There are a ton of great apps out there that are going to make your job as a Social Media Manager easier, but this week we wanted to focus on the best kinds of apps – FREE apps! You’ll be surprised how many awesome (and completely free) resources we’ve found for everyone from new bloggers to marketing professionals. These apps do everything from up engagement, boost your following and increase your brand’s overall presence on all social media platforms.
We won’t leave you hanging any longer! Read more to see our top 10 Free Apps that are going to take your social media game to the next level!
If you’re a blogger, you know the struggle that is writing catchy, short and informative titles. What’s important to include? What are people more likely to click on? Is this even a good headline? Trust me, we all ask these questions.
This year, thanks to Social Media Examiner’s blog, I was introduced to CoSchedules Headline Analyzer and I have to tell you guys, I don’t think I could write another blog post without it!
Headline Analyzer is a free tool by CoSchedule (they also have a paid social media management tool) that will analyze and rate your title in seconds. There are a few other similar apps on the market, but nothing gives you better detail or reasoning than CoSchedule.
Headline analyzer is super easy to use. As you can see above, all I did was typed in my mock headline, “Is This A Good Title For a Blog Post?” and clicked Analyze Now.
For this title, Headline Analyzer gave me a mediocre 68/100. Not the best score, but not the worst either. When you scroll down further, CoSchedule goes into more detail about why it gave your title the score it did. It breaks it down into structure, grammar and readability then analyzes the individual words for how common they are, how emotional they are and how powerful they are. The more powerful and emotional a the words, the higher the score.
Next, it will let you know if the character count and word count are okay for appearing on google, therefore also helping with your SEO score. At the very bottom, it also gives you tips of which words should be your keywords, and whether your title is positive, negative or neutral.
Did you know that you can look up how many of your twitter followers are real and how many are spam, or bot accounts? Social Media Examiner’s blog introduced us to this handy little tool and we can easily see how it could be a great asset to a lot of other bloggers and social media guru’s out there.
What Twitter Audit does is takes your account and scans it for any inactive or recognized “fake” followers. As you can see from our Twitter Audit, we have 98% real followers. You may be wondering why it matters if your followers are considered real or not? Well, not only can having fake followers clog up your stream, reduce your engagement and expose you to spam, it can also put you at risk of having your account flagged and even deleted. So go and take a peek at your own twitter score, it’s free and takes only seconds!
PS: Have someone on your feed that you think has suspiciously high followers? You can check theirs too and see if they’re real or not!
If there’s only one app you’ve heard of on this list, I’m willing to bet it’s Canva! When I was doing my research for this post, it popped up on Quicksprout, Social Media Examiner, Buffer and Inc.com as one of their favourite editing apps on the web – paid or free!
Canva is a free photo editing app that allows you to create beautiful and perfect designs for social media, quickly and easily. Canva is a daily part of my social media routine. I use it to create everything from our Instagram posts to the feature photo of this very post. I’ve yet to find another app with such ease of use and versatility that falls into the free category.
Another great thing about Canva is it has pre-determined layouts so you know you’re always making your photo the correct size for Instagram, your Twitter background or your Facebook Cover. It comes with loads of pre-made templates, different elements and texts so you can make each creation as personalized as you like. Another plus is that even the paid elements in Canva are only $1 each, which makes it affordable for everyone!
Twitter platforms can be a touchy subject, and what might work for one Social Media Marketer, may not work for the next! For this one, I’m considering myself as the expert that uses this, since I’ve been a fan since it’s initial release in 2009!
Personally, I feel as though I’ve tried all the desktop applications there are for Twitter, and while I do use Hootsuite on a regular basis, my favourite will always be Tweetdeck. What I like about Tweetdeck is that it has all my streams for different accounts in one easy to access area that doesn’t require me to have another tab open in my browser – seriously, I have enough of those already!
Tweetdeck is also really customizable both visually and for notifications. As you can see here I have a stream for my Timeline, Notifications (where you can choose what is shown, for me it is only mentions and follows), Direct Messages, and my favourite hashtags. The main thing I love about Tweetdeck is that it offers popups on your desktop for any mentions, messages or followers you receive. I need this! I never miss someone giving us a shoutout or connecting with a new follower.
When I first found out about IFTTT I was thoroughly confused, to say the least, but once I figured how to use it (thanks to Jeffbulla’s blog post), I don’t know what I ever did without it. IFTTT stands for If This Than That, and is a pretty unique platform that allows you to totally customize your social media experience.
IFTTT is made up of a whole whack of different “recipes” that will cause that to happen every time this happens – still following me? Let’s make it a bit clearer with some examples so you can see how awesome this app really is:
Out first example is one of my favourites! With this recipe, you can set up your Pinterest account to automatically Pin any Instagram photo you like to a specific board. Smart right? Let’s see some more!
Another super smart one says that every time you post a new blog, it will also automatically post to your Facebook page for your fans to see. While Jetpack does this as well, it can be tricky to get connected to your page and plugins like SNAP aren’t free and don’t come cheap! This is a free and easy way to bypass all that and get your post shared in more places, fast.
Can you tell I’m a fan of the Instagram ones? Instagram doesn’t connect with much so it’s exciting when you can link it up to your other social media feeds. This one posts all your Instagram posts to your Facebook. Bonus, you can choose which ones post so you don’t flood your feed with cat photos (guilty).
6. Feed Readers
A big part of being a successful social media manager or blogger is keeping up with the latest news in your niche. For example, at Data Nerds we like to keep up with everything Startup, Entrepreneur or Social Media related. There’s a new video app out? I want to tweet about it! 10 Tips from Mark Zuckerberg about being a successful entrepreneur? That’s definitely going on Facebook. So how do you keep up with this never-ending supply of data and find the latest and greatest the web has to offer without relying on Google? Two words, Feed Readers.
Over lots of time and after lots of experimentation, I’ve found that having a big list of similar blogs and news sites is your best bet when it comes to having the latest and greatest content to share and learn from. One of the most popular apps out there is definitely Feedly (above), but my favourite is Newsflow (below). It’s a sleek sidebar that sits on your desktop and alerts you to any new posts. It’s easy to add feeds to and runs smoothly. It also has integration to directly tweet from the app or post to Facebook.
Social Media Managers need to keep track of how their posts are doing. Sometimes, that can be difficult and require you to buy expensive software to track clicks or have you going to 5 different social media sites to see how many times a particular article as been shared. With this new Chrome Extension, you can get all that information in one click.
Social Analytics will analyze whatever page you are on and tell you how many times it has been shared. It even breaks it down into each category like Facebook shares, likes and comments, Google +1’s, Stumbleupon views and Pinterest Pins. It’s great to see how each post is doing at a glance, and even to see how your competitors are doing as well!