social media tools

My Top 6 Tools for Instagram

It is said that 2015 will be the “Year of Instagram” and I might just believe that. Instagram, the app for sharing video and pictures and most likely the reason we all know what a “selfie” is, has been around since 2010, but it is really just taking off now. There are tons of apps out there to help you make better use of Instagram and here are the five that I’m using currently as I work on building an Instagram strategy for my business.

      1. keep calm beachKeep Calm – This app allows you to make perfect Instagram-sized Keep Calm posters for any occasion. I made this one (on the right) after visiting the San Diego beach.
      2. Photo Grid – One of many apps that allows you to create a collage of several photos to post as one photo. Great for summaries of a concert, event, conference, etc.
      3. PhotoRepost / Instagrab – Yes, technically this is two apps, but they have the same function. They allow you to easily share someone else’s photo. This is called “regramming” (like retweeting, but on Instagram). There is currently no internal method of sharing someone’s Instagram post on your own feed so you need an external app to do this. I can’t really say I prefer one over the other, I only have the two because I wanted to experiment. (I would actually like to buy the pro version of PhotoRepost, but it won’t let me…I think it’s somehow only available in the US.)
      4. Take Off / Latergramme / Schedugram – Everyone is waiting, not so patiently, for the ability to schedule posts to Instagram. There are a few apps that kinda, sorta allow you to do this and Take Off is one. Basically what you do is set up the post in Take Off, set the schedule, and when the time arrives, you get a push notification on your phone to remind you to post it. At that point, posting is done with the tap of a couple buttons, so it’s pretty easy. Until Instagram allows full scheduling, this is a good compromise.
      5. InstaQuote – I love, love, love this app! I discovered it while attending Social Media Marketing World, where I got very excited about the possibilities of using Instagram again. It is a very intuitive, easy-to-use “create a quote” app. For example, in the last keynote of the conference, while listening to Jay Baer talk about “Hugging your Haters”, I captured this great one-liner by simply typing the text into the app, picking a theme and publishing. It also has the ability to upload your own photos, so I created another one with my Twirp-themed background just as easily. I found this app so easy to use that I actually bought the upgrade. I do believe that’s the first time I’ve paid for an app on my phone!

Instagram Extension for Hootsuite – I’ve been using the Instagram extension/plugin for Hootsuite for quite a while now. It is a free add-on and allows you to keep an Instagram stream right in your Hootsuite dashboard. It’s helpful for noticing when someone tags you if you use the stream to search for your hashtag. I can only assume that the integration will eventually allow scheduling, too.

I’m having lots of fun experimenting with new apps, both for Instagram and other purposes. Am I missing your favourite Instagram app here?

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