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June 10, 2016

Instagram Part I — How to Pair This Vivid Platform with 5 Social Media Apps To Boost Your Business


One of the newer social media platforms available to retailers is one that turns out to be a perfect fit for retailers and ranges is Instagram. From the images you’ve taken when teaching someone how to shoot for the first time to a pic of another happy customer or showcasing the latest firearms, all are fair game for the inspiring and searchable Instagram, one of today’s best ways to advertise your businesses and services to a wealth of potential new customers.

I’ll be presenting a series of articles about Instagram in the weeks to come and discussing how this app can really help spread the word about your business and build value in your brand. In this series I’ll go over tips for using hashtags, how to gain more followers, insider tricks for operating multiple accounts, working with contests on Instagram and how to create amazing images and graphics. For today, let’s get “appy” for a minute and talk about the top five apps you should be using to make your Instagram social media feed stand out from your competitors.

  • Layout

    Let’s say you’re hosting an open house and you just don’t have time to upload one pic at a time every hour. This is where Layout is helpful, because you can take three to four pictures and create one montage of them. Layout also offers multiple layout options, and you can adjust each photo for perfect symmetry. The best part of Layout is that it’s an app created and managed by Instagram, which means updates will occur regularly. The app is free.

  • Repost

    See a photo on a sponsor or partner’s social media feed and want to share it with your fans? Do the right thing and give proper credit for the photo by using Repost app. Open Repost, find the photo, copy, then open your Instagram and click “Paste.” Repost automatically dumps the photo and content into your Instagram feed while also providing a watermark for the previous owner. For a small fee, you can upgrade your account and remove that watermark, but I like to keep it for rights issues. A side benefit of Repost is that it provides a fresh way to organize contests. Simply ask your fans and customers to repost a specific photo in order to enter in a contest you’ve created (following all federal, state and local legalities involving contests and sweepstakes, of course). This app is free.

  • Over

    This app gives you nearly 300 fonts to play around with plus the ability to add your own watermark to images you post to Instagram. Translated, you can add your logo to any Instagram photo! Create memes, celebrate events, lay out a business card or promote an event all with your fingertips in this app. As with the Open House example, I highly recommend using this app to add your logo at the bottom of photos you post, just in case there are reposts. That way your company name is prominently displayed and can be tracked back to you. This app is free. I’ve also used iWatermark, $1.99 on iTunes.

  • Quik

    Want to add motion and music to your photos? This app (formerly called Replay) has 28 video styles and 70-plus music choices to create your masterpiece. Keep in mind that Instagram restricts video length to only 15 seconds, but I’ve actually found that’s plenty of time for four to five photos to flash across the screen. Why is Quik something you should consider when using Instagram? Motion and music pull in attention from viewers, and the more attention you get, the better the opportunity to turn that attention into profit. This app is free.

Stay tuned for the next article in this Instagram series – hashtags dos and don’ts.

Stay appy, my friends.

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