Whether you’re a business on the lookout for potential customers or just someone chasing those sweet, sweet likes, social media is a great way to connect with people around the world. The simplicity and immediate gratification associated with Instagram has made it one of the most important social networks around.
However, while Instagram is an incredibly popular and important tool, it has some significant shortcomings. Fortunately, there are workarounds that enable you to bypass these annoyances.
Get Unlimited Links with Campsite
For some reason Instagram does not allow users to add links in the captions of photos. You can add a URL to your caption, but it won’t go anywhere. The only place you can add an active, live link is in your bio. And there’s only room for one. While this might not be a huge issue for most casual users, power users might consider this a major headache. Fortunately, the web service Campsite offers a simple, easy to use workaround.
When you sign up to Campsite, you are given a unique Campsite.bio URL. Users then place the Campsite URL into their Instagram profile. When followers click on the link, it brings them to a page that houses all of the links that you want your followers to have access to.
Furthermore, Campsite allows users to associate specific links with certain images, add text to a link and even provides basic analytics. While Campsite is free to use, there is a Premium version that removes the Campsite branding from your Campsite.bio page, gives more detailed analytics and more.
Upload Stories Longer than 15 Seconds
Instagram Stories allow users to post photos or videos that automatically disappear after 24 hours. The feature has been well received among users as Stories are given priority in your follower’s feeds. This is great exposure; however, the Stories feature has one significant drawback: they’re only fifteen seconds long. If you want to post a longer video, the only thing you can do is manually record fifteen-second clips and post them one at a time. Of course, this is tedious and can look unprofessional.
Fortunately, there are two apps that will automatically cut longer videos into fifteen-second clips. This way you can upload them to Instagram Stories one right after the other, giving the illusion of one long, uninterrupted clip. For iOS, you’ll want to install CutStory. It does a great job of cutting your videos; however, it does add a watermark, but you can always get rid of the watermark by shelling out some cash. Android users will want to check out Story Cutter; it’s not as polished as CutStory, but it’s totally free.
Use Text Replacement to Automatically Add Hashtags
Chances are if you’re a business or trying to build a brand, you use the same hashtags fairly frequently. Having to manually type out these hahstags every time you post can be tedious, not to mention time consuming. Luckily, there is a way to automate the process to save you time and possibly even prevent carpel tunnel syndrome. To accomplish this, you can manually create text shortcuts that will automatically add your all of your hashtags when you type just a single keyword.
For iOS devices, launch the Settings app. From there, select “General -> Keyboard -> Text Replacement.” Next, you want to tap on the “+” icon in the top-right corner of the screen. In the text box labelled “Phrase,” type out all of the hashtags you want to use. In the box labelled “Shortcut,” type the keyword you want associated with those hashtags. When you’re done, tap “Save.” The next time you have to type out your hashtags, you can simply type in your keyword.
The process for Android devices is very similar. Open the Settings app and tap on “Language and input.” (Note: this option may be hidden in “Additional Settings,” depending on the device.) Next, tap on “Gboard -> Dictionary -> Personal Dictionary.” If necessary, select the language you want to use. From here tap on the “+” icon at the bottom of the screen. In the text box labelled “Type a word,” enter your hashtags. In the box labelled “Shortcut,” enter a the keyword you want associated with those hashtags.
Access Most Used Filters Faster
One of the biggest selling points of Instagram is the ability to apply filters on your photos. This is a quick and easy way to manipulate the look of your photos and potentially set them apart from the rest.
However, with over 40 filters available, choosing the right one can be daunting. There are tons of studies that focus on which filters are the most used, which ones get the most likes and which ones are best for certain scenarios. Which ones you opt for is totally up to you, but if you’re a business, it is highly recommended that your photos have a uniform look, meaning using the same filters for the majority of your photos.
If you find yourself using the same filters over and over, it can be annoying to have to scroll through all of the others to find the one you’re after. Fortunately, there is a way to remove the filters you don’t use, making finding the right one quick and easy.
To do so, simply hit the “+” icon to upload a photo. At the bottom of the screen you will see the filter list. Swipe to the end of the list and tap on the button labelled “Manage.” Here you can add and remove the filters by checking or un-checking them.
Find Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are incredibly important when it comes to Instagram. According to Buzzfeed, over 27,000 photos are uploaded to Instagram every minute. With that sort of competition, it’s likely that your photo will not reach it’s intended audience.
Fortunately, this is where hashtags come in handy. Hashtags group photos into categories, making it easy for users to browse photos within that category. Applying relevant hashtags to your photos can be the deciding factor as to whether your account goes viral or wallows in obscurity. While thinking up appropriate hashtags is tough, there is a quick and easy way to see which hashtags are suitable for your photos, and you don’t even have to leave the app.
Open Instagram and tap on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen. Type in a keyword related to your post. For example, if your photo is of a surfboard, you might type “surfing” as your keyword. From there, tap on the “Tags” column. This will list all of the hashtags related to that keyword, starting with the most popular.
Clicking on one of the hashtags will bring you to a page with all the posts related to that hashtag, as well as a list of associated hashtags. This will give you a good idea of which hashtags are appropriate for your posts.
Do you use Instagram often? Are you aware of any other tips, tricks or hacks to help users grow their brand? Let us know in the comments!