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External Resources

The Social @ Michigan State community prides itself on sharing resources. Below are resources crowdsourced from various members of the community. University Communications is not necessarily familiar with all resources listed here, so we recommend testing tools yourself and referring to the individual companies' websites for more information.

If you have a resource to share with the group, please send an email to our team and include Resources Submission in your subject line. Please include the resource name, web address, associated cost, and a brief description.

Account Management | Paid

Sprinklr is an enterprise-level system that allows you to schedule and publish social media posts, monitor conversations, and collect analytics on accounts. This product is used by University Communications to manage all institutional-level social media accounts. Units can purchase access to Sprinklr for use within their own team. Contact University Communications if you are interested in learning more about Sprinklr. | Free and paid versions available

Buffer allows you to schedule social media posts, with limits based on individual channel. | Paid

CoSchedule offers editorial calendar and social media scheduling, with WordPress site sync. Features include a headline analyzer, team capabilities, a visual calendar with notes, events, content, content distribution, bulk uploads, tasks, color coding, team assignments, and more. | Free and paid versions available

Crowdfire allows you to monitor and update following and follower lists for Twitter and Instagram. Use it to determine who you're following that is inactive so that you can clean up your lists, etc. | Paid

Hootsuite can be used to monitor and manage social media accounts, and for listening. For security and to avoid hacking, you may consider setting up your organization in Hootsuite from the highest level with a generic unit email address and an extremely strong password. Then designate account access to users’ individual accounts set up with MSU Net IDs. Check your settings for posting photos to Twitter to avoid them posting as links. Use the settings tab to adjust how often (and when) the auto-schedule function posts, if you choose to use it.


Analytics and Measurement | Paid

Cyfe is an all-in-one business dashboard in the cloud. It allows for real-time reporting. Premium accounts allow for unlimited widgets and dashboards, historical data, exports, customizations, etc. | Free and paid versions available

Hotjar creates heatmaps of website activity, and requires scripts on your website. There is limited data available at the free level. Hotjar is a tool used by University Communications. | Free

This blog has information on how to use Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google AdWords. It covers all levels of experience, from basics to advanced usage. | Free and paid versions available

TweepsMap offers location-focused actionable analytics, including mapping your followers by country, state, and city. You can schedule tweets and manage your follows/followers, conduct listening, explore hashtags, and more.


Content Creation

Accessible Social Media | Free

Alexa Heinrich is known in higher education social media management circles as the go-to person for learning about accessibility best practices for social media platforms. She has a lot of resources, including a newsletter, checklists, and reference guides for a variety of accessibility-related topics available on her website. | Free, owned by Spotify, allows you to host and distribute podcasts. | One-time fee, or monthly access charge, with desktop or iOS versions. Academic discounts are available.

Use Cinemagraphs Pro to create photos with one moving section. They work in websites (via a YouTube-like embed), or can be used in Twitter and Facebook ads. The Cinemagraph Pro app connects to Adobe Creative Cloud. You can capture and create with the app on a phone or a Mac. | Free is a cloud-hosted chart and diagram builder. It is useful for drawing out organizational charts, process diagrams, and similar graphics. | Free

Emojipedia is a reference guide explaining the meaning of different emojis. It also illustrates how emojis render differently across various platforms and operating systems (Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
Download from your app store | Free, requires a Google account

Google Photos will allow you to take a stream of photos and automatically convert it to a GIF. There are also other functionalities to explore. | Free and paid options

Unfold is an app for designing and creating Instagram stories with templates and branding capabilities. | One-time fee, or monthly access charge for the desktop version. Academic discounts are available.

Use Persecond to easily create timelapse videos. | Free and paid options

PowToon allows you to create animated cartoons. Free accounts have limitations (limited themes and music choices, limited length, cannot be downloaded, and includes PowToon branding), but paid options are available. | Paid tiers

Vyond (formerly GoAnimate) allows you to create animated cartoons with customized characters, dialog and/or narration. Higher tiers of access remove the company branding and add additional options for music, etc.


Content Sources | Free

Search for free stock photos across various sites, by license limitations. Be sure to confirm the image you select is actually CC licensed, as not all the search tools are accurate. | Free and paid selections

Creative Market is a good resource for presentation and document templates, fonts, etc. | Free

FreePik is a good resource for icons and illustrations. | Free

Giphy allows you to search and download or share GIFs, or create your own from a video. The official Michigan State Giphy channel, where University Communications uploads our GIFs, is GIFs in Giphy can be embedded into Instagram stories - search "Michigan State" or "Spartans" to find MSU-related story GIFs.

The following are some stock photography sites recommended by community members. Also be sure to check out for photos created by MSU photographers.