30 essential tools and apps for your Instagram account
To be more efficient in running my Instagram account on a daily basis, it is concretely impossible for me to do without external iOs or Android tools & applications to the social network.
And without a doubt, you are too.
However, there is a plethora of online services to facilitate the creation of your visuals, schedule your posts & Stories , generate hashtags, measure your performance, identify and analyze the profiles of influencers , so how do you navigate?
I will share with you throughout this article my selection of 30 tools & applications, most of which offer their main features in a free version.
The tools & applications for creating / retouching visuals
Of course, I start with the different tools & applications to produce better-looking images or videos, as this is the raw material for communication on Instagram.
Classic Posts & Instagram Stories are just as important these days, but don’t necessarily require the same care or offer the same features.
Dedicated tools & apps will be available to us for these two types of content.
The must-have for the past few years, without a doubt! You may have already heard of it: it is an online tool accessible from a computer or a smartphone (from its mobile application), listing all the dimensions of the most common visuals on social networks, and including Instagram posts & Stories.
After clicking on the “Instagram Post” design template, you will be brought to a screen where you can produce your image in multiple ways:
- using a pre-designed Canva theme
- adding text, shapes, background color, your own images or visuals from the free bank & paid for the tool
You can do the same for your Instagram Stories, in case the basic functionalities provided by the social network are not sufficient.
To create an imaged Story with Canva, go to a dedicated link accessible here .
In either case, once your visual is ready, all you have to do is click on the “Download” button.
Different types of files will be offered to you, namely:
- Standard PDF
- PDF for printing
- Video MP4
- GIF video
2) Adobe Spark Post
This second tool arrived several years after the launch of Canva, which, given the latter’s real success , could not fail to strike back in the world of visual creation software.
The parent company is particularly known for its suite of software such as Photoshop, Acrobat, Indesign and Illustrator in particular, which, let’s face it, costs a certain price that is not accessible to all Community Managers.
After creating an account on the online service, you will have access to a search engine to access suggested Instagram posts & stories templates, or you can decide to start from scratch.
Then, many options for customizing your visual will be offered to you, namely:
- the definition of the borders
- the choice of layout
- the addition of a brand or a logo
- the choice of main colors
- the possibility of resizing the visual to another type of publication (for example going from a publication to a Story)
Once your visual is ready, click on “Download” and choose the format among:
The major difference with Canva lies in the publication & Stories template proposals, specific to each platform.
These two tools are free and have their own smartphone application.
You may have already asked yourself the following question: How do you manage to produce animated Instagram Stories?
In fact, beyond uploading lifeless content, you can, using additional tools & applications, offer a Story integrating different types of animations.
In this context, I will tell you about the StoryArt application, specifically dedicated to the creation of classic Stories, animated, Polaroid and many more.
Available on iOs and Android , this one is a goldmine of inspiration for your Instagram content strategy.
From the home screen, the app will offer you access to all of its Animated Stories templates.
You should know that the proposals will be either free or paid, due to the business model of the application.
For the purpose of this article, I will choose “Polaroid Animation”, which offers me the following models:
Then I just have to upload my own images to produce the animated Story:
Once done, the app will give you two choices:
- save the animated story to your smartphone camera roll
- post the animated story to your Instagram account
If you’ve ever wondered how Instagram users come up with posts with horizontal or vertical white stripes, I can help you out.
Instasize is a free iOs and Android application allowing you to perform certain retouching on your images such as:
- applying filters
- resizing to square, Story, full, landscape, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter
- classic retouching (exposure, contrast, brightness…)
- the possibility of creating visual collages
- adding text
When launching the application, all you have to do is select the image you want to rework, then the different editing options will be offered:
The Instasize app seen above offers a number of changes that can be applied to our posts, but Snapseed takes the bar a notch above in this area.
Available on iOs and Android , Snapseed offers many professional-level photo editing tools and filters such as:
- white balance
This app is particularly useful if you need to edit your videos for posting to Instagram.
With it, you will be able to add music, effects, voiceovers, emojis and text on your videos.
You will also be able to play with the speed of your video, merge multiple videos together, cut, trim and crop videos.
Basic features are free, with more advanced options for a fee.
This application is available on iOs and Android .
The first step is to select the type of content you want to produce with the application.
In our case, I will choose “Video”.
We then get the different editing tools for the video namely:
- modify the dimensions (1: 1, 4: 5, 16: 9, etc…)
- add filters, music, stickers, texts
- speed up or slow down
- change background
Publications programming tools & applications
In this part, I will look at the various online services that allow save time in managing the distribution of your content on Instagram.
While some will be dedicated only to programming, others will provide options for monitoring and measuring performance statistics.
