Social media… it’s a bit like Marmite; you either love or hate it. But as a creative entrepreneur, you need to be on a social platform or two to develop an online presence and grow your audience – even if you’d rather avoid the whole shebang. Here are some apps that’ll help you navigate your social media obligations smoothly and painlessly.
One reason some business owners would rather give social media a wide berth is that it’s time-consuming. First, you need to think about your content strategy – what you want to promote and communicate, and what your objectives are in doing so. Then, you have to actually create the content in a variety of mediums and post it – frequently and at times to suit your followers. Not forgetting that you must continually engage with your audience and evaluate which posts are performing the best (so you can create more of them).
It’s a lot to do and keep track of, especially if you already have too much on your plate with day-to-day business operations. Fortunately, there are plenty of social media tools around to simplify your social strategy. Read on to discover seven of the best and why they’ve made it onto our list.
Hootsuite is a social media management platform with all the bells and whistles – you can connect all your social media accounts and see them in one place, create, publish and schedule content, curate inspiration for future posts, engage with followers and view analytics. Hootsuite also has useful advanced tools like social advertising, social listening and the OwlyWriter AI, which instantly generates captions across every network. Because it’s such a comprehensive platform, it’s not the cheapest – pricing starts at £89 per month for the ‘Professional’ plan, which lets one user connect up to ten social accounts.
With Tailwind, you can create Pinterest pins, Instagram posts and stories, and Facebook posts. And you can schedule them to post to these networks automatically. There are some nifty optimisation tools that can grow your following, such as the hashtag finder, communities, and Smart.Bio – a shoppable feed where you can drive traffic from Instagram. Tailwind has also added email marketing to its offering. The pricing is very reasonable, starting at $19.99 per month (it works out cheaper at $155.88 if you pay annually). So it’s a good option for solopreneurs focusing on these three channels.
3. Sprout Social
This platform is for those who mean serious business when it comes to social. Sprout Social is similar to Hootsuite, allowing you to connect all channels and see your posts in a single calendar. It gives you a unified social media inbox, and has social listening capabilities and high-quality analytics. Even the entry-level package has cool features, like social CRM tools that provide conversation history and internal notes. However, it’s the most expensive solution in this list, starting at $249 per month for one user and five social profiles.
You might already be using Canva to design social media graphics, but did you know you can also publish and schedule content from Canva too? If you have a Canva Pro account (which gets you access to lots more stock library images), you can directly publish to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. This is a really convenient option when you’re already using Canva to create content – there’s no need to download an image and then upload it to your social media channels. Canva Pro costs just £10.99 per month or £99.99 per year for one person.
Tweetdeck makes light work of managing your Twitter profile (multiple profiles if you have them) in one dashboard. It’s a dedicated tool for Twitter that you use within your web browser – you simply add the ‘columns’ you want to see and use, e.g., your home feed, messages and notifications. Tweetdeck is useful if your business is very active on this channel and you also have a personal profile too. Best of all, it’s free!
Later supports Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, Pinterest and LinkedIn. As well as content publishing and scheduling, Later offers the Linkin.bio feature; a customisable mini web page for your Instagram and Tik Tok profiles. It also has a caption writer for Instagram and collaboration tools for creators. With the ‘Starter’ plan, you can add one social set and publish 30 posts per profile – it costs $18 per month (or if you pay annually, it works out at $15 per month).
7. Post Studio – Social Auto Post
Many creative entrepreneurs operate in the e-commerce sector. If that’s you, you should know about Post Studio Auto Post, built specifically for Shopify stores. It lets you post content about your products on your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter accounts (on autopilot). Whenever you add a new product, the details get generated automatically and posted, potentially saving you hours of time each week. You can send one post per day for free or go ‘Pro’ at $7.99 monthly for unlimited posts and up to five campaigns. There’s also an ‘Ultimate’ plan which gives you all the Pro features plus unlimited campaigns.
We chose these seven tools as they all offer something different and should appeal to a range of budgets. But there are even more helpful social media management and scheduling tools to look into, such as Hubspot, Buffer and the Meta Business Suite. We encourage you to check these out as well.
Before you go, have you seen our roundup post on the best e-commerce website features to catapult your product sales? You might also like to read about the top email platforms for creative businesses. And you can access tons more valuable resources when you become a member.