In the fast and highly competitive world of digital marketing, social media tools are essential if you want to stay ahead of the game.
The problem is these tools can also be expensive, especially for nonprofits. In a sea of cool tools, all promising you incredible results, how can you find the ones which work best and cost the least?
In this article I’m going to tell you my top 10 essential social media tools for nonprofit so you can perform like a pro without destroying your marketing budget.
Best Social Media Tools For Design
Beautifully designed images are essential for social media management. Yet many nonprofits do not have access to a full time graphic designer. Enter Canva, the easy online design tool where you can create professional looking cover photos, infographics and memes for your channel not to mention brochures, eBooks and ad imagery.
- PRICE: Canva is free so you only pay $1 if you use a paid image. Upgrading to Canva for Work costs $9.95 per month but yields a whole load of cool benefits.
- WHY I LOVE IT: You can create a team of up to 10 members for free making it easier to work on projects and share designs.
- TIP: Upload your own photos and add your logo to them before you post to social media to ensure maximum brand exposure.
Social media management involves a lot of quick resizing. For example, your LinkedIn feed displays best at 800 x 800 pixels whilst Facebook is 2048 x 2048 pixels. Even if you have a graphic designer, this constant requirement can be a real drain on resources. That’s why PicMonkey is a super awesome tool for social media management agencies: Simply upload your image, change the size, apply and you’re good to go.
- PRICE: PicMonkey offers a free basic version or $4.99 per month for Royale.
- WHY I LOVE IT: The Royale PicMonkey package offers you a whole load more including deluxe filters, premium fonts and advanced touch up tools making it ideal for anyone managing an Instagram account.
- TIP: Download the PicMonkey app on iPhone or Android to edit your photos.
Social media is all about images and videos these days with 46% of marketers saying photography is critical to their success. However, it can be frustrating constantly attempting to source licensed images for use on your social media networks. “Borrowing” images from Google can land you in copyright trouble and many of the traditional stock photo sites are expensive with plans costing upwards of $100 per month. StockSnap.io has a ton of gorgeous high res photos that are completely free and licensed. Each week they add a fresh batch of images so you never get bored.
- PRICE: Free
- WHY I LOVE IT: The images range from business to quirky so there is something for everyone.
- TIP: Download from StockSnap and upload to Canva to personalize your images.
Best Social Media Tools For Social Media Management
If you’re a nonprofit with more than one Twitter account, then TweetDeck is an awesome free tool you should definitely try. TweetDeck allows you to schedule tweets, track hashtags, create multiple lists and send direct messages from any Twitter account you connect.
- PRICE: FREE although I would pay money for it if I had to!
- WHY I LOVE IT: Its slick dashboard makes it easy to scroll across and keep an eye on all your accounts in real time.
- TIP: Schedule tweets at the right times for maximum impact.
SocialFlow will help your nonprofit take the guesswork out of social media management. This tool schedules your social content to coincide with times when target audiences are active and to suit the content they engage with. You simply enter your content and the software determines what and when to publish to your social media channels.
SocialFlow even recommends specific posts, pins or tweets for you to promote and even tells you your social score. This is really helpful for nonprofits who need to get the biggest bang for their buck.
- PRICE: From $99 per month depending on your business model
- WHY I LOVE IT: The platform supports Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn so it is easy to get maximum engagement across all your channels.
- TIP: Understand your social media goals (ex. engagement, clicks or signups) before you begin so you can optimize your SocialFlow campaigns.
Crowdfire is a great tool which digs into your social media audience and follower profiles to get the best out of your Twitter activities. This means connecting with the right influencers who can help propel your brand into stardom! Ultimately what this means is less time tweeting sad lonely words into the Twittersphere and more time sending meaningful messages to your target audience.
Crowdfire tells you who’s following you, who recently unfollowed you and even allows you to copy the Twitter followers of your competitors and engage with them yourself.
- PRICE: From $5.99 per month for up to 2 linked accounts up to $99.99 for 100.
- WHY I LOVE IT: Crowdfire allows up to 100 linked accounts on the Jupiter package making it ideal for nonprofits managing multiple accounts.
- TIP: Try the keyword follow tool to find users who are tweeting about things that interest you.
Best Social Media Tools For Content
Understanding how to curate content is a big part of social media management. Content curation is the process of gathering existing information like blog posts, tweets or slideshares from around the web and sharing it with your brand’s followers. This process allows you to share more content, cut your writing costs and also build your brand up to be an authority in a particular field without a huge content budget.
Buffer makes content curation easy and its business option provides in depth analytics for each piece you share.
- PRICE: Buffer for Business is $99- $399 per month for 11-150 profiles. Nonprofits get a 50% discount on all plans.
- WHY I LOVE IT: The Chrome extension makes it easy to share articles you find on the web.
- TIP: Try sharing the same piece of content at different times using a different headline or image to compare the results.
Slideshare has 70 million users and 159 million monthly page views making it an unmissable marketing opportunity. Now, nonprofits can turn corporate presentations into socially viable touchpoints. SlideShare is completely free to use and allows you to include a corporate logo, bio, embedded YouTube video and backlink. Slideshare makes my list of essential social media tools because it is a great way for you to showcase your brand, easily share lengthy presentations and even add a sponsored lead generation form.
- PRICE: FREE with paid lead generation options- agencies simply use one login.
- WHY I LOVE IT: Slideshare offers free analytics for each upload so you can see when and where your content was shared.
- TIP: A book is judged by its cover so make sure your SlideShare is less text and more awesome visuals. Also remember that more people than ever now visit from their mobile device so less text is better.
Click To Tweet is a WordPress plugin which helps to amplify key messages in your content by making them sharable. When users decide to tweet it, the message will automatically be filled into a Twitter post box for them including a link back to your content and Twitter account. Once you have activated the plugin simply sign in with Twitter and this cool tool will keep track of all your links, organize your campaigns and give you analytics for each one.
- PRICE: $4.97 per month for unlimited links
- WHY I LOVE IT: The tool offers a heat map which shows us who is loving our content and where.
- TIP: Click To Tweet can be totally customized to suit your campaign or brand. Play around with different styles and messages to see what works best.
Best Overall Social Media Management Tool
As a nonprofit, one of the things you undoubtedly will be looking for is value for money. In this case you need a social media management tool that multitasks saving your team both time and money. My best overall value tool for social media is Agorapulse as it allows managers to manage a number of different functions including:
- Content Scheduling (including Instagram)
- Social Media Monitoring
- A Multi Account Content Calendar
- Customer Relationship Management
- Competitor Comparison Tool for Facebook and Twitter
- Customizable Reports on Your Biggest Social Media Accounts
Agorapulse allows you to easily manage multiple Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, G+, and LinkedIn accounts in one super-organized dashboard. You can schedule posts across multiple channels using your easy content calendar, create and manage contests and analyze brand mentions.
- PRICE: Available from $49 per month there are four options to suit agencies of all sizes plus agencies can easily add users or competitors for a small fee making it totally scalable.
- WHY I LOVE IT: The competitor comparison tool which allows me to see where I rank and where I need to get to.
- TIP: Play with Agorapulse’s fun page apps to boost your Facebook engagement.
There are plenty of social media tools on the market, especially as you seek more functionality, more accounts, more analytics, and more team members to your social arsenal. Luckily, there is a new comparison tool tool that will show you EXACTLY how much each plan will be once you add all your “extras.”
Before you dive headfirst into a new social media management tool, why not give this pricing tool a whirl?