The old adage that says, “a person is only as great as their tools”, while not universally accepted, does carry some weight. I dare you to try cutting a porterhouse with a butterknife. It will take you all of one second (a very frustrating second) before you miss your steak knife.

Similarly, manually completing tasks, which revolve around content creation, curation and social listening is unnecessarily cumbersome in an age where every day a new start-up pops up poised to make your life infinitely easier than it was the day before. Wouldn’t you like to dramatically reduce the time and cash it takes to create content, push it out to your ideal audiences, convert and get feedback?

I know I would.

The digital era we find ourselves in is a dream for content creators. From the democratization of the equipment needed to build an appealing brand (these days all you need is a smartphone), to the ease of broadcasting your creations to the world for pennies on the dollar. It’s only natural then that digital tools be developed to drive digital needs. Here is a list of the 5 tools I use daily, which help my social media experiences to maintain consistency, creativity and an engaging charm.

(I’ve linked the websites of the tools and image previews for ease of accessibility)

1. Canva

Disclaimer: I love it!

Social is becoming more and more visual. So what’s a beginner with no graphic design software to do? I mean, we all want to create snazzy, appealing, professional looking images right? My answer, the big C.

Canva is without a doubt my favorite tool today. It is an online graphic design tool that makes design approachable to beginners and experts alike. If your budget doesn’t allow for a professional designer, Canva is the perfect tool to help you produce professional, clean and visually pleasing imagery.

In addition, it gives users lovely templates for everything from e-book covers, to presentation slides, and even has automatic resolution formatting for social media posts. This means that Canva has pre-sets for the image resolutions requirements of your favorite social media sites and automatically formats images so they fit perfectly. Did I say this tool was awesome? Well it is.

Best of all the drag and drop nature reduces the learning curve so you can instantly feel a familiarity if you have ever made a collage as a child. The tool is FREE, and each paid piece of art you use only costs $0.99 so you literally can’t lose using it. Guy Kawasaki may have the job, but i’d like to think I am an honorary Canva evangelist.

I use it to create engaging visuals, build reports and proposals, create e-book covers, cards for special occasions and so much more. Don’t wait, give it a try right NOW! There I go evangelizing again, but honestly its a great tool, get to Canva-ing :).

2. HootSuite

HootSuite is a powerful social media management tool with a friendly owl as its mascot. Don’t be scared by the look of the interface, while there is a learning curve, it’s a great tool for cross-posting and managing all your social media channels in one space.

It has numerous features such as the ability to promote posts from within the platform and offers various options for analytics that would make any social statistician proud. Always remember:

You can’t improve what you don’t measure

A built in link shortener is yet another feature. The tool offers functionality for both beginners and experts and allows teams to collaborate on a content calendar to get their posting schedule just right.

Hootsuite is FREE for an entry level account but has paid plans for agencies and small businesses alike which enhances the experience in tandem with their needs.

3. Evernote

Some may think Evernote doesn’t belong here, but for those that love to be organized and execute seamlessly, it’s a god send. Apart from using it to jot down quick post ideas and share these ideas with my team, we jointly edit documents and use it to create lists of influencers alongside daily task lists. Evernote is also great for drafting blog posts and social media posts.

While Evernote is FREE, it does carry a premium option with additional functionality such as team editing and real time collaboration. It also features HootSuite integration for creating mini-blogs with your notes making them instantly shareable to your community.

4. BuzzSumo

This tool helps you keep up with ‘buzzing’ content on the web. Is great for finding engaging content shared by individuals, businesses and web influencers, based on the keywords you select. It also provides analytics and competitor reports, which will help you to see where you fall in your respective industry.

5. Udemy

Udemy is my final pick because learning is the foundation of mastery. To be a true social media expert you have to commit to learning. Social platforms are tweaked, improved and can disappear at anytime, so a commitment to social media is also a commitment to change. Udemy is a platform that offers courses on a variety of topics that will help keep you strategic edge. I hope you enjoyed this article, and here’s one more tool as a thank you for sticking with me till the end.

Bonus

Coshedule’s headline analyzer – For the bloggers out there, this tool helps you to craft engaging headlines based on trend data pulled from analyzing the words, and phrases that yields the highest engagement. Check it out below: