4 FREE tools to help your business light it up on social media

By micahelgaard

First off, let me just say that I use all four of these tools almost every week. They are AWESOME!

Now, with that exclamation out of the way, let’s dive in!

Social Media takes a lot of work. You have to create and source content, make it look pretty, and do that every day, every few days, or every week depending on how frequently you post.

That’s a lot of work and it can feel really overwhelming when you need to post something, but you don’t have any ideas!

That’s where these 4 tools come in.

Each one fills a slightly different role, with some overlap, but they’re each designed to make managing social media easier, less time consuming, and more streamlined.

Doesn’t that sound like the dream?

It’s worth mentioning that fancy tools won’t magically make your business a social success. But they certainly help to make the journey less frustrating and time intensive.

So, let’s break down what these 4 tools are!

Buffer

Buffer is a social media post-scheduling software that works on your computer, tablet, and smart phone.

What is a social media post-scheduling software? (I know it’s a bulky title).

Not only does Buffer let you post to multiple networks from one place, it also lets you schedule those posts in advance.

SMPSS (there I shortened it) is a software that lets you post to multiple social platforms from one place. No more switching from Instagram to Facebook to Pinterest to LinkedIn. Post to all of them from one place: Buffer.com

Now you can schedule your whole week, or month’s worth of social posts at once and not have to worry about it.

How great does that sound?

As I’m writing this the free Buffer plan allows you to connect three different social accounts, for example Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and schedule up to 10 posts.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is another SMPSS (social media post scheduling software, just in case you forgot). It shares a lot in common with Buffer, but it adds on a few extra features that expand its usefulness.

While Buffer specializes in posting, with a sleek interface and an easy to understand interface, Hootsuite has further functionality that lets you watch you social feeds, and the posts and comments you and your followers are making.

Not only do you get to watch your feeds, but you get to comment, like, and reply to the content that’s there, right from inside Hootsuite.

That functionality does vary slightly between different social networks and what they let a third party system like Hootsuite have control of.

Hootsuite also has an array of various apps and extensions that you can add to your account to gain access to additional features that aren’t including in Hootsuite itself.

At the time I’m writing this, Hootsuite also allows you to use three social accounts on the free plan. It then allows your to schedule up to 30 posts at a time.

Pablo by Buffer

So now that you can schedule your posts in advance and clear up your plate, you have more time to make great content to post on social media.

That’s where Pablo comes in.

Pablo is a bare-bones photo editor whose main focus is to add text overlays, like quotes or questions, on top of your pictures.

Once you login to Pablo you’ll have access to thousands of free photos to edit, or you can upload your own.

You can pick photo filters, add text, overlay your logo, and pick a size based on your social network. Then download it to post, or schedule it right then using Buffer.

It’s a simple way to level up your business’s social media posts.

Canva

Canva is another photo and graphic editing software that you can operate from your web browser. But it lets you do so much more than Pablo does.

Canva occupies a space somewhere between Pablo and Photoshop. It lets you add text, graphics, images, clip-art, shapes, and illustrations to your social posts.

And it doesn’t stop at social posts. Canva can also be used to design posters, brochures, slide shows; just about anything you can imagine!

Once you’re signed up and in Canva you’ll have the option to start from scratch; just pick the size you want (Facebook post, Instagram post, etc.) and start playing.

But Canva has a few tricks up its sleeves.

Canva includes hundreds of pre-designed templates for almost any type of project you can imagine! Just pick one you like and edit the colors, images, and fonts to your heart’s content!

We’ve used this technique dozens of times to help speed up the design process, especially when we don’t have a clear vision of what we want it to look like.

So there you have it!

4 FREE tools that you can use to light it up on social media!

2 SMPSS’s – Buffer and Hootsuite

2 Image Editors – Pablo and Canva

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