Social media is such a valuable tool in and of itself to use for marketing a business or yourself, to connect with new people and opportunities, and to stay in touch with your network. In addition to the social apps themselves, my phone and computer are full of other social media tools like planning and editing apps and websites that I use to oversee my social accounts. These social media tools help me to plan, execute, and improve the content that I am sharing in order to maintain consistency across my social feeds.
A large part of what I do as a blogger involves social media, especially Instagram, and I am constantly flipping from app to app in an attempt to keep up with my followers and stay relevant. I have also worked in various jobs overseeing social media for brands, including the beauty brand Laura Mercier and fashion brand Julie Brown Designs, and at each been exposed to a variety of social media tools that are essential in executing a successful social media strategy. By keeping yourself organized, you can work to grow your following organically and build yourself into a successful social media maven.
An important part of overseeing a brand on social media (even if that brand is yourself) is to be as consistent as possible. One of the ways to achieve this is with social media tools that help you plan the content you are going to post, like the app UNUM for Instagram. I’ve used other planning apps in the past but I like this one in particular because I find that it is simple to use and has just what I need to make my feed look nice and none of what I don’t need to distract from its purpose.
A Color Story, VSCO, Facetune, Typorama, Background Music
In order to keep my Instagram feed and my content consistent, I like to follow a very similar workflow each time I edit using a few social media tools. The main app I use is A Color Story because it fits my bright and colorful aesthetic very well and I love the filter and effects options offered, but many people use VSCO for all of their edits. Whichever you prefer it is best to stick with a few favorite filters because, like I mentioned, consistency is important in social media.
Sometimes I use Facetune for a few things, one of the most obvious being the removal of specks or things on my face (I usually would edit in Lightroom or Photoshop to do this, but when I don’t have time I’ll use Facetune). Actually, I mainly use it for the Whiten feature when I’m cleaning up flatlay type photos. I prefer my backgrounds to be as bright, clean, and crisply white as possible rather than having weird shadows and color casts of light. I use Typorama for Instagram stories when I want to add stylized text to a photo to make my stories a bit prettier. Finally, I use the Background Music app for exactly what you may have guessed–to add background music to videos that I post to my stories and sometimes to my feed.
This site allows you to connect, monitor, and schedule posts for 35 different social networks. Hootsuite is one of the most useful social media tools for overseeing all of your accounts in one place. Similar sites like Buffer and Sprout Social do essentially the same thing so you will generally only use one, but the tools can really help save time by showing you the way users are engaging with your content across platforms and by allowing you to integrate consistent content on each.
Iconosquare is an analytics site for Instagram that provides insights into your following, shows you trends of follower growth, helps you keep track of comments, and more. It’s nice because it is specifically designed around Instagram so as far as social media tools go it allows you in depth analysis and monitoring of this specific platform.
A great tool to use for those social media sites that limit your word count is Bitly, which shortens your links into smaller bits. You can even customize the smaller links to your own and you can track the analytics of the link, looking at stats of how many people have clicked it and are engaging with that content.
I use Followers+ along with other social media tools to see the way my followers are engaging with my content but also for two key tools, which are the ability to see who has unfollowed me and to see who my ghost followers are (AKA fake accounts and bots) so that I can block them. Because it is better to have less real but highly engaged followers than more fake and non-engaging followers, it can be useful to weed out ghost followers.
I’m including Social Blade in my list of social media tools because it actually allows you to discern not only your performance on certain sites, but also the performance of others. You can look up anyone’s handle and see a rating of their growth as well as projections for where their account will be in the future based on their current trends. It’s very useful for those working for brands social pages when they are trying to see the way each influencer has grown his or her following and whether that audience is predicted to stay interested.
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