Capture, filter, and caption social media images with these cool apps

Mobile phones are extremely powerful for content creation and distribution, and there’s really no shortage of time or spaces to create content and post it simply by using a phone. In terms of how often one should post, according to Coschedule, the average number of posts for Twitter is five  per day; for Pinterest, it is 15 pins per day; for Instagram, one post a day will do; for LinkedIn, one post per work day; and then for YouTube, one video per week. But ultimately, how often you want to post is up to you, and remember, a tweet only lasts for around 18 minutes while a Facebook post only lasts for about 90 minutes, so content disappears very quickly, but there’s also the opportunity to create content for newsletters and websites. 

Using a phone provides a great opportunity to build brands and authority in three different areas: personal life, professional life, and social life. Personal life includes interests or hobbies, like working out, health and nutrition, taking the dog for a walk, spending time with family, etc. Professional life revolves around happenings with the team, clients, or customers. Lastly, social life is about events that happen with more than one person like friends. Because people have their phones with them at all times, every moment becomes a chance to create content that’s within any of these three domains and share it with others. 

One of the key things when taking pictures is to get the camera and the camera shooting position right. Bristol photographer Marcus Ahmad suggests making use of the phone’s gridlines camera settings and then lining up the subject where the lines intersect. The misconception is that the subject should be placed in the middle of the square. However, it actually should be placed on the lines. For posts that will be going on social media, which is majority of anyone’s photos, then the shot needs to be in portrait layout, and if it was originally not shot as portrait, it can easily be edited after the shot was taken. If it’s something that will be going on a PowerPoint presentation, then it would be better to shoot it in landscape, because a portrait doesn’t give the full width. If it’s on Instagram, posts are generally in the size of a square. 

The next aspect to think about is the resolution. If a photo is shot in high resolution, it can easily be reduced and if there’s Wi-Fi, there’s bandwidth. If a photo is shot in low resolution, it’s easy to share, but the quality is not that great. The Portrait modes on most smartphones these days are great for taking shots of people in front of a background but without clearly showing the background, so you can mix up the picture a little bit and it puts the focus on the person.

Photo editing apps

Filters are also helpful for making seemingly mundane photos more vibrant or appealing, and this leads to the topic of editing. There are many apps available on the App Store or Google Play Store, many of which are free or can be upgraded for a fee. PhotoFunia is an app that can embed a photograph into other pictures. The background could be the side of a building in Manhattan or an artist’s painting on the side of the street. There are 618 effects in all, and then once the photo has been edited, it can be exported in PDF or PNG format. Another one is Snapseed which allows someone to change the image itself using any of its 33 tools. One can retouch the photo, add filters, frames, or test, and so it offers many options as to how the picture will look like at the end of editing. Even with the free versions of these apps, these can be exported and then shared on social media or to an aggregator like Buffer, Zoho Social, or HubSpot. It can even be sent as a message on apps like WhatsApp or WeChat.

For montages, InstaMag is a great app that can crop pictures and combine them to create collages with frames or text too. Another fun app is called Insta Toon, and it renders photographs in line art with filters. It takes a normal picture, and then it will do a line drawing of that photograph. There are options to change the granularity of it, the filters, and the canvas to produce a satin-like or rough finish, and it can export images, videos, live photos, and GIFs. For £4.99, one gets the upgraded version that comes with more filters. All in all, these apps are great for marketing and making what once was a relatively standard image stand out. The best part is one can export these edited photos onto the different editing apps to create the best image or graphic.

It’s pretty amazing how much can be done on a phone, and photographs are a really quick and free way of capturing a moment. With a phone, anyone can create high quality pictures quickly and share with others a slice of life. In the SPEAK|pr program, which stands for Storify, Personalise, Engage, Amplify, and Know, engaging content is a central facet of any public relations program, whether it’s through owned media or earned media channels. So, take pictures, crop it, edit it, have fun, and get some excitement going because pictures flowing freely through social media channels will increase the frequency and show that you’ve got a sense of humour, that you’re involved and engaged, and then people can share these images and amplify your content. You can also take other people’s images and repost those as well. Pictures are one way to get involved in marketing and in building the brand even just using the power of what’s in your hand.

This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast SPEAK|pr, you can listen here.

Cover Photo from iPhone Photography School

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