Here is a list of free tools that are useful for small businesses. I’ve included a link (click the title of the tool) and a short description. I added a few categories that don’t usually get much attention in the social media infatuated tool world, such as project management and CRM.
Note – none of the links are affiliate links, just links to the tool sites.
Project management & communication
Great project management tool that uses cards and a visual board to organize projects. Works across a variety of platforms and devices to keep you organized. Free and paid levels.
Visual project management tool that makes organizing simple and avoids complex project tools. Works across all of your platforms and one of my favorite features is a tight integration with iMindMap to brainstorm and create projects.
Free project management tools, offers unlimited users and projects, apps for iPhone/iPad, give free users two integrations (with Dropbox, GitHub, Google Drive).
100 free users, 10,000 contacts and all the basic features in the free version.
Great for small businesses. Free for 2 users, includes unlimited lists, social integrations, and basic integrations. Upgrade price is £8/user/month
OK, this one isn’t free. But, it’s simply the best Social CRM tool available and is very affordable.
Free stock photos
When you invest in content marketing, you utilize tons of photos. On a tight budget, you can still use some of these:
As always, check individual artists’ usage terms.
Microcontent, infographic, image editors
Great tool for creating and publishing infographics because it’s so simple and easy to use. You can choose from templates, themes, and hundreds of charts and icons and upload your own images and backgrounds, or customize a theme to suit your brand.
Wide array of templates and images, you can also upload your own. There are many elements to use there and loads of possibilities to explore.
I included this section for those that want tools. But, I remind you that tools won’t build your social media presence or make it engaging. That requires you and your team, but they can provide useful analytics, help with setting up posting in advance, and save your time. Just remember to use them appropriately to help you, not replace you.
Shows you detailed breakdowns of your followers and activity (for Twitter).
Pinterest tool, helps with much beyond analytics ; schedule pins, promote pins, and gain new followers.
Instagram management tool; includes a user-friendly Instagram analytics section that shows big-picture views of posts, likes, comments, and followers, as well as breakdowns for the last seven days or last month, plus scores for love (the likes on your photos), talk (the comments on your photos), and reach (how many likes come from outside your followers).
Create a custom dashboard filled with stats from dozens of marketing tools. Their social media section lets you sync up all the major networks and pull overview reports or individual reports for the accounts you manage and the accounts you want to follow.
It lets you create and send social media messages with direct tracking on the dollars-and-cents ROI. Tell Beevolve how much it cost to create your content and how much you expect to receive per visitor, and Beevolve will handle the rest—sending the message, analyzing the response, and emailing you the report.
A wealth of statistics that can help you sort the popularity and success of a branded hashtag (or any other hashtag you choose). You can save a hashtag search so you can quickly and easily refer to it later on.
It puts together a score from 0 to 100 on your influence on social media. One interesting aspect to note about the score is how the contributions break down across your various connected networks. With this, you can see which networks are making the biggest impact for you. Mostly for interest only, getting caught up in goofy scoring metrics is a path to nowhere.
Enter your brand name in the HowSocialble search box, and you’ll receive a social score for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn (more networks can be unlocked with a free or paid account). The score factors in activity around your brand name over the past seven days.
A fully-featured Twitter management tool, SocialBro offers a free plan for Twitter users with fewer than 5,000 contacts. With SocialBro insights, you can receive a report on the best time to tweet and community insights into the demographics of your followers. Paid plans offer further features like expanded analytics.
Competition tracking, research, SEO
Tests the loading time and performance for desktop and for mobile, identify opportunities to improve. If your speed sucks, people leave before it loads.
Enter a keyword, and the Keyword Tool provides a huge handful of long-tail keyword opportunities, organized alphabetically. I think this is becoming much less valuable, but if you want to chase keywords, here you go.
Discover errors on your site. This is especially useful if you’ve had link shortening services that you let
This is an eclectic list and isn’t comprehensive. There are many great tools out there, lots of them free or quite reasonable. Find the right tool for your need and put it to use!
What tools do you find indespensible in your business? What tool do you wish you could find?