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submitted by growe19 to gopro [link] [comments]

7 Best Social Media Marketing Tools 2020

Finding the right Social Media Marketing tools is a challenge. You end up learning the ins and outs of each tool before realising it isn’t working as you expected. Somehow it’s costing you more time and money than it’s saving! Trust me, I’ve been there. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best paid social media marketing tools I use on a daily basis.
Posting on social media and creating ads is one of the most time-consuming things in the beginning stages of running a social media marketing agency. Let’s put aside running the actual business for a second. You need to do the dirty work to get ahead, at least in the beginning, and that can often take up hours upon hours of your day. Then you can finally focus on the business admin, your own branding and marketing, and everything else.
I bet you’d much rather spend more time on growing your business and creating a rock solid brand! With the right tools, you can. You can become a super-efficient social media manager with plenty of time to catch up on the important stuff.
There’s a whole host of tools, apps and software developed specifically to make your life as a social media agency owner easier. I haven’t tried and tested them all, but I’ve tried and tested a lot.Here are my top picks for social media tools in 2020 that I use on a daily basis.
  1. Grammarly.
At the number 1 spot we have quite possibly the best social media marketing tools there is. No matter what field you’re in, grammatically correct writing is important, and that’s especially true for social media. You don’t want to be that person who makes a social media blunder!
Grammarly is the go-to tool for quality control when it comes to writing your posts or ads. The cost of making a spelling mistake or a grammatical error on a social media post or ad can indeed range from total embarrassment to completely destroying a brand’s reputation, or both.
If you’re the dedicated account manager for multiple social media accounts, then you’ll be writing a lot, and you may have found yourself accidentally making silly grammatical errors from time to time. We all do it, it’s human, but they can end up having some pretty dire consequences.
Get Grammarly to ensure it never happens again. Take human error out of the equation. You’ll never have to worry about making a spelling mistake, you just have to open up Grammarly and write it there. Grammarly conveniently offers a mobile app, a desktop app, a browser app and a Chrome extension!
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
  1. Flick.
Flick is hands down the best hashtag generator app around, and it’s available on both mobile and desktop. It’s a true game changer. Not only does it save you plenty of time choosing the perfect hashtags for your post, it is also a one-stop-shop for Instagram analytics. If you’re looking for an app that’ll make your life easier, look no further. Flick to the rescue!There are many free hashtag generators out there – I can certainly think of a few off the top of my head. But the old adage “you get what you pay for” really rings true here. Flick allows you to generate 30 relevant hashtags (the Instagram limit) and copy them with the click of a button.Gone are the times where you unwillingly look at your phone trying to think of 30 new hashtags. This is the ultimate tool for obliterating the painstaking process of finding hashtags, and also offers some pretty cool resources as well as a sleek analytics interface inside, so you know how your hashtags are performing.
Best For:
Brand manager, viral page owner, social media manager, creator or influencer. Whatever you’re doing with your life, social media hashtags is the last thing you want to be spending your time doing. Focus on what matters. Seriously. Let Flick do the hashtag generating for you.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
This app offers 4 pricing plans all of which are billed monthly. It also offers an enticing free trial so you get to try before you buy.
  1. AdSpy.
Take the guesswork out of creating the perfect Facebook or Instagram ad. Use AdSpy to learn from your competitors ads, evaluate their performance based on the important metrics that AdSpy provides, and see what advertisers are doing when it comes to designing ad creative and writing sales-worthy text copy for social media.
AdSpy allows you to browse through a large database of social media ad archives and to see all of the high-performing social media ads in your niche. With their comprehensive search filter, you can search using a host of filters to get the nitty gritty details on current and past ads in just about any niche, and in any country! Take a look at the search queries you can choose from below.
This fantastic tool can be used for competitor analysis, for coming up with ideas, and for making sure you’re not wasting time writing an ad that will underperform. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, see what works and change it to suit your business. Why spend hours upon hours thinking of the perfect ad copy and the perfect video, image or design when you can easily become a social media advertising mogul at the click of a button?
Best For:
AdSpy is a must-have for absolutely anyone running Facebook or Instagram ads. When it comes to social media competitor analysis tools, there are few and far between. And those that are available are no match compared with AdSpy. It’s up to you as an entrepreneur to take advantage of the data that’s available, and take your advertising game to the next level. AdSpy helps you do just that.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
  1. PromoRepublic.
An all-in-one social media management tool. PromoRepublic have developed a neat piece of software that makes managing social media accounts easy. If you’re at the stage where you’re looking to scale your social media marketing agency but you need more time on your hands to do so, then PromoRepublic has got you covered. Here’s what Marilyn Heywood Page, VP of Marketing at Inciting Marketing had to say about the product:
“The back-and-forth process, when talking about a dozen different clients drove us insane. Marketing management seemed like a relentless end-to-end routine — clunky, complicated, and circular. For a single client, PromoRepublic has saved us at least two hours a week, which were previously spent on alternating processes.”
And I could not agree more. Simplifying the communication within your own agency is a surefire way to become a more efficient and cost-effective agency, and to grow. PromoRepublic will save you so much time so you can focus on priorities.
Best For:
PromoRepublic is a great bit of kit if you’re running a business or working as a freelancer. It is suitable for all small businesses and of course, social media marketing agencies especially. PromoRepublic also states on its website that multi-location brands and franchisors will benefit from its social media management tool.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
PromoRepublic are offering a 14-day free trial too!
  1. Leadpages.
I’ve classed Leadpages as one of the best social media marketing tools because it has helped me build massive email lists for our clients. Quickly host and manage landing pages for a variety of use cases. Collect valuable data by combining Leadpages with the Facebook Pixel. Generate more business by having a professional landing page for your marketing campaign.
Whether you’re at pre-marketing stage or running a social media giveaway, Leadpages is a tool you should have in your arsenal. Directing traffic to a Leadpages landing page is one of the best ways to convert users into customers, proven by a huge track record of over 40,000 businesses using Leadpages for their marketing.
Leadpages has established itself as one of the leading landing page software tools out there and it makes it easy to set up beautiful landing pages, customise them, and have them published online in a matter of minutes.
Best For:
I can safely say this tool is great for anyone looking to add a competitive edge to their marketing efforts. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, head of marketing, or an artist looking to promote your brand, you will benefit from using Leadpages.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
Leadpages offers multiple tiers of annual and yearly plans as shown above. As with most software, the most cost-effective route is to pay annually – this equates to a total of 39% discount compared with the monthly payment plan.
Right now Leadpages are offering a 14-day free trial which also comes with a free domain name if you purchase the annual subscription.
  1. Mojo.
Mojo is a video-editing app. It’s currently available for both Android and iOS devices, and you should thank your lucky stars it is! Create flashy and impressive looking video content for social media and prepare to be complimented by your client for the work you produce – I am speaking from experience here.
Mojo is by far one of the most comprehensive video editing mobile apps. It has great customer support and they’re very responsive to your requests. I say this because I requested a feature and it was in the update. You can be sure that this app has got you covered when it comes to creating cool social media content, and in particular, Instagram story content.
Best For:
This tool is perfect for content creators and social media account managers who are in charge of accounts from 1k to 1m followers – seriously. If you’re posting on social media, regularly uploading stories to Instagram, Facebook or even posting on TikTok – then this app is a no-brainer. This app is particularly effective for getting users to use the Swipe Up feature on stories.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
It offers two pricing plans – monthly or yearly. The most cost-effective plan is to purchase the app for the year.
This app also offers a free trial!
  1. Videoshop.
Videoshop is a mobile only app and was built by developers with some branding ingenuity. Just like Photoshop, as its name suggests, the app is comprehensive and feature-rich. It does a fantastic job at bringing the main features of desktop video editing software right into a powerful mobile application. Who’d have thought that was possible? It’s just what we’ve always wanted.
This app is more appropriate for you if you are always creating videos with the end goal of posting them on social media. I don’t use it so much for creating story content. I often need to cut and chop videos and add some music to them, that’s it. Using this app is so much faster than loading up Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro.
If you have ever tried to download a video editing app only to find out that it is utterly useless, and that you wasted half an hour of your valuable time, then we have shared this very common frustration. Invest your time and money into a quality product and it’ll pay for itself over within a few weeks, and that’s especially true with Videoshop.
Best For:
This app will impress even the most seasoned of video editors, content creators, and social media account managers. You simply don’t know what you’re missing until you give it a shot.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
It offers two pricing plans – monthly or yearly. The most cost-effective plan is to purchase the app for the year.
submitted by leafyshark to DigitalMarketing [link] [comments]

