5 Free Social Media Tools You Should Know About

"If you post - they will come"... NOT

When you first sat down to get started marketing your company on social media, you probably thought it was going to be pretty easy to do.  But you probably found out pretty quick that it was more complicated than you were thinking.

The biggest challenge once you get past the initial learning curve is developing a strategy that is sustainable and repeatable.  You need a process that works for you and that you can do over and over again to get results.  So let's look at 5 free social media tools that will help you get to where you want to be!

#1 - Grammarly: Better Writing Made Easy

If you are used to using Microsoft Word, then you probably have learned the power of having a spelling and grammar checker in your arsenal.  It keeps you from saying something stupid or making tons of typos.

Grammarly brings that tool-set to your browser.  So no matter where you type, this free browser plug-in will be looking over your shoulder.  That means that if you are writing up a post or comment on Facebook, replying to an email, or writing on your blog, you will have real-time spelling and grammar checking as you type.

The basic service is free, but they do offer a low-cost premium service that would be great if you're doing a lot of blogging because it will do a more robust scan and will even do a plagiarism check.

You can find out more and get the plugin on their site at https://www.grammarly.com

#2 - Hack the Twitter character limit

One of the bittersweet features of Twitter is the 140 character limit. While it forces you to focus on saying as much as possible in a short, and easy to read way, it also forces you to be briefer than you can realistically be in some cases.

You can hack this by simply replying to your own tweet. It will create a thread where both your original post and your reply are "linked" together so you can add more to your original tweet - effectively letting you go over 140 characters.

hack the twitter character limit

#3 - Easel.ly: Create stunning infographics free & easy

nfographics are proven to boost your credibility and increase the traffic that comes into your website.  But creating those graphics can be costly and time-consuming.

That's where http://www.easel.ly comes in!

It lets you choose a free template and just start plugging in your data.

Even if you need to upgrade to their pro plan for access to more free images and templates, it's only $3 a month!  So it's definitely worth trying out.

#4 - Canva: Social Covers & Posts made easy!

I have been a graphic designer for over a decade and I have the full suite of Adobe tools including Photoshop to let me create all kinds of stunning images. But I still use Canva for a lot of my social posts!

It's easy. It's free. And it creates images that are the perfect size for cover photos, social posts, and more. They always keep it up to date with the latest sizes, so all you have to do is click on the type of image you want to create - like "Facebook Cover" and get started.

Check out their article on great ways to use their social tools: https://www.canva.com/create/social-media-graphics.

#5 - Rapportive: LinkedIn Profiles inside Gmail

If you use Google Apps for Business (like we do) or Gmail, you'll love this free tool from LinkedIn. It is a plugin that works in Firefox or Chrome that will show you details from a contact's LinkedIn profile from right inside Gmail.

You'll be able to see who they are, where they are, what they do, and who you both know. This allows you to build a rapport with them by mentioning shared interests. Or you can grow your network by connecting them right there in your inbox without having to go over to LinkedIn and search for them.

Get the plugin from: https://rapportive.com


Do you use any of these?

Leave me a comment and tell me which one of these you use and what you like or dislike about it.

Written by Christina Hooper COO & WEB NINJA AT SPARKITIVE

Christina Hooper - COO & Web Ninja

I was blessed to grow up in a small town with a grandfather that owned the local corner store. His hard work and dedication taught me what it is to use your business to build a community.  After working with so many businesses in the last 14 years, I know the power of building relationships.  I believe that in order to succeed, businesses must build relationships - with customers, with each other, and with their communities. Thanks to technology, it is easier than ever before to build relationships with people all over the world and I love that I get to help make that happen. 

My mission is to help businesses get better at building connections with prospects, turn customers into raving fans, and build brands that clients and customers are proud to know.