5 free tools for making the most of your social media

It’s an all too familiar story for many SMEs out there. You understand the importance of social media for representing your business and so, feeling all gung-ho about it, you get yourself set up. But then the pressures of running a business just get in the way. Now you’re struggling to keep the channels updated frequently, let alone think about your social media management.

Let’s be honest. Just the phrase ‘social media management’ can sound dull and daunting in equal measure. Thankfully, it’s none of these things as long as you have the right tools.

Top 5 Free Tools for Social Media - Lucy Lettersmith


Allowing you to plug in and track activity across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more, this intuitive dashboard is pretty nifty – and it would seem over 6 million users agree. You can also share and schedule posts across multiple networks.


If you want something simple – both in usage and design – this is your best bet. Used to preschedule posts to social platforms that you choose, there’s also a metrics dashboard to see what posts are getting the most interaction. It’s great for image posting on the fly too.

P.S. I’m a massive fan of Buffer. I’ve been using them for a while as a business user (an extended version of the free tool, crammed with analytics, which I pay for). It’s worth mentioning that their customer service is absolutely top-notch; the team are super nice and incredibly proactive about resolving any queries.

Twitter lists

There’s most definitely still a place for good old-fashioned Twitter lists. You can organise followers by industry, group or theme, meaning you can keep an eye on them more closely.


It’s just as important to stay informed on the news and trends within your industry. That’s where Feed.ly comes in. It’s great for collecting rss (content) feeds from blogs or updated websites that are relevant to your industry, and organising them into your own digest website. I have a list on Feed.ly which is relevant to every client I represent. It’s my little bible of constantly updated, topical information for each of their industry sectors.

Rival IQ

Want to keep an eye on what your competitors are saying? Then Rival IQ is for you. Enter your company along with your competitors and they’ll do the rest for you. Expect to see vital info on their website, social media activity and search engine optimisation efforts.

Don’t be afraid to trial all these free tools and see what works for you. Oh, and when you’ve exhausted this starter list, head over to this article, which is a gold mine of free stuff (300 awesome links, in fact!) designed for entrepreneurs like you and me.

What are your favourite business-boosters online? Does your ‘can’t live without it’ resource appear on this list? Is it a free tool or do you pay for it? Let me know – we’ll get sharing!

7 Powerful Ways To Improve Your Twitter Marketing

Twitter marketing is a key part of social media management. Sometimes, getting back to basics can offer a fresh perspective. Often even advanced users can forget this – you should make the very most of Twitter’s basic features so that you don’t miss out on any potential opportunities for engagement.

Here are seven straightforward tips for getting the very best results:

1. Understand how Twitter search results work.

Twitter will only search for tweets containing all the search terms used, as though there were an invisible “and” in between your keywords. To avoid this, use “or” in between your search terms, and Twitter will look for tweets containing any of those terms, not tweets containing all of them.

2. Use Twitter lists to group different people together.

So, for example, if you are organising a conference, you could have all the speakers in one group so you can interact with them specifically, and monitor their tweets.

3. Make sure videos and lists show up.

Having a photo boosts your chance of a retweet by more than a third, while adding a video boosts those odds by over a quarter. Twitter can also be integrated with video-sharing websites like YouTube and Vine.

4. Acknowledge wisely.

If you have a busy Twitter account or a big brand, favourite tweets as an acknowledgement for every mention you get. But beware. Twitter can suspend your account if it suspects you’re over-favouriting, and be wary of automatic favouriting programmes – you need to read the tweets first before you favourite them!

5. Reply to the right audience.

Not every tweet you send will appear in all your followers’ feeds. If you want to reduce numbers of people who can see a thread, begin replies with @username. This will only go to that person and common followers.

6. Retweet efficiently.

Remember users will be told their tweet has been retweeted, but can’t respond in any way unless they find the original tweet. It may be easier to copy and paste the original text placing RT at the start.

7. Try Analytics.

Use the new Analytics feature to measure engagement. You need to sign up for ads to be able to access this Twitter marketing feature, but can use it without buying any ads.

7 Powerful Ways To Improve Your Twitter Marketing - Lucy Lettersmith