7 Best Social Media Marketing Tools 2020

Finding the right Social Media Marketing tools is a challenge. You end up learning the ins and outs of each tool before realising it isn’t working as you expected. Somehow it’s costing you more time and money than it’s saving! Trust me, I’ve been there. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best paid social media marketing tools I use on a daily basis.
Posting on social media and creating ads is one of the most time-consuming things in the beginning stages of running a social media marketing agency. Let’s put aside running the actual business for a second. You need to do the dirty work to get ahead, at least in the beginning, and that can often take up hours upon hours of your day. Then you can finally focus on the business admin, your own branding and marketing, and everything else.
I bet you’d much rather spend more time on growing your business and creating a rock solid brand! With the right tools, you can. You can become a super-efficient social media manager with plenty of time to catch up on the important stuff.
There’s a whole host of tools, apps and software developed specifically to make your life as a social media agency owner easier. I haven’t tried and tested them all, but I’ve tried and tested a lot.
Here are my top picks for social media tools in 2020 that I use on a daily basis.
  1. Grammarly.
At the number 1 spot we have quite possibly the best social media marketing tools there is. No matter what field you’re in, grammatically correct writing is important, and that’s especially true for social media. You don’t want to be that person who makes a social media blunder!
Grammarly is the go-to tool for quality control when it comes to writing your posts or ads. The cost of making a spelling mistake or a grammatical error on a social media post or ad can indeed range from total embarrassment to completely destroying a brand’s reputation, or both.
If you’re the dedicated account manager for multiple social media accounts, then you’ll be writing a lot, and you may have found yourself accidentally making silly grammatical errors from time to time. We all do it, it’s human, but they can end up having some pretty dire consequences.
Get Grammarly to ensure it never happens again. Take human error out of the equation. You’ll never have to worry about making a spelling mistake, you just have to open up Grammarly and write it there. Grammarly conveniently offers a mobile app, a desktop app, a browser app and a Chrome extension!
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
  1. Flick.
Flick is hands down the best hashtag generator app around, and it’s available on both mobile and desktop. It’s a true game changer. Not only does it save you plenty of time choosing the perfect hashtags for your post, it is also a one-stop-shop for Instagram analytics. If you’re looking for an app that’ll make your life easier, look no further. Flick to the rescue!There are many free hashtag generators out there – I can certainly think of a few off the top of my head. But the old adage “you get what you pay for” really rings true here. Flick allows you to generate 30 relevant hashtags (the Instagram limit) and copy them with the click of a button.Gone are the times where you unwillingly look at your phone trying to think of 30 new hashtags. This is the ultimate tool for obliterating the painstaking process of finding hashtags, and also offers some pretty cool resources as well as a sleek analytics interface inside, so you know how your hashtags are performing.
Best For:
Brand manager, viral page owner, social media manager, creator or influencer. Whatever you’re doing with your life, social media hashtags is the last thing you want to be spending your time doing. Focus on what matters. Seriously. Let Flick do the hashtag generating for you.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
This app offers 4 pricing plans all of which are billed monthly. It also offers an enticing free trial so you get to try before you buy.
  1. AdSpy.
Take the guesswork out of creating the perfect Facebook or Instagram ad. Use AdSpy to learn from your competitors ads, evaluate their performance based on the important metrics that AdSpy provides, and see what advertisers are doing when it comes to designing ad creative and writing sales-worthy text copy for social media.
AdSpy allows you to browse through a large database of social media ad archives and to see all of the high-performing social media ads in your niche. With their comprehensive search filter, you can search using a host of filters to get the nitty gritty details on current and past ads in just about any niche, and in any country! Take a look at the search queries you can choose from below.
This fantastic tool can be used for competitor analysis, for coming up with ideas, and for making sure you’re not wasting time writing an ad that will underperform. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, see what works and change it to suit your business. Why spend hours upon hours thinking of the perfect ad copy and the perfect video, image or design when you can easily become a social media advertising mogul at the click of a button?
Best For:
AdSpy is a must-have for absolutely anyone running Facebook or Instagram ads. When it comes to social media competitor analysis tools, there are few and far between. And those that are available are no match compared with AdSpy. It’s up to you as an entrepreneur to take advantage of the data that’s available, and take your advertising game to the next level. AdSpy helps you do just that.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
  1. PromoRepublic.
An all-in-one social media management tool. PromoRepublic have developed a neat piece of software that makes managing social media accounts easy. If you’re at the stage where you’re looking to scale your social media marketing agency but you need more time on your hands to do so, then PromoRepublic has got you covered. Here’s what Marilyn Heywood Page, VP of Marketing at Inciting Marketing had to say about the product:
“The back-and-forth process, when talking about a dozen different clients drove us insane. Marketing management seemed like a relentless end-to-end routine — clunky, complicated, and circular. For a single client, PromoRepublic has saved us at least two hours a week, which were previously spent on alternating processes.”
And I could not agree more. Simplifying the communication within your own agency is a surefire way to become a more efficient and cost-effective agency, and to grow. PromoRepublic will save you so much time so you can focus on priorities.
Best For:
PromoRepublic is a great bit of kit if you’re running a business or working as a freelancer. It is suitable for all small businesses and of course, social media marketing agencies especially. PromoRepublic also states on its website that multi-location brands and franchisors will benefit from its social media management tool.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
PromoRepublic are offering a 14-day free trial too!
  1. Leadpages.
I’ve classed Leadpages as one of the best social media marketing tools because it has helped me build massive email lists for our clients. Quickly host and manage landing pages for a variety of use cases. Collect valuable data by combining Leadpages with the Facebook Pixel. Generate more business by having a professional landing page for your marketing campaign.
Whether you’re at pre-marketing stage or running a social media giveaway, Leadpages is a tool you should have in your arsenal. Directing traffic to a Leadpages landing page is one of the best ways to convert users into customers, proven by a huge track record of over 40,000 businesses using Leadpages for their marketing.
Leadpages has established itself as one of the leading landing page software tools out there and it makes it easy to set up beautiful landing pages, customise them, and have them published online in a matter of minutes.
Best For:
I can safely say this tool is great for anyone looking to add a competitive edge to their marketing efforts. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, head of marketing, or an artist looking to promote your brand, you will benefit from using Leadpages.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
Leadpages offers multiple tiers of annual and yearly plans as shown above. As with most software, the most cost-effective route is to pay annually – this equates to a total of 39% discount compared with the monthly payment plan.
Right now Leadpages are offering a 14-day free trial which also comes with a free domain name if you purchase the annual subscription.
  1. Mojo.
Mojo is a video-editing app. It’s currently available for both Android and iOS devices, and you should thank your lucky stars it is! Create flashy and impressive looking video content for social media and prepare to be complimented by your client for the work you produce – I am speaking from experience here.
Mojo is by far one of the most comprehensive video editing mobile apps. It has great customer support and they’re very responsive to your requests. I say this because I requested a feature and it was in the update. You can be sure that this app has got you covered when it comes to creating cool social media content, and in particular, Instagram story content.
Best For:
This tool is perfect for content creators and social media account managers who are in charge of accounts from 1k to 1m followers – seriously. If you’re posting on social media, regularly uploading stories to Instagram, Facebook or even posting on TikTok – then this app is a no-brainer. This app is particularly effective for getting users to use the Swipe Up feature on stories.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
It offers two pricing plans – monthly or yearly. The most cost-effective plan is to purchase the app for the year.
This app also offers a free trial!
  1. Videoshop.
Videoshop is a mobile only app and was built by developers with some branding ingenuity. Just like Photoshop, as its name suggests, the app is comprehensive and feature-rich. It does a fantastic job at bringing the main features of desktop video editing software right into a powerful mobile application. Who’d have thought that was possible? It’s just what we’ve always wanted.
This app is more appropriate for you if you are always creating videos with the end goal of posting them on social media. I don’t use it so much for creating story content. I often need to cut and chop videos and add some music to them, that’s it. Using this app is so much faster than loading up Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro.
If you have ever tried to download a video editing app only to find out that it is utterly useless, and that you wasted half an hour of your valuable time, then we have shared this very common frustration. Invest your time and money into a quality product and it’ll pay for itself over within a few weeks, and that’s especially true with Videoshop.
Best For:
This app will impress even the most seasoned of video editors, content creators, and social media account managers. You simply don’t know what you’re missing until you give it a shot.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
It offers two pricing plans – monthly or yearly. The most cost-effective plan is to purchase the app for the year.
submitted by leafyshark to socialmedia [link] [comments]

7 Best Social Media Marketing Tools 2020

Finding the right Social Media Marketing tools is a challenge. You end up learning the ins and outs of each tool before realising it isn’t working as you expected. Somehow it’s costing you more time and money than it’s saving! Trust me, I’ve been there. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best paid social media marketing tools I use on a daily basis.
Posting on social media and creating ads is one of the most time-consuming things in the beginning stages of running a social media marketing agency. Let’s put aside running the actual business for a second. You need to do the dirty work to get ahead, at least in the beginning, and that can often take up hours upon hours of your day. Then you can finally focus on the business admin, your own branding and marketing, and everything else.
I bet you’d much rather spend more time on growing your business and creating a rock solid brand! With the right tools, you can. You can become a super-efficient social media manager with plenty of time to catch up on the important stuff.
There’s a whole host of tools, apps and software developed specifically to make your life as a social media agency owner easier. I haven’t tried and tested them all, but I’ve tried and tested a lot.Here are my top picks for social media tools in 2020 that I use on a daily basis.

1. Grammarly.

At the number 1 spot we have quite possibly the best social media marketing tools there is. No matter what field you’re in, grammatically correct writing is important, and that’s especially true for social media. You don’t want to be that person who makes a social media blunder!
Grammarly is the go-to tool for quality control when it comes to writing your posts or ads. The cost of making a spelling mistake or a grammatical error on a social media post or ad can indeed range from total embarrassment to completely destroying a brand’s reputation, or both.
If you’re the dedicated account manager for multiple social media accounts, then you’ll be writing a lot, and you may have found yourself accidentally making silly grammatical errors from time to time. We all do it, it’s human, but they can end up having some pretty dire consequences.
Get Grammarly to ensure it never happens again. Take human error out of the equation. You’ll never have to worry about making a spelling mistake, you just have to open up Grammarly and write it there. Grammarly conveniently offers a mobile app, a desktop app, a browser app and a Chrome extension!

Main Features:

Cons:

Pricing:

2. Flick.

Flick is hands down the best hashtag generator app around, and it’s available on both mobile and desktop. It’s a true game changer. Not only does it save you plenty of time choosing the perfect hashtags for your post, it is also a one-stop-shop for Instagram analytics. If you’re looking for an app that’ll make your life easier, look no further. Flick to the rescue!There are many free hashtag generators out there – I can certainly think of a few off the top of my head. But the old adage “you get what you pay for” really rings true here. Flick allows you to generate 30 relevant hashtags (the Instagram limit) and copy them with the click of a button.Gone are the times where you unwillingly look at your phone trying to think of 30 new hashtags. This is the ultimate tool for obliterating the painstaking process of finding hashtags, and also offers some pretty cool resources as well as a sleek analytics interface inside, so you know how your hashtags are performing.

Best For:

Brand manager, viral page owner, social media manager, creator or influencer. Whatever you’re doing with your life, social media hashtags is the last thing you want to be spending your time doing. Focus on what matters. Seriously. Let Flick do the hashtag generating for you.

Main Features:

Cons:

Pricing:

This app offers 4 pricing plans all of which are billed monthly. It also offers an enticing free trial so you get to try before you buy.

3. AdSpy.

Take the guesswork out of creating the perfect Facebook or Instagram ad. Use AdSpy to learn from your competitors ads, evaluate their performance based on the important metrics that AdSpy provides, and see what advertisers are doing when it comes to designing ad creative and writing sales-worthy text copy for social media.
AdSpy allows you to browse through a large database of social media ad archives and to see all of the high-performing social media ads in your niche. With their comprehensive search filter, you can search using a host of filters to get the nitty gritty details on current and past ads in just about any niche, and in any country! Take a look at the search queries you can choose from below.
This fantastic tool can be used for competitor analysis, for coming up with ideas, and for making sure you’re not wasting time writing an ad that will underperform. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, see what works and change it to suit your business. Why spend hours upon hours thinking of the perfect ad copy and the perfect video, image or design when you can easily become a social media advertising mogul at the click of a button?

Best For:

AdSpy is a must-have for absolutely anyone running Facebook or Instagram ads. When it comes to social media competitor analysis tools, there are few and far between. And those that are available are no match compared with AdSpy. It’s up to you as an entrepreneur to take advantage of the data that’s available, and take your advertising game to the next level. AdSpy helps you do just that.

Main Features:

Cons:

Pricing:

4. PromoRepublic.

An all-in-one social media management tool. PromoRepublic have developed a neat piece of software that makes managing social media accounts easy. If you’re at the stage where you’re looking to scale your social media marketing agency but you need more time on your hands to do so, then PromoRepublic has got you covered. Here’s what Marilyn Heywood Page, VP of Marketing at Inciting Marketing had to say about the product:

“The back-and-forth process, when talking about a dozen different clients drove us insane. Marketing management seemed like a relentless end-to-end routine — clunky, complicated, and circular. For a single client, PromoRepublic has saved us at least two hours a week, which were previously spent on alternating processes.”
And I could not agree more. Simplifying the communication within your own agency is a surefire way to become a more efficient and cost-effective agency, and to grow. PromoRepublic will save you so much time so you can focus on priorities.

