If you need to scale your public relations and marketing efforts but don’t have a budget to match your wish list, you have more options than you might think. Social media tools and analytics – once the luxury of the big brands – are evolving. As more and more start-ups and savvy entrepreneurs tackle the everyday challenges of PR and marketing pros, the future has gotten a whole lot brighter.
Here are a few of our favorite free online tools:
Measure Your Data
How is your brand doing online? What’s bringing traffic to your website and social media accounts? What engages your target audiences? If you feel like you’re steering your digital platforms in the dark, it’s time to measure your web traffic and track performance.
Semrush is one tool that gives a free understanding of your website’s audience. Keywords they use to find you, social platforms that lead them in, high-performing backlinks, and more are broken down visually to better inform your web strategy, ultimately attracting an audience to your service.
Maximize Your Social Profile
Not only do you want to identify your website’s audience and strengths, but you’ll want to do the same for your social media profiles. For Twitter, at least, Followerwonk enables you to analyze your followers, and the profiles you follow. Graphical breakdown of individual profiles and the social authority they command, their geographic origin, active times of day, and broader conversations can help you tailor your messaging and strategy.
Identify Your Influencers
If you want to participate in the conversation, you need to know who’s talking across platforms and in the world at large. Identifying and engaging with key figures in your practice area or chosen subject is how brands can fortify their own presence as thought leaders, and can see what subjects are rising to the top.
Onalytica’s blog features lists of top 100 brands, organizations and influencers in a number of fields, or discussing diverse issues. Their reports also show key subtopics, tracking the percentages of, say, “fossil fuels” in the larger conversation around climate action. Mapping connections between social media accounts further illuminates the scene that you are entering. Beyond the lists they create, they also offer free trials for those looking to get a quick picture of who and how to engage online.
Design Your Own Infographics
A picture is still worth a thousand words—and a picture that displays information engagingly? Priceless. Best of all, countless infographic services allow you to create and share clear insight easily and at no cost. Canva provides for even the most design-challenged with specific social templates tailored to individual social media platforms. They have additional templates for physical menus, flyers, and more. Their tutorials and “design school” page can elevate your work and help you capture attention-deficit readers with sleek and snazzy graphics.
From analyzing your existing presence, to tracking conversation and big players, to showing off your assets with skill, there are no shortage of tools that will help you leverage free Internet resources towards a robust online presence that delivers.
By Charlotte Gross