4 Great and Free Social Media Post Creation Tools to Try

Being active on social media is both necessary and often times difficult if you are a small business owner or you’re a one-person marketing team. Fortunately there are a variety of tools available for you to pick from that help with this. From scheduling posts to manipulating, designing, and getting free images, you have a lot of options.

However, some people can’t be bothered about hopping onto multiple platforms. So here is a brief list of some incredible – and free – platforms that make these processes easier. You won’t need to hop between platforms to create fantastic posts with these.

Image Quote

Previously known as Instaquote, this tool does what it says on the box, it’s a tool designed to generate a random quote while providing various graphics for you to pick and choose. There is a lot of flexibility with this app and of course offers more should you decide to pick the premium option. The only catch to this is this is a mobile app with no desktop option so if you need to bring the post you created to your computer for whatever reason, you’ll need to jump through a few hoops to get there.

Setting that aside, it’s a great and convenient tool for any smartphone user who uses their mobile a lot. Here is the app on the Apple app store.

Pablo

Pablo is similar to Image Quote in that it generates quotes and has a wide selection of images for you to choose from, but that is where their similarities end. Pablo is an incredible tool to use as the platform is created by Buffer, the social media scheduler. If you have a Buffer account (free or paid) you can easily make a post and schedule it right there.

On top of that, there is more flexibility to the overall post you are creating. You have a little more choice than on Image Quote in that you can make a post designed for a specific platform rather than having a static image designed for one social media platform. Pablo also has a feature for you to include your own logo in these posts as well.

Quotes Cover

Quotes Cover is another incredibly unique tool to consider if you need to make content quickly and has some interesting perks. For one, there is no login or sign up page which means you don’t need to make an account in order to use this tool. I love not needing an account!   And best of all, this tool is available on mobile and desktop via its website which means you don’t need to download an app in order to get this either.

But getting into this platform, you really start to see the value of it as the site can generate a wide variety of posts similar to Canva – another great social media post creator I might add. You can create wall posters, desktop and phone wallpaper, greeting cards, as well as social media posts for a variety of platforms.

But what Quotes Cover does differently than Canva is that Quotes Cover also shows off what others have created. This incredible because you are free to download, share, and distribute this work as is. But what’s even better is that you are free to edit these posts meaning you can use other peoples designs or their quotes as inspiration for you to create something different. This may bother you or you may like it, you can decide.

Stencil

Another alternative for post creation to consider is Stencil. It has the same kind of speed as Pablo in that everything you need to make a post is right in front of you. However the big differences is that Stencil provides a lot more.

It’s not that Pablo is a weak tool, however since Pablo is free, it’s a given that you’ll be running into the same quotes and using the same images after you’ve made a certain amount of posts. Stencil breaks that eventual staleness by doing the same thing, but offering significantly more.

Stencil offers:

  • Many images, fonts, quotes, icons and graphics available to pick from ensuring that you can make the right post for you.
  • Upload and storage for several logos. This allows you to use this tool for both clients or for your business.
  • Access to custom sizes ensuring there is some flexibility to the posts you are creating in cases where the pre-loaded sizes aren’t cutting it.
  • Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
  • And a premium version which grants you access to hundreds of templates that’ll make post generation faster.
  • This is only the tip of the iceberg as Stencil is loaded with additional features. To find them out, you’re going to have to see it for yourself.

Great Post Creation Tools For You

As you can see, there are many great tools out there that are going above and beyond scheduling and making images. Some of them can make images faster while others make the tools easily available with very little clicking. If you’re in a bind and need to generate a lot of content quickly, consider these options. They provide quality images, have access to many quotes, and making these posts will take literally minutes. What’s not to love about that?

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6 Great Social Media Apps That Schedule Social Media Posts

6 Great Social Media Apps That Schedule Social Media Posts

With more people flocking to social media, many social media sites have become marketing goldmines for businesses. By being on social media and having a social presence, businesses are able to engage with users immediately, and create deeper connections than other traditional marketing tactics.

There are many perks that come to being on social media, however a lot of these perks come from a businesses ability to make great content. Content marketing. And while that sounds easy, it’s harder than you think.

