The only Instagram tools you need (2018 edition)

June 28, 2018

bold-blog_instagram-tools

With over 800 million monthly active users, you can’t go wrong with Instagram.

If you’re already using Instagram for your business - that’s great!

But, did you know there are tools to help you reach more Instagram accounts (and make more sales) every day?

Today, we’re going to walk you through the 7 best Instagram Marketing Tools you need in order to be on top of the game.

But first let’s go over...

Why you should use Instagram Marketing Tools

Did you know that 30% of Instagram users have bought items they first spotted on Instagram?

No? Well, did you know that social media influencers primarily use Instagram for brand collaborations?

Brand Collaborations Instagram


Instagram has always grown at a constant rate, but its continued growth is what makes this platform so appealing to business owners.

As all business owners know, there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything you’d like to do.

Certain Instagram tools, however, allow you to mass schedule photos for the week (or the month) while others allow you to track your Instagram analytics from your laptop (or mobile device)!

Enough with the stats - let’s talk about some of the best Instagram Marketing Tools available so far in 2018.

Our top 7 Instagram tools

Because there are tons of Instagram tools out there, I decided to look through and pick the top 7 that looked truly promising.

First up, one of the most popular Instagram tools on the market...

1. Later

Later for instagram


Later (formally known as Latergramme) is known as the #1 marketing platform for Instagram and is used by more than 1.85 million users globally (including small and large businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs).

In a nutshell, Later allows you to schedule posts for, well, later! Whether it be later in the day or later in the week, your posts will be shared with your audience at the time you choose.

Not to mention, you have the option of keeping a free membership with Later (as long as you don’t post more than 30 images per month)!

Otherwise, their prices are:

Later Pricing


Another cool feature is that you get to check your Instagram Analytics any time you’d like!

Analytics from Later


Ready to learn how to get Later for yourself?

Go to Later’s website and click the “Create Account With Instagram” button.

Later for instagram.jpg


If you already have an Instagram account, you’ll get this pop-up:

Authorize Later


Click “Authorize” (unless this isn’t your account!) and you’ll be prompted to create an account for Later (don’t worry - this won’t affect your Instagram login information).

Once you’re done filling out your personal information, click “Next” and you’ll then be brought to your personal Later dashboard.

Later dashboard


Because Instagram is a mobile app, you need to download the mobile version of Later onto your smartphone.

After doing so, click on the “Setup Now” button on your computer screen. You’ll then see a few basic instructions to follow and voila! You’re ready to complete the setup.

Once you do this, the real magic starts to happen: You’re now able to schedule posts for your Instagram!

In order to do this, you’ll need to drag and drop your images to the “Upload Media” box.

Schedule Post Later


From there, you’re able to drag your image onto the Later calendar. The grey area is the current date - make sure you don’t schedule anything before that!

Once you figure out when you’d like your post to go out, you’ll get a pop-up like so:

Scheduling Post Later


Here, you’re able to edit the crop of your photo, write a caption, and change the date/time (if you decide you want this post to go out later or earlier than you originally decided upon).

After you hit “Save” your image will be scheduled on the Later calendar.

Post Scheduled-1


The last step? Later sends your mobile device a notification around the time your image is scheduled to be posted. After a few clicks (and some copy/pasting) your image will be uploaded.

And, congratulations! You’re done (unless, of course, you’d like to schedule more)!

It’s no wonder Later is one of the top Instagram marketing tools.

It’s easy to manage, has multiple features, and you don’t have to pay for it unless you're posting more than 30 images per month.

Next up...

2. Hootsuite

HootSuite


Two quick questions for you:

  1. Do you use Hootsuite?
  2. If so, do you have your Instagram business account connected to your Hootsuite account?

If you answered “Yes” to one and “No” to the other, your life is about to change.

If you’re a proud owner of Hootsuite, you know their platform allows you to manage all of your social media profiles from their website.

You’re able to measure the impact of your social media campaigns through comprehensive reporting while measuring conversions by social channel (and separate ROI between owned and paid media).

With this in mind, why wouldn’t you want to hook-up your Instagram account to Hootsuite?!

Here’s how you can start reaping the benefits:

First and foremost, you’ll need a Hootsuite account.

If you don’t currently have one, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial by clicking the “Start Your Free 30-Day Trial” button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

You’ll then be brought to this page to complete your account setup:

Hootsuite trial


If you’re unsure of the prices, Hootsuite is just as reasonable as Later (the first marketing tool we talked about).

