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6 Free Social Media Management Tools to Make Your Life Easier

This post was brought to you by NapoleonCat, one of the leading social media management tools available on the market.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Taking care of your social media presence is just as crucial as creating brilliant content for your audience. Not only do you share valuable information with them, but you can also engage with them, receive valuable feedback and ideas for topics, connect with other people in your industry, and reach out to influencers, among other things.

However, since there are so many popular social networks you need to be a part of – plus new ones are continually being added to the mix – it’s nearly impossible to manage all of those accounts manually. Fortunately, there are plenty of free social media management and scheduling tools you can use to make your job and your life much easier. Let’s take a look at the 6 most effective.

1. Later

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks, with over 1 billion users active on the platform each month. Later started as an app dedicated to Instagram as a scheduling tool, but since its inception, they’ve added support for other social networks and are continuously adding new features. The app has a strong focus on visual content. Whether you want to schedule in-feed image or video posts, stories, or carousel posts — Later supports all of these options. Later has a free plan available that you can use forever, but you get features such as analytics, saved captions, scheduled stories, and more for paid plans. Their paid plans start at $9/month.

A screenshot of the later dashboard

2. TweetDeck

Those who rely on Twitter to get their message across will find much to like about TweetDeck. TweetDeck is a free application that enables you to manage multiple (unlimited) Twitter accounts from a unified interface. You can create your own customizable social media dashboard that allows you to send and receive tweets and manage and monitor your Twitter profiles. You can use TweetDeck as a web app, Chrome app, or desktop app. TweetDeck can be set to post scheduled tweets, build Tweet lists, and more. And the extra special part is that it’s always free.

A screenshot of the TweetDeck dashboard

3. Canva

Social media is increasingly becoming more and more visual. Canva is an excellent tool for anyone managing social media accounts to use. You can create designer-level marketing assets using any of the thousands of ready-made designs they have available to you. Now, you can even connect your social channels and publish or schedule directly from Canva. They have a free version available, which gives you decent access to great pre-made templates. The pro plan gives you access to all of the templates for only $12.95/month.

A screenshot of the canva dashboard

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most established and popular apps for social media scheduling and marketing. You can use it to schedule posts, receive in-depth reports, and collaborate with your team members, thanks to built-in teamwork features. It enables you to view multiple streams at once and monitor what your customers are saying. There is a free limited plan available for 3 social profiles and up to 30 scheduled messages.

a screenshot of the hootsuite dashboard

5. Buffer

Buffer is also one of the best apps for managing your social media presence and scheduling your posts. The app also comes with analytics tools that enable you to track your audience’s activity and figure out when it is the best time to post in the future. We especially love its Chrome extension, which integrates itself seamlessly and never gets in the way, yet it is always there when you need it. It is a more straightforward and more effective way of managing your social media, and you are never more than a few clicks away from setting up anything you want. Buffer supports over 7 different platforms – you can add up to 4 on the free plan.

 

a screenshot of the Buffer dashboard

6. Planable

Planable is a social media collaboration tool helping marketers work together better & faster. So, if you care for efficiency, this is the tool to consider. It’s one of the most visual platforms allowing marketers to create, plan, collaborate, review, and schedule social media content. It supports the most popular social media networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, and Google My Business. Planable is 100% focused on collaboration and approval so it allows you to get feedback on each post, have conversations, request & get approval, and schedule automatically. They’ve got a free plan to get you started — so you can test all the features for the first 50 posts.

Planable

Bonus Tool: ContentCal

ContentCal is the ultimate tool for bringing your team together. You can share ideas with, create approval workflows, build your content plan and then publish that content to multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google My Business, YouTube, and Medium). ContentCal’s analytics will help you understand your content performance and the latest ‘Respond’ features act as a shared inbox for monitoring and responding to mentions, messages, and comments across social media.

One of the star features is the fact that ContentCal integrates with over 2000 other applications so that you can create the perfect social media workflow by connecting ContentCal to tools you currently use (think of things like Slack or Trello) and also distribute content to channels beyond social media, like emails and blog posts. The best content is created together. Involve your team (and clients) into the content creation process, share ideas, gain feedback and watch your content performance soar!

a screenshot of the contentcal dashboard

While managing your social media presence and getting your content to reach a wider audience is a challenging task, there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself. That includes relying on apps to help you handle the jobs which don’t require you to use your creative capacities, and that includes scheduling. We hope you will find these apps helpful. Good luck!

Kenneth Waldman

Kenneth Waldman is a Professional Writer and also a Blog Editor at Essay Mama. The areas of his interest include the latest education trends and technologies, digital marketing, social media. You can get in touch with him on Twitter

1 The Components of a Good Marketing Strategy

There is hardly a small business owner who is not obsessed with this term: marketing strategy. That’s the main aspect that makes the difference between successful entrepreneurs and those that fail. It’s strange how everyone cares about discovering the perfect marketing techniques for their business, but we don’t bother realizing what marketing strategy really means.    

