4 Free Apps for DIY Graphics That Look Totally Pro

Stunning and aesthetically pleasing designs and graphics always see better results on your social media. We rounded up the top DIY graphics apps, these apps will add some sizzle to your mundane photos and escalate your followers’ counter.

These apps will also allow your creative side to display its imagination.

 Over

Your social media photo game isn’t perfect until you have the Over app on your device.  This app will turn your phone into a professional graphic designing studio and will surely evoke that waning right side of your brain.

Over is very easy to use and doesn’t create much hassle for beginners.

The app has features like adding text with a gazillion font and colors options, you can select the background and cut/paste the images.

Pixlr

Pixlr is a robust browser photo editor, for all your editing needs. Have full control over your images, including layers and effects.

This user friendly interface is like having a whole Photoshop software in your device, it has the usual text adding feature on photos along with certain effects, overlapping images, impressive borders etc.

The app is sure to give your photo a boost of liveliness offering full creative powers to its users. 

 

VSCO CAM

VSCO Cam has become  extremely popular because of its DSLR type effects. VSCO Cam has built in tool to edit certain aspects like brightness, contrast etc.

The app also has features like collage creation, templates, captivating borders,  overlays and text on image. Through VSCO cam you can save and download your edited image and can share directly on social media in-app.

Studio 

Studio gives your photo just the right amount of touch and makes it look as if they’ve been edited by a professional.

Studio gives the option of many outlines to choose from. You can crop the image in layout, the app has fun stickers, striking and trendy word art, which you can place anywhere on the photo to create graphics. You can also adjust light, shape and filters.

“What Instagram Did For Photography, This App Will Do For Design,” Mashable said in an app review. 

Here Are 3 Apps To Step Up Your Social Media Engagement

Social media has impacted our lives both personally and when it comes to raising your awareness about your business or brand.

With a whopping 600 million users on Instagram, another 1.68 billion on Facebook, and 319 million on Twitter many people are using social media to their advantage either for their business or own personal life.   So if they can do it, why can’t you?

Here are three helpful apps to step up your social media game!

Canva

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A call to action can help boost engagement. Turn your product pics into graphic masterpieces with Canva.

Created in 2009 out of Sydney, Australia the app has gained massive success thanks for its easy to use editing system and the fact that it’s FREE. Learn more on their website.  

 

 

Instafollow

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Instafollow or it’s Twitter equivalent, UnfollowerStats, allows you to check when people follow and unfollow your social media accounts. This is optimal for businesses who want to familiarize themselves with what posts are and aren’t working with their demographic.

Currents

Google’s Currents is an app that helps the average joe keep up to date with the newest trends in what’s happening around the world. This app helps many social media influencers, especially journalists and political commentators, remain relevant when they post.

What’s your go-to app for engagement? 

4 Photo Editing Apps for The Perfect Instagram Shot

Instagram has quickly become a force to be reckoned with adding live video and Snapchat-esque features. While the platform moves to dominate video, it’s also going back to its roots, adding an image gallery, allowing you to enhance your brand storytelling. 

When it comes to visuals, you must have strong images. Here are four apps that can help you perfect your Instagram shot.

Aviary

Aviary has its own high rep among all other editing apps. It’s been on the market for a long time and has a firm grip on it. Aviary offers all sorts of editing tools and filters, you name it Aviary has it from adjustable mood to adjust color, brightness, contrast and more. Besides it also has stickers and cosmetic tools to remove any blemishes, pimples, and a teeth whitener and all that jazz to make sure that your selfie stands out the best.

Photo Editor Pro

With over 50 million users, you might be wonder what makes Photo Editor Pro so popular. PEP is known as the OG of all photo editors being the most easy and effective to us.

It has all sorts of tools including  filters and just about any other professional adjustment you could possibly think of.

Additionally, it has firmly retained most of its very much original editing tools to make sure all of your photos look as if shot by a professional photographer.

 

PicsArt Photo Studio & Collage

We can’t make a list of best editing app without mentioning PicsArt.  It’s been around since Instagram started humbly, serving its loyal users ever since. The app has all the usual gimmicks while the developers keep the app updated. It has this creative mode option, which makes you will feel like a mad scientist while editing your pictures. The app has amazing filters, you can crop out an image and paste it somewhere else and you can make GIFs!  

Bonfire Photo Editor Pro

Other than the standard tools like, temperature, contrast, color, HDR, brightness adjustment and tools. It boasts of a mouthwatering collection of avant-garde filters in enormous amounts. Another trait that differentiates the app is its artistic approach. You can filter your photo to a portrait by choosing from filters like watercolor effects, pencil, soft brush, black and white, crayons to each and every way of art. 


There are plenty of fish in the sea when it comes to choosing the photo editing app of your dreams,  which is great really because if one of these don’t work from you, there are a ton of others out there to experiment with. 

Comment below with your go-to photo editing app. And be sure to follow Social Media Unicorn on Insta! 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Livestreaming For Business

From Periscope to Facebook and Instagram, livestreaming video is becoming more and more popular, particularly when marketing your new small business. Here are some quick tips to ensure you get the most bang for your broadcast. 