The biggest culprit that makes social media so difficult is time. It takes time to create posts and time to post them too. And for business owners you honestly can do better things with your time than constantly logging onto Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and making one post. All you need is an app that allows you to schedule your social media posts.

The only problem with that is that there are dozens of these apps.

Here are a handful of these apps to consider so you can pick one you like the most!

Buffer

The biggest social media scheduler of them all and deservedly so. Buffer is strongly established in the market, and some incredible features. These features include a queue, post analytics, team features, and engagement features. Best of all, it can post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Linkedin.

All in all Buffer has a simple design and is easy to get into. Furthermore it’s relatively cheap as well. You can pay as little as $15 per month to upwards of $399 per month depending on how many social profiles you want and how large your team is.

Here is their pricing plan.

Sprout Social

Close behind Buffer is Sprout Social. It’s similar to HootSuite – another social media scheduler – in that it combines similar tools together. Sprout Social has the full suite of features that Buffer has in monitoring, scheduling, and analytics, but where it differs is in the posting. You have a few extra features in creating content tagging and if you have a team working on social media posts there is an approval workflow feature too.

Prices for Sprout Social are higher than Buffer’s however Sprout Social goes into more detail on the data side of things. They also provide a 30 day free trial for you to try it out with no risk.

HootSuite

HootSuite has been around from the beginning. In fact, it might’ve been the first scheduler of its kind. It started in 2008 and offers a wide variety of content features. It has scheduling, content curation, organization, and an RSS integration. Hootsuite also takes pride in bulk scheduling so if you want to upload several posts at a time, you can do that. Furthermore, there is a feature that allows you to create social contests or sweepstakes on social media with ease.

Here is their pricing plan.

Social Pilot

This scheduler is unique in that its filled with features and integrated into one dashboard. Social Pilot isn’t as robust as the previous three schedulers, but if you’re looking to just schedule your posts then this is a no hassle and cheap option to consider.

They offer a 14 day trial with plans starting as low as $25 a month.

CoSchedule

CoSchedule has some pretty neat features, the biggest being the social calendar feature. In short, this platform is geared to helping you schedule and organize every single post. Not only that but it’s also one of the top blogs on content marketing so there is a lot of information you can get access to on the subject.

But that information and unique features don’t come cheap. Their cheapest plan comes up to $80 a month which is the highest base plan out of them all. Still, these are some great features to consider.

Crowdfire

Crowdfire used to be a simple follow and unfollow feature before it evolved into what it is now. It’s the most automated scheduler out of all of these to the point that most users feel Crowdfire is basically an automated robot. Crowdfire makes recommendations for posts you can make through a series of messages. The bot will also set up a wide variety of posts for you without you having to worry at all.

The only catch to this is that unlike the previous schedulers, you can’t make a post from scratch nor can you schedule them. This app is focused solely on social engagement. So it might not exactly fix the issues you have exactly.

Still, it’s the cheapest out of the other schedulers starting off at $7.48 a month.

The Right Scheduler For You

Each scheduler has its own subtle differences and overall feel for it and the best way to know the right one for you is to try them out. While I was focusing on the pricing points of each one of these schedulers, they do have options for free versions or at least give you a free trial. So try them out and see which one makes the most sense for your business.

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How To Place Facebook Friends In Friend Lists

How To Place Facebook Friends In Friend Lists

Facebook has a lot of incredible features for its users but most are often buried under the amount of things you can do on Facebook. One particular feature that is becoming more useful is the ability to organize and create friend lists. There are several benefits to using this feature and here is how you do it.

Creating And Filling Up A Friend List

Making lists on Facebook is nothing really new. In fact, you may have already seen what lists look like without creating one. These are called smart lists, lists that are automatically generated and filled based on the information you place on your profile and what the friends you have on Facebook have in common. Examples of these smart lists are things like work, family, city, and school.

But you can create your own with little to no worry. Here is how you do it:

  1. From the News Feed, click on Explore on the left hand side and find Friend Lists. If it’s not there, you may need to click on See More… and scroll to find it.
  2. Find Create List and click it.
  3. You’ll be given a pop up to give the list a name and also to include friends that you want to add to the list.
  4. Click Create once you’re done.

