Instagram has come quite a long way in its short life. From being loved as the land of sepia selfies and delicious foodie pics, Instagram is now a major social network with more than 400 million monthly active users.
According to a 2015 report, Instagram is the most important social network to American teenagers. But Instagram isn’t just for teens. Brands are also embracing it as a valuable engagement and marketing tool. In fact, 85% of top brands are using Instagram, according to a report by Simply Measured.
But the question for many brands is: How can I get the most out of my Instagram efforts?
Well, one way is embracing tools that help you easily and regularly post, engage, sell, manage accounts and measure results.
Below we’ve compiled a list of 9 awesome and helpful tools—with some being free and others available for a fee. From creating the prettiest photos to sharing web content to managing multiple accounts, these tools can help you take your Instagram game to a new level.
#1 – Latergram.me
In the past, managing multiple Instagram accounts has proven to be a bit of a headache. Fortunately, Instagram’s latest app update gave users the ability to add and manage up to five accounts. However, if you’re looking for a little more functionality, Latergram.me may be worth considering.
The free version allows you to upload photos from your computer, tablet or smartphone, schedule future posts, and search and repost content from the web on up to two Instagram accounts. Paid options start at $19 a month and comes with additional functionality such as the ability to add team members to manage the account.
#2 – Autogrammer
Autogrammer goes a couple steps further than Latergram.me. Not only are you able to manage multiple accounts and schedule your posts, but you’re able to do so for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. In addition, you can edit your photos within the dashboard and bulk upload images.
While there’s no totally free version for this tool, they do offer a free 7-day trial so you can take it for a test drive. Pricing packages range from $19 to $179 a month.
#3 – Hootsuite
As a go-to for social media management throughout my career, Hootsuite is a tool that’s had some staying power. Hootsuite just added Instagram capabilities last year, and offers both free and paid versions. The free version allows you to connect up to five accounts from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn or FourSquare so you can not only schedule future posts, but also monitor your feeds, follow conversations that are happening, track which posts resonate with your audience.
#4 – Repost
Reposting content on Instagram allows you to engage with your followers, highlight influencers or start a conversation with new users. Repost is a phenomenal tool for this because it gives credit to the original post. You can also bookmark photos and videos to repost them later, and search by user or hashtag.
#5 – Inselly
Since hashtags are such an important part of connecting with the Instagram audience, Inselly is a tool that allows you to use its hashtag (#inselly) to tell users your product is for sale. Sales are processed through PayPal and you can have unlimited listings. There is a free and a paid version, with new pricing going into effect on April 15, 2016.
#6 – Social Insight
Social Insight is a web-based application that can provide deep analytical data on your Instagram account. Here you’re able to see data on lost and gained followers, the best time to post, post engagement and much mmore.
#7 – Facebook Power Editor
Instagram is a very powerful advertising medium and it will only continue to grow. And since Instagram is owned by Facebook, if you’d like to give your posts a little extra boost you can use Facebook Power Editor to do so. The targeting options here allow you to really zero-in on your desired audience and you can spend as little as a few dollars a day.
#8 – Layout
Layout is a free app that allows users to make multi-image collages, which is perfect for storytelling. Layout will automatically show you some layout options, but ultimately the artistic control is all yours. The best part is that the app was created by Instagram, so it seamlessly integrates with the main app.
#9 – Crowdfire
Crowdfire is a tool that you’ll see come up often in your searches for top Instagram tools. The free app suggests the best times to schedule and post your photos, as well as hashtags to use to get more engagement. The tool is also fabulous for growing and managing your following. It gives you a list of new followers, allows you to see who has unfollowed you, and much more.
It was hard to keep our list to just 9 tools. What other Instagram tools and apps do you recommend using? Tell us in the comments section below.
Header image via Shutterstock