Like a lot of bloggers, I do a ton of work from my phone. Partially this is out of convenience, but partially it’s because a lot of the best software for managing a blog and social media is only available as an app.
I’m not sponsored to promote any of these apps. They are simply things that have been really helpful in managing my own social media presence.
These are all available on the iOS store, and some may be available on Android as well.
I’ve used a lot of different photo editing apps to adjust things like brightness and saturation. By far, I find Snapseed the easiest to use with the most features. And it’s free!
Some of my favourite features of this app are:
- The brush tool. This allows you to spot-edit (and has a masking feature to make it easy to see where you’re working). It lets you pick dodge & burn, exposure, temperature, and saturation, and there are various levels of each. I use the saturation brush a lot to improve the appearance of fruits or leaves.
- Healing. If you’re doing tiny adjustments (like removing a blemish, or cleaning up crumbs on a plate), the healing tool is perfect. It’s intuitive, which isn’t always the case with tools like this.
- HDR Scape. I don’t normally like full-photo filters, but this feature is fantastic for improving landscapes. I can’t explain how it does it. You’ll just have to try it out.
I find that photos export to a great resolution while reducing to a manageable file size. I often transfer photos from my DSLR onto my iPhone in order to edit them on Snapseed for Instagram. The original photos are a few megabytes, but the edited photos are a bit smaller. So I only keep the edits on my phone!
Preview lets you use a lot of features even as a free user. A paid account allows you to manage more than one Instagram account at a time on the app.
The two features that I love about this app are:
- The ability to lay out photos in a 3 x infinity grid in order to see how they’ll look on your profile. This matters a lot if you’re trying to curate a brand or develop a coherent image. You can swap the photos around fairly easily, though this function could be slightly improved.
- You can create hashtag groups for easy insertion into captions. Just type a bunch of hashtags into the caption box, tap to create a group and name it, and voila! I have a couple of different groupings made depending on if I’m posting food, a craft or DIY, or a motivational post.
You can also schedule your posts using this app. However, at the time of writing this, it doesn’t have the automatic posting feature that business accounts are able to access through other third party apps now. But I think that the organizational value of this app makes it worth keeping on deck!
This app has a lot of paid features that I have no experience with. But I’ll be honest with what I use it for.
When you sign up and put your IG account into it, this app will show you everyone who follows you, and everyone who unfollows you. For a fee you can also see who is blocking you, and more features.
I’m always annoyed by users who follow you, wait until you follow them back, and then unfollow you in order to gain a larger following. I know I’m not alone in hating this. And I don’t use this particular tactic on my own social media.
So I use this app in the following ways:
- to monitor follower gains/losses on a semi-regular basis
- to unfollow accounts that have bait-and-switched to gain followers
If you’re willing to invest money in it, there are other analytical features you might find interesting.
A word of warning, there are also some features in the menu that look a bit like like-trading features. I don’t recommend getting into any of that, at the risk of Instagram shadow banning you or worse.
I started using buffer to schedule some of my posts since Instagram has allowed business accounts to use third party apps to post. This is because I have some semi-regular content with longer captions that I want to make sure get shared on a timely schedule.
Buffer ended up being my app of choice for this as I had already used it successfully with a Twitter account. The layouts of the website and the app are intuitive, and I’ve had no problem figuring out how to navigate them (which is not something I say about most apps!)
There are a lot of authentication steps to enable your account to automatically post for you, but personally it was worth it. It involved signing in with Instagram and with Facebook, which is annoying. But I suppose I’d rather have the process be secure.
Are there other apps that I haven’t mentioned here that you think are crucial for managing social media? Leave more suggestions in the comments below!