When it comes to managing and maintain your business and managing your social media it can feel overwhelming. But I'll let you in on a not so secret advise, the key to successfully doing it all is planning and the right social media apps and tools.
If you still don't believe that social media tools and apps aren't worth the investment well take a look at these stats that say otherwise:
90% of consumers are more likely to engage with posts that embrace the company’s personality.
71% of consumers with a positive interaction with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to family and friends.
89% of marketers believe social media is important to their overall social media strategy.
Today I'll be showing your free and paid social media tools and apps you can consider adding to your social media arsenal. Each is broken down into six main categories:
Best Social Media Tools for Video
Best Social Media Tools for Design
Best Social Media Tools for Content
Best Social Media Management Tools
Best Social Media Apps for eCommerce
Social Media Must-Haves (& Extras)
If you're in a rush or you'd like to ease yourself into these social media tools, here's a Tuesday Tip showing you the top five social media tools you NEED to be using. These are tools I've been using for years, if not everyday.
Best Social Media Tools for Video
Video content carries 4x more engagement than text, pictures and GIF's combined. Point blank, people love video content. If they didn't YouTube wouldn't be the second largest search engine in the world.
Not to mention 78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day and 74% of consumers share brand-related product videos on social media more than any other content. If you want to boost your social media engagement and create eye-catching content then you'll have to consider adding video to your social media marketing mix.
The best part about this list, you don't have to be a video editing pro to use them. They're easy to use.
Need a video editor to cut clips, add text and music without moving from app to app. InShot is the app for you. It's been around for years and the trusted "Inshot" watermark is popular with influencers alike.
You can also adjust the frame of your video to suit each social media pages requirements with ease. Create videos for Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, IG Story's and more. The app is available on IOS and Android so you can take it on the go when you need it most.
GoPro is well-known for their own breathtaking YouTube videos and Instagram content. If you normally use Go-Pro's or create high action videos (like workouts and sports) this video app is perfect for you. You can crop, cut, slow down, speed up and add music as you like. Plus with Quik, Instagram users with GoPros can edit their high-def videos via smartphone without having to run through another editing app.
This a video app feature by Instagram that turns short snips of the every day three-second moments into a fun and engaging content. You can use this to create quick content for your Instagram Story and profile feed. Brands like @Converse, @Hersey's and @Forever21 use this feature the most, so you can check out their profiles for real life examples.
For more of the utilization of this app, you can look on Instagram's Blog: Boomerang Features.
This app is housed by Instagram officially. It's made only for iOS at the moment, Instagram seems to leave out Android users when it comes to some IG Story features. With your iPhone, you can make beautiful time-lapse videos not only for your profile but your Instagram story as well. The app has in-house stabilization that ensures that you get the most out of your Hyperlapse.
Lifelapse is an alternative to Instagram's hyper-lapse, but the twist is you can also edit and create content-worthy animations, not to mention helpful tutorials, stock music, a built-in time, speed adjustments and much more.
Have you ever gotten so caught up in the moment recording your Insta stories that your video ends up way longer than you expected?
Don't worry; we've all been there. Because Instagram only allows you to upload 15 seconds of video and 7 seconds to video-photos, that's where Cut Story comes in.
It gives you the power to divide or section your long videos into a series of shorter clips. Granted, Instagram does do this for you automatically when you upload a longer than a 15-second clip, but Cut Story gives you more control over where and when you cut your clicks.
Cut Story is only available for iOS, sorry android users.
Wave.video falls smack in the middle of Canva and Adobe Spark Post (which we'll talk about later). It's the tool you use if you're looking for an online video maker and editing tool that offers user-friendly experience with just the right amount of technical tools to give your video that finishing look.
Upload and export your videos with text overlay, effects, animations, and stunning transitions between the clips. You can also resize your video if you'd like to reuse it later for another platform.
The best thing about wave.video is that it has full integration with Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Hubspot, Wistia, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Vimeo so that you can share or upload your videos in one click. The downside is that this app is only avaibale for desktop, but a mobile app is brewing soon.
Best Social Media Tools for Design
Creating content is good but creating good content is important. These tools will help you with both graphics and designs that will add a professional touch to your social media strategy.
Canva is an online graphic design tool that comes with easy navigation and thousands of free graphics templates.
Canva is handy if you're a company on a budget who can't yet hire a graphic designer or quick creations for last minute events/products or sales. This program makes anyone with little to no graphics experience seem like an expert on their social media platforms.
As an added bonus, Canva now has a mobile version so edit and design on the go. I would advise you to get accustom to the desktop version before taking on the mobile version, as the desktop version has more features and it's easier to navigate through.
