50 Optimization Tips and Tools for Instagram

By Aileen Padua - Last Updated on August 31, 2021
Tips and tools for instagram

Ah, Instagram. It’s no secret that every influencer, company, and individual like yourself happens to own one. It’s the most successful visual platform right up there next to TikTok. What more can the Millennial generation ask? At least 1 billion people use this platform every month! Surprisingly enough, 2020 became the year that Instagram improved itself.

Now that a year’s gone by, one could assume how social media overall affects the mind. In this case, Instagram would be one of the prime examples behind these said psychological reasons. When it comes to uploading photos, videos and stories, using the essential tools is a must for increasing your engagement and following.

Read more to find out how you can achieve your ideal goal of interactions with the best Instagram tools out there.

1. Post consistently.

Influencers may tend to schedule out their posts at a specific time, but how often they post is what matters. When you post consistently, you not only increase the chances of brand awareness but engagement as well. Overall, the more posts you have on your feed, the more relevant you become in the Instagram algorithm.

2. Don’t preach—tell stories instead.

Every brand needs to have a story. Ask yourself, “How did we get here?” Engage your audience with a story about how you got from point a to point b. Preaching about content everyone wants to hear can get tiring. Create content that’s unique to your brand. Think about what’s the story behind your niche.

3. Build a strong brand.

Building a stronger brand is important to increase engagement. That can’t be stressed enough! We’ll admit, branding and engagement go together like two peas in a pod. It’s a good pairing that works together to build successful media content. You want to get to know your audience and show off what makes your brand you. Another tip to consider is the amount of positivity put into your brand strategy. This makes your followers feel more invited and trust your brand better.

4. Have a visually consistent feed.

Instagram is the land of visuals. Creating a visually consistent feed will excite users following your account. Think of ways that can catch the eye of your followers. What kinds of colors do you want your content to have? What do you think will come off as exciting and clever? These are questions to ask yourself the next time you post.

5. Choose the right hashtags.

Choosing the right hashtags will put you on the map in terms of social media. Think of them as keywords that will optimize your content. Like SEO, using the right hashtags will increase engagement all while showing potential followers your content with the help of your hashtags. Come up with clever hashtags relevant to your brand.

6. Focus on user-generated content.

UGC, or user-generated content, is another solution to increasing brand awareness. It allows users to learn how your business or brand operates. The more you post about UGCs like blog posts, testimonials, case studies, and video content, the number of your engagement goes up. So, keep in mind focusing more on how you can apply UGC to your brand strategy.

7. Explore the full range of Instagram video formats.

Yes, video formats can vary especially when you’re using Instagram. Whether it’s 1:1, 4:5, or 9:16, experimenting with different ranges of video formatting can change things up with your content. If you were to use 9:16, expect a full vertical range of coverage. This type of format is great for Instagram stories whereas a video format of 1:1 is much smaller and more for posts.

8. Use Instagram video subtitles and closed captions.

As for subtitles and closed captions on video, your Instagram videos should have more of them. Even when a video is on mute, or if you plan on broadening your audience that is hard of hearing, then using closed captioning would be a good strategy to consider. It helps when there are subtitles to every video.

9.  Activate Instagram Reels.

Ah, yes. The Instagram Reels. This caters to users who don’t have TikTok or just happen to repost TikTok content through Reels. Just as we mentioned with experimenting with different ranges of video formatting, Instagram Reels is another popular tool that will get you more engagement with your followers. Just like TikTok, Instagram Reels are instant engagers. Once you activate the Reels on Instagram, let’s just say that you’re good to go and in for a fun ride down the social media rabbit hole.

10. Embrace Instagram AR filters.

AR filters, or augmented reality filters have become a trend on Instagram. First trademarked on Snapchat, embracing the AR filters on Instagram is another great way to boost engagement. Customize an AR filter that caters to your brand. Think about how users can use it and even flaunt it on their social media!

11. Take advantage of Instagram’s video ad formats.

Not saying that we’re telling you to kind of cheat, but if you don’t want to go down an organic route with your engagement, there’s always boosted posts. Take advantage of your Instagram account ads. Once you take advantage of its video ad formats, you gain more access to different ways you can showcase video content.

12. Give GIFs a chance.

Aside from filters and Reels, GIFs still exist! They’re usable, especially for Instagram stories! Just don’t overdo them like a Buzzfeed article. It’s best to use GIFs every once in a while, but overall, you should still give them a chance. After all, it still pertains to social media strategy.

13. Use Instagram traffic to increase website traffic.

Comparing your Instagram traffic to actual website traffic will become effective if it’s done right. Try using your audience on Instagram through CTAs and USG content. This will drive more traffic onto your said website and create potential leads.

14. Partner with micro-influencers to create brand authenticity.

We’re not saying you have to partner with big time influencers. Start small with partnering up with micro-influencers. This way, it will create more authenticity for your brand and allow more of a following to occur. Strategize ways that influencers can use your brand with products or services offered by you.

