I use social media to share my projects, works in progress, cool finds, and client testimonials. Currently, I have four social media accounts that I post to regularly. Managing four different accounts isn’t easy, which is why I use social media management tools to streamline the process. This list covers 9 FREE social media management tools you can incorporate into your toolkit. I use all the instruments on this list, and I would not recommend them if I didn’t love the service they provide.
Buffer is a social media management tool for the web and mobile devices. Buffer allows social media managers to manage multiple accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Their free version is more than capable, allowing users to manage up to three social media accounts at a time (except Pinterest). Buffer can schedule up to 10 posts, but if you want to manage more accounts and analytics features, you can easily upgrade to their pro plan for 15 dollars a month.
Are you looking for new content ideas to level up your social media accounts? Feedly may be just the tool you need in your social media management toolkit. Feedly is a free news aggregator application that compiles news feeds from several online sources for the user to customize and share with their audience. Feedly is available on the web and mobile devices for free. I use Feedly to keep track of new graphic design trends, new product launches and gaming news but you can use Feedly to organize your interests in a way that is easily digestible during a busy day at work. The free version allows you to add up to 100 news sources, organized into three different feeds.
Easel.ly is a web-based infographics platform used by educators, students, social media managers and businesses to “easelly” visualize any information. Easel.ly makes boring monthly reports engaging, spices up your presentations and get more people to share your content on sites like Pinterest and Facebook. Easel.ly is entirely free, even going as far as to let users edit and download infographics without registering! If you want to upgrade to their premium plans, they offer pricing for students, businesses and NGOs, individuals, educators. Currently, they have 50% off their student plans.
Check out Easel.ly
Images play an essential part in any good social media management strategy. Photographs can enhance your social media posts and can lead to more engagement from your target audience. Freelance photographers are great for producing unique images to share on social media, but this can get expensive if you share a lot of posts. Sure, there are stock sites like Shutterstock and Depositphotos, but do you want to have generic photos on your feed?
Pexels is an online collection of high quality, royalty-free, attribution free photographs licensed under the Pexels license. Images are sourced from the Pexels community and are used by content creators to bring their work to life. Attribution is not required but is appreciated.
Unsplash is another image database of high-quality, royalty-free, attribution free photos to use in your social media management strategy under the Unsplash license. Images are provided by the Unsplash community completely free, but an attribution to the photographers are always welcome.
I personally like Canva. I don’t see it as taking my job as a graphic designer but a tool I can incorporate in my social media management toolkit. Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, and other visual content. It’s available on web and mobile and integrates a comprehensive database of Google fonts, stock images, templates and illustrations. I’ve used canvas before and while it is nothing like Photoshop (I recommend Photopea if you’re looking for FREE web-based Photoshop alternative) it still has a place for social media managers looking for quick premade designs. The only downside is that your designs might look the same as everyone else’s.
Photopea is one of my favourite random discoveries on the internet. This tool is Photoshop, Adobe XD, Sketch, Acrobat Reader, GIMPin, one online platform for absolutely free! You can even use the tool without an account, and the only limitation is your internet connection. This tool is perfect for anyone who is familiar with Photoshop’s interface or is not a fan of Adobe’s monthly pricing model. Photopea had saved me a few times in the past when I had to edit a PSD for a client in an internet cafe in New Kingston while my laptop was back in Clarendon.
Related: 11 Must-Have Graphic Design Tools
Have you ever been in a situation where you have an excellent idea for a social media post, but you are terrible at choosing colours?
Coolors.co is a colour palette generator for choosing colour schemes for your next project, website or social media post. They also have an IOS app, Photoshop extension and an Instagram page where you can follow for daily colour inspiration. Even if you’re not a graphic designer, coolors.co’s is easy to use, and you can cycle through colours by mashing the spacebar on your keyboard.
Related: The Coolors guide
Fonts are great, but free fonts are even better! Google fonts are the world’s biggest repository of free, high-quality typefaces that you can use in your social media posts. You can also utilize Google fonts in commercial projects without worrying about font licenses. If you need Google font pairing inspiration, check out my favourite Google fonts pairings.
Looking to create business cards for your business?
Read my guide on 9 great elements of a professional business card
Planning to study graphic design in Jamaica?
Please read my review on Jamaica’s top 3 graphic design schools.