Running social media marketing becomes infinitely easier when you find the right tech tools to do most of the work for you. There are countless platforms out there designed to help you save time while adding more power and control. We sifted through the absolute best of these social media tools to bring you our top recommendations. Use them to open your social media profiles up to become more diverse and creative. You will also end the frustration of struggling through complex workflow to complete tasks. We tried to avoid any platforms that require a significant buy-in. As a result, most of the following tools are free or have a low-cost option for business owners. We’re also leaving out the big total management tools like Buffer, HootSuite, SproutSocial, AgoraPulse, and others. The following 21 best apps and browser-based platforms fit our criteria and can improve your social media marketing success in 2018 and beyond.
1. BitlyBitly does two amazing things for you: 1) Shortens links to make post text cleaner and better looking 2) Provides a custom redirect so that you can track CTR on your shared links and possible behavior after the click. The free version of Bitly is indispensable for any social media page that wants to share links. Without it, you have no reliable way to track engagement.
2. BacklyBackly lets you share links while providing on-page reminders to go back to your branded site or social account later. The tool provides a pop-up frame on content pages you share, keeping audiences thinking about your brand even as they browse outside your owned pages. Use Backly to drive traffic back to your website with each link share and avoid people getting distracted from your in-brand experience.
3. RefindEver see something cool online, think “I’ll save that for later,” and then forget about it? Lots of people do, which is why tools like Refind are so great. Refind saves and tracks links you find when browsing. It can also analyse your links and find other ones worth looking at and sharing. The Refind platform ultimately intends to work as a type of social community. You can link up with other Refind users through their social accounts to see what else they are saving and sharing. These stats help you track trending content, especially among niches.
4. QuuuQuuu is perfect for finding interesting links in your brand niche. The app is 100% free. All you have to do is plug in a number of interest categories, and it starts suggesting and saving personalized recommendations. Using Quuu will help flesh out your content and keep it focused towards your business area and brand values. The only drawback is that the current version must plug into Buffer or Hootsuite in order to operate.
5. Social MentionSocial Mention is a search browser specifically for mentions of certain brand, influencers, trending topics or products. Use it to get a quick overview of conversations involving your brand or area of business interest. You can also link the Social Mention API to other apps if you are savvy enough to handle the custom coding.
6. YotpoYotpo lets you gather together all reviews and user-generated content related to your brand. The platform is super useful since it makes it easier than ever to link to or share content mentioning your brand. For instance, you can use it to find user photos related to your business and share them as social proof that you have loyal fans. It is one of the few tools we’ll mention that requires a higher-end plan to work, but the platform is incredibly versatile thus worth a look.
7. YalaYala can schedule posts for you automatically, but it has an even better feature. By monitoring your feed for engagement, Yala will suggest peak times for posting your content. You can use Yala through either Slack or Facebook messenger. It has a free trial as well as a monthly or yearly subscription.
8. Adobe SparkAdobe Spark is the perfect tool for editing photos on the fly. It’s free and works right in your browser or app. You can use it to touch up photos taken on your mobile device before posting or create unique content through effects, text captions and more. Spark also lets you rapidly create branded videos with text captions.
9. RocketiumRocketium can turn photo slideshows or short videos into captioned videos. Since video drives engagement better than text and 80% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, Rocketium can be an awesome tool for driving engagement. You can use it to repurpose blog content or longer videos into something highly engaging. It is an even more lightweight and easy to use platform than Adobe Spark. While it lacks Spark’s editing prowess, it does make up for this with rapid results.
10. PixabayPixabay is one of the best sources online for royalty free stock photos. You can use it to search for free stock photos through your browser or the Pixabay phone app. Since images are important for getting better engagement on social media posts, Pixabay can be a lifesaver. It’s particularly effective when you combine it with photo editing tools like Adobe Spark or Rocketium.
11. BuzzSumoBuzzSumo helps you find trending content on certain keywords and topics. Business owners can use the tool to hone their conversations, optimize content to get better engagement, and find buzzworthy links to share.
12. IFTTTIFTTT stands for “if this, then that”. It lets you create custom rules that trigger certain events across a range of apps. For instance, if you post a new blog, IFTTT can automatically create new posts in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, post them for you, and email everyone on your mailing list about the new post. Business owners who want to simplify the way they manage multiple marketing channels will love IFTTT since it helps you create powerful algorithms without even a lick of programming experience.
Tell Us About Your Favorite Social Media Tools We Missed!The dozen tools we covered are just of the tip of the iceberg. There are countless other free or low-cost social media tools that provide huge benefits to business owners. So tell us which ones we missed! If you have a favorite tool you use, we would love to hear your recommendations in the comments. Tell us how you use and why you love it. Between our own recommendations and those from our fellow readers, business owners will quickly find themselves getting better social marketing results than ever.