As a Social Media Consultant, the biggest recommendation I can give to anyone looking to take the leap to freelance is to have a well-equipped toolbox. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, I’ve put together this guide of what I consider to be the top types of 5 tools that are essential for success in SMM.
1. Social Media Consultant Management Platforms
Social Media Consultants, Social Media Freelancers, and freelance Social Media specialists all have one thing in common – the need for a robust social media management platform that pulls all your management needs into one handy place. These tools are the essential backbone of your daily client management routine. They help streamline social media scheduling, analytics, and engagement. There’s a few players in the market but here are some of my faves:
- Hootsuite: A versatile platform for scheduling posts, monitoring conversations, and analysing performance across various social networks.
- Buffer: Known for its user-friendly interface, Buffer is a great choice for scheduling and publishing content on multiple platforms.
- Sprout Social: This tool offers advanced social listening and analytics, making it a go-to choice for data-driven consultants.
- Later: Especially useful for Instagram scheduling, Later simplifies the process of visually planning and automating posts.
- SocialBee: A powerful content categorization and evergreen sharing tool, ideal for managing and recycling content.
2. Social Media Content Creation Tools
If you’re not being creative on the daily as a social media consultant then you’re in the wrong game. Luckily for us busy freelancers there are a few tools that can help bring our brainstorms to life:
- Canva: I LOVE Canva (I mean it’s 2023, who doesn’t?) It comes with a plethora of templates and tools for creating eye-catching images and graphics and, with the addition of their new Magic AI design functionality it’s even easier to turn your social media posts into awesome designs.
- Adobe Creative Cloud: For more advanced users, Adobe’s suite of design software, including Photoshop and Illustrator, is the place to be.
- Grammarly: If, like me, you struggle with attention to detail on the copy writing front, Grammarly is a neat and reliable tool for ensuring your social media posts and captions are free from grammatical errors and typos.
3. Social Media Analytics and Reporting Tools
As Social Media Specialists, we not only need to be creatively brilliant but we also need to get into the data and track the effectiveness of our campaigns and strategies. These analytics and reporting tools can help:
- Google Analytics: With the evolution of GA4 it’s essential you get head in the Google game for tracking website traffic and user behaviour and use the valuable data to inform strategies.
- Social media platform insights: Don’t neglect the platforms themselves. Most platforms offer analytics tools that can guide you on what’s performing well and what isn’t so make sure you’re well versed in them all.
- Sprout Social (again): It’s so good I’ve mentioned it again but Sprout Social’s in-depth analytics capabilities are fab for assessing campaign performance.
4. Social Media Advertising Tools
Paid advertising on social media can be a game-changer. These platforms allow you to reach a wider audience and boost brand awareness:
- Meta Ads Manager: Ideal for creating, managing, and analysing Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns.
- Google Ads: Whilst not technically in the SMM camp, a lot of Paid Social freelancers also specialise in PPC for Search Engines. Google Ads are useful for reaching a broader online audience through paid search and display ads.
- LinkedIn Advertising: If you’re targeting a B2B audience, LinkedIn’s advertising platform is a goldmine for lead generation.
5. Social Listening Tools
Understanding what’s being said about your brand and industry on social media is crucial. Social listening tools help you stay informed:
- Brandwatch: A powerful tool for tracking brand mentions, sentiment analysis, and industry trends.
- Hootsuite Insights: Integrated with the Hootsuite platform, this tool provides real-time monitoring and sentiment analysis.
- Mention: This tool monitors mentions across the web and social media, helping you stay ahead of trends and respond to customer feedback.
So, there you have it, to thrive as a Social Media Consultant, having the right tools is essential. These five categories of tools – social media management, content creation, analytics, advertising, and social listening – will equip you with everything you need to navigate the fast-paced world of becoming a top social media freelancer.