My best tip for Instagram is actually to use it in conjunction with another app. Do yourself a favor and go download the Later app! It helps you schedule your posts. It won't actually publish them for you but you'll get a notification when it's time to post. When you open that up, it copies your caption to your clipboard, then you open the photo in Instagram and you can edit your photo (if you wish) and paste your caption. And voila! You're done. This has been a big help for me to continue posting consistently while having a life. I don't want to pull myself from conversations or events or work in my life to post on Instagram. Enjoying dinner with my family, snuggled on the couch with my fiance, playing with my pup, or getting into the rhythm of my current knitting project are not times to stop edit a photo and think up a witty caption to post to Instagram. I'd much rather remain engaged in that moment. A bit of planning in advance and just a minute of my time is much better.
- Later also lets you see previews of how your feed will look. This is surprisingly important. You might be publishing beautiful photos, but how do they look as a whole in your feed? Too many of the same style/color/tone/theme in one clump can be redundant. The preview feature on Later helps you get a visual of how to schedule your photos so they shine as a cohesive group.
- Another great thing about Later is that it helps you get around the 24hr limit for uploading photos to your stories. Simply upload your photo to your later media, then save it to your camera roll. This will change the timestamp of the new file to that exact moment, giving you 24 hours to add it to you Insta story.
- If you like using Instagram's editing tools but don't want to publish your photo to your feed, there is a way around that. Maybe you just want to edit a photo to share with friends or keep for yourself. Or you want to edit a bunch of photos to schedule at a later date. I used to share a post them quick delete it. But then I learned about airplane mode! First things first: you must have "Save Original Photos" turned on in your settings. Then you put your phone into airplane mode and open up Instagram. Go through the whole process of editing the photo. Now click "Share" like you normally would. Since you're not connected to the grid--via cellular or wifi--your photo will fail to publish. A little bar below the stories will show up and say it failed. You can open your camera roll and check. The photo you just edited should be there! Now go back to Instagram and click the "x" then "remove" before turning off airplane mode (this is so it won't still try to publish your photo after you go back online.)
- You should be using 30 tags. Yes, 30. Do some research on what others are using in similar posts. It helps to post these as a comment on your post, instead of in the description. This keeps your descriptions from looking too crowded or overwhelming.
- To help make tagging easier, create a block of tags. Originally I was copy/pasting them from my notes each time I published a post. But then I learned about text replacement. Open your iPhone's settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement > + . Now paste your hashtags in the "Phrase" section. Then in "Shortcut" you can type what word you'd like to write to be replaced by all of those tags. (I set mine up #knit. So when I type #knit anywhere on my phone, it automatically pastes a block of 30 knitting tags.)
(Sorry, I don't know how this works on Androids.)
- The last Instagram tip I have for today is Pods. Basically, they are a group of likeminded Instagrams who like and comment on each other's posts to boost them. At first, I thought this was kind of cheap, but the way Instagram's algorithm is set up now, the posts with the most engagement (likes and comments) rise to the top of their followers feeds. I noticed a decline in my followers and activity when they changed over from chronological. Honestly, being "social" on social media is the best thing you can do--comment on posts, don't just like them. Pods are basically a dedicated group of individual accounts that notify each other when they post new content. The other members then check out their post and leave a comment, this creates a bit of buzz and activity on this post and makes it more likely to show up at the top of your other followers feed. I haven't gotten into this area of Instagramming yet myself but am thinking about reaching out to a half a dozen to a dozen of my favorite Instagrams to see if whe can help each other out.
What Instagram tips, tricks or hacks do you love and care to share?