If you're looking for Awesome Social Media Tools then listen up! In this post I share 10 Social Media Tools I'm Crushin on right now right now.
To make it easy for you, I've divided all 10 social media tools up into simple categories, so you find the ones that may help you too!
BY DONNA MORITZ | 14 FEBRUARY, 2018 | CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS
I get asked to test and try a lot of social media tools at Socially Sorted (a lot!). I receive emails every week about the “latest and greatest” tool for social media – for everything from social media management to DIY Graphic Design, growth tools, SEO and more.
There are some fabulous social media tools around ….so when I say that the 10 tools on this list are great tools, I mean it. I really am crushin' on them and I am using them in my business right now.
This is not to mean I don't use and love other social media tools, but these are the tools that are top of mind for me right now and are firing my business on a day to day basis.
Please note that part of writing about visual storytelling, tools and social media strategy over 7 years means that I have built up great relationships with tool companies.
As such, I get offered complimentary accounts for many of the social media tools that I use. It doesn't guarantee a listing (the tool still has to be awesome). Some of these tools I pay for, and some are gifted subscriptions. All are great.
And obviously you don't need to use all of these social media tools all at once either. I've divided them into categories to make it easier for you to find the best tool to “check out” for you business.
There might be something new for you to try, or perhaps one fo the social media tools is just what you have been looking for!
Ready? Let's jump in!
10 Awesome Social Media Tools (and Why I am Crushin' on them Right Now)
Social Media Management Tool (The All Rounder)
I'm starting with an All Rounder tool. If there's one tool that can serve more than one function, and I use it every day in multiple ways, then that tool deserves top billing.
This is that tool:
I wrote about why I love Agorapulse so much in this post. Check it out if you want to dive deeper into the benefits of Agorapulse.
Agorapulse is my go-to tool for social media management – for posting AND for engagement.
Here's how it looks inside. It's just had a complete overhaul with a new look, UI, dashboard and features!
As you can see, I get a full view of my accounts and engagement. I can assign the post, tag it, reply to it or review it (process it as sorted!).
I can also zoom in on the contact in question (Mari Smith) to find out more about her from her profile, all the while staying in Agorapulse:
Obviously, Mari is a major influencer and Agorapulse already has her flagged as being engaged with my content and important to me.
The dashboard really is only a small part of what Agorapulse can do. But here's why I started using Agorapulse:
True story, I started using Agorapulse a few years ago after chatting with their CEO, Emeric, about struggling to keep up with tweets. All the columns and inboxes in other tools like Hootsuite weren't cutting it. His reply? “I'll set you up on Agorapulse. You'll never miss a mention again.”
And I've been using it ever since. And although the Zero inbox is my favourite thing by FAR, there are so many features of Agorapulse for you to love.
Here are just some of the ways I love Agorapulse and why you really should love it too.
- Inbox Zero – one inbox for all the things. Now it's virtually impossible to miss mentions. I don't get to zero every day but it's close and it's VERY satisfying.
- Slick Publishing – you can easily publish to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn with a great calendar view to keep you organised.
- Engage with Advocates – Agorapulse tells you who is important to your business based on the size of their own platform and profiles + the level to which they engage with and share your content.
- Awesome Moderation – you can kiss goodbye to spam with Agorapulse's easy filters and moderation rules. It's super easy to manage the “right” direct messages and mentions.
- Advanced Monitoring, Search and Reports – Agorapulse let's you publish some of the best reports around (to see how your content is performing, team stats and comparisons), and you can monitor mentions really effectively across the web. I also love how you can do hashtag and location searches.
- Re-Queue feature that makes Edgar redundant – After years of paying for Edgar separately I am over-joyed that Agorapulse has a new evergreen queue feature that gives Edgar a run for its money. Now you get one of the best social media management tools AND the requeue function.
- A Killer Mobile App – I have many mobile apps for many tools that I don't love using. This mobile app is a dream to use, is fully optimized for mobile and keeps me from getting behind with engagement!
