5 Apps for Instagram That You Didn't Even Know You Needed

apps for Instagram

All the best instagrammers know that Instagrowth cannot be done with the Instagram app alone. Well, it could, but it would be a full-time job to run one account. Ain't nobody got time for that. If you haven't read our post 5 Must-Have Apps for Instagram, you'll probably want to do that before reading this post. Gotta crawl before you walk, girlfran!

This is a list of apps for Instagram that are a little more unusual than most Instagram apps you've used in the past. They're handy-dandy apps for a variety of different purposes, from engagement to design.

Source: Ask Lisa

Source: Ask Lisa

Ask Lisa

You know that one friend who, right before you post on Instagram, you always bombard with photos that you cannot decide between? And usually the pictures all look essentially identical but for some reason you need someone else’s opinion before you commit. 

Well, truth be told, your friends probably don’t jump for joy every time you send them a handful of potential Instagram posts. Luckily for you, Lisa lives for that sh*t!

Ask Lisa is your new best friend. Upload the photos that you’re choosing between, and Lisa will analyze them and tell you which one is most likely to get the most likes. AND, she’ll suggest hashtags based on the post!

But as great as Lisa is, hashtags are not her strong-suit. I uploaded pictures of pineapples and candles and some of the hashtags she suggested were #organ #hand and #number. I suggest using Lisa to help choose your photos, and Smarthash for your hashtags (we’ll talk about this one below)!

 

Smarthash

Okay so you’ve done your hashtag research and you’re using all 30 hashtags and everything seems fine and dandy because you assume your posts are doing well in each hashtag.

Ya ever hear that expression, when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me? So let’s not just assume that your hashtags are working, let’s confirm it!

Smarthash is an awesome app that actually analyses the hashtags that you’re using on your posts and tells you which ones are driving engagement and which ones are duds. By paying attention to Smarthash, you can adjust your strategy until you’re using 30 hashtags that are all bringing in the likes and comments!

 

Dollar Eighty

Dollary Eighty is a web-based tool that embodies Gary Vaynerchuk's $1.80 Instagram strategy. This strategy has users give their two cents to the top nine posts on ten different hashtags. When you add up all of your two cents, it is equal to $1.80. By choosing ten hashtags that are very specific to your niche and audience, you'll end up engaging with the top accounts for each hashtag. This gets your name out there! It's best to do this strategy once a day.

Gary Vee says, "It’s as easy as that. The overall process is incredibly simple. It’s .02 cents, on 9 posts for 10 hashtags every day. That all adds up to $1.80. No matter how much value you provide, this is still a game of numbers. You have to be willing to give yourself more at-bats. Everyone else is only leaving .02. You’re leaving a $1.80 Every. Single. Day."

So Dollar Eighty took this concept a step further and actually created a tool that allows you to enter your 10 hashtags, then gives you the 90 posts that you'll want to engage with. Engagement is really the most time-consuming part of Instagram, but it makes all of the difference.

As of right now, there is just a free plan, which allows you to select 10 hashtags and provides you with your 90 posts each day. But coming soon is a premium plan - users pay $1.80 per day (duh!) - that will have even more features such as detailed analytics based on your activity with dollar eighty, view the historical day's most popular posts, and the ability to see what posts within your community are working well!

 

Unfold

Don’t be basic with your stories, girl. Booooring! While Instagram has significantly improved the editing capabilities on Insta stories, they can still be pretty blah.

Unfold is an app designed specifically to help you create beautiful stories. The templates are clean and simple and you can add photos and videos. You can also add text and choose between a variety of fonts and colors.

What I also love about Unfold is that you create the stories almost like a book. So you can have a 5-page story and then save it, and upload all 5 posts to your story. It makes it flow very well!

 

My Insta Palette

My Insta Palette, another web-based app, is a little less useful than the other apps, but is SO. FREAKING. CUTE. You sign in to your Instagram account, and My Insta Palette scans through your feed and shows you your color palette.

Here's where it gets adorable.

It reveals your most used color and tells you what your color personality is! Mine is a light pink and it says I have a calming and non-threatening personality, which I like to think is true!

It also gives you your most liked picture and least liked picture, and tells you what filter you used. But because most of us don't use Instagram's filters, the answer will probably be #nofilter.

 

Do you know of any really awesome apps for Instagram that are not on this list? Let us know below!

Xx,
Katie

Did you enjoy this post?

Check out our boss babe’s guide to hashtags!

instagram

IGTV IS HERE: The Ultimate Guide

IMG_4799.PNG

Snapchat used to be the place to go to share your stories until Instagram swept in and launched stories.

YouTube has been THE PLACE to go to share/view videos on the internet since 2005.

Well, Instagram launched IGTV on June 20th and it has the potential to take YouTube's place in the video streaming world.

Next thing you know, we'll be ordering car services through Instagram instead of Uber! Maybe.

The launch of IGTV came at the same time as the Instagram community hit one billion users. More than 1/8 of the entire earth's population uses Instagram. Talk about a powerful platform! 

As founder, Kevin Systrom, says, "It's mobile first. It's simple and it's quality. That's IGTV."

