Upgrade Your Church Social Media Feed With These Free Tools
Between TikTok trends, privacy updates, and ever-changing algorithms, maintaining a social media presence for your church can feel like a full-time job. The problem is that if you’re reading this, social media management is likely not your full-time job but simply a portion of your responsibilities as a church communicator.
It is possible to do social media well even if you can’t dedicate all of your time to it—but not if you’re trying to do your entire social media strategy on your own and from scratch. The good news is that many free resources are available to you online, making managing your church’s social media easier and better!
To get you started, check out some of my favorite free tools for ideating, designing, and scheduling your church’s social media:
Two free social media content ideation tools
Later’s blog is one of my go-to resources for all things social media. Are you having trouble keeping up with changing trends? They update blogs weekly, listing “The Top TikTok Trends to Try” and “The Top Instagram Reels Trends to Try.” Wondering how to use a new feature or keep up to date with algorithms? Later publishes up-to-date content on all new Instagram features and algorithm changes. They also publish detailed and practical blogs, like this step-by-step guide on “How to Make a TikTok.” While Later primarily focuses on Instagram and TikTok, you’ll also find some content regarding Facebook and Twitter.
HubSpot provides a wealth of free knowledge and resources through its marketing blog. You can expect to find fresh social media content ideas (like these free Instagram post templates or 15 TikTok content ideas) and practical tools to keep your social media content organized (like this free “Social Media Content Calendar Template”). HubSpot has you covered on all major social media platforms—from Instagram to Facebook, YouTube, and more. Keep HubSpot’s blog bookmarked to revisit whenever you’re feeling uninspired in your social media game—they post new blogs regularly!
Three free social media design tools
Canva is probably the most accessible and versatile tool for upping your social media design game. They have thousands of free-to-use templates optimized for the proper display ratios, like Instagram stories or YouTube thumbnails. You can create designs from scratch on their user-friendly design platform if you want more creative control.
Adobe Express offers free professionally-designed templates for all social media platforms. You can customize designs with your desired fonts and colors or drag and drop from Adobe’s library of free images, icons, and graphics.
Not all stock images are created equal! When choosing photos for social media or to accompany a blog post, I love using the sites Pexels and Unsplash. They both offer free, high-quality, and creative stock imagery. There are other high-quality options, too. Check out our full list of stock photo websites for church communicators.
Three free social media scheduling tools
Advertised as “free forever, no credit card required,” Later’s free plan is one of the best and most extensive social media scheduling tools. The Later free plan allows one user access to one social set (meaning one Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn profile), ten scheduled posts per month per social platform, a “lite” version of their Linkin.bio feature, an Instagram visual planner, and more.
Crowdfire boasts itself as “the only social media manager you’ll ever need” and offers a decent free plan, allowing for three linked accounts and ten scheduled posts per account. They also provide free content curation tools, such as hashtag and related article recommendations. (Note: if you’re willing to spend a few bucks, their lowest-tier subscription is the cheapest I’ve seen across the board.)
Hootsuite is a prevalent social media scheduling tool that offers a more limited free plan. With the free version of their service, you can link up to two social media accounts and schedule up to five posts in advance, making it an okay option for beginners.
By the way, if you’re looking around at scheduling services, it’s important to note Facebook and Twitter allow for scheduling posts natively on their platforms, while Instagram and TikTok do not.
As busy communicators, we can’t be experts on every platform (there simply aren’t enough hours in a day!). Instead, savvy church communicators utilize all of the free tools and resources available to them to help ideate, design, and manage their church’s social media content.