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Instagram Must Have Apps & Tools

Instagram Must Have Apps & Tools

Want to know what my go-to’s are when it comes to my trusty iPhone and some of the tools I’m using each day could help simplify your life? I’ve put our list of essential Instagram apps and tools together here for you.

Lightroom

OK. This is the BIG GUNS of mobile editing. I would join Adobe Creative Cloud just for this app, however I also use Adobe programs for all of my desktop editing needs (I use InDesign, Premier, Lightroom, and Photoshop!) Needless to say, my Adobe Creative Cloud membership is worth every penny. 

I couldn’t do what I do without them! So, if I ever need to edit a photograph on my phone, this is my go to, and it’s almost as powerful as Lightroom Desktop (which is my ultimate fave for editing!) 

My favorite features are that it now has a curves tool, a color mixing panel, and SELECTIVE EDITING!! Woohoo! That means you can apply brush, radial, and linear masks to your photos to just edit one portion of the photo instead of the whole thing. You have to upgrade to premium for this, but it’s #worthit. This means perfect, finely tuned photos. Yes, please! 

Later

This app has a few different pricing options from FREE – $19 a month based on what level of services you need (We use the $9 a month plan), but this app has changed my life and I’d gladly tell you it’s been worth every penny. So what is it? It’s an app where you can schedule and lay out all of your posts in advance. You import photos and you can drag and drop them into place so you can see what your overall grid looks like. 

You can also type in your captions, create groups of hashtags, and schedule the posts so that you get a push notification when it’s time to post (and with 3 clicks, you can have your content loaded on IG!) or it will post automically for you! This app is also awesome if you’re managing multiple accounts. My team can login and schedule/plan content and then I can pop in and approve or edit it. This is my favorite app and allows me to plan my posts one or two weeks in advance and takes the stress off of creating new content daily. 

On top of all of this, they just released some incredible performance analytics that will show you your top performing posts, hashtags, the best time to post. It’s pretty cool and a one-stop Instagram shop! 

Canva

If you don’t have a graphic designer on staff or you’re graphically challenged, this next one is for you! From graphics for our website to Facebook ad designs to the pins we use on Pinterest, Canva is an awesome way to up-level the design of your company without paying for a professional. You can choose from thousands of templates and even ones perfectly sized for whatever it is you need to create.

Unsplash

Unsplash is by far my FREE favorite stock photo site. All the photos are beautiful and you can usually find what you’re looking for quickly. Did I mention it’s FREEEEEE? We don’t really use it for Instagram, but definitely on our websites and other areas of our business.

VSCO 

This is one of the OG editing apps, and their filters emulate film. Fact: a lot of your favorite accounts are using VSCO filters and tweaking them to make them their own! If moody or vintage is your thing, then you’ll love this app. 

As for me, I use VSCO to edit my Instagram story photos on the fly. The editing tools are responsive and comprehensive, and you can see a before and after preview (which is ESSENTIAL to me) by holding your finger down on the photo. 

Best part? It’s FREE. Go to the in-app shop to grab a variety of different preset packs—try the Aesthetic collection for free…I use it on my stories all the time! 

When To Post 

This app is FREE but you can also upgrade to get even better tracking for $1.99, so to me, it’s totally worth it… I mean, a one time fee to get some rocking analytics and post with confidence? Yup. Now, what I LOVE about this app, is it tells you the best times for YOU to post based on when your audience is on and engaging the most. 

While I believe whole heartedly it’s better to post when you’re ready than wait around for the clock to strike a certain hour, the push for needed engagement to beat the algorithm is REAL so posting when your audience is most likely to engage with your content is a smart move when it comes to strategy. 

What I love about this app is it will give you multiple times to post each day so you aren’t confined to one window of time, it will give you the analytics broken down each day of the week and give you a little countdown on when the next best time is to post. Since we are all serving different audiences, I love this so much more than generic times that might not reach the specific people you’re serving! 

Word Swag

If you’ve ever wondered how people get cool fonts in their Instagram stories or what app they are using to change the text and make it look all graphic (and pondering how ANYONE could have time to create graphics like that in Photoshop) they were probably using WordSwag! 

You can make visual elements using your own images, their backgrounds, a million different cool text options, and it’s the easiest way to create beautiful, bold, well designed graphics on your phone in just seconds. 

We use this app mainly for Instagram stories but it could serve your social media in so many different ways from making beautiful quote graphics to compelling Instagram posts that require copy! 

But! Not only that, I can also use it to create Pinterest posts, Facebook posts, and opt in buttons for my website on the go! Score! I LOVE this app. It’s like having a graphic designer in your pocket. 

Overvideo

Ah, but what about video?? WordSwag only works on stills. Enter OverVideo. This app allows you to put fun fonts on VERTICAL video. A lot of the other apps crop your video, but not this one. 

Linktree

Okay, this isn’t an app. It’s a service. But if you’ve ever struggled with which amazing thing to link in your bio then this is the solution for you! Linktree creates a little landing page out of the link in your bio. When people click they see options to click on all of the above! 

Display Purposes

Also not an app, but rather a website that acts a hashtag generator. Type in a relatively popular hashtag, and this generator will bring up a cloud of other related hashtags. You then simply click “copy mode”, and you can copy a cloud complete with nifty dots to separate it from your caption. 

My favorite way to use this is to use it along with good old fashioned research to collect a variety of high and low density hashtags and create 2-3 clouds per topic I post about and save those in Later. Then I’m just a click away from a variety of hashtag clouds for my posts no matter what they’re about!

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