Best For:

PromoRepublic is a great bit of kit if you’re running a business or working as a freelancer. It is suitable for all small businesses and of course, social media marketing agencies especially. PromoRepublic also states on its website that multi-location brands and franchisors will benefit from its social media management tool.

Main Features:

Cons:

Pricing:

PromoRepublic are offering a 14-day free trial too!

5. Leadpages.

I’ve classed Leadpages as one of the best social media marketing tools because it has helped me build massive email lists for our clients. Quickly host and manage landing pages for a variety of use cases. Collect valuable data by combining Leadpages with the Facebook Pixel. Generate more business by having a professional landing page for your marketing campaign.
Whether you’re at pre-marketing stage or running a social media giveaway, Leadpages is a tool you should have in your arsenal. Directing traffic to a Leadpages landing page is one of the best ways to convert users into customers, proven by a huge track record of over 40,000 businesses using Leadpages for their marketing.
Leadpages has established itself as one of the leading landing page software tools out there and it makes it easy to set up beautiful landing pages, customise them, and have them published online in a matter of minutes.

Best For:

I can safely say this tool is great for anyone looking to add a competitive edge to their marketing efforts. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, head of marketing, or an artist looking to promote your brand, you will benefit from using Leadpages.

Main Features:

Cons:

Pricing:

Leadpages offers multiple tiers of annual and yearly plans as shown above. As with most software, the most cost-effective route is to pay annually – this equates to a total of 39% discount compared with the monthly payment plan.
Right now Leadpages are offering a 14-day free trial which also comes with a free domain name if you purchase the annual subscription.

6. Mojo.

Mojo is a video-editing app. It’s currently available for both Android and iOS devices, and you should thank your lucky stars it is! Create flashy and impressive looking video content for social media and prepare to be complimented by your client for the work you produce – I am speaking from experience here.
Mojo is by far one of the most comprehensive video editing mobile apps. It has great customer support and they’re very responsive to your requests. I say this because I requested a feature and it was in the update. You can be sure that this app has got you covered when it comes to creating cool social media content, and in particular, Instagram story content.

Best For:

This tool is perfect for content creators and social media account managers who are in charge of accounts from 1k to 1m followers – seriously. If you’re posting on social media, regularly uploading stories to Instagram, Facebook or even posting on TikTok – then this app is a no-brainer. This app is particularly effective for getting users to use the Swipe Up feature on stories.

Main Features:

Cons:

Pricing:

It offers two pricing plans – monthly or yearly. The most cost-effective plan is to purchase the app for the year.
This app also offers a free trial!

7. Videoshop.

Videoshop is a mobile only app and was built by developers with some branding ingenuity. Just like Photoshop, as its name suggests, the app is comprehensive and feature-rich. It does a fantastic job at bringing the main features of desktop video editing software right into a powerful mobile application. Who’d have thought that was possible? It’s just what we’ve always wanted.
This app is more appropriate for you if you are always creating videos with the end goal of posting them on social media. I don’t use it so much for creating story content. I often need to cut and chop videos and add some music to them, that’s it. Using this app is so much faster than loading up Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro.
If you have ever tried to download a video editing app only to find out that it is utterly useless, and that you wasted half an hour of your valuable time, then we have shared this very common frustration. Invest your time and money into a quality product and it’ll pay for itself over within a few weeks, and that’s especially true with Videoshop.

Best For:

This app will impress even the most seasoned of video editors, content creators, and social media account managers. You simply don’t know what you’re missing until you give it a shot.

Main Features:

Cons:

Pricing:

It offers two pricing plans – monthly or yearly. The most cost-effective plan is to purchase the app for the year.
submitted by leafyshark to SocialMediaMarketing [link] [comments]

Critique my Beginning

Pasted below will be the first one and a half chapters of my first book. I am primarily worried about whether I include enough description. Please provide all critiques and advice! I'm new to writing fantasy and am looking to improve as I move forward. They are shorter chapters so it should not take too long to read.

Chapter 1: Initiation
Five years. Today was finally the day. The day five years of toil, hard work, and forgotten wonder would lead to more toil, hard work, and forgotten wonder. Initiation.
At least, that’s how Chert had put it. Truth be told he was excited and profoundly honored. Then again, he wasn’t a cynical bastard. Maybe he would see his father smile. It had been a while.
Aliprand arose out of his poor excuse for a bed, briskly and with dutiful purpose. As usual, he was the first one up. Soon Lieutenant Rimoc would come through the door, voice booming. He preferred not to be woken in such a way.
Special day, Aliprand thought to himself. I should wake him myself.
“Chert” He shook him lightly. “Chert”. Only a bellowing of snores responded.
Across the room, the heavy wooden door slammed open.
“Uniforms on, weariness swept away! Lord Commander Orid’s office, twenty minutes!”
The door slammed shut. Chert sat up, groaning, and rubbing at his eyes.
“Dammit Ali, why don’t you ever spare me Rimoc’s excessiveness.”
Aliprand smirked. “I tried but I suppose I wasn’t excessive enough. Seems you need Rimoc. How ever will you wake on time without him?”
“Hmph. I’ll wake peacefully, that’s for damn sure.”
They both put on their uniforms. Black boots, black pants, and a black jerkin embroidered with the emblem of Moslecht: an elk piercing scrolls on each of its antlers. Aliprand did so gracefully and with pride. Chert gingerly and with an aura of anxiousness. Today was the day they would both be sworn in as members of the Peacefighters, King Bortch’s own royal task force. The honor was only given to those who were descendants of past members, and both their fathers had been high-ranking officials. Aliprand’s father, even, had been Lord Commander before Orid.
“You’re positively bursting with enthusiasm. Reckon your father will be proud?” Chert asked.
Aliprand stopped fastening his jerkin and stared at the floorboards. “Aye, I do hope so. Haven’t seen him smile since his injury. Hell, even before that now that I think on it.” Aliprand didn’t want to think of it. He decided to put on a smile of his own and met Chert’s icy-blue eyes. “It would mean a lot to me to see him smile. Not out of any satisfaction of my own, but for his own sake.”
Chert maintained his dismayed demeanor and began staring glumly at the floor. Aliprand knew talk of fathers would result in such behavior. He felt bad, despite not being the one to bring up such a topic.
“I reckon wholeheartedly your father is looking down upon you, beaming with pride.” Aliprand reassured.
“Hmph. It would be against our ways to think otherwise.” Chert said sullenly.
A silence hung in the air. Aliprand knew where Chert’s thoughts were and wasn’t about to let them engulf his friend. Not today. The most special of days.
“Chert, for what it is worth, I’m proud of us.” Aliprand said, genuinely. “I’m glad I get to share this day with you, my friend.”
He gave a friendly smile, and Chert gave a slight smile back, involuntarily. Aliprand had a way of making people feel safe, appreciated.
“Thanks Ali… For what its worth I hope to see your father smile as well. For his sake. And for yours.”
Quickly, they ate their breakfast: stale biscuits and stale apples. How can an apple be stale? Aliprand thought. After gulping down water from the jug, they opened the heavy wooden door and made for the stairs at the other end of the hall. The hall was lightly lit by braziers amongst the stone walls. Each step echoed more than the last. They went up the first set of stairs, reached the landing and turned, continuing upwards. They passed through a similar hallway as theirs, instead people actually lived here. The quarters of the Peacefighters. Most were out on contracts. There had been an increasing amount recently. The rest, however, must have already been out elsewhere, or were still asleep, because there was nary a sound. Aside from the echoing of footsteps and the increasingly paced breathing of the two young men.
Timun Orid, Lord Commander of the Peacefighters, was if not the most feared man in Moslecht, definitely the most intimidating. Labored breathing was not uncommon when anticipating his presence. Aliprand and Chert reached the next set of stairs, and subsequently the next floor. This floor was different than the rest. It possessed the same long hallway, the same dim braziers, but only one door, at the very end of the hall. Lord Commander Orid’s office.
They had made the familiar walk many times before. Never under preferable circumstances. Only when they had made mistakes while training in the yard, or more commonly when Chert was not ready on time. Weariness swept away, as Rimoc always says.
Standing in front of the door, staring at the taxidermized elk head that perched above it, only reminded them of prior lectures and punishments brought down upon them by the Lord Commander.
“All yours.” Chert gestured.
“Yea, yea.” Aliprand replied, then lifted his hand, hesitantly, cognizant of the decapitated elk above him. He felt squeamish and had an overwhelming urge to run away, as he always did while standing before this particular door. I don’t much like dead things.
Aliprand gave three quick knocks, and not a second later the door swung open. A servant stood to their right, bowing graciously in his red robes. An unusual but welcome entrance to Orid’s office. Much better than the Lord Commander’s incessant, condescending insults.
Timun Orid sat at his desk, arms folded across his narrow chest. Despite currently possessing a seemingly friendly smile, an air of intimidation still lingered.
Everything about him seemed narrow and sharp. His long dark hair, his piercing dark eyes, his staggering height and thin frame. Most of all, his attitude and temper. What he lacked in brute intimidation he more than made up for in cunning, intelligence, and hurtfully placed words.
The young men approached the desk and gave a long bow.
“O gracious Lord Commander, we serve and obey”, they said in impeccable unison, heads remaining bowed.
The Lord Commander watched them for a moment, snickered, and then spoke.
“Aliprand Brecht. Chert Agi. Heads up, please. Today does not concern my supposed graciousness and title. It does however concern the matter of your serving and obeying. Allow me to be the first to congratulate you. It is a great honor to serve with the Peacefighters, even more so a divine and royal honor. I have the utmost confidence you will do our King… and our God proud. Lucky us, that both our newly qualified recruits exceeded in their training. Lucky me, that I get to make such an assertion with the most honest honesty. Truly, you two have done well. And the King is aware of this. You will be given your first contracts in no time. Thank you for not wasting five years of our lives.”
Orid stared at them for a few seconds then laughed heartily. A surprisingly pleasant laugh. One that made you want to smile alongside.
“I do believe those are the nicest words I have ever spoken to you. Are they not?”
The young men shifted their eyes nervously back and forth, hands behind their backs, thumbs twiddling nervously. They did not know whether to be frightened, in good humor, or outright confused.
Orid looked down at his desk, somewhat disappointedly.
“Ah, I do understand” he began softly, a tone they had never heard from him until now. “Please know I gained no great pleasure having to lecture and sentence strenuous punishment upon you. In due time you will understand why such discipline is necessary.” He paused. “After all, the Codex and King Bortch remind us that discipline is the most beneficial lesson a man can learn.”
Aliprand noticed a brief flash of sadness in the Lord Commander’s eyes. Or perhaps it was anger? Who was it aimed towards? Just as quickly as it had flickered by returned his stony, sharp exterior, giving Aliprand no time to dissect.
“But let’s not dwell on my failing of making amends that need not be made. Today you will finally be sworn in as members of the Peacefighters, that much I surmise you know. I have called this meeting to explain to you what you should expect this afternoon. The initiation proceeding possesses customary expectations. Furthermore, the King himself will be present, and I cannot abide by any breaches of etiquette.”
Aliprand had anticipated this being the case for the audience. One could not so much as take a shit in Moslecht without a prayer and perfect posture. At least that’s how Chert had put it. Aliprand didn’t deny the sentiment though. However, such sentiments could never be made public, and now even the thought of the joke scared him. There is no privacy in the domain of God.
“Very well. Like I previously stated, the King will be in attendance. Aliprand, I will notify you; he has a very peculiar eye on you. News of your attitude, work ethic, and outright talents with blade and crossbow have reached him. In addition, he regards your father as one of the greatest ever to serve in our order. Do not take such as an offense Chert, just as I do not take our Majesty’s high regard of Soren as an offense.”
Chert didn’t look bothered in the slightest. If anything, he appeared somewhat relieved.
“I notify you only to further ensure your exemplary compliance.” The Lord Commander continued. “And to quell your heartbeat when he pulls you aside after the ceremony.”
“Pardon me, my lord?”
“Ah, yes. I have been deigned to inform you that King Bortch already has a contract in place, specifically for you. An urgent one, I am told. So much so he will request your audience as early as today. As you know, normally, I would be the one to hand you your contracts. But it seems the King is fairly fascinated with you, young man, and would like to have a word. I am informing you now, so it will not be a surprise later. After all, the ceremony must go as smoothly as humanly possible. As such, prepare to act in utmost earnest. A nervous, frazzled bounty hunter is anything but. Only a man with a piece of paper and a sword. I intend to help you from acting as such.”
Aliprand’s hands felt like numb stumps, his throat constricting around itself. He had long awaited the receiving of his first contract, but now that it was going to happen, the feeling was different, unexpected. Who would it be? What would it entail? As long as I don’t have to hurt anything. I don’t much like dead things. And from the King himself? He knew his father had used to be close but had only been personally introduced as a young child, before the injury. Before…
“Moving on. First order of business out of the way, onto the actual ceremony itself. Your boots will be extravagantly clean, and your stance and posture immovable. To hunch or move in front of the King is an affront to the Order, and to our God. You are to be steadfast; the anchors that hold the morality, will, and sovereignty of Moslecht in place. So, you will remain, in place. Any itch, sneeze, or other bodily trifle will wait. All else goes before you. When you are spoken to you will respond only with, ‘In honor of Thade’. Then, once your cloaks are put on, you will turn and bow to King Bortch. After which a prayer will commence, signaling the end of the ceremony. That is all. You may go. Clean those boots.”
Aliprand’s mind was racing. Questions. His first lesson when he began his training was ‘never ask why’. Now it was all he could do. Why does the King wish to speak to me personally? Why am I so nervous? Why had the Lord Commander’s eye flashed such anger or sadness?

