It’s no secret we love a good deal. So much so that our accountant this past year asked us if our expenses were correct because they were so low. Literally any way we can save some money and we’re in! Besides, if there are free options that work just as well as paid ones, why not use them?This means we often are using free trials and tools to build our business as well as our clients’ businesses. And trust us, if we can run successful social media campaigns for clients of all sizes with just an ads budget, so can you! We’re spilling all our secrets today on how we run our social media campaigns for less money so you can do it too!
Creating Content Calendars
So let’s start with our process for all our social media campaigns. We do weekly content calendars for ourselves and our clients. Nothing fancy… just a good ol’ Google Doc. Yes, that means we’re creating these fo’ free! No fancy software or planners needed. We love Google Drive for so many reasons but mainly because it’s free and we both can work on a doc at the exact same time which is seriously useful in our case working from two different time zones. Once complete, we simply export as a Word Doc and send them off to our clients for approval. Ta da! This also makes the edit process easy peasy for our clients instead of having to comb through excel spreadsheets or logging into a scheduling programs.
Selecting Stock Photography
While some of our clients have photos for us to pull from or we take photos for other clients, some just don’t have a lot for us to choose from. That’s where stock photos sometimes come into play. We prefer to use original photos as much as possible but these can be a good option if needed. A few of our favorite free stock photo sites include: Pixabay and Pexels. Both of these are free for commercial use so no need to worry about copyrights either!
After everything is approved, we’ll schedule as many of the posts as possible. That way we have a consistent schedule for content to be published so we can focus on active engagement, networking and community management during the day (the realll important stuff). No fancy planner software here either! For Facebook, we schedule all the posts right on the platform. For Twitter, we like to use Tweetdeck which is also free! Then for Instagram, we use Planoly for our own account. You can either have the app send a notification that it’s time to post or it will also automatically schedule. Since you can only have one account for free, we use this for ourselves. For clients, we’ll set reminders on our phone or in Asana to remind us to post. The other note on Instagram is that we like to post our hashtags in the first comment, and automated programs don’t allow you to do so.
We get it though. There are other platforms that allow you to schedule all of this is one spot that will make your life easier but if you’re trying to save those dollars, this is a great option and really doesn’t take that much extra time. In the past, some of these programs may have seemed a little more valuable to us, but now that you can schedule directly within Facebook and the analytics within the platforms have been expanded so much, the benefits just don’t merit the expense for us personally.
Now if you’re taking your own photos or you just want to edit some that you found on your own, you don’t necessarily need Photoshop or Lightroom. You can often edit these right on your phone or in Instagram! We have a whole post about how to edit your photos like a pro if you need some pointers too.
So what is worth the mulah?
For real though, we only spend money on Facebook ads when it comes to our social media campaigns. We haven’t ever felt the need to do anything in our process differently and don’t necessarily think the investment into some of the planning tools out there is worth it for us. Maybe someday we’ll change our mind but we like to save money. We like to save our client’s money. We like to save you money too. And hopefully this post can help you do just that!