What Makes A Good Social Media Tool?
Although the term “social media tool” is very general and can apply to a wide range of services, there are a few key features each social media tool should have.
1. Saves You Time
The goal of a social media tool is to save you time while getting similar — or better — results than you could without it. Look for social media tools that automate a process, but make sure the process still happens correctly, since some shortcuts might be too fast and therefore won’t focus on quality.
2. Increases Brand Awareness
One of the biggest benefits of social media is its ability to increase your brand awareness, which is why each social media tool you select should perform its services with brand awareness in mind. Maybe your tool of choice is an editing platform such as Lightroom, which can help you create images to match the rest of your feed. Or, maybe it’s an Instagram scheduler so you can preview your profile before you post images. Whatever the case may be, social media tools should focus largely on brand awareness.
3. Easy to Use
Social media tools are only a time-saver if they’re easy and intuitive to learn how to use. Each tool you select should be super user-friendly so that your accounting team could edit photos if they needed too, and your creative, right-brained writers could still use the analytics function to track daily social metrics.
Many social media tools provide tutorials on their websites. Others, such as Kicksta, have top-notch customer service so you can get immediate expert advice if you need help getting off the ground.
Social media tools should be affordable (and most of them are). Many high-quality social media tools are even free, such as the Unfold app, which is perfect for creating Instagram stories. With social media tools, there’s no need for you to go back and forth with the accounting department trying to get your budget approved. Most social media tools are already budget-friendly so all you need to do is sign up.
5. Focuses on Organization
One of the ways social media tools save you time is by keeping you organized, so make sure the social media tools you decide to use are efficient and tidy.
For example, HubSpot’s social inbox tool helps you prioritize your social media interactions, and graphic design website Canva saves your designs so you can go back and edit them later.
The Top 8 Best Social Media Tools in 2019
- HubSpot’s Social Inbox Tool
Price: Starts at $800/month, included in the Marketing Hub Professional tier
HubSpot’s social inbox tool saves you valuable time while still optimizing your social efforts. Schedule your posts, integrate your social networks with your blog, and monitor messages and mentions so you can nurture new leads.
HubSpot also integrates all of your marketing with your CRM, so it’s easy to figure out how many leads and customers you’re receiving directly from social media. “HubSpot Marketing Hub… puts the potential of corporate marketing within everyone’s reach,” one customer says.
Price: Starts at $49/month for individual creatives
Kicksta is an Instagram growth service that helps you get more organic followers on your Instagram business account. Using your company account, the growth service “likes” around 30,000 photos a month on carefully-targeted accounts. Those users — real people, not spam bots or fake accounts — will begin to follow your account, increasing your brand awareness.
Kicksta is a good fit for any industry and provides a friendly, responsive, and helpful customer success team. “Kicksta helps introduce new audiences to our brand while providing consistent organic Instagram growth,” says Ryan Beltran, CEO of watch company Original Grain. “It’s great for social proof too!”
Image courtesy of kicksta.co
Price: Starts at $9/month for solopreneurs
Social media marketing platform Later lets you plan and schedule your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest posts. The drag-and-drop calendar makes it easy for you to map out your upcoming posts and see at a glance how your feed will look.
You can also track your analytics, which will help you figure out the best time of day to post, and the best hashtags to use. Additionally, the Linkin.Bio feature for Instagram helps your posts become instantly shoppable.
“I love that you can either use it via the website or app on-the-go,” one user remarks. “It is one of those apps that I could not live without … Later is [a] super easy tool to set up.”
Image courtesy of later.com
Price: Starts at $9.99/month
Adobe’s Lightroom product is a tool that lets you organize and edit photos. Since social media is all about visuals, it’s critical your business’s social media accounts showcase vibrant, on-brand photos.
Sliders, filters, and many other features make Lightroom a user-friendly tool to create beautiful photos even if you don’t have much editing experience. Lightroom is available for both mobile and desktop, and best of all, changes made on one device immediately apply to all devices.
Image courtesy of adobe.com
Price: Free or $12.95 per team member per month
Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design website where you can create custom, on-brand graphics for your company’s social media accounts. The website has dozens of templates — everything from Facebook banners to Instagram stories to Twitter posts — so if starting from scratch to create social graphics seems intimidating, use a template instead.
One user said, “Canva has been a lifesaver to me and my business. No more hours sitting in front of the computer coming up with graphics for social media post[s] or Pinterest post[s].”
Image courtesy of canva.com
Described as “a toolkit for storytellers”, Unfold is an iOS and Android app that helps you create beautiful templates for Instagram stories. Bringing your creative visions to life is the driving idea behind Unfold. It’s an ideal app for lifestyle brands who want to create stylish collages to keep their social media accounts on-brand and receive the maximum amount of engagement from followers.
Image courtesy of Apple iTunes.
Price: Starts at $30/credit (one credit equals one Instagram report for one year)
You’ll never earn money from fake followers — they just make your engagement look bad (think millions of followers, but only a few hundred likes per photo) and ruin your reputation. That’s why HypeAuditor weeds out fake followers on your Instagram account to help you determine your organic reach.
Additionally, HypeAuditor analyzes your audience to figure out where they live, their age and gender, and which of your followers are ghosts.
Image courtesy of hypeauditor.com
Price: Starts at $0.25 per image
The website Retouchup provides an easy way to edit photos for social media, from basic color correction to more advanced Photoshop-like features such as adding or removing people from a photo. With Retouchup, you don’t do the work yourself — instead, just submit a photo and the website’s experts will edit the photo for you within 24 hours.
“You’re making me look like an awesome photographer!” one user gushed. Retouchup can save you time during the editing stage, and make your images appear higher-quality and more compelling.
Image courtesy of retouchup.com
There are numerous choices out there for high-quality social media tools. Ultimately, it’s your job to decide which tool is the best fit for your needs, your budget, and your marketing goals.
Need a painless way to track your social interactions? Try HubSpot’s social inbox tool today.