*

Lieutenant Rimoc led them to the palace. It didn’t take long to reach their destination. The Peacekeepers had their own little keep within the Inner Walls, along with the other military personnel, religious officials, and various nobility. The walk to the palace had been Aliprand’s first time in public with the uniform on, and he hadn’t liked the glances it attracted. Fearful looks. Aliprand had no desire to be feared.
Now, approaching the sprawling bridge to the palace, he felt fear himself. Grunstone. A heap of grey, yet rather magnificent. Across Dunstan’s Bridge, roosted on its own cragged and lofty island, separated from the rest of the city of Trochtel. Dotted at all corners with spectacular, looming cylindrical towers with daintily pointed red roofs. The bottom of the walls artistically adorned with mossy cobblestone. Nestled in the center of the square of the four towers and walls connecting them rose proudly Thade Citadel, named after their God. The dwelling of the royal family, and the very embodiment of Moslechtian righteousness and order. A massive, squared structure, rising higher than the four towers. So much so it blocked the view of the evergreen-ridden mountains behind it. Somewhere in the center of the Citadel lie the courtyard where the proceeding would take place. His father was probably there now. And the King. Aliprand felt the lump in his throat growing.
They crossed the massive stone bridge, seemingly leagues above the roaring Stigr River, bombarded by heavy cold wind that turned the light drizzle into needle-like pricks on the face. Lord Commander Orid was waiting for them at the main gate, alongside the five other Peacefighters who weren’t already out on contract. All dressed in black, with the signature crimson cloak swung over their shoulders. Short sword and crossbow hanging from either side. As usual, Orid had neither weapon by his hand. Instead, he wore two ruby amulets. The source of his physical power.
Had it not been for their uniforms you would have taken them for hellbent mercenaries, executing an assault on the keep. Aliprand felt out of place, despite possessing as much talent as Arnulf Alric. He had heard stories of his feats with the sword, and deadly accuracy with bolts. He was even the one who brought the traitorous warlord, Sindri Fulbert, to swift justice. Aliprand looked at Arnulf’s hardened, pale face. Unlike the others, excepting Orid, he had no visible scars. He looked at his focused dark eyes, his neatly cropped blonde hair. Arnulf exuded a strong sense of duty. I should be more like him, stop being scared. A nervous, frazzled bounty hunter is hardly one at all. Aliprand put on a new face. A face that matched his dutiful energy of the morning. Beside him, Chert radiated nothing of the sort. Just plain apathy strewn across his boyish face.
“Good, we are all here.” Orid said, sternly. “Your boots seem in order, in spite of our constant rain. Uniforms well pressed, Chert’s eyes removed of dark undertone.” The other Peacefighters stifled a chuckle. Chert was not amused. “If you all would follow me, please.”
They made their way through the iron gate, and walked through the muddied square, ridden with twenty-foot statues of prior Kings darkened by nonstop showers, and into the main hall of Thade Citadel. Aliprand and Chert let out a muffled gasp upon entering. All their lives they had lived in the city of Trochtel, never venturing to even the further points of Moslecht. Their sight was accustomed to perpetual grey. Grey buildings, grey walkways, and grey skies. The occasional blue sky and peeking sun were an otherworldly sight. But this was something else. It was displaced from the monotony of the rest of the kingdom. For Aliprand and Chert, like walking into a fairytale. The marbled floors were glistening, a perfect arrangement of checkered silver and gold. Gigantic, exquisitely detailed paintings depicting great battles of times past were planted atop the towering white walls. In between doors which led to who-knows-what, a plethora of exotic plants were lined in vases of all colors and pattern, no doubt from the southern nations of Laphia and A’akar. Lining the walls beside the plants were various armor sets of the King’s Royal Guard. Hard, dark steel chest plates with a crimson cloak and a helmet resembling a bucket with two horizontal slits. Centered above them dwelled an elegant chandelier, delicately shaped by sparkling crystals and thin gold rods. In its center were no torches, no source of fire, but a luminescent stone, casting brilliant light throughout the hall. Magic perhaps? Given the look of the place, he wouldn’t have been surprised to see a unicorn greet them.
At the end of the hall, rather than a unicorn, were three of the King’s Royal Guard. The hall ended in a large oak door, and two more hallways branching off, leading to large spiraling staircases. Orid nodded to the guard protecting the door, and the next room lay before them.
Inside was a banquet hall, fit to host half the population of Trochtel. Long tables displayed shining cutlery and rustic candelabra. The walls were darkly painted with gold ornamentation, and the floors were even darker. A perfect contrast to the hall before, with an authority of rugged elegance. After surveying the culinary luxury of the more fortunate, Aliprand turned his attention to the wall on the far side in front of him. Only it wasn’t a wall, but a mass of multicolored painted glass, barely transparent. Through it he could see the outline of the congregation awaiting their arrival.
Behind the glass lay the seeds of change.