Social Media Unicorn Livestreaming Tips:

Initiate Conversations With New Arrivals

When you first start your live broadcast, note it will take some time to get an audience. Don’t be discouraged. One way to keep things going before you get a sizable audience is to start a casual  conversation welcoming new arrivals. Having the ability to ask questions, make comments and interact with you, plus the other viewers, can have a profound impact on your live stream.

Mention Options to Connect With You

What's better than a #Unicorn? A leprechaun riding a unicorn. Happy #stpatricksday #stpattysday #humor #funny #magical

A post shared by Social Media Unicorn (@socialmediaunicorn) on

While you have a captive audience, be sure to use this chance to cross promote your other ventures including your Twitter, Instagram, blog posts, or other upcoming projects you are working on! 

Broadcast Longer 

The longer you broadcast, the more likely people are to discover and invite their friends on Facebook to watch the video. Facebook recommends that you go live for at least 10 minutes, and you can stay live for up to four hours.

When Livestreaming, It’s Best To Avoid the Following:

Don’t Stream With Poor Connection 

Before you go live, be sure you have a strong signal. A 4G connection is good, but WiFi works best.  If you have weak signal, the ‘Go Live’ button will be grayed out, so don’t even think about it. 

Don’t Leave Your Other Apps Running 

As previously mentioned, to ensure the best quality video shut down all of your other running apps prior to starting your broadcast. Adding in a snazzy overview on the topic will capture fans’ attention! 

Don’t Abruptly End Your Broadcast

As previously mentioned, planning is important! Make sure your broadcast has a clear beginning, middle and ending. Be sure to use a closing line to signal you are wrapping up. 

Regardless of the platform you choose, these fast tips will ensure you have great success with your next livestream. 

4 Social Media Trends Taking Off in 2017

Social Messaging

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From What’s App to Facebook Messenger, more brands that ever before are using online messaging to quickly connect with customers. Brands are now using messaging apps to communicate one-on-one with customers, which is completely changing the nature of customer service. These apps provide a faster and easier way for customers to get the assistance they need. No more being placed on hold or waiting for a returned email.

 

Fighting Fake News

social-media-trends

Facebook has launched an initiative to prevent fake news from appearing on the social network. Facebook is also changing its “Trending Topics” that highlight the most popular news on the giant social network to fight the incursion of fake news.

 

Augmented and Virtual Reality 

social-media-trends

Virtual and augmented reality is more than Pokémon Go. Not only does it encourage engagement by offering an immersive, memorable experience unlike any other medium,  brands are quickly recognizing the value.

Live Video Content 

social-media-trends

One-third of all online activity is spent watching video online. Many brands are making the move from Snapchat and Instagram to capitalize on the live video frontier. According to a Think with Google report, 85% of adults ages 18-49 use multiple devices at the same time.

Interview With a Unicorn Talking Social Media with Krista Whitley!

Here’s an interview I did with Vishal Rose from #NotAGuru where we talked about about personal branding and social media for his book “Marketing for Misfits”.

 

Promoting Your Cannabis Business: Best Strategies

It’s an age old problem applied to the burgeoning cannabis marketplace: you have a product, service or idea and you want people to know about it. We are in a digital age where consumers are making decisions on who to engage with through active conversations. We hear about 4 strategies for promoting a cannabis business; marketing, advertising, public relations, and branding. They all mean the same thing right? Wrong. Let’s break these communication strategies down to their root elements so we can learn how to use them effectively.

Cannabis Marketing

This is the overarching concept of giving consumers something to consider. Marketing consists of determining what you want to sell and how it fits into the marketplace. The name of your product, the packaging it comes in, the price point you’ve decided to sell it at, all of this is marketing. Cannabis businesses have complete control over this part of the conversation, it is up to them to craft it all. Basically, you as the cannabis business are standing on a stage and unveiling a complete solution to a crowd of potential consumers. Apple’s iPhone unveiling is a great example of this.

Cannabis Advertising

The product you have crafted is complete and ready for consumers to purchase. Advertising is a traditional form of telling them to do so. Advertising is creating a specific message, or elevator pitch, about what you are offering and why they should buy it. Again, the control of the message comes from the cannabis business and is projected onto the consumer. Before digital communication and social media, repetition is how you got the job done. Consumers would be bombarded by the same message over and over.

Cannabis Public Relations

This is where the conversation really begins to diverge from a cannabis business projecting onto the masses to a bit more of a conversational tone. Public relations is at its core, the nurturing of a  relationship between said cannabis business and its potential consumers. Using third party sources, the cannabis business gets other people to talk about them within the crowd instead of to the crowd. The message is still crafted by the cannabis business, but it has taken on  a more conversational approach, with consumers hearing about the cannabis business through multiple third party channels instead of directly from the business itself.

Cannabis Branding

In marketing and advertising the cannabis business is broadcasting what they have to offer. In public relations the message begins to spread from within the crowd. Taken one step further we have branding. Branding is where the cannabis business shares not only what they do, but who they are as a business. This component is crucial to today’s consumer in digital media age. This puts the power of the relationship in the hands of the consumer. Those who identify with your business will choose to engage with it. A great example would be the story of Toms. Why does this matter? Because this relationship is one with the highest quality return. These engaged consumers will not only buy more, but do so more often along with becoming your greatest advocates and spreading your message through the crowd. Consumers rallied behind Toms because of who they are as a business, not strictly for what they made.

