Favorite Instagram Tools
I wish I could say that to grow an Instagram following, all you need to do is take some iPhone snaps and upload them. I mean, maybe that's all it does take! For a lot of us, growing an Instagram account for a business means breaking out some serious tools. Here are a few of my favorites. If you're not following my Instagram, you can do that here!
A Real Camera
Hey. This one is controversial. You can TOTALLY run an instagram empire from your iphone. 100%. I find that using a real camera as much as possible puts a lot of intention into what we’re posting. To stage and take a photo, then to have to import it from my camera memory card to my phone takes time and effort and it makes me think about what I’m posting, and what I’m saying more. If you’re not getting a ton of engagement, give this a try!
Canva is my newest love. It's the easiest way to make graphics and photos with text that look professional. I've been using it for all of my thumbnails and it's so easy to use. My favorite thing is that you can upgrade the free app to Canva for Business and save presets and your brand colors for even easier editing. Canva for Business also will now let you make gifs. So cool.
Snapseed is a free photo editing app from Google, which means that it works with everything and integrates so well. There isn't a desktop version, but it works super well on my tablet too. I use Google Photos a lot. Pretty much every photo that you see here or on Instagram has passed through Google Photos at least once, so I like that I can pull photos straight from there, eliminating the need to download and reupload them. It has a million and five different filters that are easily applied and tweaked to your photos, as well as some finer tools. It also comes with effects like adding text or doing double exposures.
Okay, let's be real here. If you're trying to actively grow your account, you're doing the hashtag game and probably getting accounts that you know are going to unfollow you. But wouldn't it be nice to know? This app (also free but with some paid features) shows you who you're following, who is following you, and some little details in between like who is not following you back. It's good for managing who is following you and who isn't. It also has a list of everyone who has unfollowed you since you installed the app. Creepy? Yes. Helpful? Yes.
Layout & Boomerang
I almost didn't mention these...but thought that I should. These are both awesome and are made by Instagram. Layout makes collage photos made of multiple individual pictures. I use these most often for showing multiple angles of makeup photos. Boomerang just makes those adorable little videos that are only a few seconds long.
When you're trying to curate a feed, sometimes it's hard to know what your feed will look like as a whole. Preview helps get around this by letting you drag and drop and rearrange photos to see what your feed will look like. I like to have a good mix of graphics with text (from Canva) and regular photos, so this helps me know what that will look like.
Plann is my 100% ride-or-die instagram planning app. It is the BEST. The only thing I wish it had was a desktop version. That’s it! Everything else is wonderful. It’s easy to use. It makes it easy to repost photos with captions. Planning and scheduling is crazy simple and beautiful. It also turns this app into a business tool. It evaluates hashtags for effectiveness. It tells you the times to post. It makes a plan(n) for how to GROW your instagram to make money. But it also costs cash. It’s about $4 a month, and totally worth it.
Sometimes I want to have editing capabilities somewhere between Snapseed and Instagram in complicated-ness, so I turn to VSCO. It has some similar capabilities in terms of editing exposures or colors. It's another good (free) one to have in your arsenal.
I hope that this helped. Recently, I've had some questions about what I've been using on Instagram, and I hope that this helps to answer some of those!
What is your Instagram tip?