Social Media Changes Quickly. This List of Free Tools, Regularly Updated Articles, Reports and Certifications Will Help Keep You Ahead.

While working on the 4th edition of my Social Media Strategy book (Coming February 2024!) I compiled a new concise and updated list of free tools and resources. These sources are all regularly updated and are the most relevant to creating and implementing social media strategies.

Some are frequent reports with updates and others are evergreen articles that have ongoing updates by the publishers. I also have free tools that can be used to develop strategies or use as class exercises. There are key industry news blogs and podcasts to keep up with current news and updates. I also include a list of strategy and platform courses with professional certifications.

They’re organized by categories of Reports, Data, Tools, News, and Certifications.

Annual/Quarterly Social Media Industry Reports

Frequently Updated Articles/Data for Social Media Plans

Free Tools for Social Media Content/Plan Creation

Social Media News Blogs

Social Media News Podcasts

Current/Past Social Media Platforms

Social Media Strategy Professional Certifications

Platform Social Media Professional Certifications

I hope you find this list helpful. If I missed any valuable ones please let me know!

This Was Human Created Content!

337 Tools and Resources to Improve Your Social Media Strategy.

Top List of Social Media Strategy Tools for 2019

Social media success begins with strategic planning. Too often we jump into social media without a broader strategy or simply keep doing what we’ve done in the past on the same social channels we opened years ago. Now is a great time to review current efforts. In Social Media Strategy and the article “Fix Your Social Media Strategy by Taking It Back to Basics” I suggest a five step process for developing a social media plan:

  1. Situation analysis (target market, social media audit, business objectives)
  2. Develop key insights and a big idea (create engaging content of value)
  3. Select social media channels (add and subtract for target and big idea)
  4. Integrate with other business functions and traditional marketing
  5. Link business objectives to social media metrics (then budget, schedule and run)

To create, execute, measure and optimize this social media plan you’ll tools and resources. This list of 337 tools and resources can help in each of these steps for Social Media Monitoring & Metrics (55), Online Data Collection & Analytics (61), Social Media Content Creation & Data Visualization (80), Social Content Scheduling & Automation (38), and Social Media & Digital Media Research (20).

Click here for an updated list of tools & resources.

To further your knowledge of social media I have also included a list of relevant social media Trade Associations, Awards, Conferences, sources for Social Media News & Insights (29), Social Media/Marketing Podcasts (18), and Social Media/Digital Marketing Training & Certifications (21).

Top List of Social Media Strategy Tools for 2019

Social Media Monitoring & Metrics

  1. Agora Pulse (social media management tool):
  2. Agora Pulse Free Tools (Facebook barometer, Twitter report card, Facebook page contests):
  3. Audiense (Twitter analytics):
  4. Brandwatch (social listening and analytics):
  5. Brand24 (social media monitoring):
  6. Buzzsumo (content analytics):
  7. Cision (social monitoring and analytics):
  8. Clarabridge (customer experience management and analytics):
  9. Crimson Hexagon (social media analytics):
  10. Critical Mention (media monitoring):
  11. Google Alerts (monitoring):
  12. Hootsuite (social dashboard, scheduling, reporting):
  13. How Socialble (social media monitoring):
  14. HYP3R (location based social listening):
  15. Iconosquare (analytics and management):
  16. Klear (influencer marketing platform):
  17. Likealyzer (Facebook page analysis):
  18. Lithium (social media management):
  19. Meltwater (social media monitoring):
  20. Meltwater Impact (free content report):
  21. Mention (social media monitoring):
  22. Netbase (social analytics):
  23. Nielsen Social (social content ratings):
  24. NUVI (monitoring, analysis, reporting):
  25. Oktopost (B2B social media management):
  26. Oracle Social Cloud (listening, analytics, engagement):
  27. Podium (customer messaging and review platform):
  28. Reputology (review monitoring and management):
  29. ReviewTrackers (online review management):
  30. Rival IQ (social media analytics):
  31. Salesforce: Social Studio (listening, publishing, engagement):
  32. Simply Measured (social analytics):
  33. Social Bakers (social media management):
  34. Social Blade (social media statistics):
  35. Social Mention (real-time search and analysis):
  36. Social Searcher (real-time social search):
  37. Socially Devoted Meter (analyze response rate):
  38. Social Studio (enterprise social media management):
  39. Spredfast (enterprise social media management):
  40. Sprinklr (unified customer experience mangement):
  41. Sprout Social (social media management):
  42. SumAll (social media automation):
  43. SumoRank (analyze best Facebook page content):
  44. Sysomos (social media management, analytics):
  45. Talkwalker (social analytics and monitoring):
  46. Talkwalker Social Analytics Search (track campaigns and hashtags):
  47. Trackur (social monitoring and sentiment analysis):
  48. TrueSocialMetrics (social media analytics):
  49. Twitonomy (Twitter analytics and monitoring):
  50. Viralwoot (social scheduler and analytics):
  51. Visible Measures (video monitoring and analytics):
  52. Unruly (social video insight):
  53. Yext Free Location Scan (location data analysis):
  54. Zoho Social (social media management):
  55. Unmetric (social intelligence and analytics):

