Everybody pretty much knows that social media is a really important strategy to gain and retain online audiences. Whether you have a blog or you’re selling an online product, social media is a must for your business. There are many platforms you can use depending on your type of business and the kind of audience you’re trying to attract. It can get very time consuming to post everyday. You also need to be very strategic what content you post depending on the platform you’re using. Below are some of my favorite free and simple social media tools you can use to boost your online presence today!
There are 317 million active users on Twitter therefore it’s still a very active online platform that’s not to be overlooked. Did you now there are 500 million tweets per day? (https://www.omnicoreagency.com/twitter-statistics/) That’s a lot right? Exactly. What this means is that you have to be very active on Twitter to be seen. Twitter feed is moving so fast that it’s pretty much impossible to see all the tweets. You would have to spend every waking minute on it. And forget about posting that much manually. That’s why you need Twitter automation tools to help you out. Two of my favorite tools for Twitter are Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.
Hootsuite is a great social media tool for scheduling. You can connect up to 3 different social media accounts for free. If you need to connect more accounts you’ll need to upgrade to their paid Pro version. Right now the social media platforms you can add to Hootsuite are: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress and YouTube. This platform is really easy to use once you have a look around and try a few things. Then it really becomes completely automated. You can set up different view streams in your ‘Dashboard’ to use as monitoring tools to keep track of various statistics:
- Home (This stream shows you all the tweets of the people you follow)
- Mentions (Here you can see whenever somebody mentions your account)
- Likes (Here’s a list of all the tweets you have liked)
- Retweets (In this stream you can keep an eye on all the retweets you have received)
- Messages (See all the messages you have received – Inbox and all the messages you have sent out – Outbox)
- My Tweets (A list of all of your tweets)
- Scheduled (See all the tweets you have scheduled to go out later)
- New Followers (Keep track of all your new followers here)
- Custom Stream (You can also set up a bunch of custom streams to keep track some handy things for example: hashtags, keywords, specific phrases, urls etc.)
Once you have the above Dashboard set up you can then proceed to using the Scheduling Tool to plan all your tweets in advance. This is a great tool and there is no maximum tweets limits, which is amazing for a free tool. Most other platforms set limits on how many posts you can schedule in advance but with Hootsuite the sky is the limit. This is especially handy when you’re planning to go on a vacation and you need to schedule posts for the entire time you’ll be away.
The free Hootsuite version gives you some basic Analytics such as your Twitter Overview which gives you your follower growth and most popular links. The other handy free analytic you can get is your Ow.ly click summary. Ow.ly is a great link shortener that you can use in Hootsuite’s Scheduler tool so you don’t end up with very long links. Did you know that people are more inclined to click on short links? This is why you should definitely be using Ow.ly link shortener.
If you’re only using Twitter you might as well use their own scheduling social media tool called Tweetdeck. This is a separate platform from Twitter but you’ll only need to log into it using your Twitter credentials. Similarly to Hootsuite it comes with a Dashboard where you can set up your own streams such as: Home (Tweets of people you follow), User (Your own tweets), Scheduled (Your scheduled tweets), Notifications (Likes, Re-tweets and Follows), Likes (Tweets you’ve liked), Search (Hashtag, keyword etc.), List, Collection, Activity, Mentions, Followers+, Messages, Trending.
As with Twitter you can use Hootsuite to schedule your posts for Facebook. But if you only use Facebook and you have a Facebook page you can just use the scheduling tool that comes with Facebook. It’s super easy to use and all you have to do is to log in to your main Facebook account and go to your Page – Publishing Tools – Scheduled Posts – Create. Once you create your post you can schedule it to go out at a later date. There is no limit as to how many posts you can schedule in advance. One thing to keep in mind is Facebook picture sizes especially if you’re scheduling posts. If you’re writing a caption and attaching a picture keep in mind the ultimate size for the picture to display correctly is: 476 pixel (width) x 249 pixel (height).
There are many scheduling tools for Instagram including the above-mentioned Hootsuite but my favorite tool is called Planoly.
The reason why I love this scheduling social media tool is because it’s really visual and it allows you to plan how your feed will look in advance. Yes I know Instagram is supposed to be all about spontaneous posts but to be real many accounts esp. the really big ones plan and organize their feeds. So why shouldn’t you? Why not try to compete or at least keep up with the big guys? The free plan lets you upload 30 images per month so that’s pretty much 1 picture per day for a whole month. Another great thing about Planoly is that they do have a desktop version so you can plan your Insta feed right on your laptop. It always helps to see the pictures up close.
In the Planoly Dashboard you can easily view your Instagram posts via the different tabs such as: Unscheduled, Scheduled and All tabs.
Create a brand new grid and preview how all the posts will look like. Here you can also write all you post’s captions with relevant hashtags. What a time saver that is!
Planoly lets you search and discover new accounts based on user names and hashtags. And you get to see all of their beautiful pictures.
Here you can see your Instagram stats such as: Followers, Likes received, Comments received, your Top 5 Liked posts and your Top 5 most commented on posts. Please note that the free account limits you on how many analytics you can see so you might need to upgrade to a paid plan to see more stats.
While there are no free social media tools to schedule pins for Pinterest there are some free tools you can use to boost it. Most scheduling platforms will either offer you a free trial or a number of free pins. Once you run out of the trial you need to upgrade to a paid version.
Pinterest Group Boards
But if you want to boost how many people see your pins and re-pin your stuff join Pinterest Group Boards. Any group is free to join and you can easily find groups by going to Facebook and searching for either blogging groups or Pinterest groups. Once you join one of the Facebook groups (or many as it is suggested to join at least 10+) ask the owner to be added to their Pinterest Group Board.
They usually ask you to follow them and their Group Board first. And then you should send them your Pinterest user name or e-mail associated with Pinterest. Once you accept the request to join the group you’ll be able to post your pins directly to the group for all members to see. Note, you need to follow the group guidelines on what to post and how many posts you’re allowed to pin to the group per day. And voila, many other people who wouldn’t otherwise stumble upon your pins will now be able to view your pins.
Another option is to sign up for Tailwind Tribes. This is a free service offered by Tailwind. Once you join a tribe you’d be able to post your pins for free. All the members will be able to see your pins. The only downside is if you want to re-pin anything from the Tribe you will need to use Tailwind’s Scheduling Tool. And as mentioned above you only get the first 100 pins for free. After that, you’ll need to pay to use the Scheduling Tool. Check out this helpful post (http://prettyfitfoodie.com/2017/01/06/tailwind-pinterest-tribes/) about why it’s a good idea to join Tailwind Tribes.
So I really hope you find the above tips helpful. There are so many free social media tools available out there. This is just a fraction of what’s out there. I believe these tools can do wonders for you. When you’re ready to take things to the next level you’ can always upgrade to a paid version.
Thank you Kasia for Guest blogging with us!
Kasia Mikolajczak is a savvy Digital Media Strategist and the Owner, Content
Creator and Webmaster of The Savvy Dreamer (https://thesavvydreamer.com), a healthy lifestyle blog where she shares her social media/blogging and lifestyle tips, recipes, travel, fashion and beauty picks.
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