Social media can sometimes feel like the hardest part of the job. There is a lot of pressure around buzz words like “trending” and “going viral”. This pressure can make the strategy and implementation of social media feel like something only experts can excel in. But with the right tools, almost anyone can be a social media expert.

Now not all social media tools on the market are valuable. Some will feel robust but end up taking too much time or energy to use. Unless you have a digital marketing professional in your staff or volunteer list, the work will fall on you. Someone who already enough work to do. To that end, we’ve collected the top affordable social media tools that will bring value and save time.

Feedly

“Keep up with the topics and trends you care about.” In a nutshell, Feedly helps you find useful lists and resources to share with your church network. Sharing useful and uplifting content from other resources makes the job of social media easier.

Sample of how Feedly can be used to access digital content

Feedly aggregates content based on your interests or sources you look to for inspiration. Set it to help you find great passages to share on social media, timely topics, or other areas of interest for your congregation. You can get started for free. If you want to use a more dynamic version, there are paid options as well.

Trello

Plan your live streams, sermons, events and social media in one place with Trello. Using a project planning tool can help you stay on top of your core content. You can also use a template feature to create different templates within Trello for longer content, like sermons, versus shorter content, like your social posts.

Basic Trello is free, so you can use it as much or as little as it suits your church’s needs without worrying about the impact on your budget

Later

Later is a scheduling tool that specialises in Instagram marketing, but also supports the major social media platforms.  You can start using this scheduling tool on a free plan that integrates with Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest and Instagram This tool is great if your church or your congregation is active on Instagram.

Later allows you to plan and schedule posts in an intuitive content calendar with visuals. If you decide to invest in a pro plan, you can also get useful hashtag research and publish content to your Instagram stories.

SocialBee

One of the best ways to make your job easier is to create great evergreen (non-time depended) content that you can re-share over and over. Reposting great content can prove a great way to cut back on the time you spend coming up with ideas, and it also can help you reach your audience.

With SocialBee you can create content that you share one or multiple times. It also has a built-in feature to help you modify your re-sharable content so it doesn’t look like you are repeating yourself.  If you are into marketing, this can also be a fun way to test how wording or imagery affects your engagement. You can try SocialBee for free for a few weeks, but will ultimately require a subscription. As far as content schedulers run, it is in the mid-to-low range.

Buffer

Buffer works on the idea that it can identify preferred time windows for your posts based on engagement from your audience.  This means you don’t have to worry about scheduling each individual post, you just upload content on to buffer and your preferred and the platform does the rest.

Buffer also has an app, making post scheduling on the go that much easier. This is great if you ever use your events as social content.

Canva

From simple social graphics to video overlays, Canva is becoming a go to social media tool for churches. It has an extensive library of free images and templates that you can use. For the most part, you can use many of the features of Canva totally free, but  can also upgrade to a business plan to create consistency and gain access to even more imagery and templates.

Using social media tool canva to create a post

Curator.io

Curator.io is a social media aggregator that allows you to specify content sources such as Twitter usernames or Instagram tags, and creates a single feed that you can curate/manage and embed within your website. This is excellent to have if your church has multiple active social media users or hashtags. By sharing this feed on your website you have dynamic content always available for visitors to find. It also helps you keep your posts in a place where even non-social media users can find it.

Currently Curator.io supports Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and RSS

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a powerful social media management tool with a great free plan. The main thing we like about Hootsuite is the dashboard that allows you to create different streams and views of your social content as well as those you follow.

Hootsuite also has the standard features of a social media scheduler, saving you time by automatically scheduling posts and providing measurement tools to track the impact of your social media posts.

Tweetdeck

If Twitter is part of your social strategy, Tweetdeck is an excellent tool. It allows you to create custom timelines, create and manage lists, and custom searches that you can follow in one easy to manage interface. This is great for social listening platform so you can retweet, share, and comment as an engaged social media participant.

Hello Woofy

A new tool in the social media toolbox, Hello Woofy is a time saving dream. It features a strong suite of tools, including aggregating content, intelligent optimisation, visual schedule planning and even integration of emoji and hashtag suggestions. It is designed to think for you, so you can focus on what you need to do. You can try it free for 30-days and then pay a monthly subscription.

With all the live streaming you are doing now, having a social media presence is now part of the job. Using social media tools that make that job easier will help you to focus on community building and congregation support.