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Social media marketing is a must-have, must-do if you want to promote your business or talent in today's competitive market.

It's no surprise then that individuals and brands alike constantly look for new ways to secure people's attention. The more creative you are, the better.

But while the creativity is all from you, the free five tools below will help you be more efficient and consistent with your social media game.

 

1. Hootsuite

It'd be nice to constantly be present on social media and be able to update your accounts around the clock. But it's not so easy to make time or to juggle different accounts at once. 

Enter Hootsuite. It's a free social media management tool that lets you manage your social media accounts and schedule your updates in advance. You can even post one message simultaneously across several platforms. Be a social media maven with half the time and energy.

In the above GIF, I'm scheduling a promotion of one of the articles by writing the message and including a photo. The message will be posted simultaneously on Twitter and Facebook, so I don't have to go to each individual platform and repeat myself. Very efficient!

Other notable features:

  • AutoScheduling (Just queue up as many messages as you like and Hootsuite will post them up at the best times)
  • Multiple streams of your social media accounts in the dashboard for easier monitoring
  • Analytics for the breakdown of your social media performance
 

2. Canva

Not everybody has the time or money to learn complicated design softwares. But everybody needs good-looking graphics!

That's why Canva should be your new bestfriend. It's a free design tool that makes designing as easy as drag-and-drop. You can design everything from Facebook covers to posters to wedding invitations or enter your own dimensions.

Unsure about where to start? No problem. Canva has plenty of modern and professional-looking pre-made templates that you can customize for your own needs. 

Here I'm customizing one of the quote templates by changing the colour and font. I then saved the design in PNG to post it on Instagram (or anywhere, really). Now that you can create your own graphics, your brand (and you) will instantly look so much more trustworthy and reliable.

Other notable features:

  • Extensive library of design elements - fonts, icons, shapes and more
  • Various dimensions optimized for social media platforms
  • Ability to save in multiple file formats
 

3. Latergramme

If you take photos using a camera or design graphics using your computer, it can be a hassle to transfer photos into your phone just to update Instagram.

Say hello to Latergramme! It's a free Instagram management tool that lets you manage your content right from your computer. OK, it's not a pure scheduling tool because you still need your phone, but all the heavy lifting is done! 

Here I uploaded a photo, typed the caption and scheduled it to be posted at 10 p.m. today. When 10 p.m. comes, I'll get a notification from the Latergramme app on my phone and will just need to tap on the 'Confirm & post now' option to post. 

Other notable features:

  • 'Search & repost' function that makes reposting tagged photos a breeze
  • Bulk message uploader
  • A media library where you can upload all the photos you're going to be using later
 

4. Grammarly

Do you sometimes have a Tweet or Facebook update that's about to be posted but you have that nagging feeling that your sentences aren't quite right? Do you check with a friend or just hit post (and regret later)?

Regret no more. Grammarly is a free online editor that checks for more than just typos. It considers your style, punctuation, contextual spellings and a host of other factors to let you write with confidence.

I wrote "Facebooq is awesomeee" and the typos were then highlighted in red. The best part is the suggestion cards that appear in the right-hand corner, which you can choose to accept or ignore. Makes the whole process much more educational!

Other notable features:

  • Ability to upload Word documents right into the editor
  • Ability to save and store your writings in the editor itself (like Google Drive)
  • Chrome extension that checks as you write anywhere on Chrome
 

5. LICEcap

There are times where I need something that has more oomph than a normal graphic or photo, but is less hassle than a video. A GIF is perfect for these occasions because it's eye-catching and usually just a few seconds long.

It may have a less than savoury name, but LICEcap has been my best discovery so far. All the GIFs you saw in the above points are made using this free software. It works much like a screen capture tool (or the Sniping Tool on Windows), except that you can record activities on your screen.

I made this mini GIF presentation by inserting the photos on Microsoft Powerpoint, running the LICEcap software and going through the slides. You can do the same for a quick presentation on your products, explaining how to use your website and more. It's insanely useful.

Other notable feature:

  • Ability to adjust the recording size (small part or the whole screen)
 

Who doesn't want to be more efficient? When you're more purposeful with your time, your social media game will be much more cohesive and streamlined. The result is a professional-looking account that people won't think twice to follow. 

Which one of the tools is your favourite?

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