These days, marketers feel the pressure of needing to be everywhere, all the time — they have a long list of to-do’s, including tracking marketing efforts, analyzing data, and continually optimizing campaign strategies. Developing a seamless and effective marketing strategy can be overwhelming, even for large companies, but it tends to be more difficult for smaller D2C brands. To help small businesses optimize the use of their social channels, here are some social media marketing tools that are worth considering.
For more on how to get started with social media marketing:
Canva — for easy and fast content design, regardless of experience
Canva is a useful tool if you’re looking to quickly design sleek and modern imagery for various social media uses. The drag-and-drop features make it easy for people with all levels of design experience to create visuals that pop. This platform also provides a wealth of starter templates with pre-formatted and appropriately sized options for the most common uses across social media sites (e.g., Facebook banners and posts, Instagram posts, and stories). Canva offers several pricing options starting with a free account and increasing to just $30/month for enterprise accounts.
Unsplash — for free, high-quality photos
Unsplash is one of the best-kept secrets in social media marketing. Everyone knows that generating fresh content takes immense time and costs. Unsplash is a terrific option for brands that want high-quality imagery on a limited budget. The photos are a cut above the rest and cost nothing to use (but the creators appreciate a photo credit in exchange for the free use of their artistry).
Animoto — for making professional videos in minutes
Animoto provides a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface to build videos, much like Canva does for images. The company offers a wide range of video templates that make it easy to get started. The professional and business plans also come with access to Getty images and videos for your marketing use. Marketers can begin with a free 14-day trial. After the trial, accounts start as low as $5/month for the personal version.
Dive deeper into the different types of content you can create:
Social Media Strategy and Management
HootSuite — for posting, replying and tracking analytics across multiple platforms
HootSuite enables companies to manage all of their social media accounts in one place. Marketers can create posts, reply to messages, mentions, and comments, and track analytics within the platform. Hootsuite offers a free 30-day trial for their Professional and Team accounts.
Buffer — for managing and scheduling social media posts and collaborating with teams
Buffer is a reliable option for teams that want to collaborate on social media posts. You can draft posts, get feedback, refine content, gain approvals, and schedule the posting times in one place. They offer several versions of the tool to find the right fit for your team and brand. The Publish Pro starts at $15/month.
BuzzSumo — for gaining content inspiration and identifying power-influencers
BuzzSumo is unique because it enables marketers to research what is currently working online. You can discover high-performing content, trending influencers, popular topics, and more to guide your strategy toward success. Rich data is available at your fingertips to further inform your marketing strategy, and you can monitor your comments and engagement all within one tool. Pricing starts at $79/month for the annual Pro plan.
Learn how to build an effective social media strategy:
GaggleAMP — for transforming employees into powerful brand advocates
It isn’t surprising that your employees are big fans of the content that you produce. So, let’s take their passion and incorporate it into your marketing strategies. GaggleAMP is an excellent tool to translate employees’ enthusiasm into higher engagement and more business. You can reach team members and enable them to share your content from one platform, and use their gamification feature to inspire continuous engagement. GaggleAPM offers a free 7-day trial that you can experiment with.
Bambu by Sprout Social — for a way to amplify brand reach
Active employee engagement and advocacy can turn your organization into a powerful marketing engine. Bambu gives your employees a simple way to share curated content across their social networks (especially if you’re already using Sprout Social!).
On why employee advocacy is essential to your business:
These social media marketing tools will help you manage the process of creating, posting, and analyzing your content’s performance. Some will also help you engage with your audience and partners. Select which ones work best for your needs and workflow. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, don’t worry — this is a small selection of the social media marketing tools available to today’s marketing teams. Identify the parts of your process that could use improvement, and search for tools that will help you successfully execute your social media strategy while saving you time and resources.