By Gareth O’Sullivan, Social Media Influencer (@_GarethG) For those that have read my recent article "How to Create Stunning Content for your Instagram for free" will know that I manage various Instagram accounts. This article will cover the main 5 tools I use to maximize engagement and follower growth on the platform. Canva The first tool I use is Canva, you've probably already heard of it. It's an amazing tool to create eye-catching content for free. Canva offers various ready-made templates with the ability to edit and add more images, text, shapes etc. The great thing about this tool is that not only is it available on the web, but it's also available on the Apple App Store with a future release coming to Android. Buffer It's all well and good creating content for your Instagram, but if you forget to post it regularly or don't have the time to and usually just post all your content out at once, then you probably won't get that much engagement. You will want to make sure you post regularly on the account at the best times possible - keeping in mind when your audience are likely to be on the platform. In the recent Instagram update, the social networking app has blocked third parties from automatically publishing your content for you, resulting in you having to do it manually. Whilst this can be a pain, Buffer has made it easy for you to still publish your content regularly and schedule it for the best times. When you schedule your posts to publish on Instagram at a set time, you will receive a notification on your smartphone/tablet telling you it's time to post your content (Providing you have the Buffer app installed). Clicking on the notification will load up Buffer allowing you to copy your caption and proceed with posting the content, the only things you'll need to do is just paste your caption and share it. Crowdfire This is the main tool I use everyday, not only for Instagram but for my Twitter accounts too. Crowdfire allows you to manage your following on Instagram. Previously, this tool allowed you to "copy followers" meaning you can enter a specific Instagram account and follow the followers of that account, which allows you to grow your Instagram targeted audience. Whilst Instagram has now blocked third party applications from doing this, you can still find your targeted accounts on the platform and manually follow the followers of those accounts. Due to that feature being taken away, I now mainly just use the "Non Followers" feature, this allows me to unfollow those that are inactive and have not followed me back. Crowdfire also has other features available that include the ability to publish content like Buffer, the ability to see who has recently followed and unfollowed your account and much more. You can access Crowdfire on the web and also by downloading their app for smartphones and tablets. VSCO By far one of the best apps I've used for amazing filters and basic editing tools. The VSCO app allows you to edit your photos quickly and apply various filters to your image that make it look eye-catching and stand out. Lots of photographers also use this app due to it's filters and options available for editing and applying small touches to the images. This is my personal favourite for applying filters and tweaking the images for the best results. VidLab This tool is perfect for creating videos to post on your social networks, like Instagram for example. Whilst VidLab is free to use, you will need to pay for the premium upgrade to remove the watermark and access additional features. I would highly recommend to get the premium as this allows you to create amazing content easily without having limited features and watermarks placed on your videos. Once you've added videos or images to your project, you can then add additional tracks such as music, text, sound fx, images and voice recordings. When you are ready to finish the video and export it, you are given several options which include: Save to Gallery Share on Instagram Create GIF with GIFLAB Share on Vine and many more options. So there you go, that's all for now. I hope you've found this article helpful and will take away these tips using them for growing your Instagram engagement and followers - like I do for @CreationAgency and many more accounts I manage. If you have any questions or would like to reach out to me, then please do so on Twitter @_GarethG and follow my Instagram account here.