So, you’re a recent graduate and budding media professional who’s stepping into your first gig as an online editor or social media manager.
Or maybe you just launched that blog you’ve been promising yourself to start since the day before forever.
Either way, if you’re juggling professional and/or personal brands on social media, then you need to understand that everything you do must be strategic.
However, there are those times when plans fall through and you have to get things done on the run. From live tweeting to Instagramming, it can all get pretty overwhelming.
After managing different brand accounts and my own social media handles for a few years, I've found it helpful to utilize certain phone apps in order to help me QUICKLY create the best content possible for those times when I’m not in front of a computer.
Remember: If you stay ready, then you never have to get ready.
Here are the nine apps that I suggest for any new blogger or social media professional to have ready when he or she is on the go:
A Color Story: Great for photo editing. I mostly just use this to lighten up any dark photos. There are lots of other features and filters within the app, though.
Canva: Need graphics? There will be times when you don’t always have the time to hop on over to Photoshop to whip something up. That's when it really helps to use this simple graphic design software.
IFTTT: I miss the days when Twitter would automatically let you post Instagram pictures natively to Twitter. You, too? Well, this tool allows you to do that and then some. IFTTT, which is short for "If This Then That," is one of my favorite productivity hacks. IFTTT is centered around "applets,” which are triggered by different web platforms and services to carry out different tasks, that you can activate to do different actions.
That might be hard to understand, so here are some “applet” examples:
- Have an email sent to you every time someone posts on Instagram using a hashtag that you created.
- Automatically retweet the text of new tweets from a specific Twitter account. This will retweet the text of new tweets by the @user of your choice. You can make multiple versions to retweet multiple accounts. Just add in the username to watch.
- Backup your new Instagram photos to Dropbox. Automatically download your Instagram posts to a folder in Dropbox to make sure you never lose your beautiful pictures!
- Sync your new Instagrams to a Pinterest board.
- Do you want to unplug from your work emails, but know that you can't afford to possibly miss messages from certain individuals? Well, there's an applet for that. You can get a notification sent to you whenever you receive an email from a certain email address. (I can't take credit for this one. I got it from Mark Luckie.)
Layout: Initially created by and for Instagram, Layout lets you create photo collages straight from your phone's camera roll. You can use up to nine photos at once for a collage.
Boomerang: This app will let you create mini videos that quickly loop back and forth like a GIF or Vine video. Seeing as this app was also created by and for Instagram, it’s best used on that platform. But…..
GIPHY cam: If you would like to create your own GIFs that can be used across different platforms, this app is for you.
Hyperlapse: In my experience, I have found that timelapse videos do pretty well on social media. Timelapse videos have always been among the posts with the highest engagement when I have used them. Hyperlapse allows you to easily create videos at an accelerated speed and post them to your various social media platforms. No video editing classes needed!
Instasize: Instagram lets you "pinch" your pictures to fit Instagram's square photo frame but only to a certain extent. If you need to fit your picture to the frame a bit more than what Instagram allows, then this is the perfect tool to help you do that.
Later: While this tool doesn't automatically post to Instagram for you, it does enable you to create an Instagram content calendar that will schedule out future posts. You can add your caption and several different hashtags in a scheduled post. Once the scheduled time of your Instagram post rolls around, you're sent a post notification to your mobile device where you will then approve and send that particular post. Here's a tutorial on how to plan and schedule your Instagram posts using Later. Hootsuite, another social media management platform, also has this same functionality. You can read the Hootsuite tutorial by clicking here.
While this isn't a comprehensive list of apps that bloggers and social media managers should have, it's what I use to make managing, both personal and professional, social media accounts easier.
I would love to hear about any apps that you use and I missed. Feel free to tweet me @AmeenaRasheed or leave me a comment below.