ProTrain Connect

Free and low-cost social media tools

The options surrounding social media tools can be overwhelming. Discover 10 tools that will make creating great social media content easy.

The goal of social media is to engage your customers in a two-conversation and make them feel connected to your organization. It also helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO),  because search engines use social indicators such as how often you are tagged on social media to determine ranking.

Tool #1: Animoto

Animoto is a cloud-based video creation service that produces video from photos, video clips, and music into video slideshows. They have free and low-cost versions.

It’s important to post video to your social media, because it gets noticed. According to Syndacast, by 2017, 74% of all internet traffic will be video. According to YouTube, mobile video consumption rises 100% every year.

Tool #2: Buffer

Buffer is a social media scheduling tool. What it does is simple. You add updates to your Buffer queue and it will be posted for you well-spaced out over the day – and at the best times. Buffer not only allows you to schedule your posts and move on to other tasks – you will also get the most reach you can.

Tool #3: Pablo

Pablo is a free service by Buffer that allows you to create engaging images using text over photos. You can use your own photos – or those provided by Pablo. You can create your own quotes – or use the pre-loaded quotes from Pablo.

Visual social media has impact. In fact, according to Kissmetrics, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.

Tool #4: Canva

Canva is a free design tool that allows you easily create professional quality social media posts in the form of: Graphics, Twitter posts, Tumblr graphics, eBooks, Facebook covers, and more!

Tool #5: Pixlr

Pixlr is a free photo editing tool that allows you to do basic photo editing, but also create colleges or add stickers, effects, borders, or text. It also has an app that you can use to add retro effects to transform photos into cool vitage images.

Tool #6: Tailwind

This tool allows you to easily pin and schedule to Instagram photos onto Pinterest boards.  There are free and low-cost versions.

According to Pinterest, 75% of daily usage happens on smartphones and tablets, so it’s a natural fit to post Instagram photos on Pinterest and have your Pinterest users connect with you on Instagram.

Tool #7: Flipsnack

Flipsnack allows you to take pdfs and easily publish them into captivating online magazines and flipbooks.  It’s a great service for creating digital marketing publications, but they also has created a safe network for teachers and students doing elearning.

Tool #8: Google Alerts

Although Google Alerts have been around for quite a while, they are still a great way to track keywords that would be of interest to your program. For instance, you can have a Google Alert for the name of your organization. If you are mentioned online, you will get an email about it – and share on social media, if you like it.

Tool #9: Social Clout

Social Clout is an analytics tool where you can make significant improvements in engagement, campaigns, and keywords. You can also track multiple social media accounts. The reports you generate will provide the data you need to optimize your social media marketing.

Tool #10: Feedly

To help gauge what others are saying in terms of content and identify the key industry trends in relevant information that should shape your own social-media posts, Feedly offers content curation and content sharing that integrates with Buffer.

About the author

Suzanne Kart

Suzanne Kart is a writer, speaker, consultant, and expert in 21st Century integrated marketing. Currently Director of Marketing at ProTrain, LLC, she is one of the nation’s leading authorities on marketing for continuing education and lifelong learning programs. She has more than 18 years experience in the marketing and communications fields. She does workshops across the U.S. and Canada on all things marketing as well as generational communications. She also has taught online for the graduate school at the University of South Dakota masters degree program in adult and higher education – and is an experienced instructional designer.