Instagram is a really powerful social media tool, and I spend a lot of time on there browsing around. However, harnessing the platform and building a following is difficult. I myself have been stuck at a fairly stagnant number of follower now for months, and no matter what I do I can’t seem to push past it.
Then again, I don’t post as frequently as I like, and feel that if I could publish images more often it might make the difference. So, I’ve been looking for a tool to help me stay on top of publishing for a while. A few weeks ago I was introduced to an app called Preview that has really changed the game for me.
Preview is an Instagram scheduling app that makes it possible to build your feed and schedule posts ahead of time. Of course, the posts can’t automatically publish to Instagram like they can with Twitter and Facebook and third party platforms, just because access to Instagram is different. There are lots of apps out there that do things similar to this one, but I had yet to find one that was free, so I was really excited to come across this one, and have really enjoyed using it so far.
One thing this app does not have is the ability to automatically populate your feed. But, once you do it manually the first time then it is done and will remain there so you can see how all new photos will look against your existing feed. All you have to do is manually add the photos to the feed. You can do it in bulk and in order, so they will all appear there at once and look exactly like they do in your Instagram feed.
Once you populate your existing feed, you can start adding new pictures to see how they will look. Don’t you hate the feeling of posting a picture to Instagram thinking it’s great, only to look at it in your live feed and see that it’s not as pretty or as bright as you thought it was? Seeing your photos in the feed ahead of time like this prevents that from ever happening.
Once you add a photo to the app and to your feed you can edit it. There are lots of photo editing tools within the app as well as filters. They will really help you to improve the quality of your photos and make sure they all flow together. I recommend picking a filter or series of edits that you apply to every picture, so that they all look good together and have a similar effect.
Once your photos are in your feed you can also rearrange them if you find they don’t look good in a certain layout, and keep moving them around until you find one that really pops. This is an especially helpful tool if you are publishing photos that are meant to form a larger picture together once in the grid.
Once you’ve inserted the photos you want and edited them, you can then schedule them to go out at a certain time.
First, you enter a caption. You can put it in, just as you would on Instagram, and insert hashtags as well. A really handy tool here – especially for bloggers – is that it counts how many hashtags you have used, and will let you know if you’re over the limit (30 hashtags). It will also let you choose from a list of recently used hashtags so that you can store and use them on every post.
Once you enter your caption, you just select a date and time from the dropdown, and voila! The post is scheduled.
When it comes time to post, you will receive a notification on your phone that it is time to post. You swipe through into the app, and then you just click to export the image. You have the options of which app you would like to open the picture in, and you select Instagram, and the picture is automatically opened there. It has also automatically copied the caption you inserted, so you just have to paste it into Instagram and hit post!
I’ve only been using this app for a few weeks now but it has already made a big difference in my Instagram strategy. If you’re looking for a way to post more often and to check the look of your feed before you post, then check this app out! You won’t regret it! And best of all, it’s free!
If you want to follow along and see how the Preview App has helped me grow, you can follow me on Instagram here!