4 Valuable & Cheap Photo Apps For Social Media Marketers

Images are intended to inspire and excite. It's almost guaranteed you will see an uptick in audience engagement if your posts include photos. So, then shouldn't we be posting more visual content? Ummm... Absolutely!

Let's be honest, many of us--if not most of us--need to be grabbed by something visually stimulating in order get our attention. It's one of the first and most important steps in the marketing funnel. Stamping an iconic or powerful image into a consumer's memory creates awareness. Even if your content is rock solid and your marketing plan has been picked through with a fine-tooth comb, lack of visually satisfying graphics can hurt even the best social media campaigns. 

Take a look below. Which post would you be more likely to engage with? The wording in the posts are slightly different, but the message remains basically the same. Would you be surprised if we told you that we doubled the engagement in half of the time with the photo post? We know you're really not that surprised. You're clearly smarter than us!


QUICK FACTS:

  • Researchers found that colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80% 

  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images

  • Color can improve brand recognition by up to 80%

(Sources: Hubspot & Xerox)


We're self-taught graphic designers at our company. We pride ourselves on spending countless hours watching YouTube tutorials and reading Photoshop forums without spending a dime for classes. We would say we've gotten pretty darn good at it, too! The point is you can learn it. Whether you're a social media marketer, artist, musician, entrepreneur, or small business, the learning curve is incredibly short for the photo applications that I use. I'm confident that after reading this blog, you'll be creating top-notch graphics within hours (possibly minutes depending on your photo editing background).

Below is a list of our "must-have" photo editing apps. We've gotten to the point where we can churn out professional looking images from our phones in less than the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee. It's easy! And nearly free!

1. Snapseed (Free)

Our most trusted app which is ironically free. It was created by the creative geniuses over at Google and allows you the ability to pretty much do any basic function in Photoshop, e.g. cropping, rotating, HDR, blur, etc. The real reason I use this app is for its secret weapon... the Drama filter. This filter gives you a real sense of drama and turns average looking photos into something much more visually interesting. User beware, the presets work well, but tone them down a touch. Overusing this effect can look a bit unnatural.

The image on the left is before the Drama effect and the image on the right is after the effect was applied. No other filters were used with this photo. Don't you find the image on the right much more interesting? All it took was one quick touch of a button!

2. Superimpose ($0.99)

This particular app is great for merging different images into one graphic. We've tried other "cut and paste style" apps out there, but Superimpose seems to have the best functionality. For our graphics, we like to incorporate social media icons, but more importantly, our company logo. This is very important if we are notifying our followers of a new blog post, quiz, or inspirational quote. The name of the game is originality and recycling the same graphics over and over again is dry and boring. Did we mention we like to put our logo on everything?! It's simple, easy, and effective in getting your audience to remember your brand.

The image on the left is a stock photo that we licensed for our website and the one on the right is modified with Superimpose.

Pro tip: Always keep your company logo as a .png on your phone. "PNG" is like a .jpg, but with a transparent background. It will make your finalized graphics look much more professional!

3. Font Candy ($2.99)

First of all, just buy this version so you don't have their annoying "Font Candy" logo attached to your saved files. Second, Font Candy has added a great number of extra fonts in the past few months so play around with all of them. Mix and match styles! It makes your graphics look way more fun and interesting. Trust your eye and create what makes you feel good.

Did you notice that we added our company logo in there, too? Thanks, Superimpose!

4. Mextures ($1.99)

This app is for pure aesthetics and we love it! If Snapseed is our bread, then Mextures would be our butter. This app is so fun to play with! You can add wild light leak filters, grunge filters, radiance filters, and so many more. But similar to Snapseed's Drama effect, you can fine-tune every little handle on the presets. They add visual interest and will surely get your audience to ask, "How'd they do that!?"

We recently took some photos of one of our favorite bands, Torche. Which photo do you find more appealing? If you notice, a little bit goes a long way. The image on the right isn't bursting with color, but seems more suitable for promotional or marketing advertisements.

In conclusion, these apps are a huge asset to you and your company and for as little as $6.00, it's a no-brainer!! For that price, there is no reason not to at least give it a shot. 

-Chris Parks