Whether you’re a bootstrapped start-up or an enterprise marketing department, you always have a budget. And all too often it just doesn’t seem to be enough.
But sometimes you can get something for nothing. Sometimes there’s a tool, network, platform, or service that doesn’t cost you a thing. And while they’re rare – very rare, usually – there are more than a few social media tools that qualify. Good tools, too
So today, we’re going to go over some of our favorites. You may have a few yourself already – or have at least heard of them – but if you’re like most social marketers you aren’t even close to having them all. Let’s fix that.
So, here are the nine free social media marketing tools you need to have. And yes, they’re absolutely free.
If you don’t the answer to my innocent question, you’ll want to benchamrk the success of your Twitter account. The Twitter Analytics Tool allows you to check your success against your top competitors.
Within seconds, you can compare the strength of your audience (both in terms of quality and quantity), publishing, and engagement.
If you’re a social media manager, it’s a great way to provide data to your client for a social media audit.
Your Facebook page is an investment. You’re on there to turn a profit, after all. It may not be directly – often, it shouldn’t be – but you’re ultimately posting to get a material return on your business.
Thankfully, Facebook works really well for that.
The thing is, your page might be doing as well as it could. You could be losing out to your competition, and that’s never good. Worse still, you might not even know it.
That’s why AgoraPulse created the Facebook Page Barometer. It doesn’t tell you how well your page is doing; it compares it to the industry averages. You’ll know where you stand relative to your rivals. How well your engagement and reach measure up. What you should focus more on and what’s okay to let stay the way it is.
Don’t market on Facebook blind. Know how well – or poorly – you’re doing. You’ll be wealthier that way.
Engaging Facebook fans with great content is a lot of work. Creating compelling content that will generate likes, comments and shares is even harder.
So why not take advantage of that motivation and regularly organize contest on your page to give away freebies and temporary discounts and promotions? Because organizing a contest on Facebook is time consuming and complicated? Well, it can be, but with the free Timeline Contest Manager, it’s free and very easy to manage.
You can organize and manage a quiz, a photo contest or a simple sweepstakes in a matter of minutes, and accurately pick your winners in one click. Uber easy!
No more excuses not to give away T-shirts, stickers or other low value prizes on a regular basis to your fans. Plus it’s guaranteed to generate high engagement.
AgoraPulse isn’t the only player in the Facebook space. AdEspresso has a good offering of its own.
The Facebook Ads Compass will review your page, judging the usual metrics (engagement, reach, return on ad spend, etc.). You can even see where you’re making the most money in terms of gender, age, and more. That means you can reduce your 50-75 investment if it’s not delivering a healthy return, diverting it to the 18-30 bracket that does.
The Ads Compass also looks at what placements are serving you best, like newsfeed or sidebar. You can further optimized your campaigns this way, making the most of every Facebook dollar.
Writing headlines isn’t the easiest thing if you’re not a writer. And even if you are, headline writing isn’t the same as academic or creative writing – or even copywriting sometimes. They can be hard to get right.
And a good headline will help you get more shares on Social Media, without a doubt.
So, we like to take advantage of CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool.
Just type in your headline and let it do the rest. It’ll look at your keywords, the length of your headline, emotional value, and so on. It’s a quick and easy way to get a sense of whether it’ll work or not.
Hashtags have moved beyond Twitter. They’re the keywords of social media and you should be paying attention to them.
Still, it can be hard to discover hashtags across multiple networks. You’ll find them on Twitter of course, but they’re present on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest too. Tagboard makes it easy.
Just search for a hashtag and Tagboard will display the pages and profiles it’s on, whatever the social network happens to be. It’s a great way to visualize how often a hashtag is used, the context in which it’s used, and who’s using it. From there, you can figure out who your most vocal customers are and strategize around them.
Infographics perform well. People like image and people like stats. It only makes sense they’d like them together.
The trouble is, creating infographics takes a little talent. You can’t just build a good one in 5 minutes with only a cursory knowledge of Photoshop. You have to actually know something about graphic design.
Or have an Easel.ly account.
It makes creating infographics easy, so everybody can do it. Think of it like Instagram. You probably don’t have the time or expertise to add creative filters to your photos, so you turn to Instagram to do it for you. Easel.ly is the same way with infographics.
Just start with a template and add the statistics, objects, and charts you need. That’s it.
Whether it’s a blog post, marketing email, or webpage, you need images. Good, high-quality images.
But, creating your own without a camera or a steady hand takes more time than you probably have. What’s more, hunting for images online invites all kinds of legal problems if they’re licensed and financial problems if they’re bought. Sometimes you just need to do it yourself.
That’s where Canva comes in. It’s the image-building platform for people who don’t know much of anything about building images. You’re probably terrible in Photoshop – many of its users are – but you can build Photoshop-quality images just the same.
Your schedule and budget will thank you for doing it.
Last but not least, we have Bit.ly, the de facto link shortener of choice. You’ve probably heard of it – you probably even have an account yourself – but if not you should start using it.
Just take Twitter. You have 140 characters to work with. That’s it. Simply put, if you want to include links your tweets – which you should whenever you can – they have to be short. And often, you have to shorten them yourself.
Just paste your link in, shorten it, and paste it where you need it. Done.
Sometimes, it makes sense to pay for a tool. There are definitely tools that are worth it, and it’s hard to make money without spending a little first. Still, you don’t have – and frankly shouldn’t – pay for everything. Not when you have so many exceptional free tools to work with, like the nine here.
That said, let us know what social media tools you like the most. Did we get all of them in our list? Are they free, or are they paid? Let us know in a comment!