Since Instagram announced the change to its newsfeed algorithm, marketers and business owners are looking for ways to step up their game. While this network is engaging and influential, managing it adds a few more lines to an ever-growing to-do list.
What can help you grow your Instagram presence and check some of those tasks off of your list are apps. Apps designed specifically for Instagram management.
Creating images and videos
It’s easy to snap an image and mindlessly upload it to Instagram. Don’t do it. Don’t post any more sloppy, low-quality pictures. Instagram is all about powerful visual content, which attracts more and more artists to it. Your content has to be up to par, or you’re ruining their experience and your chances of landing a sale.
Be diligent and mindful in your image choices and their quality. Evaluate your overall digital branding and ensure that Instagram presence fits nicely right into it. Take advantage of all the filters and settings native to Instagram.
However, stop slapping that Lo-Fi filter on everything; instead find your unique filter that will give a custom, recognisable look to your Instagram content. Some filters will warm up the colours in the photo, while others will make them cooler, unifying the look of the content.
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If your brand employs colourful imagery, find a filter that will accentuate colours in your photos (consider Clarendon, Lark or Juno for intense hues). If your branding is based on a few key colours, try Pepretua for accentuating blues and greens, or Valencia for enhanced yellows.
Also, check out gorgeous free and paid VSCO filters. They add a little more sophistication and individuality to images. To create a completely unique filter for your Instagram photos, use Canva (free and premium). Once you found that ideal balance of saturation, brightness, contrast, hue, and other options, save the filter code you get in the settings window. Now you can apply a uniformed filter to all your images by simply pasting the code.
Planning and scheduling
TakeOff app (free and premium), one of the offers of CrowdFire app, will send a push notification to your phone when it’s time to post. TakeOff suggests the best times to publish and the most effective hashtags to use. It also evaluates your captions.
Latergramme (free and premium) is a similar offering, but it allows searching for existing posts in the Instagram universe and reposting them. This is a pretty hefty feature for those who want to be an active part of IG community and engage with other handles.
Finally, Schedugram (premium) is one of the very few third-party apps that can actually natively post to Instagram. What’s even better, the app makes it possible to schedule updates on both mobile and desktop versions, making the life of those of us with fat fingers a little easier. You’ll also get alerts every time a scheduled image is posted, ensuring smooth operation and the absence of hiccups.
There are a relatively small number of analytics tools offerings, too. Yet, there are a few that will provide the insight you need.
Iconosquare (premium) tracks the number of followers and unfollowers, as well as, shows stats on your most popular photos, filters and hashtags. In addition, it goes into engagement rates that are further broken down into follower versus non-follower counts.
If your Instagram handle has less than 25,000 followers, try a free report from SimplyMeasured. Just pop in your account name and get insights into average engagement rates, as well as, the best times to post, the most active followers, top locations, and other engaging information.
You can also compare those figures against the free data provided by Union Metrics account checkup to truly dig in to your best performing hashtags and engaging photos. This app also suggests what types of content work effectively for your handle.
Although your choices of Instagram apps are limited compared to those for other networks, there are still quite a few free and premium options; so there are no more excuses to run ineffective Instagram marketing strategy.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.