8 Tools that Will Make Your Life Easier: Social Media Edition
Updated: Apr 17, 2022
After realizing it has been a hot minute since my last blog, here we are with my to-die-for tools that I use day-to-day managing social media.
As a social media manager these tools save my life most days. Whether it is cutting time off by having a week scheduled in advance, planning a layout both strategically and visually at the same time, or just reminding me to do what I said I would last week. All of these tools are FREE, with paid plans available. I am going to do a deep dive into what I use each platform for, and which one is worth the extra money. Canva Canva is the GOAT for all social media marketers and businesses. Of course there is the Adobe Creative Cloud for all creatives, but sometimes your business does not have someone trained in those programs, or have the time to learn those programs as it is quite in depth. Canva is the beginners guide, in my opinion, to graphic design and creative work.
I use Canva for building everything from an Instagram story, to a Facebook Ad, to a YouTube thumbnail and more. It is so versatile, and if you aren’t 100% familiar with proper sizing per platform, it has templates that are automatically sized for your needs. It also allows you to use these templates to see what certain promotional materials will look like with your logo/branding (i.e. tshirts, mugs, etc).
I do pay for the premium plan in Canva, but I used the free plan for two years while I was still in school and got by just fine. The premium plan is 100% worth the money if you will be using it regularly.
PS. If you are a student, I have a life hack on how to get one free year of Canva Premium: Check it out.
AgoraPulse AgoraPulse is my latest addiction. I use it for social media scheduling and social listening and some reporting. There are SO many social media schedulers out there, and trust me when I say I have tried them ALL. I used to use Hootsuite religiously, but they recently changed what was included in their free plan and it just wasn’t working for me anymore and the paid plans weren’t comparable to other platforms out there.
AgoraPulse allows one person to post to 3 different social profiles on their free plan, which is normally just fine for anyone just starting out, a small business, or just wanting to take your social channels to the next level and want less stress about doing that. If you are freelancing and working with several clients I would recommend upgrading to a paid plan so you have the ability to do it all in one platform, rather than setting up individual programs for each client. You can incorporate this into your cost of services.
Later Later is another great social media scheduling tool. However, I like to limit this to FB and IG only. It is great for Instagram as it provides you a place for hashtags and ‘saved captions’ (with the paid plans) to make posting a breeze. This can save so much time than going to find your hashtag document, copy and paste and so on.
Later is one of the more affordable platforms even when considering upgrading to a paid plan. Another big perk is that you can schedule TikTok content!
Facebook Business Suite Fellow social media managers (SMM) - please hear me out on this one. I, normally, hate the FB Business suite. However, I just recently found out that you can schedule stories and carousel posts within it and it has won me back over now.
With Facebook Business Suite, you are able to schedule posts (carousels included!) and stories for both FB and IG. This is the thing that most SMM’s want the most when planning out content. All of those carousel posts (i.e. swipe to see) have to be posted manually as many of the scheduler systems do not allow multi-photo posts on Instagram. You can also reply to all comments/messages on both IG and FB within the FB Business Suite.
To learn how to schedule carousels + stories check out this article from YourSocialTeam.
Google Drive Google Drive is where I store EVERYTHING. I mean everything. Photos, blogs, captions, hashtags, social media audits, website reports, etc. I am able to keep everything in one place and organized by account. I also find that Google Sheets is much more user friendly than Microsoft Excel and I use that primarily for planning ahead different social feeds before I take them and input them into AgoraPulse or Later.
All you need is a GMail account and you are set up!
Planoly This tool I use primarily with Instagram. Planoly allows you to plan your feed ahead of time and see how it looks, you can also schedule directly in this app too. This ensures that you are following your aesthetic, vibe, colors, etc. This is a great tool for influencers and brands that have a very strategic grid layout.
FreePik A big part of my job is creating content, and although it would be a miracle to have every photo I ever wanted in the brand/company’s realm of content to pick from, that is just not possible. FreePik is a website that you can go to and search stock images. Meaning that someone else has thought ahead and snapped these photos for you to use. Some require licensing, so be sure that you are reading the fine print. There are some really great photos available on here, but you will have to filter through some of the odd photos that appear in your searches.
TIP: I would never ever use a stock image for a paid ad, just in case you missed something in the fine print. Keep your ads personalized to your brand.
Todoist I have talked about Todoist before, but here we are again. Todoist is basically a digital to-do list that notifies you and allows you to check it off. This is such a handy tool for someone who is a busy person, spends a lot of time online, or simply needs a reminder. I put in little reminders throughout my week that remind me to ‘do laundry’ or ‘go to the gym’ or ‘practice self care’ just so I don't forget.
Nothing feels as good as checking off everything on your to-do list.