Online Data Collection & Analytics

  1. Alexa (website statistics and analysis):
  2. Bottlenose (data analysis):
  3. Chartbeat (content intelligence and analytics):
  4. Comscore (cross-platform measurement):
  5. Conversion Fly (online tracking):
  6. Cyfe (all-in-one dashboard):
  7. Datarama (cross channel analytics/insights):
  8. Delmondo (Snapchat analytics):
  9. Drip (e-commerce marketing automation):
  10. Facebook Insights (Facebook analytics):
  11. Facebook Page Cost Calculator (Facebook ad cost tool):
  12. Foursquare Analytics:
  13. Google Analytics (website analytics):
  14. Google Analytics UTM Tracking URL Builder (online tracking):
  15. Google Tag Manager (tracking):
  16. Google Tools (online data analysis):
  17. Google Trends (real-time online search analysis):
  18. GRYTICS (Facebook Group analytics):
  19. IBM Watson Analytics (data AI):
  20. Instagram Insights (Instagram analytics):
  21. iSpionage (online competitor research):
  22. Keyhole (real-time hashtag tracker):
  23. Keyword Tool (keyword research):
  24. Kiss Metrics (behavioral analytics and engagement):
  25. Klout (social sharing and impact measurement):
  26. Kred (influence score and platform):
  27. Leadpages (landing page creator, opt-in tools):
  28. LinkedIn Analytics:
  29. ManageFlitter (Twitter tools and analytics):
  30. Moz Open Site Explorer (Inbound link tool):
  31. New Share Counts (Twitter share counts tool):
  32. Nexalogy (discover social conversations):
  33. Omgili (discussion, news, blog search):
  34. Origami Logic (data analysis/insights):
  35. Pinterest Analytics:
  36. Quantcast (website audience measurement):
  37. RiteTag (trending hashtags):
  38. Ruzzit (trending videos, stories, and images):
  39. SearchMetrics (enterprise content marketing):
  40. SEMrush (online competitive intelligence):
  41. Serpstat (SEO tool/platform):
  42. SharedCount (track URL shares and likes):
  43. Shopping Insights (online shopping trends):
  44. SimilarWeb (website stats and analytics comparison):
  45. Snaplytics (automated story publishing and analytics):
  46. Social Searcher (social media search):
  47. Soovle (search suggestions):
  48. Tableau Your Data (data analysis/visualization):
  49. TrendKite (PR analytics):
  50. Trendspottr (real-time viral content, influencers):
  51. Tweetreach (Twitter analytics):
  52. Twitter Advanced Search:
  53. Twitter Analytics:
  54. Ubersuggest (keyword suggestion tool):
  55. UVRX (social search):
  56. WordStream (keyword tool):
  57. Yoast (SEO tool):
  58. YouGovProfiles (media planning, audience segmentation – UK):
  59. YouTube Analytics:
  60. YouTube Trending:
  61. Visio Sparks (Social media counts checker):

