12 Most Gratis Tools for Social Business
With the myriad tools that are available now to help you with social media, it’s sometimes hard to know which ones to try. People ask me all the time if there’s “an app for that” and I love when I can give them just the tool they are looking for.
Here are 12 of the best FREE tools… each one of which I use in my own business.
Buffer is a great little app to help you send out tweets and posts at optimal times. After you create your account and link your networks (currently Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), you can choose when Buffer will release posts to each network. When you’re plugging through your reading list you can simply “Buffer” those articles you want to share and they will be posted on each network when the get to the top of the queue.
Whether your event is free or paid, Eventbrite is a fabulous way to manage your event. It’s very easy to set up an event to accept PayPal and/or credit card payments. There is no “installation” or “set up” fee, making it perfect for the small business that doesn’t want a big credit card system on a monthly basis. The tool contains lots of features for customization of the event pages, e-mail marketing to confirmed attendees, Facebook integration and even the ability to scan QR coded tickets with your smart phone at the door. It’s free to use if your event is free. For paid events, the fees are comparable to other online systems.
A simple app that tells you when the optimal times to tweet from your account are. Run a free Tweriod analysis once a month and then use the data to plan your Buffer schedule.
An easy-to-use tool that helps you find Twitter accounts that are not following you back, or are inactive. I’ve used this one to help me get my follower ratio under control by unfollowing inactive accounts, but it has a range of other features as well.
This is the perfect way to create a quick screencast video for your blog or training sessions. With a five-minute limit, you can be sure you never run on too long and because it only captures what you do on-screen, you don’t need to worry about your hair.
Long used as a way to share PDFs on websites and blogs, Scribd now has a fabulous Facebook app that allows you to make your PDFs available to your Facebook fans. Use this function to share your menu, free printables, checklists or a newsletter on your Facebook business page.
Available for many internet e-mail systems, WiseStamp creates a branded e-mail signature. The free version allows for two signatures (i.e. personal and corporate). The best feature is the ability to link up nearly any social network, or even include your latest tweet or blog post title automatically.
This is the best option I’ve found for getting rid of spammers on my blog since you have to create an account to comment.
Aviary allows you to capture a picture of the screen, edit it and add comments. It’s perfect for grabbing a screen shot of that comment or tweet you want to save for later use in a presentation, or blog post.
This is another automation tool, but it’s different than everything else you’ve tried. You can create “recipes” to auto-post your favorite 12 Most authors to a host of social networks, add blog posts containing key words to your Buffer, or even get a text message when the weather calls for snow tomorrow (seriously, I use that one).
It’s like Google Alerts for Twitter. Get an e-mail digest each day for your keywords or mentions of your company/brand.
A little known Twitter account that tells you who is unfollowing you on Twitter. Each weekly digest is split into “ex-friends” and “ex-followers.” Don’t use this if you’re going to take it personally each time someone unfollows you. It’s a great tool that I use just to ensure I’m not losing any real-life friends or business contacts.
Most of these tools have a paid upgrade available as well. If you find a program that works for you, sometimes it’s worth paying for the upgrade, like HootSuite and Prezi, two others I didn’t mention here. Whatever you’re looking for in social media, chances are there is something out there to help you do it, you just need to know what you’re looking for. And hey, there’s a great website that can help you find it. It’s free too, and it’s called Google.
Featured image courtesy of Thomas Hawk via Creative Commons.