Visual content is king. Adding a photo to a post increases engagement, and the rise of apps like Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram shows that visual content is here to stay.
When you aren’t a photographer, graphic designer or even slightly creative, posting to these channels can become difficult. But who can resist trying, when Instagram alone boasts 300 million active users? Enter these tools to help.
Forget about your phone’s camera and never open it again after reading this post. VSCOCam is the best camera replacement app and gives you more control over your shooting and photos. You can manually control what to focus on and get the right lighting for your photo.
Now when we talk editing, I have to mention Snapseed. I found this app earlier this year, and it has been my go-to for those photos that need a little extra umph. What I love most about this app is the ability to edit only portions of a photo. Selective editing allows you to brighten backgrounds, boost saturation and draw attention to one part of the photo over another. Below you can see the subtle differences in each photo taken by Kelly Purkey.
Monday Motivation is huge on Instagram, and I have been using Wordswag to create quote graphics for a while. If your brand guidelines are forgiving, you can use this tool to create wordmark text overlays on any kind of background. The app is preloaded with various solid color and patterned backgrounds, but you are also able to search for free stock photos right within the app.
You know I had to work in a shameless plug, but this is really one app that’s important for me because of the metrics. There aren’t very many tools that provide Instagram metrics, and posting without analysis can turn out to be a waste of time. I use our SumAll reports and the free dashboard to track how our engagement is doing and what our most popular post is.
Viralwoot helps me be on Pinterest and optimize my posting through scheduling both my pins and repins in bulk. I am a grandma, so I like to be in bed at 11:00PM. Unfortunately, Pinterest primetime is in the middle of the night, and I’m already mid REM cycle. With Viralwoot, I can publish a post on our blog and schedule it to get pinned at midnight or 1AM when more pinners are online and able to see it. The tool is free to use, with some premium features that you can pay for, but I haven’t found use for them yet.
You don’t have to be a graphic designer to make awesome posts. Canva is a step up from Wordswag. The platform has images properly sized for all of your social media channels, so you don’t have to worry about pixels and placement for pins, instagram posts, facebook posts or twitter banners. Available for iPad and desktop, you can create tons of images with the pre-created template and the built in gallery of stock photography, icons and illustrations. I have moved away from using Indesign recently, and have focused more on using Canva since it cuts my graphic creation time in half. It is a great tool if you are a DIY social media manager that wears many hats.
Last but not least, is Legend. This is a great tool that turns plain old text into animations that you can use on social networks and in your messaging apps. Enter text, choose your animation style, decide on a color combination, crop your background and your creation is ready to post on Instagram, Twitter, iMessage, WhatsApp, and more.
Updated November 22, 2017.