Spreading the word about your cannabis business is a multi layers approach, but these four key strategies are a great jumping off point. Need help promoting your cannabis business? Contact Social Media Unicorn and let us take your cannabis business to the masses.

How To Grow Your Business Quickly

It never occurred to me that all entrepreneurs weren’t wired for fast growth until I was standing at the podium accepting an award for creating Canada’s #9 fastest growing company. I had made it through my entrepreneurial career assuming everyone was running the same race day after day. It sincerely shocked me to be asked by reporters, “How do you do it?” The answer seemed so obvious. It seemed so simple. I just do. I was pregnant 18 of the first 24 months of my first award-winning business in a country where I was a new immigrant. There wasn’t a chapter of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” that covered entrepreneurs, so I just assumed all pregnant ladies carried on. I thought every new mom breastfed in her business’ bathroom while a wet sheepdog watched. Fast forward a decade later and my appreciation for the unique race each entrepreneur is running has only continued to grow.

When you are establishing your business with the hope of fast growth I recommend two things: know thyself and lay a solid foundation of diverse entrepreneurial experience. Your business can only grow to your personal leadership abilities, so it is imperative that you know your own strengths and weaknesses as a leader. When I started my first venture I was cocky. I was sure that I had all the answers and it was reflected in my inability to appreciate that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. A decade later and I am a much more reflective leader. I know that I am terrible with financial management, so I hired an experienced CFO and have continued to get her more involved in my business. I appreciate that I am phenomenal at strategy, but my enthusiasm wanes at execution, so I have a Director of Sales who thrives on execution. The solid foundation of diverse entrepreneurial experience will carry you efficiently through challenges you can’t even imagine on day one that can be speed bumps or endless craters hundreds of days down the road.

One of the keys to fast growth for all of the organizations I have created is to answer the question of scalability early on. No matter if it is a chain of pet boutiques, an advertising agency, or manufacturing cannabis products, the sooner that you answer how you will scale your business, the more opportunities you can realistically consider. When you are constantly having to reconfigure your organization to accommodate opportunities you struggle to react in real time. Your vision for the business you are building should scare the crap out of you. It should stretch you as a leader and require all of you, but the day to day mission should be baby steps towards the big scary goal. I have always been a big fan of the lean start up methodology because I believe bulky business plans with 5 year pro forma statements are essentially business fairy tales. The reality is that a start up canvas can help you to adopt a more reactive, real time approach to how you run your business. If this happens, then we will do this. If this doesn’t happen, then we will go this direction. When wrapped into your organization’s core values it becomes the roadmap for fast growth.

In the first year of a fast growth venture there are several speed bumps that can slow growth overall. In all of my ventures I have found that I have to remind myself not to get too caught up in the day to day. It’s a funny situation, isn’t it? You start a business because you love what you do and you love doing it, but then you eventually get to the point where in order to grow it you are no longer the best use doing what you love. One of the greatest struggles I face as a leader is appreciating that leaders don’t lead. Leaders grow other leaders. The greatest opportunity you have to build a fast growth organization that lasts is to build an organization of leaders who lead.

As a fast growth entrepreneur data has become my best friend. I’m a small town girl who lives for the relationships, the old school human to human interaction of client and service provider, but I have to force myself to be cognizant of the data behind those relationships. Jack Daly wrote “Hyper Sales Growth” and says that all sales relationships can be replicated by good systems, which transformed my thinking about relationships. Love the relationship, grow it, embrace who you authentically are, but be present in the data. Be aware of how you spend your time, of what systems you have built, and constantly- literally 24/7, every hour of the day- be thinking about how you can replicate those systems.

Leadership in an organization that is quickly growing and evolving should reflect the diverse experience required of the challenges that they are facing. I always chuckle when I see an organization built of only one demographic of people because it’s a massive handicap to achieving fast growth. The more diversity you have in any organization at every level, the better. I want a 60 year old woman from India working alongside a 22 year old man from Canada working with a 35 year old mom from Kansas. Can you imagine the different life experiences and opinions that will come from that trio alone? At Social Media Unicorn we are working in the six top cannabis markets in the United States and I love that some things work in Colorado that could never work in Las Vegas. The differences of leadership backgrounds at each level of our organization help us to serve cannabis brands with each opportunity that presents itself.

Most importantly, not every organization is meant to grow quickly- nor should it aspire to this. I’ve won a bucket of fast growth awards in my own entrepreneurial journey and for every award I have hours of wishing I had a 9-5 job with benefits that I could just turn off. There is a balance to all things and, as one of my mentors reminded me, “Some people are just drawn that way.” I am drawn to type fast, talk fast, walk fast, think fast, and I would last all of 5 minutes in a 9-5 job. Embrace your own entrepreneurial journey without judgement. And, if you find yourself in the fast lane with me, reach out. I’m always happy to commiserate or share secrets for how I’ve spent more than a decade pushing the speed limit.