Behind the Scenes:
The 5 best instagram apps for a blogger
A.K.A. The 5 instagram apps I need in my life
So if you’re anything like me you’ll have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I know when I first started I was so overwhelmed with what was good, bad, useful or pointless. After a little over two years, these are the top 5 instagram apps we use!
Disclaimer: Now I do need to point out we’ve owned a photography business for over 6 years so all of our photos are shot on a professional camera and almost always edited on Photoshop, Lightroom or Capture One before they reach my phone. Having said that I definitely use all of the apps below in some function or other at least once a week, and I would never recommend something I didn’t find genuinely useful, or hadn’t used personally.
Canva creates great looking graphics on the go. It allows you to add text and borders to your images and its themes automatically create posts at the right size for your insta feed or story (it does plenty of other social media and things like business cards too).
I’m a recent convert to Canva – given we extensively use photoshop I’ve always made up posts on there before. I love the ease of using Canva on-the-go and being able to whip up a post in seconds. The fact we can actually make a lot of changes to all the themes – even the free ones – so that we can get something that’s a good representation of our brand is really important, and while it takes a few tries to get the hang of it, it’s actually really simple to use.
Hootsuite is a social media management platform, and the professional versions allow you to bulk upload and manage a large number of social media accounts. With the free version you can add up to 3 social media accounts (so I use it for Twitter too).
Hootsuite is a god send if, like us, you blog part time around a full time career and we use the free version for one thing only: scheduling. Now I’m not recommending you schedule all your posts on a Sunday and just leave your social media on auto pilot – people will buy into your brand because they buy into you. You need to be online, interacting with your followers and building a genuine presence, but what Hootsuite does do is give you the flexibility to live your life without being chained to social media and Instagram algorithms. It means you can schedule posts for your peak time of day, even it that’s in the middle of dinner with your grandma (if you don’t know when your peak times of day are, use their auto-scheduler to start with). I tend to sit down on a Sunday afternoon and work out my post schedule for the week, I’ll then compare this with my calendar and decide what I need to schedule.
Followers is a nifty little app that allows you to track who’s following you back and who isn’t on Instagram. It also allows you to track your follower growth and engagement. You can block people or white list them using the app, and see who engages with your posts the most. Again, it’s a fab one if you’re time poor – it keeps track of things for you and tells you info that insta doesn’t.
How you use it is up to you. One of my favourite features is the “my best followers” part. I’ve discovered so many great accounts through this, who consistently interact with me, and who I wasn’t aware of as their likes just get swallowed up in instagram notifications. Conversely, when I feel like the number of accounts I’m following is getting bloated, I’ll use the “accounts not following me back” and “worst followers” features to decide who to unfollow. Often if accounts aren’t interacting with me, I’m not interacting with them. We’re not interested in what each other are doing – and that’s ok – you want a genuine audience more than you want a large audience. 100 people who are passionately invested in what you’re doing is worth more than 10,000 who don’t care.
Preview is an all-in-one instagram app so you can schedule, edit, repost and even get analytics (with the premium version). However, we love the drag and drop feature (available on the free version). It lays your photos out like an instagram grid, then you can move them around so you get the look you want – remember your “grid” or top 9 posts (12 on a big phone) is the first thing people see when the click on your profile so you want them to look good. It’s even stopped me doing silly things like posting the same kind of dish twice in a row!
Ok, so this one isn’t an app, but it is an awesome time saver. Display purpose allows you to type in a hashtag or hashtags and automatically generates related ones for you and you can then copy and paste them into your caption. Obviously, don’t just trust it, have a read to check that they are relevant to your post. I’d always put a few of your own in the mix but it’s a great (and quick) way to get all those 30 hashtags!
Got a different favourite app that I’ve missed? Let me know what it is in the comments.
Would a tutorial of how to work any of these apps help, yell out in the comments about that too and I’ll see what I can do.
Photos courtesy of Styled Stock Society