8 Awesome Time-Saving Social Media Marketing Tools
This post was updated on January 1st, 2021.
Being a small business social media marketer is tough. We need all the help we can get. Enter the social media marketing tools!
Bigger businesses are able to split up tasks like writing social media copy, designing images, video creation, content strategy, and ad campaign management across multiple marketing roles. Heck, there might even be multiple people doing each of those tasks. I can’t begin to imagine what that’s like.
For everyone out there who works at the front desk while also handling social media, or writes posts between customer support calls, or was asked to “do social media” for your company because no one else knows how — social media marketing tools can save you countless hours.
Here are my current favourite (and free!) time-saving social media tools that you need in your belt.
The Top Time-Saving Social Media Marketing Tools
1. Tab Manager Plus
If you’re wearing many hats, you probably have a gazillion browser tabs open right now. I have two monitors, and there are usually 20+ tabs in each one. It’s pure chaos.
Tab Manager Plus is my new favourite extension in 2020. You can open a bunch of related tabs in different windows, then label them and quickly jump between different types of content depending on what you’re doing. You can also search for a tab, pin tabs, clean up duplicates, and free up memory. This is SO handy if you’re doing social media scheduling between other tasks.
Buffer and Hootsuite are similar social media scheduling tools that I highly recommend for small business. You can read my full comparison of Buffer vs. Hootsuite to learn why I’ve put Buffer first!
A free Buffer account allows you to set a content schedule and queue up to 10 posts at a time on your chosen days and times. The paid plans give you more connected accounts, more scheduled posts, and post analytics. Automated scheduling is a breeze for sharing non-brand content (like the kind you store in Pocket) with your followers. Once your schedule is set, curating content can be one click away.
When reading any article you like, click on the Buffer extension. A window pops up with the blog title already composed. If you’re in a rush, one click adds it to your queue, shares it now, shares it next, or schedules it. Content added to the queue is dropped into the next available slot based on your schedule.
If you have half an hour to read blogs saved in Pocket, you can add one after another seamlessly into the queue and fill up your whole week in just minutes. I always tweak the suggested text and add hashtags to make it searchable and unique to Forge, but that’s your call.
A free Buffer account is currently compatible with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. Its analytics also give you helpful stats on all past posts.
The downside to the free account is that you can only schedule 10 posts per profile at a time, so you do have to keep on top of filling it up. A basic business account is quite affordable and allows a much bigger queue, as well as the ability to specify a unique schedule per day rather than the same times across the board, which I prefer for weekends.
Like Buffer, Hootsuite is all about simple scheduling. Instead of remembering to post on Facebook every day, you can sit down and compose any number of posts at once and schedule them for 8am every day.
With a free Hootsuite account you can connect up to three social profiles, and easily schedule the same content to Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and more. The Hootlet extension works the same way as Buffer’s, with a pop-up that allows you to auto schedule, post now, or schedule for later.
The downside to using the Hootlet to schedule later posts is that unless you use auto scheduling, there is no way to tell if you’ve already got another post scheduled for the same time without launching the Dashboard and consulting your queue. I need to manually set post times for some clients, so Buffer wins for quick curation through the browser.
I don’t recommend using Hootsuite of Buffer for Instagram. Both allow you to schedule posts, but you still have to be available to receive and confirm push messages in order for them to post. Kind of defeats the whole purpose.
If you’re not a designer but you need to keep up a steady stream of engaging social content, you might feel like having an attractive feed or Instagram grid is hopeless. Fear not! Visme is among the many handy apps that will help you create engaging custom social media graphics.
I like Visme because it comes with tons of templates formatted to the perfect size for each social channel, plus a stock image library. You can also use Visme templates to create social media ads, infographics (which are awesome shareable content), and other types of visual content you might need for your website, presentations, client emails, and more.
Where Visme can help you create graphics from scratch, Pixlr is my go-to editing app for all photos I’ve taken myself before posting them on social media. Like the social media platform photo tools, you can use a set of custom filters, try out borders and stickers, add all kinds of different typefaces, and create collages. But where Pixlr excels is its manual editing options for fine details.
From adjusting brightness and saturation to healing unflattering spots, you can have tight control over the quality of your photos. Spot the differences!
6. Pocket/Save to Pocket
Pocket is my BFF. I’m not kidding. If you need to curate relevant, non-brand content to share on social media — and you should for a healthy content balance — this is exactly the tool for you.
I used to scroll through Twitter on my walk to work and in bed at night, find potential content, and email myself the links to read later and schedule if they were worthwhile. Talk about time-consuming! Pocket allows you to easily put interesting stuff ‘in your pocket’ (its simple interface).
I have the Pocket app on my phone and the Save to Pocket Chrome extension in my browsers. One click on the extension or selecting “share to Pocket” tucks everything away, easily accessible when you find a chunk of time. I pair Pocket with Buffer for quick and easy content curation and scheduling.
7. feedly/feedly Mini
Feedly is a news aggregation tool, great for content curation, and incredibly user-friendly. The app allows you to tailor a steady flow of articles on your favourite topics by setting up folders channeling specific blogs, topics, or website addresses – and it displays them all in one beautifully organized dashboard.
You can customize how you view each blog, and easily share content you’re viewing to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Buffer, Hootsuite, and more. Like Flipboard and other magazine-style apps that use an RSS feed to pull newly published content, it’s a highly customizable resource for excellent content curation.
The feedly Mini extension appears in the lower right corner of pages you’re viewing (don’t look for it up at the top with your other extensions), and allows you to easily add new blogs you’ve discovered to your feedly.
If we’re talking about time-saving tools, chatbots are THE go-to tool for digital marketers. They allow you to create highly personalized scripts and communicate with your customers on their favourite platforms, which leads to more sales and conversions.
MobileMonkey uses patented OmniChat® technology to let you write a single chatbot funnel, which then works across all of your messaging platforms and is managed in one place. That includes Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, website chatbots, and SMS. So rather than having to write scripts for all those separate chatbots and manage them on individual platforms, you can do it all in one place.
I hope some of these social media marketing tools make your social media tasks easier. To quote Canadian comic and handyman Red Green, “keep your stick on the ice, we’re all in this together.”