5 Free Tools to Help You Optimize Your Social Media

Overwhelmed by social media? Struggling to keep up with an online presence? At times, we all struggle to keep up. It’s a time investment. That’s why it’s helpful to have tools that make the task of managing your social media a little easier.

Here are five free tools you should know about:

 

  1. Evernote

 

Evernote is an app and web extension that enables you to clip web pages and images, organize notes, and find text in images. It also has a messaging feature so that you can discuss and share your notes with your team. Evernote is almost like an Internet notebook.

 

  1. WeTransfer

WeTransfer is a web-based file sharing service. It’s as simple as entering the recipient’s email address and the files you are sending. WeTransfer allows up to 2GB to be sent for free. It comes in super handy for quickly sharing content to schedule on social media. 2GB is a lot of data to be able to send quickly for free!

 

  1. Buffer

Buffer is a useful tool for scheduling and publishing posts across multiple social platforms. It also features analytics and allows for multiple users to collaborate at once. You can schedule posts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. If you use multiple social accounts, scheduling posts can be done just once by clicking on the desired social channels.

 

  1. Canva

The easiest way to make quick graphics is Canva. Even if you aren’t much of a graphic designer, it’s easy to create beautiful branded graphics. Canva has many easy-to-use features and you can even create graphics with sizing for all and lets you create graphics with sizing for all the different social platforms.

 

  1. Grammarly

 Grammarly is a web extension and app that edits. It empowers you to edit everything you type – from work documents to your emails to your social media posts. This is the easiest way for you to improve your communication. No more excuses for grammar mistakes!

 

Conclusion

Don’t stress about your social media! Take advantage of the free tools available to you and look around to see what else is out there. You might be surprised by what you can do for free!

Local Women Owned Small Business Entrepreneur Graduates from VISION St. Charles Leadership Program

DeVries portrait. May not be used or reproduced without permission.

Local Women Owned Small Business Entrepreneur Graduates from VISION St. Charles Leadership Program

 Laura DeVries, founder and principal of CommCore Marketing, LLC and 2017 recipient of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s Women Owned Small Business certification, graduates from the VISION St. Charles County Leadership Program.

 The VISION St. Charles County Leadership Program’s mission is to educate community and business leaders by providing experiences that will increase awareness, develop leadership skills and motivate participants to be actively engaged in St. Charles County. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the program.

 DeVries was selected as one of 30 applicants to participate in the 9-month program. “The program changed my perspective on everything,” states DeVries following her April 26, 2018 graduation ceremony. “As an independent company, I didn’t know what was happening in my own back yard. The VISION program changed that by putting me in touch with a phenomenal network of people, events, and settings I otherwise never would have encountered.”

 An element of the VISION program is to create a class project. DeVries’ group developed the Protégé Professional Mentorship Program whose purpose is to enhance the leadership qualities of St. Charles County’s emerging workforce. Its primary function is to match mentees (protégés) with mentors (luminaries) to help teach, develop, and grow future leaders.

 “Through the leadership program, I’ve become a better business owner and more involved in the community. It’s been an emotional, life-altering experience for me.”

 For more information, contact Laura DeVries, CommCore Marketing, LLC at laurad@commcoremarketing.com and 314.308.0799. For more information on the Protégé Professional Mentorship Program or to participate as a protégé or a luminary, visit www.visionprotege.org

http://commcoremarketing.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauradev

https://www.facebook.com/CommCoreMarketing

https://twitter.com/CommMkt

Need A Little Help? Hire A Freelancer!

There’s no doubt the work landscape has changed with the rise of the internet. Unprecedented connectivity has allowed us to break free of the 9 to 5 work schedule and commuting to an office space. It has also yielded a growing workforce of “alternative workers.”

Alternative work is characterized as unsteady or temporary— such as work as an independent contractor or through a temporary help agency (Quartz, 2016). Businesses everywhere are hiring more freelancers as opposed to full-time workers. Why?

 

Saves You Money

 When you’re only in need of help for specific projects, why hire somebody to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? A full-time employee with salary and benefits can be expensive. Whether a freelancer charges you by the hour or a flat monthly retainer fee, a freelancer is far less of a cost than a full-timer.

You can actually save 20-30% a year by hiring freelancers. Yes, even with the higher hourly and flat rates of freelancers they are less expensive to hire!

 

More Flexibility

 Freelancers don’t need to adhere to a 9 to 5 work schedule, so they have more flexible work hours. That means you have someone to take care of work beyond your business hours such as engaging on social media, responding to emails and messages, and making website changes and tweaks.

 

Expertise

When you hire a freelancer, you’re hiring someone who specializes in a field or fields and has spent time honing their craft. You don’t need to invest your time and resources into training this worker like you would with a new full-time employee— or teaching yourself the skills you need to do it yourself.

