The Only 3 Tools You Need to Execute Successful IG Marketing for Business (and They’re Free!)
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
For anyone outside the social media industry, it would be understandable if you made the assumption that successful social media for business required expensive, hard-to-learn software solutions, a massive budget and team of tattooed creatives, and a little bit of pixie dust.
I’m here to tell you from personal experience that it does not. In fact, most of the time, successful social media looks like one person, a small but mighty kit of amazing “freemium” tools, and intentional, manual engagement. Here are the 3 tools I use to execute successful social media for my clients every. single. day.
Tool #1: Planoly
Sitting firmly in the number one spot is Planoly, Instagram scheduling tool that (IMO) reigns supreme. The free version allows you to accomplish quite a bit, but I think it’s very worth the $7 per month for the upgraded version.
In the upgraded version, Planoly allows you to drag and drop unlimited amounts of content into the grid (single images, carousel posts and videos alike), save hashtag groups, automate A LOT (publishing for single images + video AND the tagging accounts + location), curate content via the discover feed, and audit the performance of your content with the analyze feature.
Tool #2: Canva
If I could write a love song about Canva and dedicate it publicly in front of a crowd of hundreds, I would. Seriously. [Side note: If you’re a fan of the podcast How I Built This, I highly recommend listening to the episode of their BADASS founder. I STAN.]
If you’ve never experienced the wonder that is Canva, allow me to introduce you to one of the most powerful publishing/graphic design tools on the internet. With Canva, you can make a wide array of visual assets for your business, from beautifully designed and branded Instagram stories to email graphics or even postcards and business cards.
As with Planoly, the free version of Canva is quite powerful, but the upgraded version allows you to save your brand colors, fonts and logos. With both free and upgraded versions, access millions of stock photos, photo elements, illustrations and icons, many of which are free (or can be purchased for $1).
Tool #3: Master Social Planner
The final tool I can’t live without is a tool I created out of my own necessity—the Master Social Planner. After years of testing many a planning and publishing platform, I found that many were great, but not one satisfied the necessity to zoom out from a higher level in order to be more strategic.
I’ve found that monthly is the best cadence at which to map out your content across all digital channels, giving you the right angle at which to view both the strategic components of your brand story and the more timely, moving pieces.
I recommend repurposing content through your digital channels, especially that which resonated. For example, say you posted an Instagram story that performed really well—think about expanding upon that topic in an email or a blog post. Or, on the inverse, place your email newsletter into the Master Social Planner, then space our an “ICYMI” stories series on Instagram detailing bits and pieces of what your newsletter included with a call-to-action to sign up for the newsletter, so that they can be the first to hear the announcement next time.
Finally, I’m going to share my runner up tool for successful social media—as I would be remiss not to mention it, too. Be sure to have an external email list (via an email service provider like Mailchimp, or Constant Contact) outside of your social channels—no matter what. You DO NOT own your social audience, and *knocks on wood* should something ever happen to your account(s), you want to maintain the ability to get in touch with the people you’ve worked so hard to bring into your community. Plus, people are much more conditioned to be marketed to and make purchases from email, so it’s a vital part of your sales funnel.
These are the tools you need to execute successful social media in your business—regardless of the size or income, especially since all of them are free! I want to hear which one you find most valuable, and any other tools you can’t live without. Tell me in the comments!