- Auto-Posting to Instagram – Agorapulse is one of the few Instagram Partners that can claim auto-posting functionality to Instagram. They stay up-to-date with Instagram as a partner so you get to know about features early!
- Pricing – this is where Agorapulse really stands out. It's super affordable, whether you are a one-person team or a 20-person team. It beats the competitors on price (and IMHO functionality because of the features you get) by a country mile.
- Responding to Ad Comments – this is an awesome feature for those of us that run ads. Now you can see (and reply to) your ad comments. Awesome!
- Team Functionality – if you have an agency-level account, you can access team approval whereby you can assign tasks and approve messages across multiple team members. And it's in “real-time” so there's no double up! This is vital if you have a growing team!
Inbox Zero is what I covet now with Agorapulse (and I actually do reach it!)
And I am loving the new re-queue function which means you no longer need an extra tool to set category-based re-queued posts!
If I was forced to choose only one tool for managing my social media, this would be my pick – purely because it covers so many features and has allowed me to replace tools like Edgar.
So if you are looking for an affordable “swiss army knife” of social media management (for publishing, listening and engagement), then Agorapulse is the best place to start.
Animation and Video
I've shared a lot of great video and animation tools on this blog over the past year.
In this post I have pulled out two tools in particular that have me crushin' on them right now: Wave and Giphy. Here's why:
I am loving Wave Video for creating social videos. Here's an example of a video I just posted to highlight a recent blog post:
There are a few key things to love about Wave:
- It's super simple to use. Use their templates or use their simple drag-and-drop building blocks to build up your own video style. I like to use a mix of video footage, still shots and text on blank backgrounds to mix it up a bit.
- You can access to their huge library of video footage and stock images. The video footage is something that you don't come across easily with video tools. I love that you can choose your level of access via subscription or you can also do pay-per use if you have a smaller budget or a one-off project.
- It really is as easy as one-click to change the size of your video. This video above was created initially for an instagram story but I resized it quickly (in just a few seconds) to optimize it for mobile viewing on Facebook. Hot tip: Mobile format will take up more real estate on the newsfeed! You can share square, mobile, instagram stories…even Facebook Cover Videos!
- The rendering is slick. I can honestly say I have had very few issues with videos glitching or not rendering properly. Whatever is under the hood of wave is pretty impressive!
- They are adding new templates, fonts and features all the time. It's a tool to watch and grow with, for sure!
Here's a sneak peek at Wave's dashboard. The elements along the bottom are where the magic happens. You can easily add video blocks, images, sound, transitions .. and everything is drag-and-drop.
It's heaven for video-editing newbies!
I'll leave you to try Wave for yourself. Get started here.
I have been having loads of fun with Giphy and I can say that it has become one of my favourite tools. You can visit my Giphy Branded Channel here for Socially Sorted TV.
Feel free to share my GIFs anytime (and anywhere) you like!
Over the past few months I have realised there is more to Giphy than just a GIF search engine.
- It's a great place to create GIFs – there is a complete set of tools in Giphy or you can bring in your own images or video and turn them into a GIF or video format within Giphy.com. I use the tool Easil to create GIFs primarily, but it's good to have a back up with Giphy.
- It's a place to grow awareness for your business with a Giphy account. I have always had a Giphy account but never really used it. Recently I started adding more GIFs to it and found it super useful for keeping them all in one place so I can access the links.
- My Branded Giphy Channel – Socially Sorted TV. I applied not so long ago for a Branded Giphy Channel and I was excited to be accepted. Now I can add GIFs to the account, and see the number of views. My GIFs are also searchable on Facebook via Giphy which is HUGE. I see so much potential with this platform and I am already seeing substantial views of my GIFs, so expect to see me diving into Giphy more and sharing what I learn with my audience.
Note: at this time I can't give any advice as to how to be accepted as a branded channel as I don't know the criteria, but I do recommend you have some fun GIFs uploaded to your regular channel before applying (and don't over-brand them).
Remember that people love to proudly share GIFs “as if they created them”. Make it about the GIF and not about your brand. Here are some FAQs that may help you.