15. Host an Instagram contest.

Everyone loves giveaways! When hosting an Instagram contest, keep in mind how you want to go about the entire idea before executing it. Always have a game plan before conducting an Instagram contest. Post on your stories, tell users to use hashtags, and repost your content. Whatever strategy you go with, it’s best to host contests on Instagram because it can reach more of your followers and bring in new ones at the same time.

16. Convert Instagram followers into email subscribers.

The best way to convert followers is funneling them into your email list and starting a lead. Once that relationship becomes established, you can start considering how to implement your followers into subscribers for emails that you plan to schedule, market and send over to their way. Just a heads up, this is another benefit to having better engagement.

17. Embrace Instagram Stories.

There is a chance that not all of your followers are willing to scroll down and look at your posts directly. Well, this is where Instagram stories come in! The benefit of using stories on Instagram is that you get instant engagement. Whether it’s the views or DM’s sliding through, Instagram stories often have the most amount of engagement. It’s fast, easy, and pretty convenient for followers who only check their stories.

18. Add a link to Instagram Stories.

Inserting a link to Instagram Stories can be complicated at first. Once you’re able to figure it out and the hang of it, adding a link shouldn’t be as difficult as you’d think. When you add a link to your Instagram Story, or a CTA to go to the link, you convert more leads and increase engagement on the platform itself.

19. Use emojis effectively.

At this point, emojis should be used as a language. When you use emojis, you come off as expressive. This can target younger generations because you’ve sparked their interest with the use of emojis. It’s safe to say that the Millennial generation and Gen Z’s are fans of emojis. At least 92% of the world’s population uses emojis online.

20. Promote your Instagram channel on other social accounts.

Whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or Snapchat, promoting your Instagram is just as essential as promoting your brand on other accounts. Want to make your brand? Then start there. Share your content on other social accounts and connect them all together. This will keep everything organized and in the loop.

21. Add CTAs, everywhere.

We mean everywhere. CTA’s, or Call-to-actions, are closing statements that conclude a

social media posts. When you’re trying to rebrand, you want to apply more CTAs to your posts because this increases more leads and up your engagement level. CTA’s provide a sense of validation to engagement.

22. Track and learn from your best-performing Instagram content.

Learning from data is the best way to improve your Instagram content. Looking back at numbers accumulated over time can allow you to think about strategies that can lead to better content and viewership. To learn more about how you can track your Instagram performance, take a look at 27 of the Best Instagram Tools for Automation below.

28 of the Best Instagram Tools for Automation

1. Hootsuite

The number one social media tool for automation. Hootsuite is great for businesses of all sizes and the “best way to manage social media”. It allows you to schedule a majority of your posts for social media as well as automate other pieces of marketing such as emails. Overall, Hootsuite is great for time management and organization.

2. Panoramiq Multiview

Panoramiq is another platform great for providing its insights. It has the ability to not only monitor insights but go into more depth with tracking comments being made and photo tags being created. It works directly with Hootsuite, so that’s another plus as to why it can cater the same tasks.

3. Mentionlytics

This online platform allows users to track any desired keyword. For instance, tracking keywords relevant to your branding can be of great use with Mentionlytics. On top of that, Mentionlytics has the ability to monitor your social media and give you reports on data pertaining to engagement and impressions.

Best Editing Tools

1. Boomerang

One of the best tools for Instagram is Boomerang. If you ever planned on adding personality to your own GIF, then Boomerang is just the right tool to use. With Boomerang, users can create little GIF-like videos with the use of quick shots cumulated altogether to make a moving image.

2. Adobe Lightroom

With Adobe Lightroom, users can expect high-quality editing Lightroom. It’s downloadable on mobile and provides professional access to editing tools that Adobe Photoshop would typically have. However, the only difference with Lightroom is that you have the ability to customize your photos with a variety of filters and overlays.


You’ve probably heard of the term, “VSCO girl”. Known for its obsolete, but trendy filters and various amounts of editing tools to choose from for your photos, VSCO has the reputation for being known as the editing tool that’s so easy to use, that the younger generation has used it to create their own fun content.

4. Snapseed

Similar to Lightroom, Snapseed allows users to enhance their photos to make them look natural and offers various options to apply digitally appealing filters. Owned by Google, Snapseed has a straightforward structure to its interface as well as simple ease of use, making it slightly more usable than Lightroom. However, both platforms function just as equally.

5. Prequel

We would say that Prequel is VSCO on steroids. It works just as well as VSCO but allows more video editing that would let it stand out from other videos. There are trendy filters to choose from, which never gets old.

6. Adobe Premiere Rush

Considered to be the combination between “Adobe Lightroom and iMovie”, Premiere Rush is the best platform to use for mini video clips for Instagram. If you’re the type of business that wants to really put more effort into their brand, then this platform could be the one for you.

