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30+ Free Instagram Tools to Help You Grow Your Following

More than 700 million people use Instagram and 400 million of those users check the app daily.

With such a large audience, and some incredibly business friendly updates such as Instagram Ads, Stories, and Business Tools, Instagram is becoming a must-have channel in many social media marketing strategies.

Sohow can you stand out from the crowd and grow your Instagram following?

We’ve previously shared proven tactics for growing your followingand easy ways to increase your organic reach. And this time, we would love to share a big list of free Instagram tools that’ll help you to grow your following.

Going beyond the usual photo editing tools, we’ll also be sharing tools for finding the best hashtags to use, running Instagram contests, displaying your Instagram posts on your website, and more.

Let’s dive right in.

30+ Free Instagram Tools to Help You Grow Your Following

30+ free Instagram tools to help you grow your following

It’s wonderful to think that there are so many free tools available to help you grow your Instagram following.

Here’s a round up of over 30 free Instagram tools that can help you with your Instagram marketing, everything from creating amazing Instagram posts and stories to finding the best hashtags, to planning your Instagram schedule, to analyzing your Instagram performance.

Note: Some of the tools mentioned below have limited features on their free plan and offer more features in their paid plans.

1. Photo Editor by Aviary

Photo Editor by Aviary is one of the most comprehensive and highly recommended photo editing apps.With the app, you can enhance a photo with a single tap, add effects and stickers, draw, add text, and more.

There are over one-thousand free photo effects, stickers, and frames in the app but more are available for purchase if you’d like to expand your library.

Photo Editor by Aviary is available on Android, iOS, and Windows, which means you can most likely use it regardless of which smartphone you’re using.

2. PicFlow

PicFlow

With PicFlow, you can easily create 15-second video slideshows for Instagram in three quick steps:

  1. Select your photos
  2. Select a music
  3. Set the timing of each photo by tapping

If you would like to make longer videos, remove the (tiny) watermark, or unlock more transitions between photos, you can purchase them from within the app for less than $3.

Pic Flow is available on Android and iOS.

3. Canva

Canva

Canva is one of our favorite free design tools for creating images for social media, blog posts, and more.

The team at Canva has created many amazing Instagram stories templatesthat you can customize. The templates come in the ideal dimensions so you can focus on the design and not worry about getting the aspect ratio and size right.

Just pick a template and change the text, images, and background to your liking.

(Canva has an iOS app for those who like to design on the go. Or you can use it to download your designs to your mobile phone directly.)

4. Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is another free design tool that we love at Buffer.

Here’s a unique feature of Adobe Spark that I like: just by turning a dial in the editor, I can get different design recommendations for my caption.

You can learn more about how to create Instagram stories with Adobe Spark and get 10 free Instagram stories templates here.

5. StoriesAds

StoriesAds

StoriesAds is an online tool for creating Instagram Stories ads (and good-looking vertical videos).

It 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 things you have to change to customize the video.

As it is stated on the site that it is Free for a limited time, you might have to pay to use the tool in the future.

6 9. Other content creation tools

  1. InstaSize (Android, iOS, and Windows)
  2. PicPlayPost (Android,iOS, and Windows)
  3. Quick (Android and iOS)
  4. Studio Design (Android and iOS)

If you are interested in knowing more mobile apps for creating content, you might like our roundup of 26 apps to help you create epic content on your smartphone.

10. Buffer

Buffer for Instagram

Planning your Instagram posts in advance can help you save time and ensure that your profile is well-curated and consistent.

As you might know, Instagram doesn’t allow third-party tools to post directly to Instagram, unlike most other social media platforms. While Buffer can’t help you post on your behalf, we would love to help you plan and schedule posting reminders.

On the free plan, you can plan your Instagram marketing for one account. If you would like to connect multiple Instagram accounts or get the analytics, you could give Buffer for Business a go.

GET STARTED WITH BUFFER FOR INSTAGRAM >>>

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Buffer for Instagram is Here: 8 Ways to Get Your Best Instagram Marketing Results with Buffer

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11. Display Purposes

Display Purposes

Display Purposes is a great tool for finding the best hashtags to use for your Instagram posts.

Simply type in a few hashtags related to your Instagram post and Display Purposes will generate a list of hashtags that are relevant and popular. It also filters out banned and spammy hashtags.

You can then manually select the hashtags you want to use or let Display Purposes pick what it thinks might be the best combination of hashtags.

12. Focalmark

Focalmark

Focalmarkis very similar to Display Purposes, except that the suggested hashtags are generated from a list of handpicked hashtags (and it’s a mobile app).

