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Social Media Tools - My Top Five

Sasha Kinch, Social Media Executive at Independent News & Media, reveals her top five favourite tools for social media management.

by Sasha Kinch in Research, Social Media

Research, Social Media

Let’s face it, social media management can be tricky. From creating engaging content, to posting wonderful posts and tracking those all important KPIs, you can be kept incredibly busy. Every little helps and there is a whole plethora of social media tools out there that can help you do the job well. Here are a few tools that I love and use on a day-to-day basis.

Canva

This is a free, online image editing platform. It’s beautiful, and incredibly fast and easy to use. It means posting stunning ‘to spec’ images with text or borders (or whatever fancy thing you want) can be done on the spur of the moment.

My favourite features:

  • instant image sizes for heaps of social platforms
  • lovely free templates and formats
  • drag-and-drop download functionality

You can purchase images through the platform (and the repository is extensive) for only a $1 each, but if you want to remain free, just upload your own images.

Did I mention they run you through a tutorial at the start, so you ultimately have the whole thing figured out within 10 mins of signing up?

You can set up an account here.

Pik-to-Chart

I love infographs, but they have always put me in a little bit of a quandary; how on earth do you create such lovely images without a degree or two in design. Here is the answer.

After trying a few different platforms, Pik-to-Chart revealed itself as the most easy-to-use and rewarding infograph creator. It has templates which are helpful to get ideas, but not that useful in practice as they can be quite specific, it has a multitude of backgrounds, styles, shapes etc. that make creating something splendid very quick and easy. It is actually quite similar to Canva in style, which makes it exceptionally easy to pick up.

My favourite features:

  • stunning styles/background/shapes/text suggestions
  • alignment functionality (which helps you align all the items perfectly)
  • easy upload

The free version is fine, but for a small monthly fee, you can download your infographs in a higher resolution, without the watermark at the bottom. There is no cancellation fee, so you can pay as you go.

Create an account here.

Owly

So you have the images, but you want to create a quick post. You need a url shortner. I like Owly. Its very quick for once offs, but the best aspect for me is they offer branded short links. I firmly believe this means folks are more likely to click on your links. Also, you can track the link success (i.e. how often people click on your link) which, lets agree, is one of the most important KPIs. Need I say more?

Hootsuite

So you have the content you want to post, and have a lovely image to go along with it, but how  do you schedule it? There is a massive selection of scheduling platforms, and I have tried a few. It does depend on how much functionality you need.

The most pervasive social media scheduling (and to some extent analysis) tool I have come across is Hootsuite. It’s user-friendly, publishes to multiple channels, and the interface can be edited to suit you. Again, the free version works fine if you are a single user, posting to all your social accounts.

My favourite features:

  • posts to multiple social accounts
  • easy to schedule and edit
  • easy to edit what you see (mentions, followers, scheduled posts, etc.)
  • Drag-and-drop images into posts

It has some statistics that it pulls from the social accounts, but you can get these from the channels themselves, so its not revolutionary.

The only hang-up I have is that it states ‘posted by Hootsuite’ in your posts. I don’t think this is a major deterrent to user engagement, but its hard to prove that its not.

The platforms themselves

You may not like me saying this, but I actually love dealing directly with the platforms themselves. You can schedule through Facebook. You can tag more effectively on both Twitter and Facebook, and sometimes, its just feels good to be on the pages that make things happen.

Also, by being on Twitter as you tweet, for example, you are plugging straight ‘into the feed’, which can mean you are more aware of what’s being said at the exact moment you tweet.

The only downside is you may get a bit distracted… there’s just so much to see!

Sasha Kinch

Sasha Kinch

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