When you get right down to the heart of it, what makes a great social post? Audience engagement. And to achieve that, your post needs to first, be noticed, and second, be insightful. To help with the first step, I use a handful of tools that I have found to increase my productivity. From creating videos and graphics to scheduling and storage, these are my go-to tools. Enjoy!
Unless I’m making a video in the native Instagram app, I use Wave.Video [affiliate link] for editing and creating all of my videos. Here’s why: It’s ridiculously easy. Ridiculously.
Let me give you an example. I created a training video with text and graphics, the full works, for my YouTube channel, so it’s in landscape (16x9). I also want to put it on IGTV, which is vertical (9x16). But I don’t want to recreate the whole thing! And with Wave.Video, I don’t need to. I just upload the video file, and have the tool recreate the video in 9x16. I moved the text from the side to the top and, boom, I had a completely repurposed training video in five minutes. Wave.Video enables you to create all different formats in one tool—landscape, square, vertical, whatever you need. Choose your background and specific layout, and you’ll get multiple formats from one video.
Plus, Wave.Video has amazing (and abundant) stock images and videos. Not five free options and then a thousand paid—there are tons of free images and videos for every niche, industry, and category you could possibly want. Use three seconds or 30 seconds … or all of it. And don’t get me started on the music. The library is huge, full of all kinds of styles.
So, you can take a 45-second tutorial that you’ve recorded on your phone, add text overlay and music to keep it interesting, format it in three different versions, and upload to all of your places (YouTube, Facebook, and IGTV). Done in 10 minutes instead of 10 hours. Now that’s productivity.
Pricing: A forever free plan is great to get your feet wet; paid plans start at $10 per month.
A free app available for Android, AZ Screen Recorder allows you to record your screen—without a time limit, ads, or a watermark. Why do you need this? So many reasons:
- You do an Instagram Live and forget to save it (and when it’s gone, it’s gone);
- You have a guest on Instagram Live and can’t save it (Grrr…); and/or
- You’ve added your video to your Story, and it disappears after 24 hours but you still want it!
With AZ Screen Recorder, I can record all of my Instagram Lives, even with guests, which I can then save and repurpose to YouTube, a blog post, or anywhere else.
If you’re like me, you don’t want to do five things to make a video; you want one touch. AZ Screen Recorder is that—tap “screencast,” watch its 3-2-1 countdown, and then it’s recording your screen. When you’re finished recording, drop that puppy into Wave.Video to edit it, and you’re done. Ready to upload to all platforms. Ready to be productive.
Wouldn’t it be great to create those eye-catching graphics I was talking about before, right from your phone? Well, you can with Photofy, an app available for both Android and iOS. Edit photos, insert text, add backgrounds, create collages, filter and blur, change aspect ratios, and more with Photofy.
For text, the app has tons of font options—more than 90. So even if it’s not your exact font, you’ll find one that’s really similar to what you use. And to me, that streamlines the process for branding, because you want your posts to be immediately recognizable as you, your business, your brand.
One quick thing on text: In general, text on images doesn’t perform well on Instagram. But if your audience is like mine, they want educational content. So for me, a giant text overlay next to my photo that says, “New Instagram Feature,” gets a lot of engagement. In other words, do what works for you to drive engagement.
Photofy is a really robust tool, and the developers are always adding new features. Once you’ve created your snazzy image, you can save it and upload it to your platforms. Or, save some time being the productivity whiz that you are, and share it to all the major social media sites directly from the app.
Pricing: free; the business plan, which includes a brand gallery and other premium features, is $10.99 per month
As most of you know, I’m an Instagram person. I am in the native app all day, every day. That’s how I stay on top of those little nuanced changes that they tend to make—like cutting off your bio—and blog about the updates for you. However, for scheduling to other social platforms and data analytics, Agorapulse [affiliate link] is my go-to tool.
Agorapulse is very streamlined and easy to use—upload a post, schedule it, be done and worry-free. Scheduling in advance is a godsend. Single Moms working full-time, I know you feel me. No more, “Oh, s%$t, it’s 9 pm, and I never scheduled that post!” Agorapulse lets you schedule content for strategically optimal times. Strategically optimal. I like that.
Plus, you can see everything in the Agorapulse dashboard—especially helpful when running ads, because you can see all of the comments. You’re less likely to miss notifications, which can fall through the cracks with all of the “noise” from your phone.
And being a one-touch person, you know I lovingly refer to myself as one-button-Jenn, Agorapulse is fantastic for analytics. I click “Export Report,” and it spits out my data in an easy-to-read format that I can quickly show to someone else—clients, a client’s boss, whoever. Yes, a dashboard is a dashboard, but I will always be a die-hard Agorapulse fan because of that one button.
Sure, you could go into Facebook Insights, but that’s just data upon data. Try to export it, and you can’t make any sense of it. Plus, no guessing at what numbers you want, what charts you’ll use, how you’re managing the data. The Agorapulse report is ready to go. And you look as productive as all get out.
Let’s face it: We’re mobile people. Gone are the days of being in one place all day. So, it’s critical to have quick and easy access to your files regardless of your location. In fact, here’s a common scenario for me: I’m writing a blog on my desktop, but I need to scoot out for a meeting. I’m early and have 10 free minutes and can finish the blog. But shoot, I’m on my phone. Bang—Dropbox to the rescue. Before I left the office, I posted the doc to Dropbox, and now I can pull it onto my phone and finish the blog.
This amazing storage service gives me access to all of my stuff, whenever and wherever I need it. Photos on my desktop can be pulled to my phone, edited in Photofy, and uploaded directly to Instagram. An Instagram Live screencast that I captured with AZ Screen Recorder can be uploaded to Dropbox so that I can edit and reformat it with Wave.Video on my desktop. Dropbox just makes it seamless to toggle between devices.
For team management, Dropbox is great. I can upload files to a folder and share it with the team, which cuts down on all that back and forth via email. (Not like you can email a video that’s more than 5 seconds anyway, because it’s too damn big!) Plus, I have folders for clients, shared only with them, so there’s no risk of anyone seeing each other’s stuff. Dropbox is productivity at its finest.
Pricing: Dropbox Basic is free with 2GB of storage, which you’ll hit quickly if you’re storing videos; paid plans start at $9.99 per month
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One other tool that I’d be remiss not to mention is PowerPoint. Yes, old school PowerPoint. I use it to make a lot of my graphics; in fact, I use it like many people use Photoshop. As a power user of PowerPoint, I can quickly create text overlays, drop in multiple layers of images, move things around, and then save as an image file or PDF. However, if you don’t really have design capabilities, Canva is probably a better option for you because it provides templates and such. But I always have (and probably always will) rely on PowerPoint. It’s just what works for me.
And that brings me to my closing point: All of these apps and tools are what work for me with my particular needs. They’ve all helped in making me more productive, and I highly recommend them. I encourage you to try these tools out for yourself and see what works for you. And when you do, and your productivity is through the roof, let me know. I love to hear success stories!