Social Media Content Creation & Data Visualization

  1. Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (create fast web pages):
  2. Adobe Kuler (color tool):–wheel
  3. Animaker (animated video tool):
  4. ANIMOTO (video creation tool):
  5. Answer the Public (content ideas tool):
  6. BeLive (live streaming video software):
  7. BIGVU (video creation tool):
  8. Bot Builder (set up and manage conversations):
  9. Botletter (create Messenger newsletters):
  10. Camtasia (screen recording/video editing):
  11. Canva (design tool):
  12. Chartbuilder (create charts):
  13. Chhirp (record audio for Twitter):
  14. Compressor by Pitchengine (automated social post creation):
  15. Crello (design tool for social posts):
  16. Curalate (visual commerce platform):
  17. Datawrapper (create charts and maps):
  18. DesignEvo (create custom logo designs):
  19. DesignWizard (online graphic design software):
  20. Easelly (infographic tool):
  21. Ecam (live video production):
  22. Emotional Marketing Analyzer (headline improvement):
  23. Enhance (social image creation):
  24. Facebook Creative Hub (create Facebook ads):
  25. Fastory (social story creation):
  26. Free Stock Photo Sites (updated list of free social images):
  27. Funnelytics (free digital marketing funnel mapping):
  28. Gifs (gif maker):
  29. Good Data (business intelligence tool):
  30. Google Data Studio (data visualization):
  31. Google Fonts:
  32. Google Image:
  33. Grammarly (proofreading and editing):
  34. Headline Analyzer (optimize headlines):
  35. Hemingway Editor (improve writing):
  36. Infogram (create charts, maps, graphics):
  37. Knowem (username and trademark database):
  38. LibreStock (free stock image search):
  39. Loomly (social media calendar and publishing):
  40. Lumen5 (social video creation):
  41. ManyChat (bot builder for Facebook Messenger):
  42. MetaShort (custom social links):
  43. Microsoft Bot Framework (build and manage bots):
  44. Namechk (check usernames and URLs):
  45. NodeXL (social analysis and visualization):
  46. Opal (marketing collaboration platform):
  47. Over (social image, type, graphic tool):
  48. Pexels (CC0 photos):
  49. Phonto (add text to photos):
  50. PicPlayPost (multiple media story creation):
  51. Pictaculous (color pallet generator):
  52. PicMonkey (photo editing, design):
  53. Piktochart (infographic maker):
  54. Pixlr (photo editing):
  55. Placeit (create mockups):
  56. Content Idea Generator (title maker):
  57. Power BI (business intelligence):
  58. Promo (video creation):
  59. Recite (visual quote creator):
  60. Relay (resize, remix designs across social):
  61. Ripl (animated video creation):
  62. Rocketium (create Buzzfeed style videos):
  63. Screncast-O-Matic (screen recording):
  64. Smartmockups (create product/post screen shots):
  65. Socialab (LinkedIn network visualization and analysis):
  66. Spark (create graphics, web pages, stories):
  67. Stencil (social media image creation):
  68. Story Slicer (edit social video):
  69. Streamlabs (video streaming software):
  70. Studio (add layers to photos):
  71. Tiny PNG (image compression):
  72. TwistedWave (audio editor):
  73. Tweetroot (create Twitter word clouds):
  74. Typito (video creation):
  75. Typorama (social graphic creation):
  76. Unsplash (free license photos):
  77. Videolicious (automatic video creation):
  78. vMix (live streaming video production):
  79. Word Swag (add text to photos):
  80. Zapier (integrate apps to automate tasks:

Social Content Scheduling & Automation

  1. Adobe Experience Manager (cross-channel content management):
  2. AdStage (paid marketing reporting and automation):
  3. Alltop (news and information aggregator):
  4. Bitly (link management platform):
  5. Buffer (schedule and track social posts):
  6. Contentgems (content discovery):
  7. ContentStudio (content discovery and management):
  8. CoSchedule (cross-channel marketing calendar):
  9. (automated social posting):
  10. DrumUp (content curation tool):
  11. Edgar (social media automation and scheduler):
  12. Flipboard (content curation tool):
  13. Google Programmatic (automatic online ad buying):
  14. Google Photos (free photo storage):
  15. IFTTT (cross-app task automation):
  16. Later (schedule Instagram posts):
  17. List-O-Matic (list management):
  18. MissingLett_r (automated social campaigns):
  19. Nuzzel (newsfeed, curation):
  20. OptinMonster (auto lead generation):
  21. Outbrain (native ad platform):
  22. PixelMe (URL shortener and retargeting):
  23. Post Planner (content recommendations):
  24. Scoop It Content Director (content marketing automation):
  25. Short Stack (create contests, giveaways, landing pages):
  26. Slack (team collaboration):
  27. SocialOomph (social discovery and automation):
  28. Social Warefare (WordPress social sharing automation):
  29. Tailwind (Pinterest/Instagram discovery and scheduling):
  30. Thunderclap (synchronize crowd social):
  31. Tint (social content aggregator):
  32. Twittimer (schedule cross-platform social posts):
  33. TweetBot (Twitter client):
  34. TweetDeck (Twitter client):
  35. Uberflip (B2B content creation):
  36. Woodbox (create contests, giveaways, campaigns):
  37. Zapier (automate workflows across apps):
  38. Zendesk (social customer service system):

Social Media & Digital Media Research

  1. Adobe Digital Index (research on digital marketing):
  2. Affinio (audience interest analysis):
  3. Facebook IQ (consumer and ad insights):
  4. Forrester (social media research findings):
  5. Gallup (social media research reports):
  6. Global Web Index (consumer survey data insights):
  7. IBM Watson Analytics for Social Media (holistic view of consumers, market, competitors from millions of online sources):
  8. Interbrand Best Brands (global ranking of brands):
  9. IRI Worldwide (predictive analytics and big data AI)
  10. Kantar Media SRDS (insights for media planners and buyers):
  11. Millward Brown BrandZ Reports (global brand equity ranking):
  12. Nielsen Social Media Reports (social media research reports):
  13. Pew Research Center (US social research reports):
  14. Roper Center (public opinion research):
  15. Simmons (consumer survey research):
  16. Social Explorer (easy access to US demographic data):
  17. Social Media Collective (social media research reporting):
  18. Statista (research statistics portal):
  19. Think With Google (online consumer research insights):
  20. YouGov BrandIndex (brand perception ranking):