IGTV logo

What is IGTV?

You may be wondering how IGTV differs from Instagram Stories...

Well, unlike Instagram stories, which can only be one minute long, IGTV videos can be anywhere from 15 seconds to 60 minutes long. However, the hour long videos are only for verified/huge accounts. Most Instagrammers will be limited to 10 minutes (which is still a long video)!

The long-form videos are posted to your "channel" rather than your story. Channels are created by Instagram users and each Instagram account is limited to one channel.

IGTV is designed to be viewed from your phone, so videos are vertical and full screen. Don't worry about trying to turn your camera horizontal!

IGTV is a standalone app, as well as an additional feature on the Instagram app. It is up to you whether you will use IGTV on the app or on Instagram! 

How to get started with IGTV

  • Download the IGTV app in the app store

  • Sign in with your Instagram account

  • Click on the settings icon and click create channel

  • Find creators to follow - IGTV will show you recommended videos, videos from people you follow, and popular videos

  • Like, comment on, or share videos

Note: you can also access IGTV from your Instagram app by tapping on the cute little tv icon in the top right corner of your home feed. Users who have created channels on IGTV will also have TV icons on their profile so you can easily view their channel.

How to upload a video to IGTV

igtv

When you're ready to share some great content with your followers, go to your channel by selecting your icon on the IGTV page, as seen in the screenshot (yes, I do plan on binge-watching videos of sleeping kittens). 

Once you are on your channel, click on the + icon to add a new video.

Choose a video from your camera roll (vertical is best)!

Enter a title and description. You should jam-pack this section with keywords to help your target audience easily find your video.

Ready for the really cool part? You can add links in your description! Yes! Traffic! Hurray! Love it!

Then add a cover photo! This is what viewers will see in the lineup of videos, so make sure it's awesome enough to capture your target audience's attention. 

Click post! Now you can view your video's analytics to see how well it is performing!

 

IGTV best practices

quality over quantity

Like everything else on Instagram, I highly recommend focusing on quality over quantity. You are much better off by posting one really great video per week than quickly-made, not-very-well-thought-out videos every day. You want people to continue coming back to watch your videos and if your first few impressions aren't great, you may lose those viewers in the future.

Don't forget about stories

When you create a video, decide whether it is story-worthy or IGTV-worthy. Are you eating a really pretty cupcake and dying to show your followers? That's probably story-worthy. IGTV videos should be high-quality and valuable. 

igtv

Start right away

The earlier you start using a new feature, the less competition there is. Start putting some amazing content out there before your competitors do! Users are beginning to explore IGTV, so you want to be there for them to discover.

Edit your videos like a pro

You don't need to go out and hire some fancy producer, but I do suggest putting a bit of time and energy into your IGTV videos. You can even make really cool videos with the iMovie app. Start testing out some different video apps and see what you can do!

 

2019 IGTV Updates

To help drive more traffic to its users’ IGTV videos, Instagram has added a new feature: IGTV previews. Now, you can view previews of IGTV videos from users you follow - right on your feed! This is very beneficial for IGTV creators, as it will drive followers to their videos that they would not otherwise see (as many Instagram users don’t frequently watch IGTV).


So, what do you think? Will you be binge-watching IGTV?

In the comments, let us know what your IGTV channel is, and let us know what you'd like to see in the Girlcrush channel!

Xx,
Katie


Did you enjoy this post?

Check out our free InstaStory Challenge to learn 5 ways to drive engagement to your Instagram by using stories!


IGTV

Everything You Need to Know About Pinterest Group Boards (Plus a Master List of Boards)

Pinterest group boards

What is a group board?

Glad you asked! Quite simply, a group board is a board on Pinterest that a group of users share their pins to.

Why should you join group boards?

Pinning to group boards can increase your reach and repin rate significantly (assuming that you are joining high-quality boards). This is because if you have 500 followers, your pins will reach those 500 followers. But if you start pinning to a board that has 5,000 followers, you'll be reaching many more people! 

Keep in mind that it's very important to only join group boards that are within the same niche as you. You could join a board with 20,000 followers, but if you're sharing fitness pins to a DIY crafts pin board, the followers of that board will be less likely to have any interest in your pins, thus less likely to repin them. It's better to join a board with 1,000 followers tho are interested in what you are sharing than a board with 10,000 followers who don't care about what you're pinning.

How to tell a group board from a regular board

Pinterest group boards

How to join group boards

There are several different ways to join a group board. Each group board will have its own rules determined by the board creator. Read the description of the group board to determine how to join the board. Here are the most common things you'll come across when looking to join a board:

pinterest group boards
  • DM the group board owner requesting to join

  • The board is no longer accepting new contributors

  • Email the board owner with a request to join

  • Comment on a recent pin

  • Join the board owner's Facebook group

The group board owner is always the first profile photo that appears to the right of the board title. To join the board, you'll first want to follow them by clicking on their icon. The following icons are the other contributors of the board. This is where you can see how many members a board has.

