Updated: Dec 10, 2021
Instagram has become one of the most important social media platforms for businesses, bloggers, and creatives. The platform is known for its high engagement rate (which is awesome) and it’s high-quality visuals.
The human brain processes visuals 60,000x quicker than text.
Humans are visual by nature, so no wonder Instagram is taking the social world by storm.
Instagram started off just being a fun way to show your family & friends your life, using square pictures…..fast forward to today and it’s become a powerful platform for not only personal feeds but for business/blogger feeds.
It allows business owners, bloggers, and creatives to connect with their target markets and engage with their followers. It’s the perfect way to put a little personality behind a brand.
But, just like every social media platform, it can be exhausting.
You have to take good pictures or create perfect graphics.
You have to edit them in order to fit your feed theme.
You have to find the hashtags that will attract new followers from your target market.
You have to post frequently & at the right times.
You have to interact, stay consistent, and engaged.
You have to be visually appealing & creative with your posts….
And the list goes on.
Like, damn, that’s a lot.
But, just like every social media platform, it can be exhausting.
So, we put together this list of the ultimate Instagram tools and resources to help you stay on top of your game, without wanting to pull your hair out. (Please note: Some of these are phone apps & some of them are for desktop use only. Most of them are free, but some of them do cost money.)
Instasize (Free) – I’m putting this one under Photo Editors but it’s really SO much more than that. Instasize allows you to retouch your photos, add text to photos/videos, play with effects and filters, edit videos, AND make collages. It’s basically the holy grail of Instagram editors!
Photoshop Express (Free) – This one is my go-to picture editing app. It has slide bar adjustments for almost everything you’d want to change. The options are limitless and the power behind this free app is pretty amazing. You can also create custom looks and share your images with the Creative Cloud.
Afterlight – Offers quick & straightforward editing with filters, textures, adjustment tools, and frames.
A Color Story (Free Version Available) – One look at the A Color Story Instagram feed and you can see the wonders this app can make on your images. The basic app is free and they offer paid upgrades in order to take advantage of the rest of their filters/editors.
PicTapGo – Helps transform your pictures into your own creative masterpiece. This app has dozens of stackable filters, useful tools, reusable recipes, and a fast working interface.
VEED.IO (Free & Paid Versions) – You can use Veed to crop, trim, filter, add music to videos. It also allows you to record, edit, and produce quality, professional videos to promote your brand or business, in a matter of minutes. You can record through your webcam & screen, edit your Zoom recordings, add soundwaves to your podcast videos, add company logos/watermarks, and – perhaps most importantly – add subtitles to any video instantly, without the need for manual annotation.
HyperLapse (Free) – The perfect app for speeding up a video tutorial or creating time-lapse videos. Super helpful for showing your viewers a process of you doing something or going somewhere.
Animoto (Free Version Available) – Grab your images, pick a style, set the music, and create quality videos in literally minutes. (I’m kind of obsessed with this one!)
Ripl (Free) – Another quick video maker! Comes with templates you can customize to make the whole “video creation” thing a real breeze.
Layout (Free)- Helps create collages from the pictures in your gallery or take brand new ones with the tap of a button.
Giant Square (Free)- Import pictures, add some text or turn one picture into a large banner for your Instagram account. It makes creating picture combinations a total breeze.
LinkTree (Free) – Helps you optimize your Instagram bio link! I use this on my own Instagram profile and love it. LinkTree allows you to transform your single Instagram bio link into multiple links and options for your Instagram followers.
Link In Profile (Free Trial Available) – Link in Profile lets you add links to your Instagram images and send your followers to where you want them to go. This app monitors your account for links and associates the link on your caption with the particular photo it appears under. Pretty awesome right?!
Crowdfire (Free Version Available) – Ever wonder exactly who’s following and unfollowing your account? That’s what Crowdfire is for. With this one, I wouldn’t even recommend the upgraded version, I just use it as a nice free way to monitor unfollowers.
Repost (Free) – Repost lets you easily repost photos on Instagram while giving credit to the person that originally posted it. It also lets you see which photos and users are getting the most reposts, as well as allowing you to search for relevant users, tags, and contests.