Best for Instagram Stories

1. Canva

By far, one of the best tools to use for your Instagram stories. Canva lets you design almost any type of content with innumerable amounts of templates, colors, and stickers to choose from! Canva is free to use and amazing for engaging Instagram stories.

2. Mojo

If you’re looking for ways to keep your content animated, then Mojo is the right tool to work with! Every template is very professional and goes along with a majority of niches. For more tips on how to use Mojo, click here.

3. Storico

This easy-to-use platform is best for highlight covers and interactive story content.  It consists of a good variety of templates to choose from and is free of subscriptions.

Best Instagram Hashtag Tools

1. Panoramiq

As mentioned before, Panoramiq is a great platform for viewing your insights. Did we also mention it’s also good for creating hashtags? If you’re someone that has a difficult time coming up with the perfect hashtag, Panoramiq can suggest ones that align perfectly with your brand.

2. Display Purposes

Also known as, Quantum Marketer, will generate any type of hashtag that will cater to your niche. Its effective ease of use allows its “magic” to work with your brand. Check out this article to learn more!

3. Keyhole

Keyhole is another marketing platform that will definitely assist with boosting traffic. When creating hashtags, expect to receive instant reports that will allow your brand to grow over time. With Keyhole, most businesses have found it helpful to reach out to influencers when partnering up with their brands.

4. ShortStack

ShortStack is another leading digital platform designed for marketing automation and of course, engagements. With ShortStack you can expect your business to grow with the design features that it offers. As for hashtags, consider using this tool in the long run. You’ll thank us later.

Bio-Link Tools

1. Shorby

Shorby is the “best tool” for shortening URL links. The benefit of having a shorter URL link is the look of it. No one wants to have a long URL link to click on because they tend to look intimidating and begin to lose your interest. Hence, Shorby, it reduces the chance of scaring away potential followers.

2. Milkshake

If you’re looking for a way to be “on-brand” then Milkshake is the right platform to use. The reason that it’s considered “on-brand” is because of its ability to extend your Instagram profile where you can harness, grow and convert traffic.

3. Omnilink

Created by Iconosquare, Omnilink customizes landing pages as well as shareable links. This is another tool to consider because it’s free and pretty convenient for businesses who are looking for a fast and easy tool.

4. Sked Link

Or Sked Social is another URL tool that marketers can use for Instagram. It works to help visually perfect your feed on Instagram as well as streamline your planning process for branding.

5. Linktree

Considered a “High Performing tool” of the summer, Linktree never fails to amaze users who do happen to use it. With Linktree, users have easy access to events and other platforms that your brand has to offer. On top of that, it’s known to be the platform that “streamlines Instagram marketing”.

Analytics Tools

1. Instagram Insights

Built into the platform itself, Instagram Insights is a feature that’s accessible to Instagram accounts used for business use. This allows users to look at daily insights and other kinds of analytics that may pique their interest.

2. Hootsuite Analytics

The analytics feature to Hootsuite offers a complete solution to your social media efforts. In this case, it provides you with a bigger picture of where you stand with your brand strategy. It allows users to have access to quick reports of results that can be comparable to one another.

3. Hootsuite Impact

As for Impact, it specifically measures organic and paid content while creating reports with the feedback that you need to improve for your marketing. Overall, it’s part of the Hootsuite platform but works directly with monitoring metrics.

4. Iconosquare

With Iconosquare, expect results that will give you in-depth insights into your online presence. It’s great for tracking hashtag activity and post automation!

5. Union Metrics

Union Metrics is an effective social media platform when it comes to marketing your brand. What makes this platform unique are its day-to-day reports on metrics, snapshot reports, and free tools that you can use to build a better brand.

Instagram Ad Tools

1. Ads Manager

Ah, the top platform that gets the job done in terms of marketing. When using Ads Manager for Instagram, you’re basically using a tool that allows you to view your metrics, transform any post into an ad, and even have an increase in ROI.

2. Instagram Branded Content Tools

Specifically designed for Instagram, Branded Content Tools lets you boost, monitor, and oversee how you can improve your marketing overall. When using this platform, it’s best to keep in mind why it’s the best ad tool for Instagram. I mean, it is self-explanatory, right?

Final Thoughts 

Moving forward, you want to make as much of an impact on your social media in a gracious manner. To elaborate on that, you want to ensure that you look at your data and think about improving your content over time. Yes, it can be tempting to strive for more engagement. But it’s more rewarding to look back and learn from the mistakes you made at the end of the day. Take these final words of advice and various options of tools as a way to hone your skills at improving your Instagram engagement.

Aileen Padua | Aileen Padua is an aspiring social media coordinator. She is currently majoring in Advertising at Fresno State University. With her understanding about the power of social media, Aileen is passionate about preserving and enhancing the image of one’s reputation in the public eye.

Aileen Padua | Aileen Padua is an aspiring social media coordinator. She is currently majoring in Advertising at Fresno State University. With her understanding a...

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