Here are some great jobs to outsource to freelancers:

  • Writing, blogging, website content creation, marketing content creation, or editorial management
  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Social media management
  • Marketing strategy
  • Virtual assistance
  • Coding/web development
  • PR/influencer outreach
  • Photography
  • Video production

 

Fresh Ideas & Quality Work

Sometimes it’s helpful to just get a pair of third-party expert eyes on your projects who are willing to bring their fresh perspective to the table. Freelancers who have been working independently for awhile tend to have a variety of experience and can therefore offer something unique to your business.

Plus, because freelancers make a living off of repeat work, you can be assured that a good freelancer will communicate well, have good customer service, and strive to give you their best work. Freelancers have to continuously prove their worth in order to maintain their job because they’re not permanently on your payroll. Don’t you want an employee that’s held more accountable to the quality of the work they promise to deliver?

 

Less Risk

Because freelancers are not technically employees, they don’t have the same rights and legal obligations that salaried employees do. If you find that a particular freelancer just isn’t a good fit, they are easy to replace. There are no shortage of freelancers out there and you can shop around to find one that you can form a strong working relationship with.

 

Conclusion

 If you need some extra help with some projects in your business, you should strongly consider hiring a freelancer. It’s a low-risk, low-commitment option to get a job done by a specialist with experience.

If you’re in need of a freelancer referral, get in contact with Laura for a solid recommendation.

9 Tools for Optimizing your Social Media

By now you know that social media for your business is a must but, if you have any experience with it at all, you’re probably aware of how time consuming it can be. Managing your social sites can be even more cumbersome than managing your website.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of tools out there to help you manage your social strategy. Here are nine to get you started:

 

  1. Evernote

What It Does: Evernote is both a web extension available on most browsers and an app. It allows you to clip webpages and images, find text in images, and keep all your notes organized. It also has a messaging feature so that you can discuss and share your notes with others.

The plus and premium versions offer features like saving important emails and annotating pdf files. You can essentially build your own web database with this software and compile a rich resource of content to use on social media.
Who Else is Using It: 200 million users

 

  1. Feedly 

What It Does: It’s a content marketer’s dream. Feedly aggregates content from web browsers and mobile devices and compiles it into useful news feeds for the user to customize and share. You can monitor news by getting keyword alerts from Google, and it even connects with various softwares like Evernote, Slack, and Trello to optimize business usage.

Who Else is Using It: MIT, Zendesk, Foundry Group, and 12 million other users

 

  1. MeetEdgar

What It Does: This is a social media management software that you definitely need to know about. MeetEdgar uses and reuses your best content to optimize post views. Edgar offers a categorized library with types of content. You can then schedule the type of content to post at the right time on the right social channel and Edgar will take over from there, week after week. Then Edgar stores the content for later use so he can share it after he runs out of material thereby optimizing post views.

Who Else is Using It: Neil Patel, DigitalMarketer, CopyHackers, Canva, ProBlogger, Foundr, and thousands of other users

 

  1. Sprout Social

What It Does: Like MeetEdgar, Sprout Social is a social media management software with features including a unified Smart Inbox, social CRM tools, advanced scheduling tools, social media monitoring, sophisticated analytics, and team collaboration tools.

Who Else is Using It: UPS, Ticketmaster, Stanford University, Bentley, Hyatt, Evernote, Grubhub, and 17,000 other users

 

  1. WeTransfer

What It Does: WeTransfer is a web-based file sharing service. It’s a really simple platform that only requires your recipient’s email address(es), your email address, and the files you are sending. You can send files as big as 2GB for free.

This is a great tool for quickly sharing files to schedule for social posts.
Who Else is Using It: Enough users to send 10 billion transfers in 2016

 

  1. Iconosquare

 What it Does: This is the go-to tool for scheduling Instagram posts. What stinks about scheduling Instagram posts is that because Instagram doesn’t share their API, auto-posting is not an option. With Iconosquare, however, you can schedule posts and get notifications when it’s time to post. Plus, the analytics are some of the best and most in-depth out there for the platform.Who Else is Using It: FourSquare, KemperSports, Krupp Group Public Relations

 

  1. CoSchedule

What It Does: CoSchedule is a social media management tool, but it’s also a very powerful collaborative calendar. You can organize all of your social media posts, content, events, and tasks in one place. Plus, the ReQueue feature finds optimal posting times and fills in the gaps in your social calendar with your best performing posts.Who Else is Using It: Convince & Convert, Borshoff, Foundation Recovery Systems, Florida Realtors

 

  1. Buffer

What It Does: Buffer is a handy tool for scheduling and publishing posts across multiple social platforms. It also features analytics and allows for multiple users to collaborate at once.Who Else is Using It: Fortune Magazine, Business Insider, About.com, Seattle Times, the Denver Broncos

 

  1. Canva

What It Does: If you want to make quick and easy graphics but you’re not much of a graphic designer, this is the perfect tool for you. Canva is loaded with easy-to-use features and lets you create graphics with sizing for all the different social platforms.

Who Else is Using It: Over 10 million users

 

Conclusion

No matter what tools you decide to use to help manage your social media, make sure you take advantage of the many free tools out there. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to helpful software!