From regularly creating engaging content to keeping up to date with an endless stream of new features, it’s no secret that social media can be a little demanding! Luckily, there are tons of apps and websites out there which can help make things easier. In this blog post, we share our top five must-have social media tools.

BUFFER

When it comes to managing social media, we’re big believers in being as organised as possible. Setting aside a couple of hours a week to schedule in content is an easy way to help you be proactive rather than reactive. If you’ve been to one of our training workshops, you’ll definitely have heard us rave about social media scheduling tool Buffer. We’ve tried all sorts of free and paid-for scheduling platforms, but we just keep coming back. The beauty of Buffer is in its simple, super-clean user interface which allows you to:

  • Create and customise posts for multiple accounts in one go
  • Automatically shorten links
  • Drag and drop posts to reschedule
  • Easily view topline analytics
  • Re-buffer posts instantly

Buffer is available on desktop and mobile. You connect three accounts for free and up to 10 for just $10 (around £7.70) per month. An absolute bargain!

CANVA

To grab attention in the newsfeed, it’s crucial that the content you post is eye-catching, engaging and attractive. But, if you’re not a graphic designer or photographer, that’s far easier said than done! Luckily, there are tons of content creations tools out there which help. Canva gets our vote because it’s super easy to use and has a huge range of features, including:

  • 50,000+ templates (including social media and other marketing formats)
  • A catalogue of free and cheap stock imagery
  • The ability to upload fonts and create brand palettes
  • Multiple download options including GIFs and MP4 animations
  • A resize option which automatically converts your asset to other dimensions (great for producing assets which fit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram’s varying specs)
  • The option to save finished assets as templates so you can replicate the same style
  • A team function which allows you to share assets between multiple users
  • A publishing/scheduling tool which can posts assets directly to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and WeChat (but not Instagram).

Canva is available on desktop and mobile. You can use the majority of the platform for free or unlock pro features such as animations and teams from $12.95 USD (around £10) per month.

UNFOLD

Unfold slightly treads on Canva’s toes, but we prefer to see them as companion tools. The mobile-only app focuses purely on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat Stories, and offers 25 of customisable templates. It allows you to easily create beautiful, minimal assets which can feature multiple images and text in editorial-inspired layouts.

FOCALMARK

Do you struggle to choose which hashtags to use on Instagram? Perhaps you’re stuck with the same old ones and want something new. We hear you. Focalmark is a hashtag-discovery tool which, despite being fairly new, has already made it into our list of favourites. Available for free on iOS and Android, it ‘uses human research plus a ranking algorithm to suggest hashtags that connect your photography to a real audience.’ Snazzy.

The app is incredibly easy to use; simply select one/two of the Style categories, plus your location and camera (both optional). This produces a selection of 30 hashtags which you can choose to reduce or shuffle, and then copy to Instagram or your clipboard. We usually take 10-15 hashtags from Focalmark and use them alongside our regular selection, which might include brand or popular hashtags.  

UNSPLASH

If you haven’t heard of Unsplash, you are in for a treat. This wonderful, we-can’t-believe-it’s-still-free website offers thousands upon thousands of royalty-free images. Shot by aspiring and professional photographers, the quality is well above the standard stock photos you can find on other websites. And the catalogue is growing daily. Handily, the site allows you to create an account and set up ‘Collections’ (a fancy word for albums) so once you spot that ideal shot you can save it for future use.  We regularly use Unsplash images on the Avocado Social Instagram and recommend the site to all of our clients too.

We often discuss social media tools in the Avocado Social Media Hub, so if you’re a big fan of another website or app, we’d love to hear about it! Head on over to our Facebook Group and join the discussion.