Certainly the platform most used by Community Managers for the management of multiple social networks.
Hootsuite is a free tool for:
- publish on multiple social networks from the same interface
- manage information flows from different social networks
- generate statistical reports
set up advertising campaigns
After registering and synchronizing your professional Instagram account , you will have the option, completely optional, to add feeds from your profile, such as:
- My posts (publications posted on my account)
- Scheduled (publications disseminated by the tool at a specific time & day)
- Hashtag (ability to monitor posts with a given hashtag)
In addition to monitoring and responding to the comments of your subscribers on the publications, it is possible to post directly from your computer, by clicking on the green button “New publication”.
A pop-up window will then load, allowing you to produce a publication, that is to say write the text caption and add the media.
The real plus lies in the possibility of being able to schedule your publications, with the “Schedule for later” button located at the bottom right of the screen above, giving us the choice of time and day in which to publish the content.
This online service, as its name suggests (in French “tampon”), makes it possible to plan the distribution of a stock of publications on multiple social networks, namely:
After creating your account on the tool, you will be asked to synchronize at least one social network.
In our case, it will be Instagram.
Once it is connected, a screen will be offered to you with an insert in which is written “What would you like to share”: click on it to produce your publication.
It is interesting to note that you will be able to add a place, and a comment thanks to the paid version.
This tool was first developed to schedule Instagram posts, then over time integrated other social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.
You will first be asked to log in with your Instagram account.
Then, you will access a screen showing you a calendar to complete with your publications.
You will be limited to 30 posts per social profile per month, which is not bad enough, because that will mean that you would post up to one post per day, which is a little reached by Community Managers.
Beyond the suggestions offered by Instagram when you do a hashtag search, there are tools & applications to generate lists of many hashtags related to the initial keyword.
This first service is an application available on iOs and Android . Once installed, it will offer you a search engine generating hashtags related to your proposal.
Here is an example of a search below with the term “interior designer”:
All you have to do is click on the right of the screen to select the list of hashtags to copy and paste into your post caption.
If you are looking for an alternative to Tagomatic but this time on a computer, the All-Hashtag.com site may be a good solution.
This is a search engine to generate:
- top (most popular) related hashtags
- random related hashtags
- related hashtags in use at the moment
For example, look at the results suggested for a search of the type “random related hashtags” for the term “Surmesure”:
This hashtag generator app available on iOs and Android stands out a bit as it won’t ask you to type in keywords , but fill out a form asking you for the style (s) of the content, its place of production and the camera used.
As soon as the application is launched, the screen below is presented to you:
By clicking on the “Style” button, you will have access to many themes. It will be possible to choose several.
Then you can refine the results by selecting a location:
Finally, it will be possible to add the reference of your camera:
Depending on what you have filled in, you will be presented with a list of hashtags, with the option to copy and paste these into your post caption.
Tools for reposting Instagram posts or Stories
It sometimes happens during our Instagram account animation to want to use content created by other users, in order to:
- valuing satisfied customers
- promoting an event that you organize
- providing useful advice
I will talk to you in this part of the different tools / sites / applications allowing you to perform this action on your Instagram profile, whether for your publications or Stories.
This application available on iOs and Android allows you to easily retrieve a publication posted by an Instagram account, in order to share it on your profile.
Once launched, this will take you to a screen explaining how to repost a post.
Here is what to do:
- click on the “camera” icon inside the application
- go to the publication you want to repost
- click on the three small dots at the top right of it
- click on “Copy link”
- return to the Repost app
- click on the publication in the list
- click on “Repost”
- check the caption
- send to your account by clicking on “Repost”
With this website, you will be able to re-share Instagram Stories from other accounts on your profile.
The process for this is relatively simple: once connected to the site, enter the name of the account from which you want to aspirate the Stories, as below:
Click on the content in question and you will see a “Download” button at the top right of the Story.
An MP4 video file will then be saved on your computer, ready to be reused in your Stories.
15) The integrated repost functionality
It is possible, directly from the Instagram application, to boost the visibility of your account posts in your Stories.
To do this, go to the post in question and click on the “paper plane” icon.
You should then have the option “Add a post to your Story” as below:
You will then have access to multiple customization options for your Story content, as usual.
Tools & applications to sell with Instagram
We’re not going to lie: all the efforts of brands & influencers on Instagram aim to promote the sale of more products & services.
So, in achieving this goal, what tools & applications can help us?
I take stock in this part.
16) Instagram Shopping
Have you ever noticed the appearance of product identification labels on some brand posts on Instagram?
This is a feature that helps drive traffic to the product’s e-commerce page.
