July 10, 2021

The Best Apps & Tools to Streamline Your Social Media Workflow

With so many social media tools & apps to choose from, each with its own unique features, it's hard to know which ones will benefit you the most.

At Spark, we're big fans of testing and using data to guide everything from our social strategy, visuals, and tone of voice to the social apps we use. We've tried and tested every app on the market and rounded up the perfect combination of social tools to streamline your process and save you time.

Social Publishing

Just like we'll never understand the death of the crying face emoji, gen-Z's will never understand what it was like before social publishing tools were around. When we look back on the days before auto-publishing apps or multi-profile login, we wonder how we ever managed to do our jobs (insert crying face emoji tears). Between our memories of setting "Post Now" alarms and the distraction of having to drop everything to publish manually, it comes as no surprise that we profoundly appreciate these social publishing tools.

Later

If you're publishing on Instagram, you need Later. We love the ability to visually plan our content by simply dragging and dropping the media into the visual planner. This feature is key for clients in industry that are aesthetically-driven, like wedding website brand, Joy.

With a built-in Media Library, you can collect media from all your sources and organize them with tags for you and your team to quickly access when creating posts. Later also automatically schedules our posts at the optimal time, so we never miss an opportunity to reach a wider audience.

Sprout Social

Our five years subscription with Sprout is one of our longest relationships. While Later is the best for Instagram scheduling, it falls short for LinkedIn & Facebook publishing as well as reporting (sorry, Later, it's not you, it's us--we've got high standards). We're big on data, so robust reporting is important to us. We're also really competitive, so we love using the competitor tracking & reporting feature to compare our competitors' metrics to our clients'. 

Tailwind

THE tool for Pinterest. Our Pinterest expert, Sam, swears by it. You can create your own pins, pins from Instagram or directly from Pinterest. You can also join Tailwind Tribes to amplify your content further.

Creative

Canva

Most professional designers will roll their eyes at this one but hear us out! Unless you have a graphic designer creating every single one of your posts, Canva helps streamline the process and makes it easy to make quick changes. We don't recommend choosing the pre-existing templates because they're overused and will make you blend in more than you stand out. Instead, work with a professional designer to create a set of quality, custom templates for your brand. For each new client, our talented in-house designer, Daiana, creates unique designs in illustrator and imports them into Canva so that any person on our team can quickly edit them in batch.

Lightroom

A staple for any brand, agency, or social media freelancer. Lightroom helps you maintain your feed's aesthetic and keep all your visuals on brand with presets and quick editing tools.

Hautestock, ColorJoy, and Social Squares

Quality lifestyle stock photos are hard to come by, unless you're looking in the right places. We recommend using these three stock sites to save you time, frustration, and ensure that you're using quality assets that will resonate on social.

Organization

ClickUp

Okay, we're about to go off for a second here, and for a good reason. We've tried every project management tool under the sun but none hold a candle to ClickUp.

If you were the kid who color-coded their notes, filled out their agenda meticulously, and added items to their to-do list just so you could scratch them off, you're probably the kind of adult who would appreciate ClickUp. The feature we love most about this tool is the seamless integration with all of our other favorite apps, bringing all of our work into one space. We're able to quickly access everything from client documents to daily tasks without having 20 browser tabs open, time track, streamline our workflow, and collaborate as a team while working 100% remotely with ClickUp.

Google Drive

An obvious one to include for collaboration with our team and clients, but the key is to create clear organization. We have a clear folder system for organization and then link all important documents in ClickUp, creating an easy-access directory.

Airtable

We love Airtable for organizing content shoots and our influencer campaign CRM. It's an extremely easy-to-use and versatile database and online collaboration tool that can keep everyone on your team on the same page. We love the detailed filtering available within tables. With proper tagging, you can pull up the exact asset you need in seconds.

Shoutout to the developers of these apps if you're reading this; we would be a lot less chill if it weren't for your contribution. Thanks to you guys, we've got a lot more time to spare at the end of our day for virtual happy hours and post-pandemic travel planning (Paris, we'll be in touch).
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