Instagram in 10 minutes a day

The popular photo- and video-sharing platform can devour hours if you’re not prudent. These tips and tools can help you make the most of the site—and your time.

Instagram is a lot like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, i.e., it can be a total time-suck.

It’s super easy to get distracted from doing things that are not work related, so I’m offering these tips for productively using the popular photo- and video-sharing platform.

Ten minutes a day is all you need to manage your brand’s Instagram account. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of Instagram without wasting a minute:

2 minutes: Take photos

Take a couple of minutes to take photos using your phone’s camera (not the Instagram app). The more photos you take during this two-minute period, the better. Many popular Instagrammers use this tip. The more photos you have, the more options you can pick and choose from later when you’re ready to post.

3 minutes: Use photo-editing apps to enhance photos

There are so many great photo-editing apps that can be used to enhance your photos before you upload them to Instagram. Below are a few of the best, along with a short description of what each one does:

  • Squaready — Instagram Layouter: When you upload a photo to Instagram from your phone’s photo library, Instagram will make you crop it into a square. If you want to feature an entire photo without cropping it, Squaready enables you to do this. As a bonus, it’s free.
  • Picfx: If you want to pump up the look of your photo with filters, Picfx ($1.99) is your go-to app. It has 100+ effects, textures, and frames to choose from, and it will automatically format your photo into a square for easy Instagram uploading.
  • Camera+: Camera+ ($1.99) one of the most popular photo-editing apps available. Use Camera+ to adjust the lighting, brightness, contrast, and clarity of your photos. It’s also a handy app for shooting, as it enables you to zoom tightly and improve your lighting on the spot.

Once you’ve used one of the above apps, be sure to save the photo to your camera’s library.

5 seconds: Upload your photo to Instagram

Uploading your photo is fast and simple. Open the Instagram app, click the camera icon in the center, and then click the photo box at the bottom left of your screen. This will enable you to select your edited photo from your camera’s photo library.

2 minutes: Check your hashtag activity

Check Instagram for hashtags related to your brand. In Instagram, do this by clicking on the navigation icon and clicking on the “Hashtags” option.

Another way to search for hashtags on Instagram is to use Statigram, a cool tool that provides Instagram metrics and enables you to search for Instagram hashtags on desktop.

2 minutes, 55 seconds: Respond to comments

Take a few minutes after you upload your Instagram photo to respond to comments that have been left on your previous photos and to leave comments for users who have used your brand’s hashtag.

Ten minutes a day is all you need to manage a brand’s Instagram account. If you have any other tips for how to manage a business’s Instagram presence, please offer them in the comments.

Chelsea Hejny is a member of the content strategy and PR team at ShortStack, a self-service custom app design tool used to create Facebook apps for Facebook Pages, websites, and mobile.

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