I know plenty of people who use Instagram and don’t use any fancy apps, and that’s fine. It’s perfectly possible to edit your photos on your phone, to post your photos manually, to do it all old school. You can 100% acheive Instagram success without any additional tools. However you might just fall in love with some of these apps when you try them. Personally, they’ve made a big difference to what I get out of Instagram.
1) Mosiaco (£5.99) – it was a life-changing moment when I started using this. It allows you to plan the sequence of your photos before posting them onto Instagram. So if you’re aiming for more aesthetic cohesion, Mosiaco is perfect. I don’t have a colour palette I follow as I would find that a little paralysing and I’d never post, but it allows me to create a feed that flows together nicely, choosing pictures that have some similar colours to give off a nice overall professional look. Other similar apps are Preview and Planoly.
2) VSCO (free) – this is the editing app that most Instagrammers swear by for creating quality images. It’s a much subtler editing tool than most smartphone cameras offer. You can also buy an incredible range of filters on VSCO (although don’t get carried away – I’ve got about 100 and it’s too many). I use the same filter for nearly all my photos which gives my grid a nice consistent look.
3) Snapseed (free) – another very popular editing tool for photos – what’s good about Snapseed is the blur feature which gives you the chance to create an artifial depth of field on smartphone photos. I also like the ‘heal’ option which allows me to remove spots or lighten specific bits of photos.
4) Instaclean (£5.99) – allows you to see if anyone you’re following isn’t following you back. I think it’s important to keep how many people you’re following at a managable amount or you can get a bit overwhelmed. And I know it’s a vanity metric, but it does give you credibility if more people are following you than you are following.
5) Tailwind (various pay plans) – is a scheduling tool. I mainly post my pictures off the cuff and when I’m in the mood. But sometimes if I’m running an Instagram challenge I want my posts to go out at a specific time in the morning and then I’ll use Tailwind to schedule those. It’s super easy and intuitive to use. You get 30 free scheduled posts as a trial and then you have to pay for a plan. If you want a long term solution that you don’t have to pay for Buffer gives you free 10 scheduled posts a month and is straightfoward to use.
6) Linktree (free) – you only get to put one link on your entire Instagram account and that’s in your bio (or profile if you prefer to call it that). Linktree allows you to cheat though as it provides a link to several other links that you want to share with your audience. I use posts in my grid or in my stories to direct people back to these links.
7) WordSwag (£4.99) – is an app that allows you to put text on pictures. But it’s great for creating professional looking Instagram stories. I use it when I’ve got an event or a workshop coming up to create a story with all the information clearly typed up. There’s lots of different fonts to play with too. Also if you want to put text on your pictures for the grid (or any social platform) WordSwag is brilliant.
8) Clipomatic (£4.99) – if you do any talking to camera for stories, clipomatic basically transcribes what you say and provides subtitles, so that your audience can follow what you’re saying without turning the sound on. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s pretty good.
9) Unfold (free) – if you want to create some sophisticated looking stories – have a play around with this app
I hope you’ve found this helpful. If you’ve got any apps you’d like to share with me I’m always on the look out for good ones.
If you enjoyed this, you might like to check out My Most Embarrassing Instagram Mistakes
And if you’re looking to improve your own Instagram, there’s a few ways I might be able to help:
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I offer 1:1 Skype coaching for £50 an hour – just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to find out more
If you’d like to join me for a relaxed Instagram get together over cake in Manchester – how about trying out Instacake on Thursday 7th March?
Photo credit: Jill Jennings