Whether you are launching a business, trying to connect with like-minded professionals, or just looking to build up your personal brand, Instagram is a great platform for showcasing your brand and growing a following.
But it's not without its challenges: You have to curate quality visual content to share on the app, stay organized to keep your posting schedule consistent, and dedicate time to engaging with others on the app, as well. When you're starting out, you might be tempted by apps that make big promises, claiming to get you followers and likes by automating these in-app activities, but you don't have to resort to questionable means to grow your engagement.
The apps below provide legitimate assistance in creating more dynamic and engaging posts to share with your Instagram audience. Adding these apps and tools to your Insta-arsenal will help save you time and stress on your mission to you take your Instagram engagement to the next level.
1. Typorama (iTunes)
If you don't fancy yourself a photographer--or if your company isn't lucky enough to be selling a physical product that makes for a pretty picture--then finding enough quality visual content to share may be a challenge. But that shouldn't stop you from creating engaging posts.
Apps like Typorama allow you to create text-based posts with stock images as your backdrop. Type in a famous quote, motivational reminder, book passage, employee tip or other tidbit, and then change the typeface, size, color, placement and more. You can even add a watermark to your photos to create consistent branding.
Sometimes a single photo in a single square frame isn't enough. Apps like Layout--put out by Instagram-- and Picstitch, allow you to create collages, combining multiple photos in different layout and arrangements to function as a single post.
Side-by-side grids, for example, provide great before-and-after posts for artists, gyms and hair stylists. Collages and grids of other arrangements are useful for showcasing customer photo submissions, sharing multiple photos in a single theme, recapping an event, or showing several perspectives of a single item and more.
If you're looking for an engaging and mesmerizing post somewhere between a photo and a video, then the back-and-forth-looping mini-videos from the Boomerang app might be just the fix.
This app allows you to create quick GIF-like videos that loop back and forth, and it works well for capturing quick movements--a jump, dance, pop, wave, drop. The videos are even more mesmerizing when the reverse-motion defies physics; watching something magically reassemble after shattering, or watching someone cannonball OUT of a pool is just too cool not to watch.
Look for small motions all around you: A coffee get poured, un-poured and re-poured again creates a mesmerizing morning post for a cafe, and who wouldn't fall in love watching a cat from their local shelter pounce left and right and left again on a toy?
4. Hyperlapse (iTunes)
When a photo won't do a process justice and a video doesn't capture the chaos, try speeding things up a bit with a time-lapse capture. Hyperlapse, also put out by the developers at Instagram, lets you capture creative timelapse videos, without any extra software or cameras needed.
Hyperlapse posts are great show showing an event or transition taking place over time--like an artwork coming together on the canvas, a line forming for a big premiere or the set being broken-down afterward. Hyperlapse posts can also be used to give tours of your neighborhood, store, or other locations that your audience might not otherwise be able to see. Nature can also provide inspiration, with sunsets, sunrises, changing tides, and more lending themselves well to the sped-up captures Hyperlapse offers.
5. Notes (Included)
Most devices come with some sort of note taking app or text editor already installed. And while this won't help you with editing your photos or preparing them to be posted, it can act as a great away to store hashtags that you frequently use and track the ones you want to use in the future.
Create a note in your phone where you can keep your most commonly used hashtags, so you can quickly copy and paste them into the captions of your photos when you're ready to post. The maximum number of hashtags for a single photo is 30; if you batch your hashtags in groups of 30 or less, you won't have to waste time counting them or typing them over each time.
Group them by theme so that you can easily copy and paste the most relevant tags based on the content of the photo. For example, if you only post photos of a company-branded coffee mug on Mondays, keep a separate list of coffee-related hashtags for use on those posts.
What other apps are you using to help improve the quality of your Instagram posts, add diversity to your photo grid, and save time in the process?