Powerful Apps to Get Serious About Your Instagram
If you are trying to grow your Instagram feed there are plenty of apps to help you get there, and most of them are free. Apps can help you optimize your efforts in every aspect of the Instagram process: apps to help you determine what time to post, track your followers, analyze your analytics, and lots more. There are apps to help you edit your photos, apps for video editing, and adding sound. Read on to learn how these 10 powerful apps will take your Instagram to the next level!
These Powerful Apps will help you:
- post at optimal times
- analyze your analytics
- create collages
- edit your photos
- create videos
- schedule your posts
- create powerful captions
This article covers organic growth only. There are plenty of apps to “grow your Instagram”…do not get sucked in. This is the industry of buying and selling fake likes and followers. If they say “real” don’t believe them. If they are bought they are by definition “fake”! These companies will hopefully all be disappearing soon with the crackdown of Instagram on any and all artificial growth providers and related activity. It is already happening. Not only will these fake followers and likes potentially get you suspended they also end up hurting your account instead of helping.
Jodie and I are not interested in artificial growth and believe it completely defeats the purpose of the platform, not to mention ruining it for the rest of us growing organically. Instagram agrees. Almost all the algorithmic changes are geared toward stopping any type of artificial activity. Now even authentic accounts are getting caught in the net. Instagram is shadowbanning all kinds of activity that could possibly be perceived as “spam-like” even when it is done innocently. If you have any doubt about your activities or haven’t yet read our recent articles we highly suggest you read our post all about shadowbanning NOW.
- Provides a “heat map” which tells you the best times to post your Instagram content
- Gives you a countdown to your next top time to share content…especially helpful 🙂
- Shows a graph with the best times of the week to post to Instagram so you can plan!
I use this free app every day. It tells you the top 3 times of the day YOUR followers are most active. If you have read all our Instagram-related help posts you have read our advice on when to post, “When Are The Best Posting Times on Instagram”. If you haven’t you can read it NOW. This app is very helpful because it tells you when its the best time of day based on your time zone, your followers. It is not going to say the exact same thing from person to person. Something to keep in mind…your current followers exist largely based on your past posting behavior. But, you may not be posting at optimal times based on POTENTIAL followers.
It’s confusing, so let me try to explain. If you’ve never thought about when to post, and you post whenever you are free or whenever you think of it then you should first read our blog post about the optimal times to post. This is when more people in general are on IG. Posting at peak times will help you grow your feed.
Then, after you’ve been posting at optimal times for a while get the WhenToPost app. It will more specifically provide you the detailed best times each day.
How I use the app: I look at it the night before or first thing in the morning to plan my posts. If it says my top 3 times are all in the evening I post when I want in the morning and post at the most convenient time for me among the 3 in the evening. In other words, I use the information and then stay consistent, posting every morning and every evening as my followers expect. I take the best times and apply them to my life. If my optimal times don’t work for my life I just ignore and post when I must.
This is another free app I use daily. You can grow on Instagram without keeping track of numbers. And sometimes I don’t pay any attention. The most important thing to do is focus on CONTENT, and authentic interaction. That being said, there is value to paying attention to your “performance” and to growth. It would be like being a performer onstage and not listening to your audience. Your audience is crucial, so you need to listen to their feedback (or lack thereof). Since Instagram is going to circulate your posts based on the amount( and speed) of likes and comments you really benefit from paying attention to what posts do well and which ones don’t do as well.
This also means you can benefit from paying attention to your growth. Using InsTrack is one of many follower tracking apps. I have played around with 3 or 4 but this one is my preferred. Without paying anything you can follow your numbers: followers gained, followers lost, if anyone blocks you, how many people don’t follow you back and how many “fans” (people who follow you who you don’t follow back). I just pay attention to the general numbers and it gives me an overall picture of my most recent performance. There are other data points that you have to pay to unlock, but in my opinion they are unnecessary.
Layout is a powerful app if you ever want/need to create a collage. You can show up to 9 photos at a time in a variety of configurations. This is great for before & afters. It’s also fun to showcase a recap, like a review of your best posts, i.e. week in review, top posts for the month or year.
