Creating visually appealing social media content that engages with your audience can be a daunting task. However, there are plenty of apps and tools that can make this task a whole lot easier. We’ve put together a list of our top 10 free tools, just for you, because we’re nice like that.
Hootsuite is a very useful tool that will save you a hell of a lot of time. The online tool allows you to schedule social media posts in advance, meaning they will post automatically to your social media accounts. That’s one less thing for you to worry about!
With a free Hootsuite account you can connect three social media accounts, to find out which social media accounts you should focus on… check out this blog post! You can schedule up to 30 messages at one time, we schedule a weeks worth of social media posts at one time. It takes us about two hours to write the content, create visuals and schedule them through Hootsuite. This gives us the rest of the week to focus on our work. It also ensures that our social media posts are up to date and relevant. Having content that keeps up with current trends increases your chances of your content being shared, liked and commented on by others.
This is the latest social media tool that we have found and immediately fallen in love with! Lumen5 creates video content for your social media accounts using artificial intelligence. All you have to do is copy and paste a blog post, or paragraph of text you want to be created into a video and the tool will create a visually appealing video for you within minutes!
Here is a Lumen5 video we created for this very blog post:
Over 60% of marketers now use videos in their social media strategy and it is clear why, putting a video on a social media post increases the chances of people clicking on the post and sharing it with friends. Think about it… what kind of post are you most likely to tag a friend in the comments on Facebook? Is your answer a video? We thought so. Lumen5 therefore allows you to create such videos without being time consuming and expensive. The best part? It’s free!
If you would rather film your own content, this can be easily done from your phone. Smartphones now a days have such good cameras there is really no need to spend money on a professional camera for your social media content. To edit this content, FilmoraGo is a fantastic video editing tool that allows you to create a professional looking video straight from your phone. Using the app you can do anything from trim a clip, cut a number of clips together, add text to a video and even add music! The free app does not add a watermark or time limit on your video unlike other video editing apps, which is an added bonus!
Social media posts with images recieve 2.3 times more engagement than posts that don’t. Although if you can’t afford a professional programme like Photoshop to create these images, we’ve found a great free alternative. Canva has hundreds of templates you can use including Instagram posts, cover photos, YouTube thumbnails Facebook and Twitter posts. It is a simple drag and drop tool which includes lots of stock images, icons and symbols. Using canva you can create professional looking graphic content that will engage with your audience with little effort or design experience. It is a popular tool which has just hit over 100 million designs created on it!
If you have a social media posts that is in need of an image but you don’t have the time or resources to create this image yourself, we suggest using Unsplash. Unsplash is a free photo tool that finds beautiful images by professional photographers from all over the world. For example, if we were writing a social media post about hanging out with friends, this is a selection of images Unsplash would suggest we use in our post:
As unsplash uses professional photographers images rather than stock images the photos will look stunning on your social media feed. Many of the images can be used for free, or simply ask for the photographer to be mentioned or tagged in the post as this allows them to gain exposure for their image.
We’ve talked about video, we’ve talked about images, so what’s in between? GIFs! Our next two tools are quick and easy ways to add GIFs to your social media posts. GIFs can add a bit of personality to your social media posts and avoids them getting lost in a sea of posts. We love sending GIFs to each other on messenger when we can’t be bothered to actually write messages!
Although not technically a GIF, Boomerang allows you to create your own short loop video straight from your phone. Created by instagram, with boomerang you record a couple seconds of video and the app will then reverse the video and loop it! You’ve probably seen people using Boomerang on Friday nights to ‘Cheers’ drinks with their friends.
We’ve talked about video, we’ve talked about images, so what’s in between? GIFs! Our next two tools are quick and easy ways to add GIFs to your social media posts. GIFs can add a bit of personality to your social media posts and avoids them getting lost in a sea of posts. We love sending GIFs to each other on messenger when we can’t be bothered to actually write messages! GIPHY is the google images of GIFs. Here you can search a keyboard or phrase and GIPHY will find hundreds of GIFs you can use on your social media content. For example if we were tweeting about how much we love chocolate cake, this is what a search on GIPHY would look like:
GIFs are also very good at showing your reaction to a message on social media! We often use GIFs when people tweet us to show how excited, angry or sad we are at what they have said to us! You can also add GIPHY to your phone keyboard to be able to quickly find GIFs to send to your friends whilst chatting online.
To organise, plan and manage your social media strategy, we suggest using Trello. Trello is a simple tool that allows you to create a number of To-Do lists. We use this to jot down our ideas for our social media, rather than scribbling this on a piece of paper and then ultimately losing this piece of paper.
With YouTube now in our top 3 social media platforms (Link). You may be looking for ways to make your YouTube content gain more views. YouTube Studio which can be used through the desktop website or via the mobile app. It shows an overview of analytics, showing who is viewing your videos and where they are coming from.
The app also includes lots of helpful videos and blog posts showing how to engage with your audience more throughout your video content. It also provides lots of royalty free music you can use in these videos and helps you create eye catching thumbnails. It is a free tool which is very easy to use to help more people click on your video content and watch!
Podcasts are becoming popular way of expressing your stories and opinions with your audience. One in four podcast listeners play podcasts everyday, however only 6% of marketers are currently using podcasts in their content. So this tool could be very useful if you want to give it a go! Anchor is a very simple to use tool that allows you to create your own radio quality podcast straight from your phone. Once you have created your podcast Anchor automatically uploads it to Apple, Android and Google Stores so your audience can download and listen to your podcast straight away! The tool also creates transcribed videos that you can post on social media to encourage your audience to listen to your podcast! Here is a video from Anchor of one of our podcasts recorded using the tool:
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