DIY Graphic Design
But this post is about my current crushes and where I am spending most of my time, and because of that I am sharing one main DIY Graphic Design tool with you:
Over the past few months I've been hanging out with Easil a lot and you will have notice me talk about Easil more on this blog lately.
Some things I love about Easil:
#1 The Killer Templates. This is what drew me to Easil in the first place. The templates stand out because they are such great quality… like a Pro-designer created them (and they did!).
Here's a quick taste:
They are so easy to edit with simple drag-and-drop functionality, and I am in love with their:
- social media templates
- Instagram story templates; and
- tall Pinterest images (medium length infographics)
There are templates for days. And the BEST part is that you don't have to pay for any elements, images, or icons that are IN the templates, which is a nice change from other tools where you get an extra fee on checkout/download. Woot!
#2 Design Merge and how Photoshop-like it is to use layers, and move elements around… without the Photoshop level of tech know-how required!
Check out how easy it is to drag and drop elements, and merge different designs or templates together:
#2 The GIF Maker. Oh how I love the GIF Maker. As per my mention above re Giphy, I use Easil's GIF Maker to create most of my GIFs now.
I'm addicted. That is all.
#AllTheThings I love including the Color Palette Generator, the Text Effects, Folders to keep my messy creative head organised… and more … are all listed in this post, so check it out when you get time.
Enjoy .. and maybe get someone to check in on you if you are using the GIF Maker. It's a rabbit hole hehe.
Storytelling on Instagram
I wanted to feature a section on Storytelling on Instagram as the Stories format has become a huge focus across many platforms… including Snapchat and Facebook.
And these tools can be used for any stories format, but I am focusing in on Instagram for the purposes of this post. I know you'll be crushin' on them as much as I am!
I love Instagram Stories. I love creating them, I love watching them.
But sometimes it's just hard to keep up with creating them every day… or even a few times a week.
And then I realised that there was a tool that would allow me to schedule my Instagram Stories… right under my nose.
Planoly is an awesome planning app for Instagram that exists on desktop and mobile. You only have to look at their Instagram Account to see that they are committed to beautiful content on Instagram.
So here's what I love about Planoly. Planoly has:
- the ability to plan and schedule Instagram Stories as well as regular images or video.
- a listing as an approved partner for Instagram so you can now schedule to auto-post like Agorapulse can, and Tailwind too.
- the ability to schedule GIFs to Instagram. Planoly will convert them to video which is the format that Instagram will accept. It's ready to go and you save a TON of time. Note: you can currently only auto-post images but I'm hopeful that videos are coming!
- an optional extra Link In Bio tool (additional monthly fee) that you can use to direct people to a landing page from your Instagram profile. This is great as you only get one link on Instagram. It's also a shoppable feed so you can add shoppable products to the landing page. It's worth considering if you are an ecommerce store or blogger.
- a handy hashtag hub that allows you to store your hashtags.
- one of the slickest, prettiest user-interface experiences I've had. It's a dream to use.
But most of all I am crushin' on the Instagram Stories feature.
Here's a screenshot of the dashboard with some of my story screens or videos imported.
I can click on each element of the story, preview it, rearrange it (drag-and-drop), schedule it or add notes.
Note that this “video” below started out as a GIF. When I uploaded it into Planoly it was immediately converted to a video, which saved me so much time.
I am now posting more stories including short tutorials, and content I couldn't really do on the fly… just like the example above.
Some of my content is planned and scheduled along with some ad hoc posts. I can get more done now thanks to Planoly!
Fastory is a FUN tool with a lot of potential! I am just learning how to use it but it is great for creating engaging instagram stories for your audience.
I mentioned Fastory here in this post featuring their infographic about Instagram Stories.
Fast story combines interactive branded content with entertaining games in a cross-channel experience. This means that you can either create content for Instagram stories that plays and engages in the Instagram stories platform like this:
OR you can send people to a separate mini-site where you have more creative control over the interactive nature of your content… think: Games.
Here's a screenshot of the Batman game that Fastory did for Warner Bros. It involved a fun chat with Batman… including Quiz Questions: