posts warnings in real-time if there is problematic material, so it can be removed quicker and any potential damage can be minimised. SecureMyBusiness can even automate this process to delete certain posts if authorised to do so. It requires no download or install, it runs completely in a cloud. It will work regardless of what social media platform a user is accessing. This tool will give you the ultimate peace of mind when using social media to promote your business.

Followerwonk

A social media campaign isn’t complete without analytics. After all, how do you know what areas are performing well, what needs improvement, and who to target?

Followerwonk takes away all the guess work. This Moz app helps users to target new influencers, by searching Twitter bios and comparing Twitter accounts. It analyses followers by location, bios and who they follow, to name a few. You can even follow and unfollow new Twitter users within the app. You will get social graphs of your data, which you can share online or compare with others. You will be able to accurately target and improve your social media campaign in no time.

The tools are essential for any social media creatives in the digital marketing world in 2017. These tools will allow you to make the process more automated, include the best visuals, target the right audience at the right time and analyse your data, all within one platform.  

 

Ben Maden

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