Later – Post Scheduling
Extra organization? Yes, please. The scheduling app Later offers so much in the way of visual planning, helping you take your Instagram to the next level. From mapping out your feed to automating posts, and gathering analytics, Later puts the power in your hands (well, fingertips).
For my Social Media Manager’s and Solopreneurs, Later also allows you to quickly toggle between all of your accounts and upload content straight from Google Drive and Dropbox. Even if you’re not ready to schedule a specific piece of content, you can keep it in your Media Library within the app so all team members have access to it and it’s easy to find when you’re ready to put in on your schedule.
It’s power also extends far beyond Instagram, don’t sleep on features that Later offers for your other social accounts. You’ve got the planning and analytical power of Later for your Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter posts. Get in control of your content schedule, and actually enjoy hopping on your social media.
Canva – Graphic Design
I know it, you know it, your mom knows it… Canva rocks. While you may be a Canva Queen when it comes to story graphics and course templates, you may be surprised to know there are even more hacks to be found in our fave design app.
Keep your IG Stories gorgeous and on-brand by using Canva to create a brand color guide. Use Canva’s Instagram Story templates and add shapes with your brand colors before saving to your Camera Roll. When you need to share text on stories, just pull up your color graphic (keep it in your Favorites Photo Album for quick access) then select the color you want to use with the dropper tool. Fill the entire background with your desired color and carry on from there with layering text and images. This is a great workaround for creating quick Instagram stories that are on-brand without feeling over-designed.
Another user-friendly feature that Canva offers is GIF creation. Simply upload your logo or design a full-page graphic, hit the “Animate” tool at the top of your screen then save as a GIF. Once your graphic has been brought to life, you can post your new animated creation to your feed or use it to add flair to stories. There are constantly new ways to make Canva work for you, so I recommend taking a tour with fresh eyes to reacquaint yourself with the power of this program.
Giphy – Story GIFs
Going off of my last point, GIFs are such a fun touchpoint for your brand. Whether you’ve created yours in Canva on your own or outsourced to a graphic designer, you’ll want these available for use by your clients on Instagram Stories. This is easily done by uploading your GIFs to Giphy and submitting them for public use.
If you haven’t already, create a business account on Giphy.com to verify your Instagram account with them (sorry, no blue check). This gives you the ability to upload GIFs with hashtags that are searchable in the GIF section of IG Stories. The upload process is simple and your GIFs will be live on Instagram soon after. It’s an awesome way for your clients to interact with you and share your brand with their own audience. Consider utilizing Giphy for extra fun during your next launch… I might just have something in the works. *wink wink*
VSCO – Photo Editing
Your photos do not always have to be professionally shot to appear polished and on-brand, sometimes we’ve got to do it ourselves. Editing software has become so user-friendly and is great for times when you want to DIY your content. As long as you have a smartphone you can quickly batch shoot and edit photos for Instagram, utilizing the countless presets on VSCO. The end goal is to keep your images within the same color story to create cohesiveness within your feed.
Grab a friend or trusty tripod and shoot a few images for your business. Keep it simple; some smiling, a “working on my laptop” moment, and even some super silly photos to show your personality. Once you have some options, upload them to VSCO, and click through the done-for-you presets to find one that makes your image pop. You can tweak the intensity and play around with the other elements in the editor. Then, you can easily copy and paste those exact edits into the rest of your photoshoot images. When you find presets that really work with your branding, make sure to favorite them for future use!
*P.S After saving the VSCO images, just upload them to Later to schedule auto-posting!
Instagram is an ever-changing creature (let’s not talk about the algorithm), so find reliable tools to make your IG life easier and more organized! What are your favorite ways to make Instagram work for your business?
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