I LOVE INSTAGRAM. What did I do before it? Honestly, I have no idea. I love sharing my work and I love looking at other artist's beautiful work all day long. It inspires me and helps me relax when I take a break from my desk.
There are so many awesome apps to make it faster and easier to edit your images and videos but also dive a little in to your engagement beyond IG's analytics so your business can truly make the most of IG...so today I'm going to share the 5 apps I use in conjunction with IG everyday, seriously....every day. If you're an entrepreneur these can help take your feed to the next level but the editing apps are also totally applicable to your personal feed too so don't jump ship just because this sounds like it's gonna be all business.
A COLOR STORY
So the girls at A Beautiful Mess developed this app to offer amazing editing capabilities right on your phone that emulate the gorgeous aesthetic on their blog and Instagram feed and I have to tell you...this one does not disappoint. In a nutshell you can add filters and/or tweak your photos in ways that go beyond Instagram's editing. You can of course crop to squares or any other dimension which is super helpful for IG obviously, but one of the best features that it offers that IG can't is it allows you to save your editing steps and apply to other photos later. So if I take a bunch of photos of an invitation suite all at one time and they all are slightly to yellow and not bright enough I can edit one photo as I want, save the steps and then apply them to each photo at the click of a button and done! Total time saver.
Pro Tip: If you want to work around the IG Story situation that only allows you to post images you took in the last 24 hours, this will save you a total headache. You can open any image, no matter how old, in A Color Story and not even edit it (or edit away if you want) and then save it and it will save the new photo to your camera roll with the new time stamp. You're welcome.
Ever wonder how bloggers or influencers are posting pics to their IG story with beautiful typography? Word Swag is the sh*t. Sorry mom, I had to say it. It's totally true. I'm a type nerd and I love when it's well designed but I'm not a professional Instagrammer...is that a thing? Maybe I should look into that but I digress. I'm a wedding invitation designer and illustrator and I have to pour myself in to that every day not focus on designing gorgeous type for my story today or my feed tomorrow. Word Swag to the rescue! It allows you to add really beautiful type designs in so many variations to your photos or you can search pixabay.com right on the app for free photos to use a backgrounds. The type layouts range from playful to elegant to modern and anything in between. I use it to post to my story daily and it has made such an impact on my engagement and the aesthetics are now in line with my brand. It has a crop feature too that offers a bunch of different dimensions for varying apps. And if you need a quote and you're all out of inspiration you can literally click a category like "classic" or "stay hungry" or "get hyped" and it will pop a quote in there for you. I haven't used that yet but I'm sure that day is coming.
TIME-LAPSE IN APPLE'S CAMERA APP
So time-lapse is not an app but a feature on your phone's camera app (or if you are using anything other than iPhone you can download a zillion time lapse or hyperlapse apps) but that is totally how I film myself painting, drawing, etc...a 45 second of me painting a floral bouquet is way more interesting than watching the real time video for an hour or more. Humans have short attention spans so we've got to cater to that! You can post the time lapse videos right on your feed or even on your IG story. And if you do something that you can film and show your audience a behind the scenes view of your process your engagement will definitely increase, I post illustrations all the time but when i started posting videos comments, likes, and shares went up exponentially and so did real life request by clients for illustrations.
Speaking of IG stories...I'M OBSESSED. I love posting them and even better I like watching other's people's stories. So when you film your time-lapse or anything else and you want to add it to your story you have to deal with the 15 second time limit....seriously Instagram, you and all your rules! Thankfully the solution is so easy though. Cut Story is a free app you can use to trim your videos into shorter clips. The app has a setting to cut it specifically for IG's time limit but you can also customize the length of the clips as well. Once your video is broken down it saves each clip to your camera roll individually. I post all of them to my story at once and when you are watching they literally flow from one to the next and you may not even realize they were all separate videos.
So all of the above are about making everything look pretty...I'm an artist, that's totally of the utmost importance. But there's benefits to knowing your analytics and engagement on IG just like on your website or blog. The app Followers tracks lots of tangible info but I use it mostly for the "new follower" feature, which shows me in a list all of the, you guessed it...new followers. Now I'm all for supporting others so when I get a new follower if it's not a private account, I will follow back. There are of course exceptions...if it's obvious this is someone or some business not genuinely interested in engaging with me I don't, but I do like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and follow them back. So seeing everyone in an easy list allows me to hit "follow" and I'm done for the day in 5 seconds.
Now...that was the sunshiny approach to my use of the app but I'm also going to tell you a dirty secret...I use the "who unfollowed you" list just as frequently. So if someone follows me and then unfollows after I reciprocate, I unfollow and I'm done. I don't play the follow/unfollow game to get more followers but there are lots of people who do. I'm interested in genuine interactions not a number of followers...lots of followers doesn't translate to lots of business but genuine followers do. I'd rather have 500 authentic people following me rather than 15k fake bots.
Now there are lots of additional features all of these apps offer so check them out and see what they can do for you and your engagement on IG. And there are probably some really cool apps I'm not using so if you think I should try something or add it to my list feel free to comment below! Happy posting!
P.S. My handle is @ckvstationer, drop your's in the comments so I can check it out!