Chapter 2: Privilege
It was a glorious day. As far as the weather was regarded. It was only early afternoon, so who could know how well the actions that would take course would mimic the tone set by the weather? For Ether, each day felt this way. The days in Cato, the capital of Edra, were always filled with visual splendor. Meadows brimming with tall grass, swaying in the soft breeze, outlining the sprawling city, packed with a dizzying amount of impressive buildings. The hustle and bustle of the markets, displaying the best goods humans and Rothlings had to offer. The view of Maynard Castle from her home, the Magritte Manor, and its dainty but strong rises and falls, the pinnacle of architectural advancement. But for all its splendor, the same was never felt inwardly. Ether had seen the other side disguised by Edranian wealth. Looking out now, at the place considered the absolute best of life the world had to offer, only filled her with emptiness. Could there really be nothing better? Must someone always lose so someone wins?
“Ether.” Agrippa’s voice tore her from her pondering.
“Would you like to go to market?” Agrippa asked, smiling expectantly. “I hear there is a Rothling, come straight from Rothfar with goods of the like we have never seen. I’ve no desire to buy anything, but to ask about their continent. Imagine the stories they must have! Especially considering all the monsters there. It’s no surprise they came here. Please, please, please?”
There was no saying no to Agrippa Magritte. Once she set her adventurous, curious mind on something, she would have her way. And Ether couldn’t lie, she was intrigued by the prospect of this Rothling as well. All the others she had spoken to were born on Drusa, the native human continent.
“Fine, fine. But only because you won’t let me say no.” Ether replied.
“Naturally.”
As was customary, the city was buzzing with activity. Ether knew that relative to other kingdoms, Edra was far more multicultural. Yet, she still always felt out of place. She wasn’t entirely sure of her own origin, but it didn’t take so much as a glance to surmise she was of Laphian blood. Her dark tan skin, short frame, dark hair, and grey eyes gave away as much. Being an adopted child of the Magrittes, however, her accent was not reflective of such. When she spoke, she was often met with looks of perplexity, so she tended to keep her mouth shut. Agrippa did enough talking for the both of them anyway.
Walking through the streets of Cato, passing by countless shops, inns, bars, and other such economic drivers should have been familiar and easy for Ether. However, the experience was always overwhelming. Cato was all she knew, or at least could remember, her life being. To Ether, the world was a dizzying place, overrun with life at every corner. Despite her anxieties, however, an opportunity to receive a firsthand account of Rothfar was riveting. She had read about the distant continent in many books, and it always made for the backdrop of some of her favorite stories.
They reached the main market square, a large swatch of space dotted with merchant stalls, swarming with people. Shouts of today’s ‘special’ sales (which were the same as last week and the week before) were heard at every corner, people jostled with one another to take their places in line, and the scent of smoky meats, stinky fish, and various sweets lingered in the air.
“How do you know which stall is the Rothling’s?” Ether asked.
“Hell if I know. Truth be told I just wanted to get away from the manor for a spell. I knew I could drag you along by piquing your interest with tales of Rothfar.”
Ether frowned and crossed her arms. “So, there is no Rothling come from Rothfar?” she asked, sounding disappointed, yet annoyed.
“Oh, there is, there is. I think. I mean, I’m pretty sure. Garrick told me.”
“Garrick? Lord Elgin’s son? That dolt spins the most ridiculous of tales. Do you know he told me he killed a succubus once? Said it couldn’t charm him, no not Garrick Elgin, but it was sure charmed by him. So he lured it to his bed and stabbed it clean through the throat. Utter hogwash. His brain is less than mush. I’d bet a hundred gold marks that fancy sword of his has never left the scabbard.” Ether felt the excitement and expectation leave her body. However, she couldn’t help but smile a tad when she thought of her next quip. “And I’d bet another hundred that no one would want him to unsheathe his!”
Agrippa laughed. “Well, I won’t argue that. But this Rothfar business seems less far-fetched. Even so, we are already here so let’s ask around.”
“You go ahead, I’d rather not be ridiculed for asking ridiculous questions. I’m gawked at enough as it is.”
It was true. Even Rothlings were more common than Laphians in Edra. Her still human features made her stand out more than a Rothling’s colorful hair, childlike size, webbed phalanges, and small-horned heads.
“Fine. Stay here and brood in your lonesome. I’m going to go find me a Rothling. And maybe a donut.”
Ether stayed and brooded in her lonesome, wondering as she did often, what life would be like somewhere else. What life would be like if I had known my parents. Had Ether really won by losing her parents? She got to experience a life of utmost privilege, taken in by one of the wealthiest families in all of Edra. She wanted for nothing. Nothing material at least. Yet, there was always guilt in place of complacency. Where most people saw a city of wealth and fortune, or a market teeming with commerce, Ether saw people living in street gutters and alleys. She saw those left behind, those without a share. Though possessing a life just like her. What had she done to deserve more? Gotten lucky? She was thankful of course. But still guilt-ridden. So horribly filled with guilt.
Agrippa was already on her way back to Ether, smiling broadly and holding two donuts.
“This is for you. Chocolate coconut. Your favorite.”
Ether drowned her thoughts and took the treat from Agrippa.
“Thank you.”
As she was going to take a bite, she saw something out of the corner of her eye. In one of the narrow alleyways leading from the market square, she noticed a little boy scampering into the darkness, holding a loaf of bread. Behind him, trailing behind, was a burly bald man in a disheveled apron, yelling obscenities in the boy’s direction.
“You damn thief! Fucking slimy little bastard!”
Ether quickly made her way to the alley, donut still in hand. Fearsome as ever.
She began reaching them as the baker seized the boy by his collar.
As she approached she heard the burly man speaking in a deep, threatening voice.
“I should squeeze you to a bloody pulp. Third time this week. Third time! Third time one of you mangy, useless mutts have ransacked my inventory.”
Ether tended to be an anxious, soft-spoken person. Except in situations like this. Something overtook her. A combination of rage, confidence, and eagerness to help and protect.
“A simple loaf is hardly a ransacking.” Ether said, with her newfound voice, full of poise and tenacity.
The man turned around, a devilish look on his face, still holding the boy off the ground.
“What know you anyhow? You fond of the mutts, you little bitch?”
Escalation would not solve anything.
“Twenty gold marks for your bread.”
Twenty gold marks was nothing to scoff at. It was a generous offer, but one that she believed no one could say no to. The quicker this could be resolved, and the quicker the boy could have the bread, the better.
“Ha! You must be of some wealth for such a tender. How about twenty-five? And I’ll let the little scrap go, along with the loaf.”
Ether decided to lie.
“I only have twenty…”
The little boy had begun sniffling, bread still in his right hand, and consequently sobbing quietly. He reached his hand out, offering the bread back to the baker. “I’m s—s-sorry”, he managed to sputter, while tears began streaming porously down his muddied face.
The man gazed at Ether for a minute then met the boy’s water-filled brown eyes. He then loosened his grip on the small boy, allowing his feet to reacquaint themselves with the pebbly ground. No move was made to snatch the bread back. His face relaxed and he placed his bulky hand to his sweaty forehead.
“Forgive me” he began. “Times have been rough… and there has been a problem with stolen goods. I often forget it’s a sign that times are rough for everyone.”
He looked down at the small boy, whose long blonde hair was matted to their face by grime and scared tears.
“I apologize for any trouble or hurt I have caused you. Forgive my words. Just next time… ask, please?” He turned his saddened face to Ether. “And keep your coin, lest it not ensure your forgiveness. That is all I ask in payment…”
He shook his head and grumbled something else to himself, and hastily made his way back towards the square.
It took a moment for Ether to digest what had just happened. Just like the burly baker she often forgot the other side of perspective. Merchants weren’t just con artists fueled by greedy desire. They were also living people, with their own trials and tribulations.
The boy’s sobbing had died down, and he was wiping his tattered grey sleeve across his eyes and nose.
Ether knelt slightly down to his level, and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
He shook himself violently away from her, and a discomforted look of anger began to manifest across his face.
He’s probably embarrassed that he let himself cry. She could only imagine what this nine or ten-year-old boy’s life had been like, what he must have gone through. Definitely more than she had, and she was nineteen. The joy of childhood stripped away, and by no fault of his own. She felt the ordinary twang of guilt.
“Here… this is for you, and whoever you are taking care of.” She smiled gently, and fished thirty gold marks from the satchel running over her blue and white striped dress.
She extended her gold-filled cupped hands to him and in an instant the coin was snatched away.
The boy sprinted off with no words spoken.
Ether remained knelt, staring at the gravelly dirt for a bit until she felt someone’s hand clasp her shoulder.
The hand belonged to Agrippa.
“Are you okay? I saw the whole thing from the end of the alleyway. Shame you were given no thanks. I’m sorry.”
“What is there to thank me for? I only did what was right. He’ll still live on without a roof above his head. And depending on the size of his family those marks will only last a month.”
Ether stood up, and matched Agrippa’s hazel eyes.
Agrippa stared down the alleyway.
“Shame. I would have offered him my donut had he not sprinted off so suddenly. And had I not voraciously wolfed it down already.” She smiled down at Ether, and Ether replied with a reluctant smile of her own.
“You did a good thing, Ether. I daresay you are deserving of a reward... I know where to find our Rothling.”
A welcome surprise. If in fact it were true and not simply meant to cheer Ether up.
“Well, lead on then.”
Ether followed Agrippa, all the while eating her donut. Guiltily.
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A Tale of Giants, Pt 3 (conclusion)

This is to conclude my adventure notes, thoughts, and lessons learned from forcing myself to use different monsters and having one of my players admit that he killed his family to the rest of the group.
Like those posts, this is probably going to be wrong. So I'll try to break it up into digestible sections with titles - and I'll try to be less wordy with future contributions to the subreddit. But I'm a man of the people, and McSkids said s/he wanted this.

The Second Adventure

Istelastrix needs your help

In case you don't remember from Part 2 of these posts, or didn't read the other ones: Istelastrix was the enigmatic villain of my party's last adventure. What ostensibly began as a quest to evict some squatters from a brother-of-a-friend's new mansion, devolved into a quest to save a paper drake from undead fey.
After my party made it home and celebrated a job well done, Istelastrix inexplicably turned up with considerable embarrassment. She needed the party's help. As it turns out, she was turned into an undead as part of a bargain with the Fey Queen of Night and Magic, to deliver or destroy an ancient fey-killing artifact to the archfey. The paperdrake the party now has in its possession has the map Istelastrix needs to find the artifact, and thus win her independence.
Of course, the party believed Istelastrix's story - ancient artifact, evil giants, world shattering power, that kind of thing - they just didn't believe she had truly altruistic intentions. After all, how many undead do you meet that are good guys? Well here comes one of my attempts to present my party with an interesting, nuanced, sympathetic ally. Istelastrix took a fool's bargain, inexorably tied to the whims of a capricious patron, desperate for her independence from the damnable archfey - she wants the same independence and freedom that was an overarching theme of the general campaign, where the party had conquered a ruined keep and declared its independence/sovereignty from the rest of the world.
My party didn't care very much. I think it was a two-part failure: One, I didn't do a good job engaging my players in a way that made them care about the NPC. I played her as a stilted, standoffish, and secretive NPC who was clearly embarrassed to need the party's help and lashed out at them frequently as a result. If we had concluded the adventure, she was supposed to have a turning point eventually where the players got some insight to her mental state / motivation, which hopefully would have made them understand. Two, I didn't do a good job of estimating what my players cared about; my players, like the stereotype of women you learn from every "pickup artist" tutorial, knew if they wanted to like an NPC within the first 10 minutes and disregarded anyone who didn't make the cut.
Unfortunately, that is the biggest weakness (for me) with Roll20. It's very hard to gauge what engages my party, and what falls completely flat. As the DM, your job is to facilitate fun; for most groups, I would argue that you can measure fun by how much everyone laughs or cheers, but there is a lot to be said for building tension, or even using frustration, confusion, mystery, subtlety, and other tools to engage your players. But (at least for me) it takes a lot of nonverbal cues to see if you are getting the intended effect or not. And some players play with push-to-talk, so you may make them roll out of their chair laughing or shouting triumphantly, but if they don't hit the button it's like your DMing is met with complete silence. Maybe my party could all invest in webcams, but then I couldn't DM in my PJs and stuff my face.
I've run into a similar situation again in the campaign I'm currently running. My party met a vampire Lady who made a dark pact with Evil forces as a way to prolong her life long enough to be able to free her husband from an Imprisonment spell. The party popped in long enough to borrow some of her late husband's research notes on Vecna and 86'd. And again, I don't think it's a failure to make a complex character - it's a failure to make a complex character that engages my party. All of the creative writing and lore in the world is useless in actual D&D play if you don't supply it with a reason for your players to care. It's honestly one of my most recurring problems, and I'm sure it's something a lot of DMs have experienced: I'll put in a lot of effort to part of my world, only for my party to care way more about throwaway comments and improvised details.

Istelastrix's Quest

According to Istelastrix, there is an island that is magically protected, but conveniently nearby to the party's current location. Unlike a normal location on the map, however, sailing to this island isn't just about going to the right place; it requires sailing at the right angle, at the right time, and even thinking about the right thing. Why? A wizard did it.
Anyway, Istelastrix carries two important things: A magic adamantine sword that does force damage, and a Rod of Anti-Magic. I don't know what the real RoAM does according to the DMG, but for the purposes of my game, the Rod permanently dispels any effect or magic item it is touched to. Including artifacts. I didn't think this would be a big deal because it was on the NPC's belt, it wasn't something the party could just abuse as much as they wanted. I was wrong.
She was given the Rod by her benefactor. If Istelastrix could not recover the McGuffin magic artifact, she was to touch the Rod to it and destroy it.
After some terse negotiation, the party agreed to hand over the paperdrake so it could display the map it was hiding, but they had to come with Istelastrix to ensure this artifact isn't going to be stolen for nefarious purposes. She acquiesced, after putting up a show of argument; in reality, she was terrified of her quest. Trying to recover the McGuffin is how she died, after all, and there were no second 2nd chances if she died on the island again.

So what is this artifact? What does it do? What is it named?

That was all kept pretty vague... I always thought "well I don't need that info for a couple sessions, I'll think of something when I need to." I don't even remember what the artifact is called. Something giant-sounding, like the Ahlmhammer or something. The point is that it's somewhere on this island, and there are 3-8 party level appropriate encounters on the way. I'm going to start calling it McG for short because McGuffin gets repetitive.

