Life as a social media manager is challenging enough as it is.
Managing, creating and curating content for your clients are already overwhelming tasks, that’s why you should surround yourself with applications and tools that can help you get the job done faster and more efficiently but with the top quality your clients expect from you.
I’ve been a social media manager for eight months now and I’ve worked for multiple clients at the same time (you know, #financial security).
And believe me, with 2 or more clients on your list, you wouldn’t want to burn yourself out by doing all things manually, would you?
So what I am sharing with you in this blog post are my lifesavers — these apps and tools have helped me run my social media management business efficiently like a well-oiled machine.
But don’t worry, I’m also dropping some that I haven’t personally used but have heard great things from. You know, it’s great to be familiar with these tools and apps in case a client brings this up to you during one of your interviews.
Okay, enough with the intro and let’s get started!
1. Graphic Design and Video Editing Tools and Apps
You don’t have to be a pro at graphic design and video editing to be a social media manager. But it doesn’t hurt to know the basics since you have to create some graphics and do minimal video editing for your clients too.
Let’s break it down into three categories, so you can easily digest the information.
Canva is among the popular choices for graphics creation. It’s free, easy and you can even invite your team and/or clients to work with you on the graphics. It has tons of templates that will help you get started.
I personally haven’t used Easil but it looks like Canva’s #1 competition. It is a free and easy option for graphics creation and has templates too.
For photo editing, there is Adobe Lightroom. It is a powerful editing tool and I love using it with free and paid presets I got. Applying presets into my clients’ photos makes them have a cohesive look especially on Instagram. You can check out a free version on this on the Play and App Store.
I also love VSCO and Tezza. They are both easy to use, plus, these two have free versions as well. If you do video editing for your clients, Tezza has tons of filters for videos you can use from so you don’t have to put too much time into changing the vibe of the videos.
Sometimes clients can’t give you photos or you may not get the photos you want from them, so stock photos are always a good alternative. Just make sure to read each stock photo company’s terms and conditions carefully so you won’t end up violating any rules.
I personally love Ivory Mix, started out with a free membership, but I ended up availing the paid one. It’s super worth it. Their photos don’t look like the generic stock photos that you see everywhere plus you get a bunch of other stuff too like Canva templates.
Video Editing Programs
Here are my top 3!
Since I only like editing from my laptop, I mostly use iMovie. It is a beginner-friendly tool, but it still gives the user a lot of options for video editing.
However, if you’re a social media manager who’s always on the go, InShot is perfect for you since it’s available for IOS and Android phones, plus, it’s fun and easy to use.
Meanwhile, if you want to start editing like a pro but have no budget for Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, or Media Composer, Filmora9 is a great way to go! There is no need to be intimidated with this program since it’s beginner-friendly.
Okay! I have a wildcard entry here — DaVinciResolve16. It is creating a buzz to video editor wannabes since it’s totally FREE! Yep, no watermarks on video footage. The paid version of this is the DaVinci Resolve Studio. I have yet to try this one though.
2. Social Media Schedulers
No! You don’t have to stay up all night just to publish a client’s post who is living all the way on the other side of the globe. There are these tools we call Social Media Schedulers.
I’ve already tried Hootsuite, Planoly, Later, Preview, and Tailwind. Please do search them on Google after reading this blog post since I’d be focusing on Creator Studio which is, you guess it right, my personal favorite.
It is free and there’s no limit on the number of posts you can schedule. However, one of its cons is that you can only schedule Facebook and Instagram posts, since it is owned by Facebook. There are still issues with bugs as well which I’m hoping will get sorted out in the coming months. It has generally improved compared to when I first used it in November 2019 though.
3. Project Management Tools
Project management tools are essential to keep organized with all the files you and your clients have. It will save you so much time when you learn how to organize your files and it will save you heartbreak in the future by avoiding lost files.
I’ve used Trello and Asana to track my client’s work progress and goals. We have different boards like “Yearly/Monthly Goals”, “Weekly Tasks”, “In Progress Tasks”, and “Completed Tasks” to keep us on track.
I use Google Drive to store my clients’ branding guide/kit and other branding materials needed for their business while I use Sheets and Slides to keep drafts of the social media posts I curated for my client’s approval and to present my monthly analytics reports too.
4. Your Business Admin Toolkit
If you got social media management clients outside Upwork or other freelancing platforms, it is best to have tools that will help you manage them better so they can have a great client experience — which means you’ll be able to keep them longer or a good chance they’d refer you to their biz friends!
What are these tools?
- Wave and PayPal – I use these two for invoicing my clients, though PayPal is easier to use, plus most clients prefer it.
- Dubsado – It is an all-in-one platform or CRM (customer relationship management) for every creative entrepreneur, not just for social media managers. You can use it to track your leads, create application forms to qualify your potential clients, send invoices, contracts and so much more. You can also use it to communicate with your clients so you don’t have to go back and forth with emails.
- LastPass – This is a password manager. It safely stores your passwords. You can store your clients’ passwords here so that it is safe and you don’t have to keep asking them when you forget it.
5. Other Essential Tools
If you would ask me what other essential tools I use as a social media manager that I’d love to recommend to you?
Grammarly is an online tool that helps you check your grammar, spelling and even more (on the paid version). You’ll definitely keep the Grammar Nazis away with this tool. Who wouldn’t want that, right?
Meanwhile, Google Alerts is a special tool I used to get updates on my client’s industry, so I can create these updates on their social media accounts. This is especially helpful when your client’s industry is something you don’t have a lot of experience with. I also use this to stay on top of social media trends as they’re always changing.
Now that you have these tools you are more than ready to serve your social media management clients with ease. It may take some time to figure out how some of these programs work, but don’t worry, you’ll definitely get there.
Do you have other tools you are using? Share them in the comments section!
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