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Do you use any tools to manage your social media?

Or do you find yourself scrambling to think of something to say each day?

Perhaps you appreciate how important your business social media channels are, but you post with little consistency, design or creative flair?

Whatever your current position, there are a plethora of options out there when it comes to tools to manage your social media. The question is, how do you know where to start, and which are the best?

In my view, ‘the best’ isn’t necessarily a case of ‘the best in the world’. Instead, it’s a question of finding which are the best tools for you. The decision as to which tools you could use depends very much on things like how you work. Whether you’re a visual or text-based person. Whether you’re technically-minded, or not so much.

For me, it’s all about speed, usability and customer service, and a good balance between text and visual. It’s about finding tools that make my life easier. That support me in areas where my skills are weaker. And in general that mean I can do more, in less time.

So here are my current top 5 tools:

1. ContentCal

When it comes to tools to manage your social media, finding a good scheduling tool is crucial, and at the moment, I’m loving ContentCal. It’s incredibly user-friendly and the customer support is exemplary. For me, it’s just the right balance between visually attractive and straightforward enough for my text-driven mind. And it’s still very much an evolving thing, meaning that the team behind it are both keen to hear new ideas, and working hard to make ContentCal the best tool it can possibly be.

2. Flipboard

It’s important to curate content on social media, as well as create it. There are lots of ways of doing it – email alerts, various news aggregators and so on. But I wanted to give particular mention to Flipboard. Again, I find it very user-friendly and very well organised once you set it up. There’s never a shortage of content, for the topics I’m interested in at least, and so it’s a great way of finding great material to share.

3. Canva

I’ll admit it. I’m not the world’s most creative person in terms of coming up with ideas for eye-catching imagery. So finding a graphic design package that was not only easy to use for a complete non-designer, but also helpful in terms of idea-generation, was crucial for me. And I found everything I was looking for in Canva.

4. Pocket

This one goes hand in hand with news aggregators like Flipboard, and it’s a way of bookmarking webpages so that you can come back to them later. Your account works across both desktop and the mobile app, and so you can save articles on whatever device you’re using, as you read them. Then when you’re looking for material to put into your schedule, you should have plenty, ready and waiting!

5. Trello

If you’re looking for a way to manage your lists, and organise your ideas and plans, in a very visual way, then Trello is for you. You can customise it to support your preferred way of working, and it’s even a great collaborative tool if more than one person contributes to your social media.

These are a few of my favourites, but they represent a needle in the haystack when it comes to tools to manage your social media. The key is to try out a broad range of different ones before making your choice. Many of them have free versions available too, so you really can try before you buy!

If you’ve already found your own favourites, we’d love to hear them, so share them in the comments below.

(We also cover a broad range of tools and techniques to support and improve your social media in our Social Media and Technology module, so if you need some further support, why not check it out!)