To The Island

Sailing

The party grabbed some no-name NPCs and a ship we... uh... liberated from its owners during a previous adventure. The players + Istelastrix set sail, and immediately ran into DM fiat. You see, the island is shrouded in fog; worse, the ocean itself is one giant speaker for the Bardjotun. Unbeknownst to the party, the giant with bard levels that was supposed to be the BBEG lived deep underneath the island; he had brass tubes bored through miles of rock, reaching from the ceiling of his chamber up into the ocean overhead; which he played his instrument, it reverberated all of these pipes and made the ocean for a mile around ripple with his enchanting music. Is this realistic at all? No. But I think it makes a pretty badass bard villain.
Anyway, the party had to roll an arbitrarily high saving throw to resist the bard's magic. They all failed because that's what I needed to happen for the adventure to continue. Pro tip: That is one of the best signs that you didn't write a very good adventure.
The party wakes up to find their ship damaged and marooned on a beach, with their crew missing. Footsteps in the sand lead into the jungle. Where did the crew go? Where are we? How do we get back off the island? Do we roll initiative yet?

The Island

The first clue the party got that the island was unnatural, other than the fact that it requires a magic map to find, is the way that it continually slopes upward. Almost like a rounded pyramid or layers of concentric rings, the island came to a point with an impressive mountain peak at its center, but there was a lot of jungle between the party and the island center.
The second clue the party got involved the number of gorillas. The party had the creeping sensation that they were being watched as they passed into the jungle. I don't remember exactly how or what happened, but they realized that seemingly intelligent gorillas were following them from a safe distance. Then they became paranoid of all animals they encountered.
One of the big dangers on the island was a reflavored enemy: The Plantercap. If you take the stats of an ettercap, and replace its web spitting ability with an identical sap glob spitting ability, give it weakness to fire, and some swarms of insects, and suddenly your party is fighting Bellsprout.
The party also encountered the remains of a giant's camp. Including a giant-sized lean-to, and a giant-sized fire pit. In case the party still hadn't realized by now, the adventure was going to include a lot of giants.

The Village of Hill Giants

To the party's surprise, they encountered a village of hill giants. They expected an impossible fight to break out, but realized that the giants didn't pay any attention to them. Out of curiosity, the party found a hill giant that could speak Common, and asked him wtf was going on.
The hill giant explained that "little people" came through the village all the time on their way to serve the Bardjotun. They were the first travelers to ever stop and talk to them. The hill giant didn't understand what was going on, but the party was able to piece together the fact that most people were in a trance from the bard's magic, and walked through the hill giant village on their way to be enslaved, killed, eaten, or whatever the bard did with them. They also learned about the "Builders," and after a fashion they realized that the hill giant was talking about the gorillas. If the party wanted more information, they needed to go find "Markopolos."
The party thought the -opolos name meant they were looking for a city, not a person. You would think as soon as they met Markopolos they would realize it was his name, but I kid you not they assumed the NPC who said "I am Markopolos" was speaking euphemistically, like if one of those inspirational Youtube commercials had 30 people say "I am New York" and stand in solidarity or something. It took almost a whole session for me to realize that they still thought they were looking for a city.

Markopolos's Trouble

The party comes to a large break in the jungle, and finds several things they did not expect:
  1. The gorillas work in teams to transport all kinds of materials and supplies. This includes buckets of dirt, or huge stone blocks that are lashed to two or more gorillas to drag behind them. Some are even using tools like pickaxes or shovels to help gather materials, and drag them off to unknown purposes in the jungle. Some head towards the center mountain, some head towards the beach.
  2. There is a colorful tent and market stall on an artificial plateau. The land has been scooped up in a wide, deep circle. A foppishly dressed humanoid chitters to himself nervously, trapped on the island.
  3. A female fire giant seems to be orchestrating the entire thing, directing the gorillas' work and occasionally yelling insults at the merchant.
According to the hill giants, the party needs Markopolos's help to reach the center of the island. They realize the fire giant is using the name "Markopolos" between her insults, which are mostly in Giant. She is mad at, and has trapped, the NPC they need!
As it turns out, Jadeowyn Flamepearl (Jade-oh-win) is another helpful giant. She's also the entire reason why I started writing Part 1 and my motivation to do Part 2 of these posts. And here I am 2 weeks later just finally getting to her. Anyway, I went into a lot of detail describing Ms. Flamepearl and unlike my other NPCs, she went over really well with my party. A lot of these ideas come from reading up on fire giant lore in the MM and Volo's Guide:
Jadeowyn is metal. Her ear rings are the metal bands from casks of ale; her lapel button is a halfling's buckler shield; her necklace is made from the melted down blades of her enemies; the ring on one of her fingers is a piton she beat into shape; etc etc. She didn't wear a ton of jewelry, but everything she wore used to be some kind of weapon, tool, or other metal object. I wish I remembered what key words to google to find the picture I used for her. I think she even pierced one of her ears with a gnome's spear.
Well as the party came to find out, Markopolos was an unusually gabby lizardfolk. He referred to himself with the impressive title "Markopolos the Merchantomancer" (he's mortal enemies with one of my other characters, a goblin who calls himself a Salesmanomancer). He was in a bit of a tiff with his now ex-girlfriend, Jadeowyn. How does a fire giant and a lizardfolk fall in love? I'm not entirely sure. But she used to be top dog on the island and the main enforcer for the Bardjotun; she even did the design and construction on the giant's underground lair, replete with all the pipes that allow him to project his music to ships passing within a few miles of the island. That was until the Bardjotun decided that the low-class stone giants should live in the mountain instead, and kicked her out. Suffice to say, she's actually happy to find out the party is not under the bard's trance effect, and is glad to help them defeat the bard - but she isn't letting Markopolos leave until he apologizes.
What did Markopolos do? He did what any bad boyfriend does: He promised to get Jadeowyn a beautiful new piece of jewelry for their anniversary, with zero plan on how to get it. He's trapped on the island just like everyone else, and it's not exactly teeming with high end jewelry stores.
Thinking quickly, Markopolos took a dagger from an adventurer who died on the island. It had a glistening diamond pommel; he gave it to Jadeowyn and told her it was a "nose stud." She went to stick it in her nose but realized what it was. She obviously doesn't care about impaling herself with (comparatively) small weapons as jewelry, as I already described; she's upset because Mark lied to her about what the gift was. So Jadeowyn used her innate move earth ability and her army of gorillas to carve a moat around Mark's merchant tent until he apologized.
Markopolos now needs the party to either find him a suitable piece of jewelry to apologize with, or to go recover the dagger so he can present it to Jadeowyn with honesty. Either way, it was not the kind of sidequest my party was expecting XD.

Recovering the Dagger

My players decided looking for the dagger was easier. They knew that Jadeowyn angrily flung it into the jungle, and that a beast referred to as Snarfrattle collected discarded trinkets. Its lair was nearby and lo and behold, he didn't in fact have the dagger in his hoard + some gold and other goodies. You may be thinking wow that was a really short, easy problem to solve, not much of a quest, but I did not plan for the party sticking around this long. Jadeowyn did her job of giving more exposition and warning the party that they needed to fight stone giants, now I needed Markopolos free to show the party where to go.
Snarfrattle, the party discovered, was a polymorphed young dragon with an appropriate Cr to their level. The encounter was a super rush job because I did not prep for this session very well. They fought a giant hyena in a cave that had a breath weapon like a dragon, and when its HP got low enough it revealed itself as a black or green dragon (I don't remember which he was), and the party killed him. I did zero foreshadowing that Snarfrattle wasn't just a giant animal or giving the party any kind of warning on what they were about to fight.
They party succeeded, however. No one went down in the fight... except Istelastrix. And while she lay on the ground making death saving throws, the party debated whether they should kill her, leave her for dead, or heal her. They still did not trust her, after all, and they didn't see her as useful anymore now that they were on the island and knew about the artifact they could take for themselves. Well the party compromised and agreed to heal her - after one of the players stole her Rod of Anti-Magic and disenchanted her sword and her armor. Yeah. Imagine waking up and your warlock pact weapon is just a mundane piece of metal. Definitely the last thing I expected my players to do. I obviously didn't want it to happen; I had envisioned Istelastrix standing by the party's side heroically in the final battle with the BBEG, but I gave my players the resource and the opportunity to make her nearly inconsequential. Good thing she still had Eldritch Blast.
The party returned with the dagger, which indeed had a gleaming diamond pommel. They took it back to Markopolos, and coached him on how to apologize to Jadeowyn. Her heart melted "like ore in the furnace" and she took him back. She thought the diamond was too gaudy, however, and pried it from the dagger's hilt before sticking it in her nose as the most badass nose stud of all time.

A Brief Aside on Magic Items

The diamond itself was a magic item I generated from random rolls in the DMG. I think it had the "quirk" that it causes flowers to bloom, butterflies to gather, and small animals to frolic in the presence of the owner. My party decided it wasn't worth attuning to and threw it in a sack with all the other misbegotten magic items.
Speaking of which, the party by this point had acquired another magic item: A brimstone-and-ash colored cloak that gave the wearer resistance to fire damage, and the ability to cast shape lava (like shape water, but, lava). I had a vague plan to include lava as an obstacle later in the adventure, but we didn't get there. Again, I rolled on some of the random tables in the DMG just to see if I would find anything interesting to further characterize the cloak. It was made by a water genasi to help kill fire genasi. Or maybe the other way around, I don't remember. What I do remember is that the cloak was inscribed with what looked like fish swimming through the ash and lava decorating the coat; anyone who knew Aquan or Primordial however, could recognize the pictographic language as a series of insults about how much Elemental Fire sucks.
Markopolos had a couple of terrible magic items for sale, most of which only existed for comedic purposes. One of the items was a Wand of Magic Detection, with a gem that glowed when around magic items; the problem is, it detected itself, so it always glowed. What the players didn't think about is that the wand is perfect for detecting anti-magic fields and other effects, since that would cause the gem to stop glowing, but I couldn't force them to purchase something their characters couldn't think of a use for. Especially when everything else for sale was some kind of gimmick, they definitely viewed the Wand already in the mindset that it was totally useless.

Markopolos's Help

After Markopolos was forgiven, Jadeowyn quickly refilled the ground around his tent. They hugged and had a d'aww moment with the party, then Markopolos immediately started trying to sell the party his piles of junk. All of the good magic items and valuables collected from other ships marooned on the island were used by the Bardjotun, so Mark could only cobble together a pile of rejects.
The party asked Markopolos how to reach the center of the island. They totally believed what the hill giant told them, that only Mark knew how to get there... I honestly hadn't decided whether Mark was running a scam, if what he told the players is true, or if even Mark was tricked by superstition. But Mark explained the following:
Long ago, the world had more gods. Due to backstory events in the lore, domains were consolidated and a lot of lesser gods died. The now-extinct inhabitants of this island, however, worshiped a god of Games and Chance who petitioned the Goddess of Luck; he would peacefully acquiesce control of his domains, and even work for the more powerful god, he just wanted to retain influence on the island.
So far, the party had only passed through artificial parts of the island. The gorillas, or the "Builders" as the hill giants called them, were under magical compulsion to follow Jadeowyn's commands, and she was instructed to make the island bigger and taller. So they slowly expanded the island over time in all directions, creating the unnatural, sloping, circular shape, and the way the island culminated in a point. Technically none of this was part of the island that this god controlled, so his rules did not apply; but Markopolos's merchant stall was at the threshold, before fate and magic turned over to this local god's control.
In order to appease the god of Games and Chance, and bring him honor, or at least not incur his wrath, the party had to agree to a game and place bets to cross through the god's territory. What kind of game? A race.

