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Design  / Automation / Planning

Using these free online tools will help the quality and frequency of your social media marketing posts.  You only need basic skills to operate then and use them effectively.   You will be able to create visually stunning images to enhance your posts, easily schedule posts across multiple networks and even connect services together that you never even considered.

Canva onlne design tool



Canva is an online design tool that's easy to use and allows you to create fantastic images for your social media and other digital and even print needs.  Its all works inside a browser and there are even smartphone apps that you can use. You don't need design skills to use Canva as it comes with lots of templates and ideas to get you started.  For example there are templates for

  • Social Media, such as twitter, facebook and Instagram posts
  • Documents, such as presentations and a4 letters
  • Blogging, such as book covers & infographics
  • Marketing materials, such as posters, menus and flyers.
  • Social Media and Email Headers such as facebook event flyers
  • Events & Ads such as postcards and programs
Buffer Social media marketing scheduling

Social Media Planning


With so many different social networks to take care off sometimes its easy to forget about one or another especially those you infrequently use, such as Google+.  Additionally when you are busy you may only remember to post that recent blog post to facebook and forget about twitter as you want to schedule it for 9am tomorrow morning, which is fine for facebook but twitter does not have this feature.

Buffer is a free online tool that connects up to 10 social networks at once (5 in the free version), including twitter, facebook, linkedIn, Google + and Pinterest (on the premium version), as well as Instagram reminders. 

Using Buffer you can schedule your posts and share them across multiple networks at the same time, by just entering them once.

ifttt connecting networks

Marketing Automaton


"IFTTT" stands for If This Then That.  Its a free online tool that allows you to connect a (very) vast array of services together in whats called "Applets". An Applet lets you connect for example twitter to facebook, so when ("IF") a certain scenario eg you tweet with a #hashtag ("THIS") occurs ("THEN") it posts a status update on Facebook.

There are 100's of online services you can connect, from business tools, scheduling, email, household appliances, photos, cloud storage to name but a very view.

IFTTT is relatively easy to use, it will take a little time to get use to it and ideally if you have a bit of logical thinking it will help, but thre are lots of templates you can use.


About the author

Nigel Brown

Nigel Brown is the technical director at, with over 20 years of industry knowledge and practical experience with a particular interest in eCommerce, Web Security & Azure Cloud technology.   

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