If you’re interested in a DIY social media solution, you’re not alone. There are plenty of good reasons a small business might decide to handle its own online marketing efforts, as opposed to hiring, outsourcing or contracting an expert.
That’s right, even though social media management is MY bread and butter (aka: what pays the bills and keeps me in business), I still completely understand why some small businesses would opt to go the DIY route.
So, if you’re looking to build and manage a strong social media presence for your business, this post is full of the very best tools (and helpful tips!) you’ll need to do it yourself.
Creating Social Media Posts
Of course, you’ll want to have a social media strategy mapped out before you get started creating posts.
If you need to map out your business’s social media strategy, access the Bread & Butter Resource Library here for tools and worksheets to help you get started right away.
Once you’ve got a strategy in place, you’ll want to make sure you’re creating posts that engage your ideal audience.
A great way get your audience’s attention is to include captivating visuals with each and every post.
But this doesn’t mean you have to book a photographer or hire a graphic designer. There are tons of tools out there that make it incredibly easy for small businesses to create eye-catching social media posts in minutes.
My go-to tools for creating eye-catching posts?
Stock photo sites and DIY design apps.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Stock Photo Sites:
Unsplash : a site full of free stock photos for you to look up and use anytime.
Death to Stock Photo : a small collection of free stock photos emailed to you monthly.
Pexel : a free stock photo site that searches several other stock photo sites (including Unsplash). If you’re looking for super-specific photo, Pexel is a great place to look.
DIY Design Apps:
Canva: this web + smartphone app that offers customization with lots of font choices and the ability to use any color you choose. You can easily add icons, logos and other elements to your designs. Plus, you can resize designs so they’re optimized for every social media platform you use.
Adobe Spark: this smartphone app offers easy-to-use templates and interactive features that take the guesswork out of creating highly engaging graphics, web stories and animated video you can post to social media.
Bonus Resource For Visual Content:
Giphy: Animated GIFs are a great way to humanize your business because they often communicate messages even better than if you were to use words or still graphics, alone. This is especially true for companies with an engaged Twitter following. Giphy is a giant GIF library where you can find a GIF to communicate almost anything. It’s where I go whenever I’m looking to add some fun to my feed.
Managing Social Media:
Scheduling and publishing content shouldn’t be big, complicated tasks. You should spend the bulk of your time engaging with people once your post publishes. Engagement is the key to growing a following that will make a positive impact on your business.
Thankfully, there are several tools that make managing your content super-simple, so you can focus on engaging and growing your following even faster.
Social Media Management Tools:
Hootsuite: This is one of my favorite social media management tools. In fact, I use it every day. Right now, you can use it for free with up to 3 social accounts. So, I definitely recommend at least trying it for your business.
Buffer: Buffer is a great social media management tool to help you publish messages on multiple accounts. And yep, there’s a free version. It’s definitely not as robust as the paid version, but it’s a perfectly fine option for getting started.
Edgar: This tool isn’t free, but a lot people love it. It currently works with Facebook profiles, pages and groups, as well as Twitter profiles and LinkedIn profiles and pages. Edgar allows you to “bank” status updates and other uploaded content. Then, it’ll put posts into a queue and automatically schedule them for you. (You can still manually schedule within Edgar, as well.) I’ve got to admit, it’s a pretty nifty tool for $49/month.
Does your business post a lot of visual content? Is one of your primary social media sites Pinterest or Instagram?
If so, download the free DIY Social Media Guide in my resource library. It includes a bonus tool that can specifically help you establish an engaging presence on Pinterest and Instagram.
Measuring Social Media
As you probably know, tracking your numbers on social media is essential for measuring ROI. Plus, getting clear on your metrics will help you see what’s working so you can make data-driven decisions about your online marketing efforts.
Tracking and analyzing all that data yourself can get completely overwhelming. That’s why I rely on a few great tools to save me time and give me a comprehensive picture of the progress I’m making on social media.
Social Media Tracking Tools:
Sprout Social: This tool starts @ $59, but it’s incredibly robust. If your business could benefit from being able to schedule, engage and analyze social media all in one place, then Sprout’s features might be well-worth the monthly fee.
Union Metrics: Union Metrics prides themselves on providing answers in the form of actionable reports you can use to improve your social strategy. There isn’t a free option but they do have a range of pricing options that depend on the specific measurement solutions your business needs.
Simply Measured: This is a “next level tool” for businesses looking to track everything from conversations to conversions. Simply Measured isn’t cheap, but neither are its features. For example, it allows you to track your ROI directly, so you always have a clear understanding of social media efforts that have the biggest impact on your bottom line.
As you can see, there are lots of options when it comes to building your own toolkit to help you DIY social media for your business.
And sure, it’ll take a little time to get the hang of the tools you decide to use, since they’ve all got slightly different features and functionality. That’s why I created the free Social Media Resource Guide to help you select and implement the best tools for your business.
What tools will you try for your business? Let me know in the comments below!