Since Instagram is a visual platform and has over 500 million active users, it is a powerful marketing tool for small businesses. A photo can tell a thousand words and if a business consistently posts great quality images that promotes the brand, then it can gain a massive and highly engaged audience.
Growing an audience rapidly is possible with the endless selection of free Instagram tools. Let’s take a look at some of the best tools and why they can help grow a business’s Instagram rapidly.
Pixlr is a photo editing program that uses basic filters, like Instagram. Unlike Instagram, however, there is no social element. But it does actually give you access to a much wider selection of editing options.
For instance, Pixlr has the option to create image collages. This is ideal if you want to show a progression, tell a story, or show multiple photos of the same event.
The filters can also provide some fun options, like the ability to write over the top of pictures. The tool is quick to use and lets you share pictures directly to Instagram – definitely an important addition to your suit of options.
Canva is a popular and free design tool used for creating and editings images for social media, blog posts, and much more.
Canva has many amazing Instagram templates that you can customize. The templates come in the correct dimensions so you can focus on the design and not worry about getting the aspect ratio and size right. Just pick the template you want and change the image(s), font, text size, and colors to your liking. It’s pretty easy to use.
Do keep in mind that although it’s free, it does have some paid premium features.
For photos that you take on more professional equipment though, there’s no reason that you can’t get even more creative with your editing. Transfer your photos over to your computer and then use the powerful editing software Photoshop to airbrush people, increase brightness and saturation, and much more. If you don’t have the money to invest in Photoshop, you can always use GiMP, which has similar features and is completely free!
Since planning your Instagram posts in advance can help you save time and ensure that your profile is well-curated and consistent, it is important to have an account with a social media management tool- and Buffer is a popular option.
As you might know, Instagram doesn’t allow API access from third-party tools. This means tools, like Buffer, can’t post directly to Instagram. While Buffer can’t help you post on your behalf, it does send you a reminder that your post is ready. It then opens Instagram on your mobile device with the your image and caption saved, so all you have to do is paste the caption and click “Post”!
On the free plan, you are only allowed planning for one account. If you would like to connect multiple Instagram accounts, other social profiles, or have access to analytics, you have to pay for a premium plan.
Hootsuite is another popular social media management tool. Unlike Buffer, you can have up to three social profiles linked to your free plan and you do have limited access to analytics.
Posting is very similar to Buffer. The Hootsuite app will send you a notification on your phone. It will open up your post, and again, you just have to paste your caption and post it!
StoriesAds is used for creating Instagram Stories ads. This online tool provides several templates you can work with so that you don’t have to create a video from scratch. The intuitive video editor also prompts you about the elements you have to customize in the video.
Do keep in mind that it is free for a limited time.
IFTTT stands for ‘If This, Then That’ and this site is a free automation web-based tool that lets you set up automatic actions to be performed in one app when triggered by a separate action in a different app.
How it works with Instagram:
- Create backups (Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.)
- Post your Instagram pictures automatically as an image (not as a link)
- Automatically post images to Facebook
- Share images via Gmail
This tool can save you a lot of time and ensure that all of your accounts are active and promoting one another!