SmartHash (Free Version Available)- THIS ONE IS GOLD. Seriously, I’m obsessed with it. It lets you enter in a hashtag set, and split test the hashtags so you can see which ones are performing the best out of the set.
Grama (Free) – Grama helps you find the best hashtags for your Instagram photos. Type in a single hashtag, press search, and Grama will filter through Instagram to find the best-related hashtags that maximize the discoverability of your photos.
Canva (Free) – Basically the bee’s knees of graphics creators. This is the one that I use for my own Instagram…and like allll of my other social media channels. Their templates and free icons/graphics make creating a cohesive feed super easy. AND they have both a desktop version and an app that sync up together so you can create on your phone, then hop on your desktop and download it or vis versa.
Stencil (Free) – This app comes with backgrounds, images, icons, graphics, basically the whole sha-bang.
Pic Monkey (Free Trial Available) – Edit, touch-up, design, collage, Pic Monkey does it all…in one app.
WordSwag (Free) – Need to overlay text on an image? This app is perfect for doing that, quickly.
Planning + Scheduling:
Tailwind (Free Trial Available) – Tailwind started as a Pinterest scheduling tool and then slowly started taking the Instagram scheduling game by storm. This is my favorite tool for scheduling anything on IG or Pinterest. Def take advantage of their free trial, you may just fall in love.
Later (Free Version Available) – One of the most raved about Instagram planning and scheduling apps. They allow you to optimize your workflow by bulk uploading and organizing. AND you get analytics and tracking information.
Planoly (Free Version Available) – This app is completely genius. It allows you to arrange the look of your Instagram feed with a drag & drop feature so all of your images go cohesive and appealing. It also gives you special features to manage your comments, track analytics, and schedule posts and Instagram stories ahead of time.
HootSuite (Free Trial Available) – This bad boy is a well-known app that many business owners & bloggers use to schedule social media posts. If you’re looking for an app that can keep all of your scheduling in one dashboard, I’d definitely recommend looking into this one!
Onlypult (Free Trial Available) – This app is AMAZING. They allow you to schedule your Instagram posts for like, weeks ahead of time. They also have features that allow you to manage multiple accounts, upload images from your computer, give access to multiple users, scope out your analytics, plus a ton more.
ScheduGram (Free Trial Available) – ScheduGram gives you the ability to post to Instagram from your computer, as well as bulk load pictures and videos. It also has built-in emojis for making captions more personable, and a first comment feature.
Iconosquare (Free Trial Available) – One of the most popular tools for measuring and optimizing your Instagram performance. They help you understand and improve every important aspect of your Instagram activity.
Dash Hudson (Free Demo Available) – Sell on Instagram, track the analytics, get in-depth insights, and understand the connection with your target audience. If you have influencers, ambassadors, or partnerships, this app is for you. Seriously. The amount of information they provide you within each channel is insanely valuable.
Inselly (Free) – This app is for both buyers & sellers. It’s basically an Instagram marketplace. It allows the shopper to search through categories and find items they love and allows sellers to hashtag a picture with #inselly, insert a few item details, and sell right on their site.
Have2Have.It (Free Trial Available) – This one lets you use the profile link in your bio to send customers to your marketplace. The Have 2 Have It storefront looks exactly like your Instagram feed, which gives allows to make the transition for your users more seamless. They also have features that let you track conversions, receive advanced analytics and capture customer’s email address’.
Curalate’s Like2Buy – With Like2Buy, Instagram isn’t just a feed of your beautifully branded images. It’s now the perfect gallery of products, available for purchase with just a tap. It takes your feed up a notch and makes it fully shoppable.
Put Your Instagram Feed On Your Website:
SnapWidget (Free) – Gives you complete control over how your Instagram feed is shown on your website. It’s a super easy set-up with a lot of flexibility and customization options!
Instagram Feed (Free) – Compatible with the API changes that were recently made by Instagram. I’ve used this WordPress plugin numerous times on client websites. It’s very easy to set-up and has an extremely user-friendly dashboard/interface.