Also important to note is that you can create several lists. There isn’t a limit to how many you can make so if you’d like, you can be more specific to certain lists. What is also important to note is that you can freely add or remove individuals from those lists at any point in time.

Why Bother With This?

As the steps would suggest, there’s not really a quick way to add specific people. Furthermore if you’re looking to make a pretty large list, you’re going to have to spell out a lot of names. The task can be so arduous that many will ask what’s the point in all of this. What sort of benefits do you get from spending this much time making a handful of lists?

Well the biggest perk to this is deeper privacy. As I mentioned in a previous post regarding Facebook privacy tips, friend lists can help in permitting only specific individuals to seeing your posts. Maybe you have posts that you want only your friends and family to see. Making a friend list for that instance can help.

What’s also neat about this setup is that this also applies to your Stories. If you want Stories to be viewed by a specific group of people, then you can take advantage of this feature.

The only thing I’ll warn though is that it can get awkward if you use this feature regularly and decide to remove people from those lists. People will wonder why they can’t get access o your posts or stories and if it’s someone you know personally, they may bring that up.

Another distinct benefit is this can help in organizing your business. While having a Facebook page helps in personal branding, there are people who want to use their own profile to brand themselves. Being able to place their friends in specific lists can ensure that their friends don’t have their news feed filled with sales pitches or promotions all the time.

Friend Lists Help In Organizing Everything

Friend lists ultimately help in making your Facebook experience organized and safer. You can create a number of lists ensuring that people you don’t want to see specific posts get access to those particular posts.

It’s a rather long process to be building those lists, but they are worth it if you really value your privacy on the platform.

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How To Restrict who can view your Instagram and Facebook stories

How To Restrict who can view your Instagram and Facebook stories

With more privacy concerns growing on Instagram and Facebook, many people are looking for ways to protect their information while still using the platforms. Fortunately there are many great features that Facebook and Instagram have to protect your information and make your experience more private. This experience also slips into the Stories feature. But how exactly can you make your stories private? When the feature first came out on Instagram, anyone that was following you could get access to it right?

That’s true, but a lot has changed since the launch of Stories and increased privacy was one of those things. And since Instagram is owned by Facebook, those privacy features spill into Facebook too. Here is how you can make your stories more private.

Privacy For Instagram Stories

One big perk that Instagram has with hiding stories is that if you elect to hide stories from a particular person, that story and any future stories you make will be hidden from that person. This is convenient as it saves you the trouble of hiding stories from particular people all over again.

To hide stories from someone follow these steps:

  1. Go to your profile and tap on the triple bars.
  2. Select Settings followed by Privacy and Security followed by Story Controls.
  3. Click on Hide Story From and select the individuals you’d like to hide your story from and select Done (iOS) or the checkmark (Android). You can unhide people from stories by selecting the check next to their name from this menu.

That being said, there is another way to hide your stories from others. With recent updates, you now have access to information on who has seen your story. By looking at this information you can press on the triple dots (…) on the right of the users name and you can select Hide Story From.

The other thing to keep in mind with this is that hiding a story from someone doesn’t mean you are blocking them. Even if you hide stories from particular people, they still are able to see your posts and profile.

What’s also important to know with Instagram is the nature of your account can serve as a way of hiding posts from people. If your account is set to private, the followers that are approved by you are the only ones who can see your story. If your account is public, every single person can get access to your stories via your profile, their feed if they’re following you, or through Direct messages.

Privacy For Facebook Stories

Facebook has a more robust privacy system in that you can restrict specific people or groups with a few clicks, provided that in some cases you’ve created friend lists. Instagrams methods are more manual and thus more time consuming if you are trying to restrict access to many people.

For Facebook you are able to change the story privacy in general like a Facebook post or you can hide stories from specific people.

For story privacy settings follow these steps:

  1. Create your story like you would with any other story and select Next.
  2. At the bottom of Your Story, you are given an option to select your audience. You can restrict individuals en mass by selecting one of these options:
    • Public: Friends, followers, and those you’ve chatted with through Messenger can see your story. Only friends can reply.
    • Friends and connections: Only friends and connections on Messenger can see your stories.
    • 

Friend: Only friends can see your stories. Those who follow you will not.
    • 

Custom: Select specific people (or groups) who can see your stories.
  3. Tap Change.

