Social media managers have a lot to do. Coming up with ideas, creating posts, navigating policies & guidelines, and handling engagement. You don’t need to create everything from scratch; there are free tools & content resources out there to give you one less thing to worry about.
We’ve included a couple of options for each type of content because no one resource has everything you need, so make sure you check them all out.
Sometimes, the only thing standing in the way of you creating something is a lack of inspiration, and there are resources out there designed just for that.
When you’re thinking ahead and planning next month’s social calendar, a great place to start is a list of upcoming hashtags and holidays. Finding a ‘day’ that’s related to your brand can be a jumping-off point for some content, and if there isn’t something that matches, looking through the list can still help spark inspiration.
This is a very niche example but it can give you an idea of what’s out there. Weekend Film Fest is an initiative by two YouTube creators, Colin and Samir, who wanted to remove people’s excuses when it comes to making videos. For a long time, they issued weekly challenges for people to create a video around a particular idea. It could be as creative or as loosely based on the topic as they wanted, the only rule was that it had to be 60 seconds or less (to fit on Twitter). A lot of people created a lot more content than they otherwise would have because someone removed the barrier of deciding what to create.
At this point, everyone on the internet knows what ‘trending’ is, what memes are, and the entertainment value that they both can provide. If you’re looking for content ideas, hit up your local trending page to see what everyone’s talking about. Every week, there’s a new fad that has the whole internet in stitches for a few days, like a caustic cat, the #BottleCapChallenge, or people dancing outside of their moving cars to Kiki Do You Love Me. People love to jump on trends and twist them to their interests. You can do the same to get ideas for your own content and get some organic reach in the process since people will be paying attention to what’s topical.
Image & Video
What is there to say about stock sites that you don’t already know? Creators everywhere want to see their work out in the world so they release them on stock sites for your use. They’re often free but you can always throw the creator a little love in the form of a small payment or credit on social media.
Several of the stock sites we just listed also offer stock video but Videvo has everything video-related. Stock video, music, sound effects, and motion graphics.
Canva is more of a content creation tool than a resource to find content, but it does have something that a lot of tools don’t; a database of free templates & elements to help you build your creations. Banners, signs, icons, shapes, images, illustrations, textures… Whatever you need, they’ve got something for you. The templates are varied and elaborate and can also serve as great inspiration if none of them quite fit your taste.
Music & Sound
Whether you need a hip beat for a vlog or some soft piano for an ad, YouTube has got you covered with a free database of tunes and sound effects for you to choose from. In most cases, the music is free to use with no strings attached but they will sometimes ask you to credit the artist in the video’s description. Small price to pay.
People very often release their music as videos on YouTube in order to make it really easy for people to find organically. A lot of it is free and the descriptions of the videos usually have information about usage rights, credits, etc. If you find something you like, you can use a tool like Online Video Converter to download just the audio to make it really easy to import into your project.
Much like stock images & videos, a lot of people create new fonts and release them to the world. If pre-loaded fonts aren’t right for your current project, take a look at these databases of unique font styles.
Emojis are practically hieroglyphs. Emojipedia is your resource for all things emoji… It defines them, outlines their uses, shows you how an emoji looks on each platform, and gives you the ability to copy & paste them into whatever you’re working on.
Google’s suite of creation apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) don’t provide much in the way of content, but they do come with their own collection of templates that can take the pain out of creating certain documents. They’ve got templates for proposals, invoices, meeting notes, balance sheets, brochures, school presentations, business pitches, and Gantt charts, just to name a few.
When we asked our community for suggestions, this one came highly recommended. What else can we say? Coffee fuels creativity.
Project Management Tools
There are some really great project management tools out there that can help you get your team on the same page. You can use tools like HeyOrca’s Event Strips to plan out your content and collaborate on your calendar or a tool like Monday.com to manage your social media projects and leverage project management tools like Gantt Charts.