Five Essential and Free Community Manager Tools

Managing multiple Facebook pages and Twitter accounts (sometimes even G+, YouTube, Pinterest, and Foursquare accounts too) isn’t an easy job for a Community Manager, but luckily, there are plenty of free tools available online! Here are my favorites.

Community Manager Tools

Automatic Scheduler

A community manager or a CM could be handling anywhere from five to twenty social media accounts of clients at any given time. Missing post schedules happen all too often, and this could be bad in the long run. Facebook’s scheduling option is a blessing but what of Twitter? I personally like the uncomplicated multiple-stream interface of Hootsuite. You can schedule tweets in the future plus it has a built-in URL compressor if you need one. Free download at Hootsuite.com.

Character Counter

A CM must know the optimum and/or maximum lengths of text content such as tweets, Facebook updates, and Facebook page post ads. My favorite is the ultra-simple web-based program Letter Count. The website even has handy reminder text at the bottom with a ‘cheat sheet’ of important character count limits, such as the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter. This is one of the community manager tools CMs should use more frequently. Free to use at lettercount.com.

Photo Editing Tool

Very rarely are CMs graphic artists as well. I’m not. Since I get plenty (almost 100%) of my content images from publicly available ones, I make sure to always cite the original source of said image. For free watermarking photos of sources (if text citing is somehow impossible), I like to use Picmarkr. It’s fast, convenient, and features an option to re-size too-large images too. However, for more accurate re-sizing, I like Microsoft Office’s Picture Manager, an idiot-proof software which may already be installed in your computer. Free to use at Picmarkr.com.

Time-Saving Extensions

When scanning blogs and other other websites to propose as digital partners, it may take several third-party websites to complete a report. I downloaded the Webrank SEO Google Chrome extension and it has saved me countless precious hours. With one click, it scans a blog’s Alexa traffic rank, the number of web back links it has, social shares when applicable, as well as pages indexed. It’s quite the nifty little all-purpose tool. It even conveniently displays security estimates on said scanned website. Free for download at Chrome extensions.

Social Listening

Perhaps the most important job of any CM is to always have his/her digital finger on the digital pulse of his/her community. While (expensive) software is something many professional CMs such as myself enjoy the luxury of having, how can a freelance or self-employed CM monitor and listen for conversations about a given topic/keyword? I would recommend Who Talking, a free to use service which tracks ‘conversations’ mainly on Facebook and Twitter. Just enter the desired keyword or topic and voila – a history of conversations on said topic. Free to use at WhoTalking.com.

Have you ever used any of the community manager tools above? Whether you’re managing two or twenty accounts, these could be useful! Let me know what other tools you use in the comments, and do share this article if you found it helpful!

Featured image from WebDesignish.com, retrieved on November 20, 2012.

Community Manager Tools jsncruz

Community Manager Tools

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6 comments
nicaboii
nicaboii

Thanks for this! Picmarkr suggestion is very helpful! :)

Goodbye PAINT, you have served me well!

VinceGolangco
VinceGolangco

You are proving to be more useful than anticipated. When I rule the world, your death will be quick and painless. =) Thanks for the tips!  

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @nicaboii Paint was my quick-and-easy editor as well - until Picmarkr came along :)

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @VinceGolangco Ah, but what makes you think my little robot minions aren't already aware of those plans? :)) Thanks man, there's a semi-cloaked compliment there, I'm sure of it! 

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