Social media is an essential component of your digital marketing strategy. Like all elements of your business, a good social media presence requires time and investment. But when you’re a small business owner or solopreneur, you don’t have much extra time and money to spend on social media.
Fortunately, you don’t have to have a full Adobe Creative Suite and dedicated social media manager to have a successful presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The internet is full of resources to save time and effort on your social media accounts. These programs will help you create visually engaging, relevant content that resonates with your audience and ultimately drives more sales.
We’ve put together a list of 10 programs and tools that will take your business’s social media marketing to the next level. And the best part? They’re free.
Long URLs can clutter up your social media posts. Not to mention that platforms like Twitter have a strict character limit, long URLs are visually unappealing, and they may look like spam.
Rebrandly allows you to create short, branded URLs. It also tracks the click rates your URLs receive, giving you a way to measure how successful your social media posts are.
A free Rebrandly account allows you to create 500 branded links and track up to 5,000 clicks per month. You can delete old links and create new ones to stay within your 500-link limit, but Rebrandly will no longer track clicks to deleted links.
If you find Rebrandly super helpful—and if you start running out of links—you can sign up for a paid account, starting at $29/month.
GIPHY is a platform of millions of GIFs to choose from. Search keywords to find an appropriate GIF for your post, select “Share,” and click the social media platform you want to share it to. GIPHY will email you the GIF, which you can attach to your post. You can also copy a link to the GIF and paste it into your post.
A well-placed GIF on social media can communicate strong emotions with your audience more efficiently than a paragraph, text, or a still image. Use GIFs to convey exaggerated feelings, like the joy of a new sale or the sadness of retiring a beloved product. GIPHY makes it easy to find and share the perfect GIF to fit your post, helping you better communicate with your audience.
Emojis are a staple of digital media. They’re a fun, playful way to communicate with your audience, and they add a visual flare to your social media posts.
But with well over 3,000 emojis at your disposal, finding the correct one can be difficult.
Emojipedia is a free digital encyclopedia of all available emojis. Use the search function to find an emoji related to your social media post. An emoji’s encyclopedia entry includes a detailed visual description and common uses or connotations, so you can be sure you’re using the right emoji.
Emojipedia also gives you the ability to compare how the same emoji will appear on different platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. You may decide to use different emojis on different platforms, even if the content of the posts remains the same.
4. Fonts for Instagram.
Fonts for Instagram is a free tool that lets you change the font of the text in your Instagram posts. Paste the text you want to use in your caption into the box on the left, and Fonts for Instagram will generate the same text in several fonts on the right. Copy the font you want and paste it into your Instagram post.
However, be mindful of what fonts you choose. While a fun or quirky font can attract more attention, it may also be difficult to read. You may decide to use a “fun” font for the first line or title of your post, with the bulk of your copy in a more readable font.
5. SISTRIX Hashtag Generator.
The right hashtags can help your social media posts get seen by more prospective customers. Fortunately, you don’t have to come up with all the hashtags on your own.
SISTRIX Hashtag Generator helps you find the most effective hashtags for your posts. Simply input 1–3 hashtags relevant to your post, and SISTRIX will generate more related hashtags. Add as many of them as you like to your Instagram posts, and your posts will reach a wider audience.
You can use SISTRIX Hashtag Generator 25 times a day for free.
Schedule your tweets and search for relevant curated content with Tweetdeck. A free Tweetdeck account lets you schedule tweets, view multiple timelines at once, and track hashtags relevant to your industry.
Tweetdeck’s ability to display several timelines and tracked hashtags at once is especially useful for curating content for your Twitter profile. Follow multiple hashtags or topics related to your industry, and select interesting, relevant tweets to retweet. You can learn more about using Tweetdeck for marketing purposes in this article by the Go! Agency.
You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to create eye-catching graphics for social media. Pixlr is a free photo editing and design tool that anyone can use to make graphics and images for social media.
Pixlr allows you to remove backgrounds from images, create collages and animations, and design template-based Instagram stories, business cards, and more—for free! Use Pixlr to create posts and advertisements that grab your viewers’ attention and stand out from the crowd.
Canva is another free photo editing tool with plenty of templates and assets you can add to your photos. Visually pleasing posts are a must-have for most social media platforms, and Canva makes it easy for you to turn your photographs into Instagram-worthy graphics.
Need to hype up a big sale? Announce a change in your operating hours? Tease an upcoming product or promotion? Use Canva to create catchy graphics that will attract more attention on social media.
9. Creative Market.
Creative Market is a website for purchasing digital design assets like shapes, textures, fonts, filters, and templates. Every week, Creative Market allows you to download a free asset—like this pack of 90 shapes and patterns or this font.
You may not have a use for every free asset right away, and that’s okay. You’ll slowly build your personal library of digital assets to incorporate into your brand’s graphic design. Upload the assets to your preferred photo editing program, and get creative!
In addition to the free downloads, Creative Market has a monthly bundle of digital assets valued at $1,000, available for just $10/month.
10. LinkedIn Post Inspector.
Social media posts don’t always appear the way you want them to after you hit “post.” LinkedIn Post Inspector is a tool that shows you how your LinkedIn posts appear to your followers and gives you advice on how to optimize your posts.
Paste the link to your LinkedIn post into the Post Inspector to learn how to improve it. Use the Post Inspector after every post to make sure your audience is getting the best experience from your LinkedIn account.
Even with all these helpful tools, running your business’s social media accounts can be overwhelming. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. Schedule a call with Sigl Creative and let us give you a hand. We’ll help you execute a digital marketing strategy that will attract new customers and nurture your relationship with existing customers, so your brand can thrive online.