Deathrace 2000

Among all of Markopolos's garbage, he had a handful of valuable items for rent: Whistles, shaped like different animals, that summoned fantastic steeds 1/day. The players, Mark himself and Istelastrix had a number of animals to pick. I don't remember all of the options off the top of my head. I do remember putting almost no effort into balancing the animals or the race itself. IIRC their options were:
  1. Stench cow, an auroch, or some other fantasy bovine. Strong, but slow. I think the party made Istelastrix ride the stench cow? I remember whatever they picked for her, she was unhappy about it.
  2. Dire Weasel. Had a burrow and a climb speed, and could burrow slowly with a rider.
  3. Dire Basilisk Lizard. Could run across water or lava, as long as its movement did not end on water or lava.
  4. Dire Ferret. It had a unique "Play Dead" option that gave it advantage on Deception checks to play dead, and it extended this ability to its rider. You think that wouldn't be helpful in a race...
  5. Some other goofy options.
Each animal had pros and cons, such as a different movement speed, or the ability to climb or move on certain surfaces, or some kind of unique ability. They also had a higher or lower animal handling DC for things like dashing, jumping over gaps, or charging enemies.
Each animal was unique, so each player had to pick a different one and compare their pros/cons. They paid a rental fee, and got the worst/cheapest option for Istelastrix. Then they settled in for what they thought would be a straightforward race.
I put 3 random maps together: A twisting path up a hill with a bridge spanning a river, a maze-like expansive sewer system with no clear exit, and a more straightforward maze-like warehouse.
The first map was simple. The player who chose the basilisk ran straight across the river, for what they thought would be a huge lead; another player polymorphed his mount into a flying creature and went straight for the top of the hill. The other two players got off to a slower start, and lost even more time when a water weird attacked from hiding underneath the bridge and almost killed Markopolos.
The second map was the bulk of the session. The sewer was very large, and admittedly very very empty with little-to-no indication to the players of where they should be going, or even what they should be looking for. Again, this is a big fail on the DM's part. The fact that they were racing each other provided enough tension that it didn't matter if several rounds of initiative were just used to roll animal handling and exploring the sewers; I didn't need a lot of traps or enemies to keep the game entertaining. What I should have done, however, is figured out a good way to direct the players somehow. As any lazy DM knows, it's dangerous to throw up random maps you found online; your players will notice details you didn't, and their imagination will fixate on things you never intended to be important. So the party spent a lot of time smacking their heads on things, thinking they found the exit or a puzzle to solve or something. I at least shouldn't have made the exit "this nondescript door that an exploring player would blaze past."
The sewers had a number of random encounters that the split party bumbled into. This included a spider-infested tunnel with a dead drow cultist still clutching her Staff of Arachnidkind (requires attunement, grants immunity to poison, the ability to command spiders below Cr 1, and spiders above Cr 1 are never hostile by default), a gaggle of hungry molds, an otyugh, some giant spiders, and some undead.
Eventually, a player decided to open the random, nondescript door in a tunnel they already passed through a couple times, and found the escape up into a warehouse. He raced to the end... of the campaign.

Total Cliffhanger

Unfortunately, that was the last session we played. A player shouted in triumph at blazing across the finish line, closely followed by his companions; they asked with excitement what they found, now that they were finally past the thick obscuring jungle, and I said "we'll find out... next time."
By this point, I had not developed a good fortitude for being DM, and I was prone to getting burned out. That is part of the reason why I only DM'd in between the "main" plot adventures, and most of what I ran was 1-2 sessions long. But this time I was several sessions in, and we had been interrupted with a lot of missed sessions due to schedules or technical errors or real life drama. I was relying more and more on improv or throwing together notes the night before we played. So I only had a vague mental plan for what was upcoming.
I try to be a better DM now. If I have 4 people showing up to a game, trusting each other with 4+ hours of their weekend, I feel like I owe them the best experience I can provide. I don't feel the need to run a perfect session every time, but as a DM or as a player it's important that you value the time and the experience of everyone playing. Sometimes that's as simple as learning how your class mechanics work so you don't have to ask every time.
But I digress. The adventure path I had in my head involved having to fight through the stone giants to make entry to the mountain at the center of the island. The stone giants were living in a home Jadeowyn carved out for herself, so it had a blended fire-stone giant aesthetic, including some good Lawful Evil torture devices and other things to remind the party what Jadeowyn is, and even though she's an outlier from the typical fire giant, she obviously still lives up to some of the expectations of the race.
The Bardjotun was not going to be as crazy a fight as I foreshadowed each session. The big deal was going to be fighting the troll Vaprak left to guard the McG. While the party was distracted with holding the troll off, Istelastrix was going to grab the McG for herself, and say something like "Aha! Finally! I have obtained the McGuffin! Come get it, Archfey!" and when the Archfey appeared to collect it, wham betrayal Istelastrix uses it to kill the archfey. The party is then blamed for the massive upset to the courts and powerbalance of the fey, and Istelastrix would lose her warlock abilities. I was going to roll her up as a fighter who joined the party and acted like a spell caster, and was still coming to terms with the fact that she had none of her warlock abilities.
After real life shenanigans calmed back down, I started a new campaign with the same DM. During a session I DM'd, she appeared in much the same state as she appeared in this campaign diary: Embarrassed and angry about her lot in life. Imagine a lawyer's suit stretched over her armor. She appeared with a set of arraignment paperwork to interrogate two party members for "crimes against the fabric of reality." They had genuinely done something wrong that I don't remember, and then she had a dozen trumped up charges accusing them of working for Asmodeus and crazy stuff like that. At the end of the trial, the Archfey of Night and Magic (the assassination attempt failed, and this lawyer stuff was Istelastrix's punishment) assigned Istelastrix as a "caseworker" to document any further criminality the party committed.
That's how I came to play Istelastrix in the Tomb of Annihilation. She got unceremoniously thrown in lava 1 round into combat with the soulmonger.
I think I'm going to keep her in my DM back pocket for the rest of time as a character or NPC whose backstory includes dying several times, and always being brought back to undeath and thrown into an even worse situation by her archfey as punishment. So years from now when I'm playing, she can talk about all the different adventuring parties who abandoned her, or let her die, or disenchanted all of her stuff, and it's all stories from actual games.
Markopolos and Jadeowyn, unfortunately, broke up after the events of the campaign :(. Markopolos is now merchantomancing in a Sigil-like trade port city, and Jadeowyn is... well I'm going to link this post to one of my players so he can reminiscence. He'll find out what's become of Jadeowyn soon :).
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7 Best Social Media Marketing Tools 2020

Finding the right Social Media Marketing tools is a challenge. You end up learning the ins and outs of each tool before realising it isn’t working as you expected. Somehow it’s costing you more time and money than it’s saving! Trust me, I’ve been there. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best paid social media marketing tools I use on a daily basis.
Posting on social media and creating ads is one of the most time-consuming things in the beginning stages of running a social media marketing agency. Let’s put aside running the actual business for a second. You need to do the dirty work to get ahead, at least in the beginning, and that can often take up hours upon hours of your day. Then you can finally focus on the business admin, your own branding and marketing, and everything else.
I bet you’d much rather spend more time on growing your business and creating a rock solid brand! With the right tools, you can. You can become a super-efficient social media manager with plenty of time to catch up on the important stuff.
There’s a whole host of tools, apps and software developed specifically to make your life as a social media agency owner easier. I haven’t tried and tested them all, but I’ve tried and tested a lot.
Here are my top picks for social media tools in 2020 that I use on a daily basis.
  1. Grammarly.
At the number 1 spot we have quite possibly the best social media marketing tools there is. No matter what field you’re in, grammatically correct writing is important, and that’s especially true for social media. You don’t want to be that person who makes a social media blunder!
Grammarly is the go-to tool for quality control when it comes to writing your posts or ads. The cost of making a spelling mistake or a grammatical error on a social media post or ad can indeed range from total embarrassment to completely destroying a brand’s reputation, or both.
If you’re the dedicated account manager for multiple social media accounts, then you’ll be writing a lot, and you may have found yourself accidentally making silly grammatical errors from time to time. We all do it, it’s human, but they can end up having some pretty dire consequences.
Get Grammarly to ensure it never happens again. Take human error out of the equation. You’ll never have to worry about making a spelling mistake, you just have to open up Grammarly and write it there. Grammarly conveniently offers a mobile app, a desktop app, a browser app and a Chrome extension!
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  1. Flick.
Flick is hands down the best hashtag generator app around, and it’s available on both mobile and desktop. It’s a true game changer. Not only does it save you plenty of time choosing the perfect hashtags for your post, it is also a one-stop-shop for Instagram analytics. If you’re looking for an app that’ll make your life easier, look no further. Flick to the rescue!There are many free hashtag generators out there – I can certainly think of a few off the top of my head. But the old adage “you get what you pay for” really rings true here. Flick allows you to generate 30 relevant hashtags (the Instagram limit) and copy them with the click of a button.Gone are the times where you unwillingly look at your phone trying to think of 30 new hashtags. This is the ultimate tool for obliterating the painstaking process of finding hashtags, and also offers some pretty cool resources as well as a sleek analytics interface inside, so you know how your hashtags are performing.
Best For:
Brand manager, viral page owner, social media manager, creator or influencer. Whatever you’re doing with your life, social media hashtags is the last thing you want to be spending your time doing. Focus on what matters. Seriously. Let Flick do the hashtag generating for you.
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This app offers 4 pricing plans all of which are billed monthly. It also offers an enticing free trial so you get to try before you buy.
  1. AdSpy.
Take the guesswork out of creating the perfect Facebook or Instagram ad. Use AdSpy to learn from your competitors ads, evaluate their performance based on the important metrics that AdSpy provides, and see what advertisers are doing when it comes to designing ad creative and writing sales-worthy text copy for social media.
AdSpy allows you to browse through a large database of social media ad archives and to see all of the high-performing social media ads in your niche. With their comprehensive search filter, you can search using a host of filters to get the nitty gritty details on current and past ads in just about any niche, and in any country! Take a look at the search queries you can choose from below.
This fantastic tool can be used for competitor analysis, for coming up with ideas, and for making sure you’re not wasting time writing an ad that will underperform. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, see what works and change it to suit your business. Why spend hours upon hours thinking of the perfect ad copy and the perfect video, image or design when you can easily become a social media advertising mogul at the click of a button?
Best For:
AdSpy is a must-have for absolutely anyone running Facebook or Instagram ads. When it comes to social media competitor analysis tools, there are few and far between. And those that are available are no match compared with AdSpy. It’s up to you as an entrepreneur to take advantage of the data that’s available, and take your advertising game to the next level. AdSpy helps you do just that.
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  1. PromoRepublic.
An all-in-one social media management tool. PromoRepublic have developed a neat piece of software that makes managing social media accounts easy. If you’re at the stage where you’re looking to scale your social media marketing agency but you need more time on your hands to do so, then PromoRepublic has got you covered. Here’s what Marilyn Heywood Page, VP of Marketing at Inciting Marketing had to say about the product:
“The back-and-forth process, when talking about a dozen different clients drove us insane. Marketing management seemed like a relentless end-to-end routine — clunky, complicated, and circular. For a single client, PromoRepublic has saved us at least two hours a week, which were previously spent on alternating processes.”
And I could not agree more. Simplifying the communication within your own agency is a surefire way to become a more efficient and cost-effective agency, and to grow. PromoRepublic will save you so much time so you can focus on priorities.
Best For:
PromoRepublic is a great bit of kit if you’re running a business or working as a freelancer. It is suitable for all small businesses and of course, social media marketing agencies especially. PromoRepublic also states on its website that multi-location brands and franchisors will benefit from its social media management tool.
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PromoRepublic are offering a 14-day free trial too!
  1. Leadpages.
I’ve classed Leadpages as one of the best social media marketing tools because it has helped me build massive email lists for our clients. Quickly host and manage landing pages for a variety of use cases. Collect valuable data by combining Leadpages with the Facebook Pixel. Generate more business by having a professional landing page for your marketing campaign.
Whether you’re at pre-marketing stage or running a social media giveaway, Leadpages is a tool you should have in your arsenal. Directing traffic to a Leadpages landing page is one of the best ways to convert users into customers, proven by a huge track record of over 40,000 businesses using Leadpages for their marketing.
Leadpages has established itself as one of the leading landing page software tools out there and it makes it easy to set up beautiful landing pages, customise them, and have them published online in a matter of minutes.
Best For:
I can safely say this tool is great for anyone looking to add a competitive edge to their marketing efforts. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, head of marketing, or an artist looking to promote your brand, you will benefit from using Leadpages.
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Leadpages offers multiple tiers of annual and yearly plans as shown above. As with most software, the most cost-effective route is to pay annually – this equates to a total of 39% discount compared with the monthly payment plan.
Right now Leadpages are offering a 14-day free trial which also comes with a free domain name if you purchase the annual subscription.
  1. Mojo.
Mojo is a video-editing app. It’s currently available for both Android and iOS devices, and you should thank your lucky stars it is! Create flashy and impressive looking video content for social media and prepare to be complimented by your client for the work you produce – I am speaking from experience here.
Mojo is by far one of the most comprehensive video editing mobile apps. It has great customer support and they’re very responsive to your requests. I say this because I requested a feature and it was in the update. You can be sure that this app has got you covered when it comes to creating cool social media content, and in particular, Instagram story content.
Best For:
This tool is perfect for content creators and social media account managers who are in charge of accounts from 1k to 1m followers – seriously. If you’re posting on social media, regularly uploading stories to Instagram, Facebook or even posting on TikTok – then this app is a no-brainer. This app is particularly effective for getting users to use the Swipe Up feature on stories.
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It offers two pricing plans – monthly or yearly. The most cost-effective plan is to purchase the app for the year.
This app also offers a free trial!
  1. Videoshop.
Videoshop is a mobile only app and was built by developers with some branding ingenuity. Just like Photoshop, as its name suggests, the app is comprehensive and feature-rich. It does a fantastic job at bringing the main features of desktop video editing software right into a powerful mobile application. Who’d have thought that was possible? It’s just what we’ve always wanted.
This app is more appropriate for you if you are always creating videos with the end goal of posting them on social media. I don’t use it so much for creating story content. I often need to cut and chop videos and add some music to them, that’s it. Using this app is so much faster than loading up Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro.
If you have ever tried to download a video editing app only to find out that it is utterly useless, and that you wasted half an hour of your valuable time, then we have shared this very common frustration. Invest your time and money into a quality product and it’ll pay for itself over within a few weeks, and that’s especially true with Videoshop.
Best For:
This app will impress even the most seasoned of video editors, content creators, and social media account managers. You simply don’t know what you’re missing until you give it a shot.
Main Features:
Cons:
Pricing:
It offers two pricing plans – monthly or yearly. The most cost-effective plan is to purchase the app for the year.
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Session 27 Recap

