Scrambling for shortcuts and automation to make life easier is now an essential part of any social media manager. But because of this need, hundreds of apps and sites were created to help these managers perfect their work and also save time and money while they’re at it.
Off the top of your head, if you hear or read about social media tools or social media management tools, you’ll immediately think of apps like Hootsuite or Buffer. While scheduling is an important and probably the most time-consuming part of maintaining your social media presence, I’ve come to find that there are many more steps to achieving your goals.
I’m going to be honest here and tell you that at least a couple of the tools I’ve listed below I’d never heard of before. 😅
Researching for this article has actually allowed me to kill 2 birds with 1 stone; educate myself and also share that knowledge with you. I’ll quickly list out tools I think are the best for each step in a social media journey and that will cost you little to nothing. Let’s go!
This is obviously the first step to creating anything for your social media platforms. Most people’s go-to might be brainstorming with the team for content ideas or trying to keep up with the trends by following major accounts. Another easy way to do this is piggybacking. I say piggybacking because using this app, you can see how much engagement a certain topic or keyword will get before you actually spend time and resources to create a campaign around it. BuzzSumo allows you to do this so that you don’t have to run trial and error, thereby, saving you time. You can filter the results by time, country, language, content type, content size, and also whether they were written by verified journalists and publishers or not.
While BuzzSumo doesn’t have a free plan, they do have a 30-day free trial and their subscription plans start at $99 per month. This is discounted to $79 per month if you pay annually.
Once you’ve got your idea settled on, it’s time to start getting creatives ready. This can be in the form of a YouTube video, an Instagram story, a Twitter image post, a Facebook Ad, or a LinkedIn banner. Canva should be your preferred tool for this because they offer templates for all these and more. Another reason why I like this app is that, while their apps are easy to understand and use, they still offer a whole bunch of helpful articles and tutorials. Canva has a free plan that offers quite a bit. Their subscriptions start at $499 per month.
Additionally, they offer any of the subscription plans for free if you’re a non-profit. All you need to do is fill up a form and submit some documents for verification. Check it out here!
If you’re the owner of a business or brand that sells products, it is also pretty likely that you have a website listing all these products. Sharing these links to your socials might prove difficult since product links tend to be too long. This affects the character limit on certain social platforms. Now the solution isn’t to compromise on your creativity for your caption, but rather to shorten these product or page links. This is where Bitly comes in. Bitly allows you to shorten your URLs so that you have more space for creative captions or to keep it within the character limit for an SMS. They also have the option to create custom domain links. This means that instead of the word ‘bitly’ in the link, you can add your own business name.
They do not have a free plan but, their Basic plan offers 1500 custom domain links per month for just $29
We’ve covered tools that can be used for the creation of your content. The next step is making sure they get posted to your social platforms and one of the best tools to help you do this is Crowdfire. With Crowdfire, you can schedule and publish directly to Twitter, Facebook Pages or Groups, Instagram Business accounts, LinkedIn Profiles and Pages, and Pinterest. You can publish to TikTok and non-business Instagram accounts too but that works via app reminders. So you either share something from the Content Curation tab or you can make your own posts from the Compose option. Also, you can edit captions, add hashtags from the hashtag manager, and lots more!
They also have a bulk upload feature available on the Premium plan and above. Just follow the example set of every kind of post in the sample file and upload your own. Voila!
Crowdfire does have a free plan that allows you to connect 3 different social platforms and schedule up to 10 posts for each account. Their first subscription, Plus, is priced at $9.99 and the Premium is priced at $49 per month. They have a cool 25% discount if you purchase the subscription annually!
Okay, your posts have been published to your social accounts. Now, you have to open each and every one of those accounts at various times a day to reply to your audience’s comments and engage with them. Yes?
No, absolutely not! Here again, Crowdfire Mentions is a feature that will save so much time in your day and you can use that time for completing any other pending tasks. Or just get extra YOU time. 😃❤️
This feature fetches all tags and mentions of your business or brand for you to react to or reply to. You can filter either by assignee, or social platform or you can filter by the status: open, closed, pending. There is also a filter for account type where you can choose between things like Twitter Post comments, Twitter DM, Facebook Post comments, Facebook DM, and so on.
Crowdfire also has a feature called ‘Post at Best Time’ that works wonders for engagement. For this, Crowdfire analyses the content you’ve previously posted to see when it receives the most engagement from your audience. It also factors in the time when your audience is most active online. This feature is only available on the Premium plans and above. I’ve already shared a few pricing details above. Do check it out!
We already know you can’t create a social media plan without getting some kind of feedback from what you’ve already published. Social Media Analytics is very important and basically works as a start and end point in this circle of Social Media tasks. Google Analytics is one of the best free tools available for this purpose. It mainly helps you understand how well your content is doing by showing you how much traffic and how many leads flow to your website from your social media platforms.
You can create specific reports that can give you information like how much traffic flows to your website, what posts specifically have increased or decreased the flow of this traffic and you can also calculate your ROI from your social media campaigns.
Like always, this information is subject to your needs specifically and while some may work for you, some may not. So try ’em all and only invest in what’s best for you!