Hootsuite prices

Once you have your plan picked out, it’s time to add your Instagram to Hootsuite in the “Add Social Network” section.

Hootsuite and Instagram


Next, you’ll be asked if you’d like to set-up publishing. This will allow you to receive a notification on your phone when an Instagram post is due to be published.

Instagram Publishing Hootsuite


During this step, you’ll need to download Hootsuite on your mobile device. Don’t worry - it’s free!

While in the app, go to your Settings > Notification Settings and turn on Push Notifications for your Instagram account.

MobileNotificationsHootsuite-anim.gif


As you can see from the gif above, you’re able to compose your Instagram posts in the “Compose box” in Hootsuite.

Next, click the calendar icon to select the date and time you desire, then click schedule.

Once you do this, you’ll receive a notification on your phone when it’s time to publish your post:

Ready to publish Hootsuite


All you'll have to do is open the app and publish your photo!

The app will automatically copy the caption you wrote for your photo to your clipboard, too! All you have to do is paste it before publishing your post.

Boom! You’re done.

3. Crowdfire

Crowdfire


Crowdfire is another awesome marketing tool that allows you to schedule content (and manage your Instagram [and other social] accounts in one place).

However, Crowdfire has a totally unique feature that we’re in love with…

Crowdfire Uses-1


Yes, you read that right!

With Crowdfire, you’re able to unfollow your unfollowers (or at the very least, see who’s unfollowed you).

Crowdfire is free to start, but they offer affordable plans that you just can’t beat:

Crowdfire pricing


Ready to be hooked on Crowdfire? I thought you would be.

Let’s talk about how to see who’s unfollowing you (one of the best features for this tool, in my humble opinion).

First up, you’ll need to go to the Crowdfire app. Once there, click the “Get Started” button.

Crowdfire

And then click “Sign Up With Instagram.”

Sign up with instagram


Once you click the “Sign Up With Instagram” button, you’ll be redirected to Instagram where they’ll ask you to verify that you’re okay with Crowdfire obtaining some of your information.

Crowdfire authorization


Once you click “Authorize,” you’ll be able to see your recent unfollowers from the side bar.

Unfollowers Crowdfire


From here, you’re able to see who unfollowed you recently and, if you want, you’re able to unfollow them too!

Next up...

4. Sprout Social

SproutSocial


With Sprout Social, you’re able to gain powerful insights with Sprout’s Instagram Management Tools, such as :

  • Schedule posts
  • Manage comments
  • Monitor hashtags
  • Run reports

That said, Sprout Social doesn’t come as cheap as the previous management tools we’ve mentioned.

Sprout Social pricing


But, you get what you pay for and, in my opinion, Sprout Social is 100% worth every penny.

Regardless of the plan you choose, you get a complimentary free 30-day trial. During these 30 days, you’ll be able to play around with the tool while learning the unique features.

By the time you start paying for Sprout Social, you may consider yourself a master at the tool.

After choosing your plan, you’ll be directed to your personal Sprout Social dashboard where you’re able to schedule posts at any time of the day/week.

Sprout Social calander


By doing this, you’re able to monitor hashtags, locations, and respond to comments too!

Choose Sprout Social


You can choose whether you want to post your image now (or later), add comments and hashtags, and you’re able to add more than one image to your Instagram post.

Stay in touch Sprout Social


You’re also able to foster brand loyalty with a social CRM toolset that helps you engage with customers quickly and personally. Not to mention that you’re able to connect and manage multiple Instagram profiles without logging in-and-out.

Instagram analytics Sprout

We can’t forget the awesome analytics tool that comes with Sprout Social!

The best part about it?

If you work for a company as their Social Media Manager, you can evaluate and compare performance by downloading PDF reports, or easily export CSV data for analysis.

Like I said, Sprout Social is worth every penny.

Next, we have...

5. Schedugram

Schedugram


Schedugram has one goal in mind…

They want you to forget about Instagram in the best way possible.

With features like

  • An Instagram scheduler
  • A visual planner
  • A photo editor
  • A social media calendar
  • And a regram app…

It’s no wonder Schedugram calls themselves the “World’s Best Instagram tool.”

But, wait… Doesn’t this sound like the first tool we talked about, Later?

It does, doesn’t it? Fortunately, Schedugram provides a “Compare” chart to them and Later.

Comparing Schedugram and Later


When you look at it, the only thing Later has on Schedugram is the price and their advanced Instagram Analytics system (which Schedugram says is coming soon).

