To Nail Social Media, You'll Need These Apps
The only apps and websites we use to make that content fast, festive and very polished.By Molly Urquhart
Having whiz-bang skills in Adobe Suite is great, sure, but what about those on-the-fly, no-desktop-access, gotta-post-this-NOW moments when creating content for social media? Say no more. Here are the few must-download apps (and a couple of websites) we always keep on our phones that’ll make your content creation that much easier (and fancier).
Oh, Iconosquare. Buffet’s bread and butter, a content editor might say. This website and app is a scheduling platform for single image and video posts, Facebook statuses and Instagram carousels and Stories. Single image and video posts can be scheduled for future times and dates and will automatically post to the platform. When scheduling carousels and Stories, you’ll receive a notification on your phone via the app advising you to upload these manually at the time they were scheduled to publish. While the downfall of this app is most definitely the latter, among the plethora of scheduling services available, we deem Iconosquare the cream of the crop. You can tag accounts in photos, add geo-tags to posts and house all your content in an in-app media library. Plus, Iconosquare offers heaps of informative analytics (best times to publish and deep dives into engagement, reach, your audience, profile activity and industry benchmarks) which will help you report on and track your progress. You can also download them in an aesthetically pleasing PDF. The best bit? Once you’ve dragged in all your photos and assigned them days to post, if you hit preview you can see what the feed will look like once everything’s live. Handy! Five stars! To conclude, if you’re going to adhere to one of the recommendations we make, it has to be this one – brands and businesses should really be tapping into the insights sites such as Iconosquare offer – at the very least, posting at the most optimal time for your brand.
Makin’ GIFs on the go? If not, you must! Moving images garner high engagement and frankly, they’re fun to look at. They’ll break up your feed and provide insight into your brand simply because they literally show more than a solo still. With that said, ImgPlay is your best mate. For the love of Instagram, though, pay for the legit version. That $7.99 will save you a lot of headaches and a heinous watermark. All you do is open the app; choose photo, video, GIF, live photo, burst or the camera, and you’re away. If you’re making a GIF from plain old piccies, select photo, choose your images, press make, then have your way with all the effects. You can speed your GIF up or slow it down. Crop it, add a filter, adjust brightness et al. and lots more. Hit next, then save to your photo album (after choosing the file type, quality and your looping option). Another excellent thing it does is turn live photos into videos! Ever wished you had ALL the stills from that cute live photo you took? ImgPlay is your app.
Canva may be a website that brilliantly simplifies graphic design using a drag-and-drop format to create everything from elevated Instagram Story posts posts to Facebook cover photos and wedding invites, but our favourite tool would have to be its ability to create mock Instagram feeds – which helps with visual planning. Select the template and grid you desire then drop in your assets. This tool is super handy when presenting mock Instagram feeds to a client (if you don’t have Iconosquare and need something less fiddly than Photoshop).
Thou shalt not overlook the humble Dropbox. The amount of times we’ve seen a poorly uploaded, or downloaded for that matter, post and known it could have been rectified had it properly been downloaded from Dropbox is a true crime. Just download the Dropbox app to your phone, then follow these breadcrumbs: file > choose your folder > select your image > hit the three little dots in the top right-hand corner > export > save image. Voila! Your photos need not be dodgily downloaded ever again.
Unfold, a great app for creating Instagram Stories with a little flair. Open the app, choose your template and customise with colours, images and text from there. It’s very easy. While we’d usually encourage uploading more on-the-fly Stories, as opposed to ones created outside the Instagram app, this is a great tool for those clients who perhaps want a more polished look or want to use features not native to the Instagram platform.
Chopping up pics into three, six or nine posts always seemed daunting? HOW DO THEY DO IT? It need not be, just download Photo Splitter! It’s a super simple, easy tool that will come in handy if you’re launching a new account and need to upload holding images (those “COMING SOON” ones) in the lead up to teaser content dropping. We’d suggest opting for the $2.99 investment of “unlocking” unlimited creating, posting and saving forever, naturally. Just choose your image, select a three-, six- or nine-post split then save! You can even directly uploaded to Instagram – handy!
If we had to pick the second most important tool in this box it’d have to be this one. User-generated content (UGC) is VERY important. UGC is content that real-life people have captured at your venue or while using/drinking/eating your product. We find it by sifting through geo-tags, tagged photos and brand hashtags. Posting UGC is important because it offers an authentic insight and look and feel for your brand. We dot UGC throughout the month for all of Buffet’s social clients. I digress! This website is an excellent tool for downloading posts from Instagram without any nightmare watermarks or weird “this was regrammed with XX” vibes. Drop in the link (you can find the download links by hitting the three little dots at the top of any given Instagram post and pressing “copy link”) and press “download image”. It’s super easy and the result is a high-res image that allows you to tag the source natively on the photo. This way you’ll also skip the annoying accessories that often come with regrammed posts.
This website may look like it’s going to serve your computer a virus but it serves an excellent purpose! The regramming website we use, Downloadagram.com (see above) can only download single images, which means if you’re after the second, third, fourth etc. picture in a carousel, you won’t be able to download it without digging around in the back-end code. That’s where instagramg.com comes in! Pop in the link of the carousel you want the images or videos from and out will come ALL videos and photos from the carousel, not just the first. This is most useful when trying to save videos from carousels. Don’t forget to always credit the creator of any image – no matter how easy it was downloaded.
All a little much? We got you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We help brands communicate their messaging every day at Buffet. Sign up to the Buffet Newsletter for more tips and tricks for creating exceptional content, and some other tasty things.