From photo and video editing, to post design, and automated scheduling the options for social media marketing are endless. To help you get you started with social media marketing, here are some tools and resources we suggest you use.
Most of the tools here are either free or low cost to help your small business get off to a strong start.
Some of the links below are affiliates, which means that if you make a purchase through the link we may receive a small commission. This does not change the product or the price for you, but it does help us keep this blog running.
Just like social media platforms, the tools and resources for social media marketing are ever-changing. So check back once in a while as we will update this list periodically to keep it current!
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To get started with one of the more challenging aspects of social media marketing: creating captivating posts that your audience will want to engage with.
Using design tools like Canva, Adobe Spark, and PicMonkey will allow you to create social graphics with little or no design skills or experience. Each platform also has a free version or trial so you can test out which one works best for you.
Canva and Adobe Spark are online (in browser) graphic design sites. These sites are loaded with hundreds of templates and include tools that will let you customize text, shapes, and images. They also have phone apps, so you can design your posts whenever inspiration strikes.
PicMonkey also allows you to design social graphics, but they’ve taken their features a step further and have incorporated more advanced photo editing tools. This is great for those who want to “Photoshop” their images but don’t have the skills or software to do it.
If that still leaves you feeling lost and confused, you can also purchase templates and pre-made posts that have been professionally made on CreativeMarket. Some templates may require Adobe programs like Photoshop or Illustrator to use. Other template packages have been designed specifically for programs like Canva. If you’re new to the world of graphic design, opt for the templates that don’t need any editing or the ones intended for Canva. These are a couple examples of what CreativeMarket offers:
If you have some experience with graphic design, or you feel up to a challenge, check out Adobe’s programs. A Creative Cloud membership will give you access to programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as full access to all of Adobe Spark’s premium features.
Try something new
If you’d like to take your posts to a whole new level, try Instagram’s tools Boomerang, Layout and Hyperlapse. These phone apps are free to download and the exported images and videos can be used on any of your social profiles.
Hyperlapse makes time lapse videos very easy and will let you change the replay speed for a slower or faster effect.
Boomerang allows you to create very short videos that play on a loop for a fun way to draw attention to your post.
Layout makes it very easy to combine multiple images into one image with lots of different configurations.
Now that you know where and how to make great content, let’s get it posted! Posting on social everyday can be a daunting and time consuming task. That’s why we recommend saving yourself time and stress by setting up automated posts.
How to choose a scheduling platform
Social media management platforms or automated schedulers come with a wide variety of features and price points. When comparing platforms, we suggest considering the following:
- What social media profiles will you be using with this platform?
- Does the management platform support all of the social media profiles you intend to use?
- How many people need access to the platform? Does your whole team need access? Or just one or two people?
- What features are crucial? Automatic posting, commenting, content curation, analytics?
- What features would be nice to have?
- What is your monthly or annual budget?
- If you are using Instagram or Pinterest, is your chosen platform an Instagram or Pinterest Partner?
Scheduling platform suggestions
Hootsuite – A special shoutout to a fellow Canadian company! This platform has full scheduling and posting capabilities for over 35 social media platforms. You can check out Hootsuite for free! Their free plan allows one user and three social profiles.
Tailwind – This management platform specializes in Pinterest and Instagram and is a Partner with both. They have developed specific tools for Instagram, like hashtag recommendations, hashtag evaluation, and reposting content. Tailwind has created unique tools for Pinterest: Tailwind Tribes and SmartLoop. These tools are only available on Tailwind and can bring your Pinterest strategy to a whole new level.
Facebook Creator Studio – If Facebook and Instagram are your main social profiles, you may want to consider using Facebook’s built-in free scheduling service. This is particularly nice if you are managing more than one business profile on Facebook or Instagram because you can see all of your profiles in one place.
There are simply too many scheduling services to go into detail on all of them. But if you’re still searching for a scheduler, one of these might do the trick:
One of the benefits of having business profiles rather than personal profiles is the built-in insights and analytics. These analytics are often vague and not very detailed, but it will be enough to get you started.
When looking at a social media profile’s insights, here are a few things you should look for and why:
- When is your audience active? This is usually found under audience insights or engagement. You want to look for what time of day and on what days your audience is interacting with your profile the most. This tells you when you should be posting.
- Is your audience mostly male or female and what age groups? This will help you decide what type of content to make and post.
- What type of content gets the most engagement? Focus on creating and posting the content type (photos, videos, etc) that gets the most engagement.
SEO, Research, and Planning
These might be beyond your level of interest, skill, or budget when you’re first getting started with social media. But it may be worthwhile to spend a little time getting familiar with some of the tools that are out there. And there are a few free services here you can take advantage of.
Moz – An SEO company with a powerful keyword research feature that can help you determine how hard it will be to rank for a keyword. They also provide some free SEO education and a bi-weekly SEO newsletter. Moz offers a 30 day free trial.
SEMrush – They also have SEO tools and an education centre. SEMrush also offers advanced tools for analytics, keyword research, and paid ad research. They offer a 7 day free trial.
Ubersuggest – Owned by Neil Patel this keyword search is one of the most informative and thorough free keyword research tools. It breaks down the competitiveness of each keyword variation and the likelihood of ranking within the top 20.
That wraps up our suggestions on how to get started with social media posts, scheduling posts, analyzing and planning posts. Have you used any of the tools we’ve included here? Or do you know of a tool we should include? Comment below!