You have heard about social media and how you need to have amazing visuals to attract customers (or at least don’t chase them away). However, you are not too sure whether you should invest in a professional designer to help you or a great tool to get your social media strategy done right. Don’t worry, we all share the pain here. It’s common for start-ups to have a limited budget and a thousand things to spend on. We can assure you that you don’t need a huge pocket to have an effective social post. Here are the tools that we use to get our social media marketing going. And guess what? These tools are free (or freemium).
This is the holy grail of social media marketers who don’t have an in-house designer or don’t have great design skills. Canva gives you a selection of pre-designed templates, catering to the social channel of your choice. If you want to create a Facebook banner, there is a template on Canva that has already made to the required size. You can also find plenty of photos, icons, illustrations and you can adjust the colours as you wish. Canva is free to use. There are premium images and items that are charged at $1 each, but if you are on a budget, the free options will do just fine.
Pixabay has a selection of over 900,000 free images for you to choose. All of them are free from copyright so you can use them in any way you want. An advantage of Pixabay is that it has a wide selection of images so you have more chances to find the suitable ones for your post. A downside is that it may take some time to right the right image, but you will find it.
Unsplash is another photo bank where you can find copyright-free images. The database is not as big as Pixabay, only over 200,000 photos. However, the quality is amazing and guarantee a beautiful post. They are contributions from community photographers, and there are new photos added everyday.
Have you ever run into a situation where you don’t know which colour is right for the design? A simple, beautiful design is made of four elements:
- Visual, which is made from the colour, image and font
There are colour theories that guide you in combining colours. However, you don’t have to worry too much about that since Paletton creates a super easy to use tool to help you find good colour combinations. All you need to do is choose a colour (most likely your brand colour or the main colour of the design), the tool will give you the options that go well with your chosen colour. All you have to do is copy the codes and use in your design.
Now that you don’t have to worry about the design, the next step is to ensure that your social media post has a good message. Grammarly helps you check the writing and correct errors. It will scan your test and spot spelling, grammatical errors and word choice.
If you want to promote an article on social media, Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule helps you create a catchy headline. The tool analyses and gives recommendations on how to create effective, SEO-optimised headlines that drive traffic and shares.
You can use URL Builder to customise the links so that Google Analytics is able to track them properly. Without a customised URL, a generic link will be recorded with Facebook as the source, but you won’t be able to see more than that, such as which post drives more traffic, especially if you have the same landing page for several posts. The URL Builder allows you to categorise the posts and track them properly. The final URL will look pretty long and scary, but don’t worry, as Google has already integrated a URL shortener into the tool.
Now that you have a great design, a well-written message and an effective URL, the next step is to schedule them on the channels. Buffer is one of the top freemium social media management tools out there where you can manage activities on various channels. With a free plan, you can connect to one account per platform. The downside is that you won’t be able to use Buffer analytics tool.
Stay on top of the trends by using Google Alerts. Simply enter your keywords and Google will automatically notify you when the topic is being talked about online. You can also track your brand mentions and know who is talking about you. It’s a free, simple and easy tool to use.
BuzzSumo is another tool for you to know what is being shared about the net. With a free account, you can conduct five searches about for your chosen keywords. The tool will let you know the best-performing articles relating to those keywords, where there are being shared. If you upgrade to the paid version, you will be able to view the sharers and backlink sources.
Author: Khanh Tran
Khanh Tran oversees influencer collaborations at Villa-Finder.com, a leading villa booking and distribution platform in Asia. Khanh has also contributed to various media and magazines like KarryOn, SingaporeMotherhood and Family Capers.