Up Your Social Media Game: Free Tools You Need to Be Using

Written by Kyle Tsuchiya

Social media has taken the world by storm in recent history, and it seems to only be growing. It’s a place for expressing profound thoughts, sharing life’s special moments with loved ones, connecting with old friends, and (most importantly) posting hilarious memes. Whether you’re using social media to develop your personal brand, market your business, or even if you’re just one of those weird people that has a Facebook account for your dog, here are some tools that you need to be using if you’re looking to expand your reach and gain followers.

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Canva

Canva is first on this list for a reason. Good graphic design is a crucial element to an engaging social media page, and Canva makes it easy to do. A simple, ‘drag and drop’ interface, an abundance of templates for you to choose from, and an extensive library of graphics and fonts make it easy for content creators to make something eye-catching. It’s a dynamic tool that you can use to make a Facebook post, a YouTube thumbnail, an infographic, or even a Google+ header (for the 2 people in the universe that actually use Google+ for whatever reason).  Remember that cool cover photo for this blog post? Yeah, I made that with Canva.

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iMovie

Nothing is more shareable than a video… Just ask the “Damn Daniel” kid. Thanks to iMovie, you don’t need to be a professional videographer and editor to make a good one. iMovie comes free on all Mac computers, and it is incredibly intuitive to use. There are a surprising amount of advanced editing tasks that can be performed in the software, and professional videos can be produced if it is used properly. Just try to avoid using a lot of the pre-loaded fonts and sound effects that you find in every other online video, and NEVER make one of those cheesy iMovie trailers… Those will get your viewers to roll their eyes at you.

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Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media manager’s most loyal companion. Most brands exist on multiple social media platforms, and Hootsuite serves as a central hub for you to manage all of those accounts at once. Additionally, this nifty tool allows you to schedule your posts in advance, which saves you a ton of time. If you want to capitalize on social media during a major holiday, but you’d rather spend the holiday with family and friends instead of ‘social media-ing’, just schedule the posts in advance and enjoy your time off. If you think of a witty tweet at 3 AM, but you understand that your audience’s social media activity peaks at 7 PM, just pull up Hootsuite and schedule it.

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Social Rank

Social Rank is a great tool for those with a large following on Twitter and Instagram. It’s important to understand your audience, and Social Rank helps you do exactly that. It’s great to have a lot of followers, and it’s even greater to get to know them and understand what they need. The program allows you to sort your followers in a number of ways, including by their level of influence and their level of engagement. You can also apply various filters to pinpoint certain followers by keywords in their posts, keywords in their bio, geographic location, and more. After finding the right people, you can take action with your followers by building lists, exporting to PDF, or even direct messaging them. Have you ever wanted to slide into the DM’s of all of your followers with the words “Dog Lover” in their bio? This is the program you should use.

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Facebook Insights

Facebook is the largest and most popular social network, so it’s important to understand how to get the most out of it. If you are in charge of a Facebook page, you have access to Facebook Insights. It gives you metrics on the engagement of your posts, the performance of your page, as well as information about your followers. You are also given the ability to export all of the data into an Excel spreadsheet, which can easily be shared with your boss to show that your genius social media managing should earn you a raise.