VSCO app is handy and credible photo editing app. It has a broad range of filters at your disposal on your phone when you're on the go. You can use free filters or purchase filters that would best suit your Instagram aesthetics needs. This app is influencer approved and has dominated the photo, and now video editing community.
Don't be afraid to join the VSCO community that comes with the app, it's a good way to gain inspiration
Photo Editor by Aviary app is a branch of one of the many Adobe photo editing apps that have been brought up on quite a few social media blogs such as Buffer and Huffington post, which means that it's found it's placed in not only social media managers but influencers in the digital marketing arena.
If you are a brand that would like to educate your audience or needs infographics for all your social media profiles then PiktoChart is a good fit for you. They have multiple free templates for you to choose and create for yourself. You can try it for free or use their paid accounts that have great additions.
This is a popular Instagram integrated app that allows you to layout multiple images in a single post. It's a great way to display your products from different views or just a mini collage of your adventures.
Anything Adobe puts its name on either has a steep learning curve, is a creative’s go-to, is a gateway to exceptional content or all of the above.
That being said, if you're looking for something a bit more technical to get all the little details right, Adobe Spark Post is your app. It allows you to add not just filters but effects, sizing, coloring and editing tools on par with Photoshop and Lightroom. You can also convert photos into GIFs or videos ready to upload to your Instagram stories.
It's a new app that we've yet to try but have heard some great reviews from people in our community that say it's worth the cost.
Shakr is an online video creation service that's ideal for small business or personal niches to make an impact with their products or advertisements. You can have access to:
Extensive Library of Templates
Commercially Licensed Music
Dedicated Account Manager
Custom Preview Links
If you're a food brand or influencer and you're looking for an app that's made for you, Foodie is it. The name of the app alone is a winner. It allows you to add over 30 filters; editing tools specifically made for food images and videos allowing you to capture those yummy moments effortlessly.
It does have a few limits when it comes to editing like aspect ratio, so make sure to upload the video or image in the desired ratio you'd like to upload.
Maybe you're looking for something not so technical, and just need to do something simple like adding text overlays to your videos or captions -- why not use Font Candy?
This app provides loads of fonts, editing, and adjustments like text curving, opacity adjuster, and shadow controls to design your Instagram stories.
Unfold has been on the rise since 2017 and has been named by Refinery 29 as "the must use Instagram story app."Choose from a wide range of Insta-worthy templates that allow you to seamlessly post aesthetically-pleasing content that fully align with your brand look and feel.
A Design kit is a graphic designing tool perfect for IG stories. It allows you to add stickers, textures, color, and font directly on your Instagram stories. You also have 120+ designs and templates to choose from so you can spice up your stories in style.
This app does come with a learning curve but it also has built in tutorials that allow you to practice and master the tools you need for the look you want.
Best Social Media Tools for Content
This section covers app that you can use to download, curate or repost on your Instagram page. Not to mention the best sites to source picture and graphics to give your content a facelift.
This online tool comes in handy if you want to save all your Instagram post and videos in a safe hard drive or somewhere safe you can have put away as a keepsake. Let's be honest; anything can happen in this day and age, you can never be too safe to back up your images for future needs.
This app lives up highly to its reputation for saving multiple Instagram images on your Instagram account. It can also download Instagram videos and repost pictures. It does contain ads (as most apps do) but has a paid version that you can upgrade and downgrade to at any point in time.
Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist.
Pixbay also has images, illustrations and text with transparent background so you can source material to create professional content for your social media pages.
Pexels is a stock images website that allows to you to download and use copyright free images and videos on all your online platforms. These are perfect for website banners, sales page/post and blog content.
Best Social Media Management Tools
This is one my favorite Instagram management as because it's all about keeping your Instagram aesthetics consistent. Easily drag & drop your content, fix your feed ahead of time. You can also repost and schedule content, along with their amazing auto-post feature.
Planoly also allows you to save and use hashtags, or captions for each of your post. If you upgrade your account you can also view personalized analytics that show you your best time to post, hashtags and more.
Planoly works best with Instagram and Pinterst, you now have a feature that allows you to publish stories as well. There's a desktop and mobile version for both android and iOS.
I know I know, let's not start a war on who likes Buffer and who likes Hootsuite. I've been team Hootsuite from day one. Why? I love their interface, it easy to upload and schedule a post in bulk.
They have a new Bulk Composer (Beta) that now caters to adding images and auto post across all your social media profiles. You can also answer messages, view comments and likes all in one dashboard.
