Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

5 Random Handy Social Media Apps

5 Random Handy Social Media Apps

When most people think of social media, they think of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok. However, there are many more platforms, apps, and tools that can be used to enhance your social media marketing.

Picking the right tools involves understanding your target audience and what you’re looking to achieve with your marketing and communications efforts online. Here are five apps to consider adding to your social media toolkit.

1. Track Engagement: Bitly

If you’re looking to shorten a long link to fit more compactly into a social media post, Bitly offers a link-shortening tool for free. Customizing your short link is a feature on their paid plans. A benefit of using a link-shortening tool like Bitly is the ability to get additional engagement analytics including tracking the number of clicks and shares.

Bitly’s expanded offerings include the ability to create a QR code tied to the link you submit. This lets you use a QR code on social media posts as well as signage, advertising, and product packaging that leads to the original link. A newer feature Bitly offers is a "Link-in-bio," which is a custom landing page that links to multiple websites, all of which you can track.

The free version of Bitly contains its branding and a limit of making up to 10 short links per month. Paid plans start at $8.

2. Get Data: Google Forms

While not the most aesthetically pleasing form software on the block, Google Forms are a cost-effective way to gather data. They are easy to set up, easy to share, and easy to use. You can share Google Forms on any social media platform with a link. On Instagram, where you can’t place live links in posts, you could use a link-in-bio such as the one offered by Bitly or Linktree.

Some of the ways you can use Google Forms to enhance your social media marketing include:

  • Lead generation.
  • Detailed information gathering.
  • Short surveys to get consumer feedback.
  • Longer questionnaires for deeper consumer insights.
  • Contest entry forms and sweepstakes submissions.

Google Forms customization consists of background colors or patterns and the ability to insert some images. You can also choose from a variety of templates to make the design and layout process a snap.

3. Run Sweepstakes and Giveaways: Rafflecopter

If you’re looking to run a giveaway or sweepstakes on social media, you first need to know the difference between sweepstakes and a contest and make sure you follow any legal guidelines for this. A sweepstake does not require a person to perform any actions beyond submitting contact information for a random drawing. A contest involves a person taking additional actions to enter and there is also a judging process to select winners. Consult your legal advisor for details on what you need to consider and include in any sweepstakes or contest.

An easy way to run a giveaway or sweepstakes is to use a site such as Rafflecopter. While fee-based, this service helps you build the social media components needed to run a smooth campaign, pick your winners, and measure results. Rafflecopter offers free trials that expire in 7 days or at 50 entries. Another site that offers sweepstakes and giveaway templates and tools is WooBox.

4. Leverage Audio:

The mobile app has expanded its audio recording offerings, giving you a suite of tools to do everything from extracting audio from videos to hosting a podcast with guests. With easy-to-use tools and social media integration, is a great solution when you’re looking to leverage audio recordings as part of your social media marketing.

Use the mobile app on your phone to record and produce your audio recordings. is now owned by Spotify so you’ll have access to Spotify background music and sounds for your recording. You can also edit your audio on the app, share recordings to social media straight from the app, and measure engagement. If you are podcasting, you should have an easier time getting your podcast onto the Spotify platform.

5. Entertain: Spotify

Speaking of Spotify, when it comes to streaming music, Spotify takes the top spot with the largest user base and a vast selection of music, podcasts, and other audio content. In addition to being able to place audio ads on the platform, you can build music playlists and use them in your social media marketing.

You can create playlists for any occasion and share them in posts directly from Spotify with a link. What kind of playlists could you create? If you’re a florist, posting holiday playlists and special occasion playlists would be an entertaining way of promoting your business. For example, select love songs for Valentine’s Day or songs about celebrations to promote flowers for any occasion - or even songs about flowers. Tax accountant? Songs about money would work. Dance studio? Any song about dancing fits.

Playlists attract attention and help you entertain and engage your following. You could also build a following on Spotify, giving you an advantage when you advertise on the platform.

As you can see, social media apps are not just limited to social networks. Using these ancillary tools lets you create more opportunities for interaction and engagement so you can connect with your audience in new ways and track your efforts.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman