Free Tools for Powering Up Your Radio Station’s Social Media

By Leigh Detzel, WRVL-FM Lynchburg, Virginia

Working in radio means you’ll always wear more than one hat. I happen to co-host our morning show, direct the intern program and run our station’s social media. It’s overwhelming for a perfectionist like myself. Our time is valuable and it just so happens that creating content for social media that is up-to-date, modern, and unique isn’t easy.

If you don’t have a degree in graphic design, and Adobe CC seems unconquerable (and, quite honestly, unaffordable) there are many apps out there to help you create quick and enticing graphics. My sister works for a large B2B marketing firm as a designer and I ask for her feedback quite frequently. The content I churn out from these apps meet her approval, overwhelmingly so. Here are my top go-to apps (for iPhone) that I use on a frequent basis.

The Best

1. Over

You can download it for free, but to use the full benefits (OverPro), it’s $7.99/mo. You are given access to hundreds of pre-made templates, photos, graphics and fonts which are updated daily. The tech support is through-the-roof fantastic. If you’ve got your station logo, you can add it easily to any graphic that you’ve created. The images are beautiful and 100% customizable. If you can afford it get it. http://madewithover.com

2. Adobe Spark Post

This is incredibly easy to use. While it is not as versatile as Over, it is hands-down idiot-proof. It also includes graphics, fonts and templates. The best part about this app is that everything you make will look clean and professional. You can also “animate” your edits and save them as a video. Spark Post works best for simple graphics with text. You can “remix” templates with the touch of a button and customize to your liking. The only downfall is that you can’t add your station logo — but I remedy this by saving the photo as a .png, opening in in Over and adding it there. https://spark.adobe.com/about/post

3. Enlight

If you’re at an event and snapping photos with your phone, you’ll get photos that need to be edited, cropped and made to look like they weren’t quickly snapped with an iPhone. You can take images and create beautiful graphics. There are tons of special effects and brushes, filters and some really cool tools that you can’t really find in other apps. This app is a power-house — once you learn to use it. https://www.enlightapp.com

Runners-Up

Snapseed

Simliar to Enlight, this app is mainly for photo-editing. It’s a bit tricky, but it’s free. You can quickly crop, adjust and make your photos useable to post, but it takes time to learn. https://itunes.apple.com/app/id439438619

Canva

While Canva is semi-easy to learn, many businesses use it. This means if you don’t want to pay for things like background images, new fonts, and new formats ($1 each!) you’ll end up seeing a lot of stations with the same graphics because they’re the free ones featured at the top of the app each day. It also works on a laptop web browser, but is maddening to use because of the inability to edit seamlessly like you can on the app. You’d do better to spend 4 hours in Photoshop where you have more options. https://www.canva.com

Pablo by Buffer

While not a phone app, Pablo is another easy-to-learn web application for quickly dropping text over images. Pablo — created by the same team behind the fantastic social media scheduling app Buffer — offers a good selection of free images and also allows you to upload your own. https://pablo.buffer.com

Try Them All

Keep in mind that using a new app can be daunting at first, but once you get the hang of these apps, you’ll be able to really up the ante with your social media game.