My own opinion is that aesthetics are compromised with collage posts. Earlier in my IG career I did create multi-photo posts. However, I no longer do. Now that there is the option for posting up to 10 photos with the new “gallery feature” I think there is even less reason to split your screen. Still, occasions do arise and this is an easy and handy app to use.
4. Pic Stitch
Pic Stitch is a very versatile photo and video collage app with lots of cool features.
- 245 collage layouts and 15 different aspect ratios (1×1, 4×6, etc.)
- Add music to a collage
- Order images directly through Shutterfly
- Customizable photo borders
- Rotate, flip, mirror, and zoom
Also, you can upload your creation straight to Instagram when you’re done.
Snapseed is definitely a 5-star photo editing app and my new favorite, but it’ not for beginners. If I had come across Snapseed in my first year of photo editing I probably wouldn’t have been able to use it. But for more advanced editing the finesse you can achieve is awesome. If you tap on “insights” you can watch tutorials and training to help you make the most the many tools. You can also watch videos online to learn the fine tuning and specialty features that take more skill. It still is a pretty good-sized learning curve but I think worth the time and effort you put in. To read more about our photo editing tips for Instagram take a look at these two blog posts: Edit Camera Phone Pics in IG and Unlock 6 Secret iPhone Camera Features
This is an excellent photo editing app that I have used in the past. It is relatively easy to learn to use and can give you added control to optimize your photos. Having at least one other photo editing app you use in conjunction with Instagram’s editing tools is very important to give you greater editing power. Some photos need more work than you can achieve with IG tools alone.
This is a paid service or platform that manages and integrates a full array of social media sites. It allows you to pre-schedule your posts and link your posts between all social media networks saving time and energy. For large brands and companies this type of tool becomes almost essential. Bloggers also benefit from streamlining their many platforms with a service like Hootsuite. It integrates Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and many more.
Note: You can use the integration aspect and not use the scheduling service. This is what Jodie and I do to help us link our many social media platforms. We do not and will not use the scheduling service.
We understand big brands and companies might use it. Most large brands take a less personal approach to Instagram anyway, but there is no way to be authentically involved when you use an app like this. We don’t recommend using any scheduling app because it means you are not “manning your posts”. You are not answering comments. You’ve gone to automation and taken the heart and soul out of the feed.
Hyperlapse from Instagram lets you shoot time-lapsed video to share with your followers.
Thanks to in-app stabilization technology, you can capture stable (read: non-shaky) video previously impossible without a tripod. Play back your videos up to 40 times faster than original speed.
Video is becoming increasingly popular, and there is no doubt it is the wave of the future. Instagram stories are an example of this trend. The sooner you start experimenting and adding video content the better prepared you will be to stay relevant and in demand.
Ever at a loss for words? Or searching for just the right quote to use to add power to your post? There is plenty of evidence that shows the right caption or message can increase interaction which, if you’ve been paying attention, you know is the new holy grail! Engagement reins supreme so you words matter more than ever. Of course it’s best if they come from you, but there’s nothing wrong with enlisting some help.
Captiona calls itself the “search engine for Instagram captions”.
With this Instagram app you can find:
- clever captions
- ideas to spark your own
- quotes to add or stand alone with your posts.
When you have writer’s block or are pressed for time, this app can come in handy. This is my newest discovery and I must say, it’s pretty darn cool!! (You are welcome 🙂
10. Prime for Instagram
As I’ve emphasized before timing is everything. It’s super important to pay attention to when you are posting and select the optimal times. Prime works like WhenToPost mentioned above.
Prime uses a “powerful algorithm to process hundreds of thousands of data points to determine when your followers are online, their activity, their relation to you, and, ultimately, when you should be posting to Instagram.”
I suggest trying both WhenToPost and Prime and seeing which one you prefer.
Putting Powerful Apps to Work for You
- Post at optimal times
- Save time
- Use your analytics to learn about your audience
- Edit your photos carefully
- Add inventive videos to your feed
- Create powerful captions