Instagram is an amazing platform for discovery and reaching out to new people, but for it to work it takes one thing: dedication.
So whilst there is no way around spending time engaging with other users and crafting great content, these apps will definitely make your life easier. From editing to planning your feed, posting and creating beautiful content for your stories, keep reading for my top tips.
HUJI has taken Instagram by storm over the last few months, with its disposable camera-like interface and vintage graphics. Approaching the phone to your eye, like a real camera, unlocks the shooting mode and with its vibrant colors and photos stuck in 1998, this app is as fun to use as it is helpful. Upgrading it will even allow you to process all your other pictures in the Lab for that vintage look.
Both pictures shot on Iphone X / HUJI
8mm is perfect for those into filming and storytelling as it very easily adds effects to your clips for a vintage feel and automatically edits them onto a reel afterwards, so you can create mini-movies without the hassle. The uber cool Taylor Lashae swears by it and her stories are filled with nostalgic videos of her adventures (see screenshots below).
Just like HUJI, it would have been hard to miss posts made with Unfold recently. This little gem is perfect to help you craft beautiful stories, with the added benefit of combining several pictures into one to avoid spamming your audience. But the power of Unfold has even surpassed stories as a lot of users have been using the app to create collages to post on their feed.
It might take some time to get used to it at the beginning and can feel like a long process but once you get to know the different layouts and how they work, you will be creating compelling and professional looking stories in to time.
If you’ve tried editing pictures from your phone before, you probably already know of VSCO. I personally prefer a little app called Rookie Cam. Very easy to use, it offers you the option to take pictures with filters and effects already applied or to fully edit a picture already on your phone.
The app boasts over 150 filters (yes I counted them), 60 paper textures and light effects, many fonts, stickers, frames and borders, as well as most of the same editing functions as on VSCO.
Lightroom, from the same people who created Photoshop, is a desktop and now mobile program allowing you to mass-edit your pictures. Besides offering more advanced editing features than VSCO or Rookie Cam, Lightroom is very useful because it allows you to create presets.
Presets are great if you want to keep a cohesive feed (which you should) as they allow you to apply the same settings to different images for a uniform look. This being said, each image will still require fine-tuning but it is a much quicker process than having to re-adjust your settings for every individual image.
Shot on Iphone X / Second picture edited on Lightroom Mobile
Facetune is essentially a simplified, available at the tip of your fingers, mobile version of all the features that made Photoshop so infamous. Whether you’ve got teeth to whiten, a double chin to remove, a lipstick to fix or a background to make black and white, Facetune is the perfect tool to go for.
Careful though, as it can quickly turn you into a cartoonish version of yourself and you can’t Facetune real life…
Shot on Iphone X / Second picture edited on Facetune
Are you struggling to plan your content and keep a cohesive look for your feed ?
UNUM is a favourite amongst many bloggers who need to plan their feed in advance as it seamlessly allows you to preview your future posts exactly the way they will look on your feed. You can even plan video and carousel posts too that many apps don’t support.
I would highly recommend upgrading, giving you extra slots, analytics (from the creation of your account, as business accounts will only consider posts created after the switch) and the ability to save pictures on the cloud so you don’t have to keep them on your phone.
Later is a more advanced, Instagram approved program available on both mobile and desktop. This is very useful for small businesses as you can plan all your content from the comfort of your office, chronologically or visually, have it posted automatically for you, respond to comments, search for content to repost and for the premium users, access analytics and create a Linkin.bio page allowing you to sell the products on your feed.
Last but not least, it comes with the option of subscribing to Later’s newsletters that are always filled with great tips on running Instagram for businesses.
These two programs, like Later, are available on mobile and desktop and are mainly aimed at businesses. The ultimate social media apps, they allow you to manage and create and share posts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Linkedin, Wordpress, Shopify, Etsy… And pretty much any platform you may need to reach as a business.
May be overkill for one individual but Crowdfire definitely made my life easier when I worked as a busy Social Media manager with many tasks at hand.
Did you already know these apps ? Do you have recommendations of your own ? Please let me know in the comments below or reach me @morganetheunicorn_photography.
Disclaimer: None of the programs aforementioned have sponsored me, I have paid all subscriptions with my own money and opinions are mine, gathered whilst managing my photography account and having worked as a social media manager for a London venue.