There are so many tools out there that it can be hard to know what’s worth it and what’s a waste, whether they’re paid or free! I have worked in social for over eight years. I have learned what tools help, what are pointless, and what looks nice and shiny but provides little value throughout that time. So let’s take a look.
Our entire team uses Canva daily. Mara is our design specialist, but we can all create amazing things through Canva because of its easy-to-use platform and templates. I often send Mara my design pieces and have her put her touch on them, but I can still create a solid base for social media graphics, infographics (for social and blogging!), and Facebook Ads. I even designed the save the dates, invites, and RSVP cards for my wedding in Canva! When something is that versatile, you must take advantage.
This is our current social media management platform. We’ve used Hootsuite and Sprout Social in the past, but we’ve found Loomly to be the best combination. Hootsuite is inexpensive but has minimal capabilities. Sprout Social is fantastic but wildly overpriced. Loomly provides the best of both worlds, including detailed reporting. As we report on social media metrics for our clients each month, this is a huge factor. Loomly also has collaboration tools that allow the entire team to put their hand in the mix. They can draft a post for Smarter Searches or assign it to me to review. I can take a look and schedule from there. This streamlines the process and limits the g-chats and emails we used to deal with.
You may be thinking, “Hmm… how does social media help you with social media?” And the answer is simple: inspiration. I’ll look on Instagram, Pinterest, or TikTok for ideas! Is there a cool trend going around? What about a quote to take advantage of on a particular national day? Did you see a terrific article on Pinterest that you can apply to your page? Finding new inspiration is a great way to keep a fresh social media presence.
These tools have helped me create better social graphics and create a better overall social media presence. The best part is that most of these tools are free. If you are running social media for your business or personal brand, you don’t need all of the bells and whistles of a paid social media platform like Loomly; there are plenty of free alternatives out there. Social media is always free, and Canva offers free options (although you can upgrade to a paid subscription). So, anyone can add these platforms to enhance their marketing strategy. If you need help with your social media, let us know! We offer social media training to go over these platforms (and many other tricks of the trade), or we can simply handle your social media posting and reporting for you. Whatever you choose, I hope these platforms will help you as much as they have helped me.