Let’s start with the fundamentals. Marketing strategy is a collection of techniques that enable a particular organization to direct its resources towards the best opportunities in terms of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable advantage over the competition. A company’s marketing strategy consists of long-term activities that contribute towards developing strong brand awareness.

Now that we have a clear definition of the term, it’s time to get into the details: when can you be sure that you have a good marketing strategy? Pay attention to the following components, and you’ll get there:

1. Target Audience

Who are you trying to reach through your marketing efforts? Who falls into the category defined as the perfect customer? This is the first step in every marketing strategy: identify your target audience. This doesn’t mean you’ll ignore potential buyers who don’t fit into the criteria you set at this stage. Everyone interested in your products and services will still be able to get them, but you should definitely narrow your marketing efforts to the category of people you are most likely to attract.

Levi’s, for example, aims to attract young, vibrant people who love the mix of modern and classic. That’s the customer their whole marketing strategy is focused on.

Marketing Strategy

photo credit: Levi’s Instagram Profile

When you identify the interests of your target customer, you’ll adjust the overall style of your marketing strategy in a way that suits this category of users. You’ll create the perfect TV ads, you’ll write blog posts in a language they understand, and you’ll easily connect with them via social media.

2. Awareness

The ultimate goal of any business is to gain more trust with current clients and achieve better brand awareness among the target audience. Some of the classic ways to boost awareness for your brand include advertising (TV, newspapers, magazines, and online) and word of mouth. These tactics are not outdated as many contemporary marketers think. You should still consider them as part of your content marketing strategy.

Marketing Strategy

photo credit: Newsworks

In the current market conditions, the concept of building brand awareness is mostly determined through online marketing techniques. This means that your business needs a website, as well as a blog where you will post high-quality articles related to your niches. Videos, podcasts, infographics, images, and presentations are also important. Visual and audio content creates lasting impressions.

3. Unique Advantages

Your brand has to offer a unique advantage if you want your target audience to choose it over competitors’ offers. What are the main things that distinguish your product/service from the similar offer on the market? If you cannot identify such advantages, you better think of them as soon as possible. Then, you’ll focus your marketing strategy on promoting them.

If, for example, you’re promoting new photo editing software, you’ll face huge competition and you’ll have to attract the audience with unique features. The customer wants effectiveness, speed, a great choice of filters and editing options, and a unique flair that will make the photos different from the mainstream trends. If the description of your offer gets the attention of your target audience, you’ll be one step closer to achieving the goals of your marketing campaign.

Don’t make things too complicated. Elaborate commercials are annoying and counterproductive. You need to identify one or two things that make you different and promote them as much as possible. Is your product cheaper and better than everything else on the market? Well, that’s all your potential clients need.

4. Communication with Your Clients

It’s important to know when and how to communicate with your audience. You cannot simply create social media profiles and use them whenever you have time for them. The connection you develop with your customers is a key aspect of the success of your marketing strategy. Social media is certainly important, but you have to use it strategically. Consider paid advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. These ads will be featured in front of a huge audience, so you’ll easily attract a base of followers with this method.

Marketing Strategy

When you obtain a decent number of followers, you’ll need to maintain successful communication with them. Don’t make it all about your business. You’ll certainly promote your products and services as the best choice on the market, but you should focus your attention on the needs and wants of your followers. Identify the problems they have and show how your business is a proper solution.

Monitor the activity of your audience and make sure to publish updates during traffic peak times!

5. Activities

Okay, you identified your target audience, you started building brand awareness, you have a unique offer and you understood the importance of proper communication. Now you’re left with one factor that connects all previous elements of a good marketing strategy whether you go DIY or hire a marketing agency.

You need to inform your target audience about the advantages of your business through a series of activities that include advertising, online presence, seminars, webinars, promotions, giveaways, interviews, and other smart ways of using media. Each and every action you take must maintain the relation with your marketing strategy.

A Successful Marketing Strategy Takes Time and Commitment

There are no shortcuts to achieving the ultimate goals of your business through a proper marketing strategy and sometimes businesses will outsource this work to a growth marketing agency.. You should be ready to invest a lot of time, effort, patience, and finances in this goal. When you pay attention to the key elements of a good marketing strategy, it will be easier for you to develop a logical, effective plan that will lead your business to success.

Need help training your marketing team on how to craft and implement an effective marketing strategy? Check out our Certified Marketing Manager program. This program can help you build, implement, and evolve a new marketing system that will drive growth for your business.

 

kenn —2Kenneth Waldman is a professional content writer with over 5 years of experience and also a blog editor at essay writing service EssayMama.com. His expertise includes education, marketing, freelancing. You can get in touch with him on Linkedin.