A call-to-action button is then displayed on publications of this type called “See products” as below:
This gives access to the different products identified on the publication, with the possibility then of going to the corresponding page of the website:
For multiple reasons, you may not take advantage of the Instagram Shopping feature seen above, but you still want to drive more traffic to your site.
With the Linktree website, you will be able to create a mobile optimized page listing all the links that are important to you.
You just have to fill in your links one by one, then add your account URL (example: Linktr.ee/yourrecompte) instead of the link to your Instagram account biography website.
18) Private messaging
The private messaging should not be seen as a simple tool to manage the relationship with the customers: thanks to the possibility of sharing clickable links via a DM (private message), you have the opportunity to generate more sales without going through an external tool.
Find a reason why your subscribers will benefit from contacting you by private message, for example, providing an exclusive promo code.
Then, provide your clickable link so that the user can complete the transaction on your website.
Tools & applications to measure the statistical performance of your Instagram account
In this part, I will be interested in the different online services allowing to have concrete data on the impact of our communication on Instagram: evolution of the number of subscribers, performance of publications, engagement rate and many more metrics.
19) Statistics included in the app
As soon as you switch to professional profile , Instagram will give you access to many statistics related to your activity on the social network.
You will then be offered three tabs namely:
- content (performance of your publications, stories and advertising promotions)
- activity (interactions on your account)
- audience (socio-demographic data on your subscribers, hours and days of connection)
French solution, Iconosquare is a paid online service but particularly powerful when it comes to editing Instagram reports.
With it, you will get many performance metrics related to your Instagram account namely data on:
- account engagement
- the evolution of the size of the subscriber community
This tool has a free version to get a lot of performance data from our Instagram account.
With this one, you will have access:
- the evolution of the size of the community over the last 7 days
- the frequency of publication on the account
- the engagement rate of the last publications
Tools & applications to find and identify the right Instagram influencers
For many brands, working with influencers is an essential step in developing a community of subscribers, and especially in selling more products & services.
However, how do you find the right influencers for your business?
In this section, I review the various solutions available to you to facilitate your search for potential influencing partners.
22) Suggestions for Instagram accounts
Before going through any paid tool, have you ever thought about using the suggestions offered by the social network?
From a given Instagram profile, you will be able to obtain a list of accounts deemed to be similar, both in the topic of content disseminated and the size of the community.
In the example below, Instagram offers me fashion accounts, linked to the profile I’m on:
This tool is an influencer search engine by keywords, categories, number of followers, engagement rate, language and location.
A very interesting solution to build lists of potential partners, but to exploit their full potential, it will be necessary to upgrade to the premium package.
Have you put together a list of influencers you think you will work with but aren’t 100% sure their community is made up of genuine, real followers?
HyperAuditor can be a good companion for this. With this tool, you will be able to perform Instagram community authenticity audits, so you can learn a little more about a potential partner’s subscribers without having to ask them anything.
Tools & applications to preview your Instagram publication stream
On Instagram, the visual appearance of your account is essential for gain more subscribers .
Some applications exist to allow you to better manage the appearance of your profile through preview simulations.
This application available on iOs and Android allows you to easily predict the appearance of your feed, with a pleasant drag & drop feature to move the posts.
Operation is simple: just upload your photos & videos to the app, then change the order if you wish.
You will then get a concrete view of the appearance of your feed, and this before you schedule your content to be broadcast.
Available on iOs , this app differs from Preview by adding your current Instagram news feed, which allows you to have a concrete view of the overall appearance when adding new publications.
Available on iOs and Android , this app allows you to predict the appearance of your feed with your publications, but also the sequence of your Stories.
You can then decide to schedule the distribution of your publications with a built-in calendar.
Complementary tools & applications
I will end this article with tools to integrate your Instagram profile on your site, an original font generator for your biography and post captions as well as an app to find out the list of people who have unsubscribed from your account.
28) WP Instagram Feed
Want to promote your Instagram account on your WordPress site?
There is a perfect plugin for this: WP Instagram Feed.
I use it for Pellerin-Formation, and this is how it looks:
29) Font For Instagram
This free app available on iOs and Android will allow you to generate original fonts for the different texts you post on Instagram, namely your bio as well as the description of your photos / videos publications.
30) Unfollowers for Instagram
Finally, to close this article on essential tools & applications for an Instagram account, I suggest Unfollowers For Instagram, which will allow you to know the list of people & brands who have chosen to unsubscribe from your account.
Available on iOs , it’s easy to use and doesn’t start working until you sync your Instagram account.
Here is an example of a list of unsubscribed accounts:
To go further:
Trainer & social-media consultant, I am the author of the “Community Manager Toolbox” at Editions Dunod. I have trained several thousand employees in the professional use of social networks since 2011.
Join me on Twitter and Instagram .