I joined Instagram rather late, resisting it as a platform for the frivolous, selfie obsessed millennials. But once on board, I found myself instantly addicted to the endless stream of beautiful, inspiring photos on my fields of interest: books, food, travel and dogs of course! I realised that there’s more to an Instagrammer than posting beautiful self portraits and tantalising images of the food consumed and the places visit. It’s about choosing the right image, editing it carefully with the right filters and then sharing it at an opportune time to ensure that a maximum of people see it. It is also about using the right hash tags. However, unlike the other hash tag based platform, Twitter, you can’t post the same content several times. So you gotta get it right the first time.
So I learned. Slowly, steadily, with each new photo I posted. I discovered accounts, launched FranceSay as a part of an attempt to encourage students to learn a new French word everyday and started studying how brands could use Instagram to gain popularity. Needless to say, I post quite often (sometimes more than once a day!) and now actively suggest Instagram as a part of a brand’s social media portfolio.
Being an Instagrammer though isn’t always easy – I have a plethora of supporting apps to help me get through a typical day as an Instagrammer.
My go-to app for creating quick collages of images by combining two or more images. It’s easy to use and quite addictive. Once you launch the app, all you have to do is select photos from your phone’s gallery and the most suitable layout. There aren’t many editing options – you can replace images, flip them or add a border. The experience is so smooth that I have to sometime refrain myself from posting only photo collages!
The most frustrating part about Instagram is not being able to share images you like with a simple click. After a few months of impotence, I finally downloaded Repost. The app allows you to share images posted by other Instagrammers and give them credit too. Instagram’s new rules have made it slightly complicated to repost images. You now need to copy the URL of the image you want to share and then launch the Repost app. Once you confirm the post details, Repost will redirect you back to Instagram where you can paste the caption and finally share the image! Phew! Quite a process ain’t it?
Soon after launching FranceSay, I realised that I need an app to upload and schedule Instagram posts. In Later, you can schedule images to be published much like you do on any other platform to schedule social media posts. Unfortunately it isn’t an automatic process like for Facebook or Twitter. To publish your scheduled posts, you need to launch Later and select the image to be published. You will be redirected to Instagram, where (like with Repost) you can paste the caption and share your image.
I like Buffer to schedule posts for Instagram for the startups with whom I freelance, since it gives me neat, little previews of the image and also reminds me to share the image at the scheduled time! Buffer functions the same way as Repost and Later for the final publishing process, so you can switch accounts (if necessary) and confirm before posting the image.