social media toolbox

5 Free Social Media Tools for Your Toolbox

Our head of social media is the customer.

~  McDonald’s

Managing your social media accounts can be time consuming, and confusing! Each channel has its own rules, has unique image sizes, has different user demographics: How can you save time and still make all your channels work for you, not against you? At Alchemy Communications we use a variety of social media, SEO, design, and communications tools to manage our business and support our clients’ needs.

Here are five social media tools every small business and entrepreneur should know about.

1. IFTTT.com

If This Then That (IFTTT) are instructions or “recipes” that you customize to set up specific actions in your social media accounts. For example, you can set up a recipe that instructs IFTTT that every time you post an image on your Instagram account you want that image also saved to your DropBox account. You can create your own recipes, subscribe to other users’ recipes, or use recipes designed by other IFTTT members.

2. Paint

Visual marketing has never been more critical for getting noticed in the 2-second social media attention span. Your images must capture attention and make an impact. Images don’t need to be perfect: but they have to be seen. Paint is a free image editing tool on Windows PCs, and easily can resize your photos and images to the right dimensions for each social media platform, add text to your image, edit colors, add arrows and circles: and it’s easy to use.

3. Canva

Canva is a freemium graphic design tool that is much more powerful than Paint: you’ll love Paint if you’re a novice, but once you start seeing everyone else’s images, you’ll want Canva. Canva has templates to create perfectly sized Facebook, Twitter and G+ covers, blog images, Kindle covers: and so much more! Add text, a gallery of free to use images (plus pay to use images, typically $1), import your own photos, logos and graphics, create quotes: plus a blog, tutorial and easy to follow help links.

4. Bit.ly

Do you get tired of seeing your too-many-character links, and want to shorten and simplify your links? Bit.ly (freemium) creates short links for your posts: for free. Upgrades to create custom links and analytics tools.

5. Hootsuite

Tracking and scheduling your social media can be complicated: remembering to post to all your channels, figuring out the best times to post, tracking frequently used posts: its time consuming and easy to miss something. Hootsuite (freemium) lets you schedule and manage your social channels. The basic (free) platform lets you schedule, engage, listen and track your social engagement on up to 5 channels, and includes basic analytics. The paid upgrade supports more channels, has better and more custom analytics, and allows collaboration with co-workers and clients. Hootsuite has a great user support system with a blog, videos and online help, and more services available in the paid version.

Most of your customers are probably on social media. You’re probably on social media. Its vital that your business reach out to customers where they’re at: and that’s on social. Its equally critical that you’re listening to what your audience is talking about: on social. Social media tools help make the time you spend managing your social media more efficient and get better results.

For More Information on Social Media Tools
Marketing Artfully: The Best SEO and Social Media Tools
Search Engine Journal: Top 10 Tools for Managing Your Social Media Accounts

 

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