How to find group boards

stalk your favorite Pinners

One way to find group boards that are relevant to your niche is by going to some of your favorite pinner's profiles. They may be contributors to group boards that you could request to join, or they may even have group boards of their own!

search pin groupie

Pin Groupie is a website that is basically a search engine for Pinterest group boards. You can search keywords and filter the boards to find some that you can request to join.

download the master list 

I know you are a busy bee, so I did the work of finding boards for you! Get instant access to my Pinterest group boards master list, with hundreds of group boards that are accepting new contributors. Includes info about how to request an invite and is even separated by niche!

Group Board Etiquette

It's important to follow the rules that are set by the group board owner in the description (if there are any). Remember, the board owner is essentially lending you their followers, so it's important to respect their wishes.

Aside from the rules set by the owner, there are some basic practices to follow just as proper board etiquette:

  • Follow the board owner

  • Don't spam the board

  • Don't post irrelevant pins

  • REPIN DIRECTLY FROM THE BOARD (IMPORTANT!)

Pinterest group boards

The more successful other pins are on the group board,
the more successful your pins on that board will be!

Do you pin to group boards? Do you find them helpful? Comment below!


*Do you have a group board that you would like added to the master list? Send me a message with the link to the group board, the link to your Pinterest profile, and instructions to join!*

How to Create Your Own Instagram Story Highlight Covers

Instagram highlights diy

A great way to step up your Instagram game is by adding some Instagram story highlight covers! There are plenty of ways to do this - you can pay someone to make them for you, you can purchase premade templates, or you can DIY it! Creating your own Instagram highlights is easier than you would think, so I have put together this step-by-step tutorial to walk you through it.

What are Instagram highlights?

Instagram highlights are stories that you choose to keep on your profile for more than 24 hours. Normally, when you post a story to Instagram, it stays visible for 24 hours and then disappears. But the highlights feature allows you to permanently save stories on your profile.

Instagram highlights are front and center on your profile - right below your bio and above your feed. They are a powerful way to choose what you want your visitors to learn about you or your business as soon as they come to your profile.

Why create highlight covers?

Because highlights are front and center on your profile, you want to capture your viewer's attention and entice them to click on your highlights. It is a way to brand your profile and keep it looking clean and organized.

Instagram Highlight Inspiration

Instagram highlights
instagram highlights

How to create Instagram highlight covers with canva

If you have read some of my other blog posts, you'd know that I love Canva. Canva is a free, simple, easy to use, web-based design platform.

If you are choosing to DIY your Instagram highlight covers, Canva is a great option.

1. Go to canva.com

2. Create a new design using custom dimensions - 1080px x 1920px

canva instagram highlights
 

3. On the left hand side, click on background

canva instagram highlights
 

4. Canva has some free backgrounds that look great on highlights. You can also purchase a premium background for $1 on Canva or purchase premium backgrounds on Creative Market. Some of my favorites are:

 

5. Once you have selected a background, decide what categories you are going to create.

6. Now it's time to select some icons. Canva also has a great selection of free icons that you can use for your highlights. You can also find icons on Creative Market.

7. Duplicate the page and change the text and icon for each category.

8. Save your highlights by clicking download in the top right corner.

canva instagram highlights
canva instagram highlights
 

9. Upload the highlights to your Instagram stories.

 
canva instagram highlight
Add to your story-2.png
 

I hope this was helpful!

Xx,
Katie

instagram highlights

How to Save Hours of Your Precious Time When Using Engagement Pods

If you have seen my post Instagram Pods: What? Why? How? then you know that engagement pods can be an extremely effective way to boost your engagement on Instagram.

But if you use engagement pods, you also probably know that they can take up a ton of your time! You want to be a good human being and like everyone's posts, but it can take up a good chunk of your time and you need to be very dedicated.

WELL MY FRIENDS, there is a plug-in for Google Chrome that will go through and like all of the links FOR YOU.

Yeah. It's super easy. Just install the plug-in, open Telegram in your browser, and scroll through. You'll see the links become highlighted in yellow, meaning they are added to the queue (the plug-in is even aware that you can be temporarily banned from Instagram if you like too many posts at once, so it adds them all to a queue and spaces them out just a bit). Once the link has been liked by your account, it'll turn green.

Plus, it's not a "3rd-party app" so you cannot be "punished" by Instagram for using it. You do not sign in to the plug-in or provide them with any of your information.

Instead, you just make sure that you are signed into your Instagram account on your Chrome browser, and the plug-in will open up each link in a separate tab and you'll see it "like" the post for you. It's actually kind of fun to watch! Haha!

It works for both Facebook and Telegram!

It was developed by a man who watched his wife spend her time going through tons of links and liking them all. He changed the game for not only his wife but also all of us lucky engagement pod participants! He gets a Pulitzer Prize in my book.

The investment for the plug-in is just $20 total. No monthly plan, just a good old one time payment!

Click here to download Like It All. 

Also, we'd love to have you in our Girlcrush Telegram Like Pod!

Just a little FYI, I will make a small percentage for each purchase of Like It All. I would never recommend an app or product that I do not personally use and love!

Happy engaging!

Xx,
Katie