Focalmark is available on Android and iOS.

13. AutoHash

AutoHash

AutoHash uses its computer vision algorithms to recommend the best hashtags to use.

Select a photo in the app and AutoHash will analyze the objects in your photo and suggest relevant hashtags. If you have your GPS turned on, it will also suggest location-based hashtags.

AutoHash is currently available on Android only.

14. UNUM

UNUM wants to help you design your perfect Instagram gallery.

The visual planner in the app allows you to see how your gallery would look like after you post your next few photos. You can also edit your photos and videos, draft your caption and hashtags, and schedule your posts with the app.

In its free plan, you get 18 grids to plan your posts and 500 photo and video uploads per month, which I believe are sufficient for small-to-medium businesses. If you would like to have more planning grids and a higher upload limit, UNUM offers two paid subscription plans at $2.99 and $6.99 per month.

UNUM is available oniOS and Android(in beta currently).

15. Later

Later

Later is a popular marketing platform for Instagram, which allows you to visually plan and schedule your Instagram posts.

Just like Buffer, at your scheduled times, Later will send you a notification via its mobile app, prompting you to post on Instagram.

On the free plan, you can schedule up to 30 photos per month, search and repostuser-generated content (UGC), and get basic analytics.

16 17. Other planning tools

  1. Hootsuite
  2. Sprout Social

18. Repost for Instagram

Repost for Instagram

Repost for Instagram lets you repost an Instagram post on your Instagram account with just a few taps while also giving credit to the post owner. It is available on Android and iOS.

Before you repost any photos or videos, rememberto get permission from the post owner and give her or him credit in your caption. This is required by Instagram’s Term of Useand is doing right by the amazing creators and businesses on Instagram.

To get permission for reposting the post, you can use any one of the following ways:

  • Send the post owner a direct message
  • Comment on the post
  • Connect via email

Some people do ask for a fee for using their photos since it’s part of their livelihood. Be sure to iron out such details before reposting any Instagram post.

If you are using the Buffer mobile app – Android or iOS, you can alsoeasily add a repost into your Buffer queue after you have gotten the permission to repost it.

19. ShortStack

ShortStack

We have found that hosting giveaway contests on Instagram is a great way to drive engagement and reach on Instagram.

ShortStack has a tool for organizing user-generated content (UGC) contests, where participants enter by posting a photo with your hashtag on Instagram. ShortStack will then collect and display the UGC, which can help you increase your brand.

On the free plan, you can host an unlimited number of contests and collect up to 100 entries. ShortStack also has paid plans if you want to collect more entries and get more advanced features.

20. Gleam

Gleam

Gleam takes a slightly different approach to social media contests. It has an Instagram widget which you can add to your website and drive visitors to your Instagram account.

For example, you could require people to follow you on Instagram or view a particular Instagram post to participate in your contest.

On the free plan, you can host an unlimited number of contests, accept an unlimited number of entries, and select up to 10 winners. If you would like to get more features such as adding a feature image and customizing your widget, Gleam has two paid plans: Pro ($39 per month) and Business ($149 per month).

21. Feed Them Social

Feed Them Social

Feed Them Social is a WordPress plugin for displaying your social media feeds on your website. By having your Instagram feed on your website, you could encourage your visitors to check out and follow your Instagram account.

According to reviews of the plugin, it takes only a few clicks to set up the feed and the team provides excellent, timely support.

You can see a demo of our Instagram feed here.

22 24. Other WordPress plugins

  1. Instagram Feed
  2. AccessPress Instagram Feed
  3. Instagram Feed WD

25. Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights is the Instagram analytics for users with a business profile.

In there, you can see the performance of your Instagram posts and stories and get insights about your followers such as when they are active on Instagram.

If you would like to learn more about Instagram Insights, we went more in-depth into the metrics you can get and the things you could do with your Instagram analytics in our Instagram analytics guide.

26. Squarelovin

Squarelovin

If you don’t have a business profile on Instagram, you could use an Instagram analytics tool like Squarelovin.

Squarelovin has a free Instagram insights tool that provides you with your engagement and growth metrics, shows your posting history, and suggests the best times to post.

27 30+. Other analytics tools

  1. Keyhole
  2. Union Metrics Instagram account checkup

For more Instagram analytics tools, check out our Instagram analytics guide where we share seven more free Instagram analytics tools.

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What’s your favorite free Instagram tool?

Growing an Instagram following is challenging. But with the right tools, it can become much easier to create quality content, engage your followers, and analyze your performance – which will help you grow your following.

