It shouldn’t come as a suprise that we love Instagram for promoting your business. It’s such a powerful tool for connecting with your market, building communities and showing off your product or services.
There are a few tools that we love that can help make Instagram even more powerful.
1. Schedule your posts with Later or Schedugram
Not everything you post is likely to be scheduled, but if you have a content plan that covers some of what you post, sitting and scheduling in your week can save a lot of time and stress.
It’s against the Instagram API to schedule posts – so you need to be careful of what app or site you use. The two tools we recommend both work around the API, rather than against the rules, so you won’t risk losing your account by using them.
One of the best things about these tools is that you can upload images from your computer – great if you’re a wedding or birth photographer, or store your images on your desktop!
ScheduGram – more convenient, but with a price
This Australian based tool posts to your account for you. Just upload your photos (singularly or in bulk), edit them if needed, write your captions, enter your hashtags and schedule on the day and time you want them posted. ScheduGram will then post them for you – you don’t need to do anything else.
Later – a little extra work, but for free
Formerly Latergramme, Later is what we use for our Love, bump & co. Instagram scheduling. It’s similar to ScheduGram, in that you can upload from your phone or desktop, however this tool won’t post for you. Instead it sends a push notification to your phone for you to post from the Later app to Instagram. This is the way they get around that pesky API!
The pay off is worth it though; unless you’re using the app heavily, it will remain free. If you need to schedule a higher amount of photos there are upgrades available.
2. Get powerful Instagram insights
While you can always go off gut feel and looking at the response you get from posts, sometimes you just want a little more insight into your Instagram account.
Iconosquare are one of the lucky few who are an authorized third-party service of Instagram. They used to be completely free but changed to a paid service in 2016 – though it’s currently quite affordable.
We use Iconosquare in a few ways:
- using stats to find what posts get the most engagement and leveraging that information for future posts
- finding the best times to post
- getting suggestions for accounts we might like to engage with
- easily engaging with others via desktop by liking and commenting on targeted hashtags and accounts
Hot tip: stay away from looking at your unfollows! It’s not productive or useful information. If people want to unfollow you, so be it.
This tool is currently free and offers similar insights to Iconosquare. We’ve been so happy with Iconosquare, (and Squarelovin came into the picture after we’d committed to paying for it), so we haven’t used this one as much.
On all accounts though, we’ve heard it does nearly everything Iconosquare does, with the exception of having multiple accounts connected and a few other things. But a good option if you’re minimising your costs.
3. Reach your audience with Instagram advertising
Who else did a little jump for joy when Instagram opened up their advertising to the masses last year?
Instagram paid advertising can be set up easily through Facebook’s self-serve interfaces Ads Manager and Power Editor – with some fantastic targeting abilities, especially for the wedding and pregnancy industries.
You don’t have to spend lots of money either, you have full control over your daily and campaign budgets and can start small to test it out.
With these tools you can boost your Instagram profile, save time and focus on what works! Are there any other tools out there you’re loving?