7 Free And Awesome Features To Help You Get The Most Out Of Instagram post image

This week, Instagram has enabled the option to “Like” comments inside user publications. It is another one of the many innovations that Instagram has been implementing in the last six months. As we all know, this social media platform has been busy at work, creating and adding more functionalities that make the way we manage IG more and more complicated, a little at a time.

To make it easy for you and to help you optimize your entire Instagram experience, here are some tips and tricks you may want to apply starting today:

1. Discover your post performance and your Instagram followers’ demographics… for free!

This summer, Instagram launched the new profile option for companies and brands. This is different from the conventional user profile, mainly because of two things: they offer free statistics and allow you to incorporate a “Contact” button into your profile. You don’t really need to be a company or a brand to enable these two functions. Simply link your Instagram account to a Facebook page from “Settings”, then “Switch to Company Account”. If you do not have a Facebook page yet, well then you better get started so you can also start linking it to your Instagram. If you change your mind and you later decide to revert to a traditional user profile, you can always do it anytime.

Of course, one important detail to note is that once you transform your profile to a business page, you also enable the option to automatically publish on Facebook. Your Instagram post will not be published on your personal Facebook account, but on the Facebook page that you have decided to link to your IG page.

Once you have activated the business page option, the statistics section will provide you with information about:

  • Weekly summary of the evolution of your account. This includes the number of impressions (times your images or videos have appeared on someone’s screen), people reached (unique users who have seen your posts), visits to your profile, and comparison with the last week. The last example allows you to check if you are increasing or decreasing your visibility and impact.
  • Most outstanding publications. These photos and videos (or both together) are sorted according to impressions, reach, interactions, likes or comments; in the last week, the last 30 days, the last quarter, the last semester, the last year or the last two years. This shows you which content has reached the most audiences, has generated the most interactions or has impacted the greatest number of users. In short, what has been your most successful publications.
  • Information about the followers. This includes the evolution in the number of Instagram followers with respect to the previous week, the percentage of men and women, the age range and their location, by cities and by countries. This answers the question: Are you reaching the kind of audience you’re looking for?
  • Followers’ periods of activity. This shows the days of the week, and the hours within each day, when they are connected. To serve as a guide, for example, when scheduling the publication of your posts.

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2. Publish images directly from a computer

Instagram started in 2010 as an exclusive social application for mobile devices, first only for iOS and then later on for Android. At the end of 2012, they announced the creation of a web version, but with limited functionalities. Among those limitations is the inability to publish photos from one’s computer.

Yes, we know that Instagram was designed for mobile phones. But what if you manage a brand and you need to post photos that you have not personally taken using your mobile phone? What if you edited the photo on your computer and you want to upload it now? And so many more what ifs…

The simplest way to accomplish this is by using a Google Chrome extension. Key in your account username and password, choose the photo you wish to upload, add your caption, if needed. Of course, the image must be in JPG format and should not be too large. The system will warn you if you exceed the maximum upload limit.

Publish images directly from a computer

3. Program uploads from a computer, without going through mobile

Tools like Hootsuite and Later allow users to program the time or frequency by which images are uploaded on Instagram. But both external applications require that the final approval for posting be made from your mobile device. Once it’s time for a post to be published, the tool sends a notification to the  app and you will need to approve the publication from your phone.

But then, doesn’t that need you to be alert at all times? With SocialGest, you can program your posts from the web directly to Instagram, without the need for mobile notification. Of course, the free version will only allow you to schedule one image a day.

4. See Instagram Stories from your computer

Unfortunately, the official web version of Instagram does not let you see Instagram Stories on your computer. For this, you will have to add a Chrome Instagram Stories extension.

Then, you can log in to your Instagram account. At the top, you will see users who have published stories. Just click on their profiles to start viewing their stories. Through this extension, you can also know how long ago they published the story. If it is a video, you also get to see how long it lasts.

5. Hide Instagram Stories published by other profiles

If you follow many users, and they are very active in sharing stories, it can be a bit overwhelming to see all their Instagram Stories.

To select and hide the ones that a specific profile publishes is very simple. Just go to your profile, click on the three dots that appear on the upper right hand corner, and select “Hide the story”. They will not appear in your feed again.

6. Save drafts

Since September 2016, Instagram has allowed us to save drafts of images that we are working on, so we can continue editing them later. To save a draft, simply click on the top left part to “Go back”, and in the drop-down menu, instead of “Discard”, select “Save draft”.

NOTE: Keep in mind that Instagram does not let you save an infinite number of photos as drafts. It is likely that the fifth photo will delete the previous ones. And if for some reason you uninstall the app and download it again, you will not be able to keep your drafts.

7. Filter comments

In September of this year, Instagram also introduced the option to filter and moderate comments to avoid unwanted, out of tune, remarks generated by trolls. The control system is quite rudimentary, but it works.

To filter comments, go to Account Settings and look for the “Comments” menu. From this menu, you will find the option to systematically hide comments that contain words or phrases that are often denounced as offensive. You can also add words that you want to use as filters to prevent such comments from being published.

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