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Best social media tools 

Which is the best?

With so many social media tools available, you have to decide which are worth paying for and which ones you can use minimally, for free. All of them will enhance your day-to-day social media strategy implementation, while simplifying the process.

1. Canva for Work – Design shareable images

Social media has forced managers to become experts in creating and resizing images for different social platforms. With each platform demanding its own size, you need an on-hand designer or you have to devote your own time to creating imagery. That’s where Canva can help you create beautiful images with templates, photos, fonts, text, and more. I use Adobe Photoshop less and less the more I discover about the capabilities of Canva.

Canva is a perfect alternative for social media managers. Its extensive library has both free and paid images, icons, shapes, and stock photos. Paid options cost only $1 apiece, but I easily manage to stick to the free assets. Slide by on the free version or upgrade to Canva for Work to create your brand book and use the magic resizing tool. The annual plan costs $9.95 a month per user.

2. Sniply – Get more out of shares

Sniply is Bitly on steroids. We all know the importance of sharing content other than our own to build a community and engage with others. But you can get some added value out of that sharing. When users click on your shared links, you can direct them back to your own content AND track it.

Sniply’s free plan includes 1,000 clicks per month. If you’re like SafeWise, you’ll burn through those pretty quickly. For higher click limits, more control over the appearance of your snips, and to use your own domain, paid plans start at $29 a month. If traffic is one of your main objectives, this price is worth it.

3. BuzzSumo – Create targeted Twitter audiences

I use BuzzSumo for link alerts, to help me write click-worthy headlines, brainstorm content ideas, find influencers, and more. You also can use it to build a Twitter-tailored audience. For example, if I were promoting a piece about solar panels, I would first search BuzzSumo to find similar content.

BuzzSumo’s free version will allow four searches a day, so make ‘em count or upgrade to one of the paid plans.

4. SumoRank – Analyze your competitors

SumoRank is another tool from the makers of BuzzSumo that’s too great not to share. SumoRank allows you a behind-the-scenes peek at any Facebook page. You can see the previous month’s interactions, what day of the week posts received the most engagement, and even top-engaged posts.

Start by analyzing your own Facebook page, then search for a few competitors. Identify what’s working for them, areas for improvement, and opportunities for your page. For example, maybe all your competitors post between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. You could test posts between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to see if your audience engagement increases.

5. Followerwonk – Dig deep

Follwerwonk from Moz will be your BFF if you are a heavy Twitter user. I love being able to find influencers in any given space. Let’s say you’re looking for influencers to share your new tech product on Kickstarter. You can search Twitter bios for keywords such as “writer at TechCrunch,” “editor at TechCrunch,” “writer at Mashable,” and so on. Filter by social authority, and boom, you have a list of influencers:

Notice some people list their email address in their bio. That’s an even better way to get in contact with them.

Export the list, filter by any of the many metrics (social authority is my personal favorite), and use the list for social outreach or for a Twitter tailored audience. You could even layer it with the audience you find from BuzzSumo.

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