Trade Associations, Awards, Conferences

  1. Brand Innovators (marketer conference):
  2. Content Marketing World (content marketing conference):
  3. INBOUND (content marketing conference):
  4. INTEGRATE (IMC conference):
  5. Online Media Marketing Awards (online marketing awards):
  6. Social Media Marketing World (social media conference):
  7. Social Media Strategies Summit (social media conference):
  8. Social Media Week (social media conference):
  9. Summit (customer experience conference):
  10. SXSW (new media/technology conference):
  11. SXSWedu (conference and competition):
  12. The Webby Awards (Internet awards):
  13. The Shorty Awards (social media awards):
  14. The Mashies (digital awards):
  15. Word of Mouth Marketing Association:

Social Media News & Insights

  1. Amy Porterfield (online marketing expert):
  2. Australia ACCC (social media regulation – Australia):
  3. Chris Brogan (online marketing expert):
  4. Christopher S. Penn(online marketing expert):
  5. Jeff Bullas (online marketing expert):
  6. Canadian Competition Bureau Guides (social media regulation – Canada):
  7. Content Marketing Institute (content marketing experts):
  8. Convince & Convert (social media experts):
  9. FTC Disclosures (social media regulation – U.S.):
  10. Gartner Digital Marketing (digital marketing experts):
  11. Grow (social media expert – Mark Schaefer:
  12. Hubspot’s Inbound Hub (content marketing experts):
  13. ICPEN Guidance (social media regulation – international):
  14. Marketing Profs (digital marketing experts):
  15. Mashable Social Media (digital marketing news):
  16. RazorSocial (social media experts):
  17. Scott Monty (digital marketing expert):
  18. Social Media Examiner (social media experts):
  19. Social Media Explorer (social media news):
  20. Social Media Lab (weekly social media experiments):
  21. Social Media Marketing Magazine (social media news):
  22. Social Media Today (social media news):
  23. Social Mouths (social media experts):
  24. Social Media Law Bulletin (social media law insights):
  25. The Digital Garage (online learning):
  26. UK CMA Guidance (social media regulation – UK):
  27. YouTube Video Creators (YouTube video expert):
  28. WOMMA Code of Ethics (social media ethical guidelines):
  29. WOMMA Free Resources (social media regulation guidelines):

Social Media/Marketing Podcasts

  1. Amy Porterfield:
  2. Behind the Numbers: An eMarketer Podcast:
  3. Buffer Podcast:
  4. Content Inc.:
  5. The Content Experience:
  6. Experience This!:
  7. Influence Pros:
  8. Marketing Marvels:
  9. Marketing Smarts Podcast:
  10. Social Media Examiner:
  11. Social Media Lab by Angora Pulse:
  12. Social Pros Podcast:
  13. The Art of Paid Traffic Podcast:
  14. The Business of Story:
  15. The Full Monty:
  16. The Marketing Book Podcast:
  17. The Marketing Companion:
  18. This Old Marketing:

Social Media/Digital Marketing Training & Certification

  1. Adobe Software (Certifications):
  2. Academy of Influencer Marketing (courses):
  3. Bing/Yahoo! Ads (Certification):
  4. Blogging University (WordPress):
  5. Cision (Certification & Accreditation):
  6. Code Academy (free coding classes in HTML, CSS, JAVA, Sass, Python, etc.):
  7. Constant Contact Social Media 101:
  8. Conversion Marketing (Certification): Leadpages:
  9. Facebook Blueprint (Certification):
  10. Google Partners (Adwords Certification):
  11. Google Analytics Academy (Certification):
  12. Hootsuite Academy (Certification):
  13. HubSpot Academy (Certification):
  14. Lynda (Learn Software from Adobe Creative Cloud to Google Analytics):
  15. Meltwater (Certification): Coming Soon …
  16. Microsoft Dynamics 365 (Certification):
  17. Professional Certified Marketer – Digital Marketing (Certification):
  18. Salesforce Trailhead (Badges and Certification): Or
  19. Snapchat Explore (Certification):
  20. The Trade Desk Trading Academy (Certification):
  21. Twitter Flight School (Badge):

What to do with these tools? First, ensure you Ask These Questions To Ensure You Have The Right Strategy and follow these Best Practices For Social Media Content That’ll Improve Your Writing And Design.