Speaking of prices…

Price for Schedugram


The prices for Schedugram aren’t bad. $100 a month for having 1 million followers? A good deal (and it’s cheaper than some of the management tools we’ve listed already, too).

Let’s create an account with Schedugram to see how their features look (it’s free for 7 days and you don’t need to enter any credit card information).

Click the “Free 7 Day Trial” button in the upper right hand corner and you’ll be brought to this page:

Get Started with Schedugram


Fill out your information, click the “Get Started” button, and you’ll be redirected to this page:

Welcome to Schedugram


Again, fill out your information and hit the “Get Started” button!

Quick Note: When I signed up for Schedugram, I didn’t enter the “Company name” or “US Dollars” amount. All I added was my name and timezone.

Once you’re done with this, you’ll be brought to your personal Schedugram dashboard.

Schedugram page


On the left hand side of the page, you’re able to see all of your features, such as:

  • Upload posts
  • Planner
  • Calendar
  • Hashtag Manager
  • Drafts
  • Upcoming Posts
  • Archives
  • Manage Accounts
  • Queue Settings
  • Manage Users
  • Billing / Profile Settings
  • Support

One of my favourite things about Schedugram is the fact that you can upload videos to Instagram as well (you’re not restricted to pictures only).

Videos Scheudgram


The features you get for the price of this tool are beyond reasonable. Not to mention, the video uploader is a huge plus.

6. Sendible

Sendible


One of Sendible’s main goals is to save you and your team time.

Whether it be posting images on your social media sites, uploading blog posts, or checking your analytics for each social profile.

While Sendible does this for multiple social media outlets, we’re going to focus on one in particular: their Instagram Management Tool.

The price for Sendible is pretty good:

Sendible pricing


However, unless you’re going to use Sendible for all of your social platforms, you may want to rethink the “most popular” plan.

Regardless of the plan you get, you’re allowed a free 30-day trial (which is really cool).

One of the best thing about Sendible (if not the most unique) is how you’re able to monitor keywords related to your brand to see what’s currently ranking.

Monitor keywords


You’re also able to check out your Instagram analytics and schedule posts!

7. Instagram Shoppable Feed

Instagram shoppable feed


The Instagram Shoppable Feed app for Shopify is every eCommerce store on Instagram’s best friend.

Remember the stat we mentioned in the beginning of this massive post?

If not, we’ll recap…

We said that 30% of Instagram users have bought items they first spotted on Instagram.

If you download and activate the Instagram Shoppable Feed app, you could be tapping into that 30% and making more money!

Let’s talk about how to properly set up the Instagram Shoppable Feed app so you can reap the benefits ASAP.

First, click the green “Get” button on the right side of the page.

Instagram shoppable feed get


Next, install your Instagram Shoppable Feed to your Shopify store, and log into your Instagram account to begin the magic.

Install instagram shoppable feed


From there, you can create a custom feed to get started.

create feed instagram shoppable feed


Here, you’re able to choose which photos from your account that you’d like to showcase on your Instagram.

You’re also able to tag products in each photo by clicking anywhere in the photo and entering the name of the product in the search bar.

Side Note: You can also set labels for these images (such as New, Sale, Bestseller, Going Fast, etc.).

After organizing your feed the way you’d like it, click “Done.”

On the next page, you’ll be able to see the pre-published feed. This is where you can create a CTA using the feed title and change the number of columns, rows, and gutter.

Just don’t forget to save your new settings!

customize and save feed settings ISF


Side Note:
You’re able to create as many shoppable feeds as you’d like with different settings, so test different things to see what works!

Wrapping It Up

Now that you’ve made it to the end, you’re probably wondering what Instagram tool would be the best.

While I cannot personally decide for you what would be the best tool for your business, I can say that Crowdfire would be my first choice.

The fact that Crowdfire allows you to track your competitors is a huge plus - you’ll be able to see what keywords they’re ranking for, as well as what time their most popular posts went live!

Plus, Crowdfire supports all online social profiles and provides analytics for each - not just Instagram.

If, however, you don’t need all of these advanced features and you’re literally just looking for something to remind you to publish a post, I’d go with Later or Schedugram.

It all comes down to what you need for your business! And with the tools we’ve provided you, it should be easy to find one that meets your needs.

If you liked this article, please share it with all your other hustler entrepreneur friends!

Topics: eCommerce News

Bill Widmer

Written by Bill Widmer

Bill is an eCommerce content marketing and SEO consultant. He's run several stores and worked with many well-known brands including A Better Lemonade Stand, SaleHoo, and Lifehack.

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