Using the right tools for your social media marketing can help you save time and get better results with your marketing!
We all want to know that our efforts are worth it—that the time we spend on something will be beneficial and not wasted. As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we don’t have time available to waste.
There are many different tools available for social media marketing, both free and paid options, that offer different benefits. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to know what the best tool is to use in your business. You might get stuck in that “shiny object” syndrome where you are constantly signing up for the latest platform because it looks better or newer than the one you were using previously. However, is the constant switch between platforms the best choice for you and your business? Is it saving you time? Is it helping you to become successful with your marketing?
Today, I want to share the tools that I use to save time with the marketing of my business as well as my clients’ businesses. And most of these tools are free! (Or have a free plan that may be more than sufficient for your business).
Content Creation Tools to Save Time
1. Google Sheet – I have a marketing master sheet where I store my scheduling calendar that outlines the type and frequency of posts that I schedule on each social media platform. It also stores all of the content posts, including any text on images, the caption to go along with each image, and an area to put the date scheduled for each social media platform. Storing this marketing master sheet as a Google Sheet keeps it a live, working document. I can also share it with necessary team members so we all have access to the most up-to-date information.
2. Google Doc or Microsoft Word – Prior to adding the social media content to the marketing master sheet, I use a Google Doc or Microsoft Word document to write my articles and social media posts. I also review any social media posts from my Virtual Assistant prior to them being scheduled on my social media platforms in a Google Doc. This allows me to catch any spelling and grammatical errors more quickly than looking at posts in a Google Sheet.
3. Canva – Canva is a great tool for creating all types of graphics and images. I love this tool because you don’t have to be a graphic designer or take hours to figure out how to use it. Yes, for those of us who are not graphic designers, Canva makes it easy to be creative with the many templates that they have available. Also, for many small business owners, the free plan is sufficient for what you need to create or use Canva for. That being said, there are some benefits to upgrading to the Pro plan, including their Magic Resize tool. You can save time by recreating images in different image sizes best suited for each social media platform, plus you have the option to compress the image size when downloading your images. If you don’t want to upgrade to the Pro plan just for the option to compress your image sizes when downloading, check out Short Pixel which has a free option for compressing those image sizes.
4. All Hashtag – All Hashtag is a great tool to research the appropriate hashtags to use with your social media posts by finding relevant hashtags based on a keyword. This hashtag generator will pull up popular hashtags, live hashtags that are currently being used, and random hashtags. If you are unsure of what hashtags are relevant to your keywords, this is a great tool to use. There is also an analytics tool to show you the popularity of specific hashtags.
5. Flick – This tool is another hashtag tool, specifically for Instagram. If you are focusing on growing your Instagram profile, I highly recommend using Flick. It is an all-in-one tool for finding and researching the appropriate hashtags to use to give you the best ranking and it displays analytics to let you know how well your chosen hashtags are performing. The analytics that this app provides will give you great insight into whether the hashtags you are using in your posts are working for you to attract more followers and thus, more leads! There is no free plan with this tool but if you are wanting to grow your following on Instagram, I would highly recommend trying it out. All plans have a 7-day free trial so why not give it a go?
Content Scheduling Tools to Save Time
1. Facebook Business Suite or Creator Studio – For scheduling posts to your Facebook page or Instagram channel, I recommend using the native scheduling tools of Facebook Business Suite or Creator Studio. Facebook has updated their algorithms so there is less weight on using their own native scheduling tools as there has been in past years. However, if they offer publishing tools that also provide you with analytics, why not use their tools? Both Facebook Business Suite and Creator Studio have the ability to schedule and publish posts to your Facebook Page and Instagram channel. The insights and analytics for both accounts can be viewed through the Facebook Business Suite.
You can access either of these scheduling tools through their direct links:
- Facebook Business Suite – business.facebook.com
- Creator Studio – business.facebook.com/creatorstudio
Or from your Facebook Business Page:
2. Facebook Group Scheduler – At this time, you are unable to schedule posts for a Facebook Group through Facebook’s Business Suite or Creator Studio. However, you can still schedule posts directly within the Facebook Group itself, provided it is in a group that you are an admin of.
3. Buffer – For all other social media channels including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest, I recommend using Buffer for scheduling your posts. Buffer has a good free plan that allows you up to 3 social media channels and to queue 10 posts per channel at a time. This is sufficient for many small business owners. The free plan does not include analytics so if you do require full analytics from your posts that you do not get directly from the social media platforms itself, the upgraded plan starts at $5 per month per social media channel.
These are the tools I use to save time with marketing my business online. As you can see, I primarily use tools that are free or don’t cost a lot of money when it comes to managing my social media platforms, and those of my clients.
What tools are you using? I recommend you take an inventory of all the tools and platforms you are using and evaluate whether you need to keep all of them or not. What is your goal with each tool you have? Are they saving you time, or money, with your marketing?
Would you like to save time (and money) with your social media? Reach out and book a quick teatime chat to see how we can help you save time with your marketing.