What’s your favorite free Instagram tool that I’ve missed in this post? It’ll be great if you want to give it a shout out below and share what you like about it!

Thanks!

Image credit:Unsplash and the respective tools

Edible Balloons Should Inspire You to Make Your Product Fun

Edible Balloons Should Inspire You to Make Your Fun Products

Businesses usually focus on creating products or services that are indispensable to consumers. But sometimes it can also be a benefit to create fun and memorable products. It’s a lesson Chicago restaurant Alineahas effectively learned with its unique dessert – edible helium balloons.

The restaurant makes this interesting dessert using inverted sugar and natural fruit essences, then fills it using a helium tank. Customers can then suck out the helium and enjoy talking like Mickey Mouse for a few moments while consuming the sweet substance surrounding it.

Fun Products Draw Customers and Create Experiences

This type of product creates instant joy for consumers. It’s something that makes dining at the restaurant more of an experience than a simple meal. And it also makes the restaurant more buzzworthy. Since customers have so much fun trying the dessert, they’re likely to tell their friends about it or post on social media. And if you heard about a restaurant down the street serving edible helium balloons, wouldn’t you rush to check it out?

So this business provides a great demonstration for other small businesses of the importance of creating fun products. If you can come up with something that’s relatively easy to create – like filling a sugar mixture with helium – and is capable ofproviding a really fun and different experience for your customers, it’s worth trying out.

Image: Alinea

This article, “Edible Balloons Should Inspire You to Make Your Product Fun” was first published on Small Business Trends

Spotify bans white supremacist bands, as Apple CEO Tim Cook denounces neo-Nazis

skinfull_spotifySpotify

Joining the growinglistof tech companies denouncing white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the aftermath of the Charlottesville tragedy, Spotify and Apple have now publicly condemned the hate groups.

Spotify removed a number of white supremacist bands from its catalog this week, after a report exposed the presence of suchgroups on the streaming service.

The removed bands were all flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as”hate bands” three years ago, but the issue only came to the company’s attention after Digital Music News published a story titled,“I Just Found 37 White Supremacist Hate Bands On Spotify,”in the aftermath of Charlottesville, according to Billboard.

A Spotify spokesperson told Billboard: “Illegal content or material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us.Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention.

“We are glad to have been alerted to this content – and have already removed many of the bands identified today, whilst urgently reviewing the remainder.”

Tim CookAPOver at Apple, CEO Tim Cook issued a memo to his staff condemning both white supremacy and President Donald Trump’s contentious response to the events that unfoldedin Charlottesville.

“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it,” Cook wrote. “This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality.”

Cookwent on to say that he disagreed with Trump’s establishing a “moral equivalency” between the violence of white supremacists and thecounter-protestors.

“I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans,” hewrote.

Read Cook’s full memo here.

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Virginia student-newspaper editor: ‘I was wrong’ to defend rights of white supremacists

charlottesville richard spencerChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A few weeks before violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, Brendan Novak wrote an opinion piece in The Cavalier Daily arguing that “Unite the Right” rally organized by white nationalists should occur.

Novak, an editor at the University of Virginia’s student paper, now calls his statement wrong and naive.

Novak wrote a follow-up column this week, also cited in The New York Times, withthe headline“I was wrong about the ‘alt-right.'”

“I figured, maybe navely, that allowing them to assemble in public under the scrutiny of daylight would galvanize public opinion against their hateful beliefs and reveal the rotting foundation on which their ideology rests,” Novak wrote.

Novak originally defended the First Amendment rights of white supremacists to protest, but he now says he’s changed his beliefs. He wrote:

“I defended the right of the alt-right to peacefully assemble, but they never intended for their assembly to be peaceful. They organized, applied for a permit and came to town with the full intention of inciting violence and agitating both the community and the national media … The alt-right is a domestic terrorist organization. Their use of intimidation, terror and violence in the pursuit of their goals more than justify this categorization.”

The “Unite the Right” rally rocked the Charlottesville community after protests became violent. A man identified by authorities as a white supremacist named James Fields rammed his car into a crowd of demonstrators, killing a 32-year-old woman. Two police officers also died when their helicopter crashed as they were monitoring the protests.

The rally was called to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville.

There had already been two recent Ku Klux Klan rallies in the city before this weekend.

Some students at the University of Virginia, which is located in Charlottesville, believe that white supremacists will return to the city to continue their protests.

“These people just don’t stop,” Mike Reingold, the editor-in-chief at The Daily Cavalier, told The Washington Post. “I really do think they’ll come back, perhaps in fuller force.”

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