When we picked up the adventure, the party had gathered at Broken Chain's warehouse which soon was consumed by flames and burned to the ground. With a herd of canines in tow, the party decided to turn in for the night.

The next morning, while dining on breakfast, the gang was interrupted by their old acquaintance Findel. Findel, who they last saw departing for Yartar with his wife and friends after fleeing Triboar and the werewolf cult, made himself at home and told the party that they've made an enemy out of the Thieves Guild, producing a letter that was left for them there at the inn. The letter really amounted to more of a bill of sale than a letter, informing the party that they had incurred a 10,000 gp debt with the Thieves Guild and that in 2 days, the guild would come calling at the inn for a 2500 gp "good faith" deposit. Findel, though not part of the Thieves Guild, insinuated he was actually a member of the Harpers, and further warned the gang that they haven't exactly been quiet since they arrived in Yartar.

With that he took off, but no sooner had he left than Sephora entered beaming with excitement. In addition to bringing the party a book concerning starmetal and where they might actually be able to do something with it, she had a message for Van to go see the head librarian at the Order's tower as he had some information concerning his ring.

The party decided to head out for the day, especially since the innkeeper, in the most polite way she could, informed the party that their 19 dogs in the stables would have to leave today unless they want to pay extra to keep them there at the inn. The first stop was Lord Blackburn, who owed them money for hiring them to disrupt the dogfighting ring in the first place.

Making themselves quite at home, the party was paid their 1,000 gp and Lord Blackburn even took 6 of their dogs to use for guard dogs. Brutor produced the letter the Thieves Guild had sent and gave it to Lord Blackburn to read. Lord Blackburn told them that now they had made an enemy of the Thieves Guild, he could arrange a meeting with the Waterbaron as she and the party now share a common enemy in the guild.

After thoroughly ruining Lord Blackburn's carpet, the party left with their remaining 13 dogs. Branwynn went off solo to the Fox and the Goose Inn, given a tip by Lord Blackburn that Varnn the Bugbear Ranger might be there, whom the party met very briefly way back when, and is an expert in matters of wildlife. Branwynn was curious about her owlbear cub, who by now is 3 weeks old and moved on to solid food. Indeed Varnn was there, with Pellas, the two of them already drinking at roughly 10 in the morning. Varnn gave some good advice: owlbears are not picky eaters, can be trained though she might consider neutering her owlbear cub as it is a male and they are aggressive. And also they are food driven, so using a lot of treats will go a long way towards taming her exotic animal. Much appreciative of his sage advice, Branwynn decided it was time for drinking, to which Varnn and Pellas heartily agreed.

Meanwhile the rest of the party went off to the Order's tower, to see Balgar the librarian. Balgar excitedly informed Van that although he himself has no insight into the ring, he does know of a man, a cleric of Oghma who, as a Knowledge Domain cleric, has access to powers that may help in identifying the ring. The last Balgar knew, he was located at the temple of Oghma in Silverymoon.

The gang, eager to spend some of their hard-earned stolen coin on magical items, went off to Asif's, though Brutor decided to spend his time and money on a haircut and some new finery to prepare for the big meeting with the Waterbaron. The rest of the party's trip to Asif's shop was a resounding success. A +1 dagger for Helheim, a Ring of Water Walking for Marek, a Rod of Pact Magic +1 for Marek, and a Cloak of Protection for...well nobody yet but somebody will wear it and love it eventually. Asif even knocked off some 300 gp from the final total. They then headed to the armorer's shop, owned by Haldar Ravencrest. They commissioned him for 900 gp (500 now, 400 on pickup) to make a Cloak of Displacement out of the displacer beast hide they had looted months ago, although he stated it will take him around 90 days to complete the project.

Although still early in the day, the party decided to turn in early to prepare for the big meeting tomorrow...that is except for Marek, who decided he wanted a taste of the Yartar night life. First robbing an innocent man in the nicer section of town out of 15 gp with the classic bump and lift maneuver in a futile attempt to draw the attention of the Thieves Guild, Marek decided he was in the mood for some games of chance, making his way to Rollers. Demonstrating a stunning lack of tact, he was almost immediately kicked out of the casino, but instead convinced the bouncers to let him access the high stakes game by showing them the almost 2,000 gp he was carrying.

In the back room he joined a game with a familiar acquaintance he's gambled with in the past. After blowing some 15 gp on purposely terrible playing, Marek decided to sweeten the pot, throwing in 250 gp. Two of the players saw his bet, sweetening the pot to 770 gp. Marek, with some sleight of hand antics, inserted a card from his deck of illusions, drawing it and causing chaos as an orc appeared suddenly on the table. Taking advantage of the situation, Marek grabbed as many of the coins he could from the table and dashed out of the casino, hightailing it back to the inn.

His desperate plan almost seemed like it would succeed when he was accosted in the street by a man speaking elvish who suddenly began approaching Marek. Momentarily distracted, a crossbow bolt whizzed by his head and then another struck him in the shoulder, causing many of his stolen coins to scatter. He tried running through the man, but failed and was grappled. 2 more figures appeared and began to pound mercilessly on Marek, who, realizing his assailants were Drow elves, was able to teleport away with Thunderclap. Unfortunately it only gave him a brief victory as another bolt sank into him before he could disappear, rendering him unconscious.

The next morning the rest of the party woke up refreshed. Noting Marek's absence, the party seemed little concerned. Pellas had a visit and told the gang he was taking off, headed to Silverymoon with Cedric, and graciously agreed to take the remaining 13 dogs with him.

With little time before their appointment with the Waterbaron, the party made a tearless goodbye to Pellas and headed for the palace. Eventually the party met up with the Waterbaron's congenial executive assistant, named Desmond and apparently brother of Ormond, the officious clerk of Lady Darathra.

Meeting Lady Nestra Ruthiol for the first time, the Waterbaron of Yartar, the gang learned she was keen to find an ally to help her fight against the Thieves Guild. The party showed her the letter, or bill, that the Thieves Guild had sent. Noting their predicament, the Waterbaron suggested that perhaps the party use it as an opportunity to trap some of the guild with the assistance of her own guards, though she understood if they felt like paying the debt was their best course of action for now.

Regarding her own designs for the Thieves Guild, Lady Nestra stated that she wished to engage in what she called "economic warfare" against the Thieves Guild, depriving them of money to force the guild into a desperate move or mistake, which is why she sees the party as a common ally, given that they've already caused a significant loss for the Thieves Guild. Insinuating that she had some locations in mind already the party could hit, she left the room to allow the party to discuss the opportunity she had presented.

Meanwhile...Marek slowly regained consciousness, still pretty badly battered from his ordeal. He found himself chained to the wall, both his wrists and ankles bound tightly together with iron manacles. Looking around, he noticed another prisoner in the same predicament. Though unable to free himself, Marek was able to blast apart the chains for his fellow prisoner, who quickly found a tool to pick Marek's chains with. After an aborted sneak attempt, Marek and his ally attempted to trick their Drow guards into believing they were still bound, but the ruse did not last long and Marek was quickly beaten back into unconsciousness. ` .
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