When you first dip your toes into the waters of social media marketing, it won’t take long to realise that talent and creativity alone will not be enough to make you a success in this space.
As the saying goes, you’re only as good as the tools you use. Therefore every social media marketer needs to learn how to harness a wide variety of tools and resources to kill it on social media.
At KDM, our social team is always on the lookout for ways to help improve efficiency and quality, and we’ve come up with our ultimate list of tools and resources that any social media marketing newbie will want to use.
Social Media Scheduling & Management
When it comes to managing a business page on social media, you can’t just put up a post as soon as it’s been created. To get the best return possible, you need to find out the optimal days and times to post and then schedule content in advance to suit. Facebook already allows users to schedule posts directly on the platform via ‘publishing tools’, but for other social platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, an external social media scheduling tool is needed.
At KDM, we have experience using Sprout Social and HootSuite. But rather than just being social media scheduling tools, both platforms are superb all-in-one management tools that include a host of additional features such as reporting, message monitoring and social streams to keep track of mentions and other social activity relevant to the social pages you manage.
Sprout Social is particularly impressive for agencies with features that offer the ability to create task-based messages or helpdesk tickets that can be assigned to fellow team members.
Scheduling Posts on Instagram
Unlike every other social platform where you can schedule your post and forget about it, knowing full well that it will go live on the specified day and time, on Instagram it works a little differently. Instead of scheduling a post in, you create the post on your desktop beforehand and then set a reminder for the day and time you’d like to post. Once it’s time for the post to go live, the Instagram scheduling app on your phone will let you know when it’s time to post. So, although you are publishing in real time, all the creative and content work has already been done.
Both HootSuite and Sprout Social have app features available to do this, so if Instagram is a key part of your social media strategy, this feature is a must!
Photoshop is the epitome of picture editing tools, but it is expensive and can be complicated to use for novices. Luckily, you don’t need to be a graphic design wiz to put together a decent looking post, and you don’t need to fork out a tonne of money for a tool that can help you pull off a stellar looking post. A range of easy-to-use online tools are available to use.
Canva – Our all-time favourite design tool. Canva is so easy to use with its drag and drop interface. All of the standard social media layout dimensions can be found here pre-set and ready to apply your design to. You can also pick from a range of existing layouts, elements, text and background options to create your masterpiece. A decent selection of features and elements can be used free of charge, however, to access the full range of features, a monthly fee applies.
Pixlr – This online photo editing tool is as close as you’re going to get to photoshop, and best of all, it’s free! All the standard features you expect to find on any photo editing program can be utilised on Pixlr and once you’re happy with your pic, you can download it to your computer without any annoying watermarks.
Adobe Spark – Part of the Adobe family and Photoshop’s easier-to-use little brother is here to save the day and help you create epic visual posts online – Adobe Spark. Unlike Photoshop, which needs to be downloaded to the desktop, this far more condensed photo editor can be accessed and used online. If you lack inspiration, Adobe Spark will even come up with ideas for you by tweaking the font and design of your current image.
Photoshop – Photoshop will always be king in the graphic design field, but unless you’re a graphic designer or you’ve spent lots of time learning about and using this platform, not just any novice can start creating a masterpiece from scratch in here. But if you know your way around Photoshop, the graphic design options available to you are endless and unrestricted.
When you don’t have any visual content of your own to use for posts, don’t be afraid to tread towards stock photos for your imagery. When you think ‘stock photo’, you probably envision a tacky posed photo that doesn’t look realistic. But these days, quality pictures can be found from a variety of sources to suit any topic or niche specifically.
Bigstock is our primary go-to for access to a lot of stock photos that we pay to have access to. However, there a number of websites with free uncopyrighted images for you to snap up. Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay are a few websites we look at to find free photos for our posts.
You can also use Flickr to search for images however you will need to filter by ‘commercial use & mods allowed’ to find pictures you’re legally allowed to use.
Video is here to stay on social media hence why it’s a must-have element for any social media strategy. The very best video editing tool available is Premiere Pro, however for anyone new to video editing, learning how to use this program may give you a headache.
Premiere Pro – There’s nothing you can’t do with your video in Premiere Pro. This is the ultimate program for any filmmaking wiz. But if you’re looking for a simpler video editing tool where you can use the essentials and nothing more, there are many reliable programs you can use such as iMovie and iSkysoft Video Editor just to name a few.
Biteable – There are even simpler video making tools to take advantage of these days that are ideal for the social space, including Biteable. Biteable is an easy-to-use online video maker program with a range of imagery and video clips that can be tagged together with text overlay included. It’s so easy to use however the options available to you are far more limited compared to a fully functional video editing program on your desktop.
Handbrake – Once you’ve made your video masterpiece, in most cases, it may need to be compressed so that it’s small enough to be uploaded to your social media page with ease. Handbrake is a free tool that anyone can download to their desktop for free to do exactly this. Simply drag and drop your video file into the program, start the compressing process and the new and smaller version will be saved to your computer, ready to use.
Other Essential Tools
Facebook Text Overlay Tool – Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool is a must for anyone looking to create an ad or a boosted post on Facebook. Facebook prefers images with little or no text and restrictions will apply if the text in the image is too high. This tool will tell you if the proportion of text to image is OK, Low, Medium or High for Facebook advertising.
Free Music Archive – Give your video post an edge and spark another sense by including music in your video posts. Head over to Free Music Archive for the ultimate collection of free tunes that anybody can use.
What the Font – Now and then you may come across a font you think will be perfect for a particular post, but how do you find out what the font is? With What The Font, you can upload an image file that includes your desired font, and it will try and detect the font for you.
Get in Control of Your Social Media Presence
There are so many tools and resources out there to explore that can help improve your social media game, so take advantage of them! But if you don’t have the time or know-how to harness these tools and resources to the best of your ability, why not pass off the reigns to our social media specialists at KDM?