Step up your brand’s social media game with these (free) easy tools

“That’s so cool, how’d you do that?” As a social media manager, I’ve heard this question very often and being in a position like this one requires me to know how to make engaging content––or do “cool” things. However, what most non-social media savvy people don’t understand is that they too can make a lot of “cool” things with help from free services available online or on their smartphone,

Here’s a list of popular (and very useful) tools to step up your brand’s social media presence:

Canva

canva2-660x336.jpgSmallBizTrends

Are you looking to update the cover photos on your social media pages? Do you need some help designing an infographic for your blog post?  Meet Canva! This free service lets you create visuals for various social networks with their respective sizes and dimensions, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. You can also add objects like shapes, icons, frames and stock photos. But wait, it gets better! Personalize your creations by taking a photo with your smartphone or camera and uploading it directly to Canva. Need more? Pay $12 a month to unlock more of Canva’s features, including setting up your brand kit.

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Made in Canva

Hootsuite

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St. Edwards

Hootsuite is a popular social media management and monitoring software. You can connect up to three profiles free of charge with limited services, including scheduling posts, tracking trends and responding directly in the CMS. Need it for on-the-go? No problem! Download Hootsuite in the App Store or on Google Play.

Google Analytics

shot_1398345779.pngTribulant

If you’re a small business and don’t have the budget for a marketing or sales platform like Hubspot, Google Analytics is a must. Sign up by logging in with a Google account and connecting a website or mobile app. This free service lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.

iMovie

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Itunes

Social media video content has exploded recently and its proven to attract eyeballs and increase engagement. Approximately 70 percent of companies now say video is the most effective tool in their online marketing belts. You can join these companies efforts by using iMovie. Create a video or movie from scratch with help from your smartphone or camera and upload your files directly into the app. You can also spruce up your video by cutting and trimming clips and adding effects and music. Furthermore, you can connect your social media accounts and post the finished product directly from iMovie. The app is available on the mobile and desktop versions of the App Store.

GifLab

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The Next Web

Graphics Interchange Format––more commonly known as GIF––is an image file that supports both animated and static images. Why use GIFs? Because like videos, they attract eyeballs and increase engagement. A recent study found that emails embedded with GIFs delivered increased click-through rates of up to 26%. There are so many GIF creation tools you can choose from but GIFLab takes the cake in my opinon.

The app is only available for iPhone and lets you take any video and instantly transform it into a GIF, also giving you the options to add text and fun filters. Furthermore, the app lets users take a GIF found on the web and post it on Instagram..

Tip: for best quality, keep your phone horizontal when shooting a video.


Have a tool you use that’s not listed here? Sound off in the comments below!

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