To hide stories from specific people do the following:

  1. Open Facebook app
  2. Create your story as usual.
  3. Click on Privacy on the bottom left and select Who can see your story? And choose between Friends and connections or Friends
  4. Tap Hide Story From and select the people in that selected category who you want to hide stories from. Select Done after that.

The only thing to note about the second method is that it doesn’t remove these individuals from seeing future stories. You’ll need to place people in your Restricted list to ensure they don’t see future stories. However, if you change the privacy settings of your stories (first method) those settings will apply for future stories without you manually inputting them every time.

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6 Safety Facebook Tips To Protect Your Personal Information

6 Safety Facebook Tips To Protect Your Personal Information

Despite Facebook facing a heavy fine of $5 billion from the FTC over privacy issues, many users still use the platform. It’s a place where all of our friends and family are after all. So how can we visit Facebook while keeping our personal data secure? Well, your data can be safer when you follow these cybersecurity tips.

Facebook privacy

My first tip is to have a strong password. It’s an obvious one, but it’s still an issue today. For example, some of last year’s popular passwords consist of passwords like “qwerty”, “111111”, “12345”, and of course “password”. These are easy to get into and that’s the last thing you want. So do yourself a favour and make stronger passwords. One apps that can help you is LastPass. It’s free to use and can generate and store passwords for you so you don’t have to remember them. Those passwords are also locked by a master password which you’ll create and can only be accessed on your personal devices.

On the note of passwords, make sure your mobile gets a similar treatment. We use our smartphones a lot these days so if you ever lose it or your phone gets stolen, it’s harder for people to break into it if there is a passcode lock on it.

Another good tip in restriction is limiting who can see your posts. In the upper right-hand corner of every post you create, you can select who can see this post. It’s a general restriction, however you can restrict the view further by placing friends in friend lists.

If you want to feel more secure, another option is limit how many friends you add on Facebook. Make a personal rule to only add people you’ve met before or have chatted with will narrow who you accept as a Facebook friend. This will protect you from potentially accepting people who could wish you harm or also view your confidential posts (such as when you’re away from your home on vacation and no one is there…).

The tip above also applies to apps too. There are thousands of them and some of them were malicious in the past. Some users had their accounts hijacked or they were spamming other users. There are safety protocols put in place now, however it is worth looking over the apps and see what it is you are giving them access to before downloading.

The last tip is one that not many people have considered before and that’s backing up personal data. From the first day you created your Facebook account, you can grab that information. To access that information, click on “Account Settings” and look for “Download a Copy of your Facebook Data.” Why do this? Should anything happen to your account, you have better odds of recovering your account with this data.

These are some simple tips, but these are things that many overlook in their personal safety. So take these measures and you’ll feel safer while on Facebook.

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Different free web tools to edit and manipulate images

Different free web tools to edit and manipulate images

As transcribed from my video https://youtu.be/jiMdmLSroXE

“Have you ever had any photos or images that you need to manipulate really quick, and you just want to use some quick free tools to do it? There are some great websites that you can use.

Image resize manipulation text tools

One of them is https://www.remove.bg/ – BG meaning background. Unbelievable website where you take a photo such as a headshot, you upload it to the website, and a few seconds later it’s removed the entire background. And it even turns it into a transparent png for you.

Another great website is http://www.picresize.com/ With this website tool you can rotate photos, flip photos, resize them, and save them as a different version. You’ve got JPGs, GIFs, PNGs, BMPs. You can even apply special effects. And the special effects are like, you can blur it, you can do grayscale it, you can make it look like it’s scorched.

Another couple quick websites that you can use as part of your toolkit is https://cooltext.com/ and https://flamingtext.com/ where you can create an instant logo or heading for your website by typing in some text, change the look, and add many special effects to the fonts that are available.

These are some tools that you can use as part of your toolkit if you ever need to do some quick photo or image manipulation, and they’re free.”

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