If you're busy with day to day activities and trying to make your social media platforms look like it's run by a human and not a robot, then Crowdfire is the app for you. This app is a daily staple when I'm busy handling clients accounts and forget to manage my own social media platforms.
It will send you reminders like : "Every day I’ll create these ready-to-share costs to drive more traffic to your posts "
This app is another option when it comes to scheduling out a post for Instagram and more. It can be used on a desktop or a phone (android/IOS).
It has a much similar interface than Buffer and Hootsuite but without the detailed analytics. However, it has the best time scheduling options, interactions, keyword/account options that best optimize your business which in the end wins for you.
Plann is an Instagram planning and scheduling app. In your mind your probably thinking, another scheduling app. Hear me out.
They have a light and user-friendly interface that anyone can use and great customer support when you need it, they're a team that actually cares about your experience with their app. Which can be used on an iPhone or Android.
You do have the option to have a free account but it has limited features, however, Plann prices start as low as $3 US per month and up.
Plann app features include the following:
Drag + Drop option to visually design your feed
60+ Professional Image editing filters and text overlay tools
Review Instagram analytics for best performing posts, Instagram likes, followers.
Best-performing hashtags, best performing colour swatches.
Discover your Best Times To Post
Later is a scheduling app that is formulated specifically for Instagram posting and analytics. It enables you to manage multiple accounts at once.
They offer a free and paid profile platforms each to meet the needs of a variety of businesses: small or large.
Later also added a new feature with Instagram Analytics. You can use this software on your desktop or your phone which means you can schedule your Instagram on the go or at home.
Union metric is an analytics software that shows you detailed information about followers, engagement, and hashtags associated with your social media profiles.
They specifically have a FREE Twitter and Instagram Account Checkup. It's accurate and give you a bit of data to measure your marketing efforts.
You get the following details with the free Instagram Account Checkup:
Best Times to Post
Top Liked Post
This is perfect for large firms that need serious social media analytics platform to view engagement and activities , whether it be paid, owned, or earned in the digital landscape. Simply Measure is mainly desktop but has useful features including:
Content Share Tracking
All the information is gathered and then sent in specific formats set by its users, whether that’s on the web, in dynamic Excel reports, or in PowerPoint. This starting price range is above $500 US so you have to either be a big brand or a marketing team with multiple accounts.
The Icon square primary focus is Instagram analysis and is the sidekick to most social media marketers who have multiple accounts and business owners who a broad audience to cater and monitor.
Iconsquare has various paid platforms for each organization's needs. It features include but not limited to:
Media & Scheduler
Preview is a Instagram scheduling tool that allows you to not only plan your Instagram feed but edit, add link/shopping features and built analytics (that can also spy on your competition). Preview also allows you to use presents and more.
Why I love this app, they have amazing customer support, community of users and informative content to help you along the way. They believe in helping each person love their best "gram" life, on or off Instagram.
Best Social Media Apps for eCommerce
Instagram now gives business owners the option to connect their eCommerce store to their Facebook and Instagram profile. They're called product tags or shoppable tags.
You can add your products price and allow customers to shop on your Instagram page without leaving the site. You can add shoppable tags in your feed or stories. Here's a friendly guide on How To Set Up Shoppable Posts on Instagram.
Pinterst Shoppable Pins
Instagram ins't the only place you can use shoppable post, Pinterest now offers a shopping feature as well.
Now customers can shop from pins work across mobile and web, so people can make their purchase when and wherever they’re ready.
Check out Revive Social's Pinterest Buyable Pins: Do They Actually Work? Plus How to Use Them
Link Tree is a free tool for making the most of your Instagram bio link and audience traffic.
This tool was recommended by Social Media Examiner the Sensi of all things social media so you know it's a great tool that anyone should give a try if they want to make the most out of their bio link and customer experience.
It created multiple links within that one tiny bio link in your profile. So when they click on it your viewers see this.
Both Link Tree and the link provided can be seen and used on your phone or desktop. Check out the desktop version for my Link Tree. (I have an unhealthy love for this app).
This is an Instagram app that allows you to content your website product store connected to your profile. This application is great for conversions for Instagram followers that you want o change into real-life customers. This application supports third-party sites like Shopify, Wordpress, Squarespace, Woo Commerce and more.
They have three paid packages that you can use; they give you the option to show how many followers you have on your Instagram account and recommendations of which package would be best for you and why. You can get a free 2/day trial with each account and see if it works for you.
Foursixty works with both desktop and yet mobile, and their features include: