Posted on July 17, 2019 by
Whether you’re a digital native or internet-illiterate, there are social media tools you can use to help you promote your business online and engage with your audience.
The truth is social media isn’t going anywhere. While social media use in the States may not be growing at the same rates as in the past, social media continues to play an important (and time-consuming) role in most adults’ daily lives. A 2019 study by Pew Research showed 69% of adults in the US used Facebook. Nearly three-fourths of Facebook users said they visit the site every day and half said they check the site multiple times a day. Meanwhile, Instagram use is up 2% from last year.
People are spending more and more time online: A 2017 Global Web Index study showed people spend 2 hours and 15 minutes a day online, and 33% of their daily time online on social media. There’s simply no question about it: if you want to reach people, your business needs an engaging social media presence.
Here are some of the best social media apps we use at Roaring Pajamas:
We use the free portion on the When to Post app to find the three best times of a given day to post for an account. You can add several Instagram accounts to the free portion of the app and easily switch back and forth between them. When to Post offers a paid version with other metrics, but we don’t recommend it because you can get what they provide for free in Instagram’s native Insights.
Other “best time to post” (BTTP) programs and apps (like Later or Grum) are tailored to your page in other paid tools, but we find this one works the best!
Instagram is a visual social media platform. Accordingly, your posts must be visually compelling. While some choose to keep it simple and post photos with no edits or with edits using the native in-app editing options, we like to use third-party social media tools for photo editing to make our posts even better.
VSCO in particular is a favorite to help us maintain a natural “unfiltered” look for our clients’ photos.
You can edit everything from exposure to saturation to white balance from within the app. They also offer hundreds of presets – some free and some for purchase – you can use for a subtle effect.
Either way, we recommend editing all your photos in a similar style to match your brand and keep your Instagram feed consistent.
The app is free with in-app purchases.
Of all the social media tools, Hootsuite is one of the most comprehensive. Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media scheduling tool we’ve been using for ages. You can plan and schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can schedule posts for when your audience is online, even if it’s not the same time you’re online.
There’s also reporting/analysis built in so you can see what content is resonating with your audience and helping you reach your digital marketing goals.
Hootsuite offers a 30-day free trial and plans from $19 and up thereafter.
Dropbox is a secure data storage tool that’s great for sharing and editing large files amongst teams. Your files are kept in the cloud so instead of emailing different versions of documents or projects, everyone on your team always has access to the most recent version.
Dropbox is great for storing large files like images for social media use.
Plans start at $8.25/month for 1TB. They offer plans for individuals and plans for teams. You can try some plans for free.
Tailwind is a tool for scheduling Pinterest pins. This app provides a lot of features including scheduling other accounts’ pins, looping your own pins, and checking analytics to see what’s working and what’s not. Tailwind also offers Instagram scheduling. They own the When To Post app mentioned above. Since we use Hootsuite, we haven’t found a need for another app for Pinterest scheduling. However, some prefer Tailwind over Hootsuite for this task.
They offer a free trial and paid plans after the trial expires.
Canva offers graphic design for people who don’t want to use expensive graphic design software. Here at Roaring Pajamas, we own PhotoShop, but it’s a lot of work and we can quickly create a social media graphic in Canva instead.
You can create anything from Pinterest pins to infographics. Canva offers tons of different images, fonts, colors, icons, shapes and more for you to use. They even have slick design templates made by real graphic artists you can use for your projects.
All your projects are stored inside Canva so anyone with access to the account can view and edit them.
Canva offers a free version with paid upgrades.
These tools are what we consider some of the best social media tools and apps around for making sure you create and post excellent and engaging content. For more about social media, learn how to use a social media editorial calendar to organize your posts across platforms in our post here.
Need help? Contact us if you’re looking for help strategizing and managing your business’s social media presence.