Managing your social media effectively can sometimes feel like juggling a hundred different variables. When is the best time to post? How do you plan your content and stay organized? What about editing photos? Hashtags?? Worry not. We know your struggle, and have corralled our recommendations for the apps and websites that will make social media feel like a breeze. (Bonus: they’re all free!)
One of the most common complaints with Instagram is the lack of linkability. Sure, you can include a link in your bio—but what if you want to share multiple blog posts or external links in addition to your homepage? Enter Linktree. This website lets you create one bio link that leads users to an easy-to-navigate list of curated links. You can add, remove, and reorder links quickly and easily. Because when it comes down to it, social media won’t do you much good if it isn’t driving traffic to your website and converting followers into customers.
The free version of Linktree offers unlimited links, and for $6 a month you can also get access to link traffic analytics.
Posting at the right time each day on Instagram and Facebook is essential for getting your content in front of the right eyeballs. “What about the algorithm,” you ask? Good question! Yes, Instagram’s all-powerful algorithm will dictate when your post shows up on your followers’ feeds, but it’s also determined by how well your post performs. That means you still want to post when the majority of your followers are on their devices to inspire as much engagement as possible. In summary: Posting when your followers are online = more engagement = the algorithm adds your post to more users’ feeds = new eyes and increased engagement! Got it?
The other thing to remember is that the best time to post is going to be different for everyone. So, how do you know when the majority of your followers are online? Instagram and Facebook both have data available in the “Insights” sections for business accounts. Facebook will let you schedule posts for publishing later right in the platform. But when it comes to Instagram, Prime pieces it all together for you by tracking analytics (with more precise times than Instagram itself provides) along with scheduling and notification functions. There are plenty of free apps out there for scheduling Instagram posts, but they don’t offer the analytics that tell you when to post. Prime will send you a reminder right when that optimal time has arrived, making optimization a no-brainer.
Designed for simple, streamlined project management, Trello also happens to be our favorite content calendar platform for scheduling out social media posts. Trello’s kanban-based “card” system makes it easy to track ideas, adjust your calendar, and add photos, plus it allows multiple members of your organization to review content at different stages. Because even if you don’t have a large team working on your social content, it’s essential to get a set of fresh eyes on every post.
Pro tip #1: Adding the “Calendar Power-Up” will transform your Trello board into an actual calendar so that you can easily see the week or month ahead at a glance.
Pro tip #2: If you’re writing copy from scratch in Trello, download the Grammarly app to double-check your spelling and grammar as you write.
Ah, the almighty hashtag. If your goal is to build your Instagram followers and reach more people organically*, the effective deployment of hashtags is essential. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, and your best bet is to balance popular, high-traffic hashtags with less popular, more niche hashtags. Simply start typing in a few topics that are relevant to your post, and Display Purposes will generate a balanced list of up to 30 hashtags. Then you can copy and paste the entire list or pick and choose your favorites.
*Important note: If you’re looking to really scale up your social media following and boost business, organic social just doesn’t cut it nowadays. Be sure you are supplementing your efforts with paid social posts, even if you only have a small budget to do so. We know that getting started with paid social can be daunting—read our blog post for an introduction, and feel free to reach out to us about our paid media services.
Photo-editing and filters are especially key for businesses and brands with a design or aesthetic focus—but any business will benefit from clean, colorful, professional-quality photos that reflect your brand identity. There are a lot of apps out there for editing photos and adding filters, (VSCO is great, especially if your vibe lends itself to moody, faded filters) but A Color Story is our favorite for a few reasons. A Color Story makes it easy to pick the perfect filters and edit photos to fit your brand’s style, and you can also create your own custom filters for reusing again and again. The app’s newest update allows you to batch edit multiple photos and plan your Instagram grid layout in advance!