While everyone is scrolling through their social media feeds, it’s as good of a time as ever to examine your social media presence and make sure you’re connecting with your consumers through as many touch points as possible. If you don’t have the experience with social media, getting started can be quite daunting, especially for small business owners who have plenty of other things to focus their time on. We’ve compiled an easy to understand explanation of free tools you can start using to plan and execute your social media content, and why they’re an important step in your journey to a fresh new media plan.
The Planning: Trello
Every good social media strategy starts with a plan, so don’t skip to the actual image building just yet! Set yourself and your team up for success with a solid tool to plan and manage all upcoming content and posts. This is also a good way to manage approval processes and make edits if the strategy is being worked on by multiple people.
Trello is a collaboration tool that you can utilize to sort your posts into boards and individual lists. It also features a lot of plugins to tailor the experience to exactly what you need. Your free boards can only use one plugin (or power-up, as they call it) per board so choose wisely! If you’re going to be using it for social media planning, we recommend installing the Calendar Power-Up, as it can transform your lists into an easy to view calendar of upcoming posts based on the due dates you assign to the cards! In one glance, you can easily see what’s ready to go, what needs work, and what’s still in progress.
Another great feature is being able to assign cards or posts to specific members of your team, so there’s a record of who is responsible for each post being complete, or who has been pulled in to help out. Got your plan organised on Trello? Great, let’s make the images to match your posts!
The Content: Canva
If you’re new to image editing and don’t have the experience or the money to opt for Photoshop or other paid alternatives, Canva is here for you. Canva specialises in being a graphic design platform for people who aren’t graphic designers. It’s easy to use, can be installed on both desktop and mobile for on-the-go editing, and features millions of templates made by designers for you to use and adapt easily for your content.
Once you have an idea of what image you’d like to accompany the text in your planned post, send it to Canva to add some extra flair or do some colour editing and cropping! It’s a good idea to pre-plan your colour filters on your images especially for Instagram, so that when people view your profile your content looks uniform and looks like it was put together on purpose! While experimenting with new filters and looks is always fun, too many different edits can make your page look a haphazard and can undo all your hard work on your social media strategy.
If you’re not finding you need the extra features and templates on Canva and just need a photo filter and cropping app, another alternative to consider is VSCO. While 80% of the filters on the app require a paid membership, the basic filters added with the editing capabilities should be more than enough to get anyone started.
The Posting: HootSuite
By now, you should have your social media plan set up, and your images ready to go along with it. It’s time to schedule your content and finally start posting to your page! Hootsuite is a widely used social media scheduling app and a great place to start dipping your toes into post scheduling. As with all of these apps, there is a premium plan available, but if you’re just starting out the free version should be enough to get you going! You can utilise a 30 day free trial of their plans if you do end up needing more options or users for your platform. Another alternative to look into would be Later, another option for an instagram scheduler. The interface on Later is a bit more intuitive to use than Hootsuite, but they both perform similar functions.
Within these tools, you can schedule and arrange your posts and add images to complement. You can also add hashtags and locations to boost the reach of your posts or a number of other tactics to expand on your possible viewership. There’s an infinite amount of ways to increase your presence on social media, so get started today!
Finding it hard to build a following on your channels? Don’t have enough time to dedicate to coming up with a proper social media strategy? OMDIGI Group offers a wide range of digital services to help get your channels up to scratch, and our designers can handle all the creative work for you if you’re not sure where to start! Get in touch with us today and let our social media experts do the heavy lifting for you.