Instagram has taken the social media world by storm.
According to Instagram’s press page, the photo-based social network has more than 300 million active users per month, with 70 million new photos uploaded each day.
Enabling friends and family to share photos of their latest vacation, helping celebrities give the public an inside look at their lives behind the scenes, and letting brand managers share photos to boost marketing campaigns, Instagram has resonated with the global social media population.
As with every other social media network, to use Instagram to its fullest and get a deeper understanding of its impact, external tools can be immensely helpful.
Here we look at five superb Instagram tools featuring functions ranging from time-saving scheduling to in-depth analytics, along with comments from Instagram experts:
Iconosquare is a veritable playground for the Instagram addict, with stats, contest suggestions, ideas for promotion and more. In terms of analytics, you get information about your “like” rate and comment rate, as well as the engagement of your photos beyond just your followers—a handy way to monitor the impact of your influencers.
Another helpful function is the Promote tab, which gives you suggestions on how to improve the reach of your Instagram account by, for example, embedding a widget on your website or creating a cover for your Instagram account.
Iconosquare is a helpful, all-in-one desktop application for small to mid-size businesses. The tool enables you to conduct hashtag and user searches, respond to users’ posts and comments, determine which followers are following you back, and check the analytics of your Instagram account. The “contests” tab also gives you great real-world ideas to inspire your business’ own Instagram contest.
PicDeck enables you to consolidate multiple Instagram streams on one dashboard, giving you columns of people and hashtags that you want to follow. It doesn’t have analytics options, but the layout is clear and uncomplicated, making it a good choice for those who want to see several streams of photo categories in one place and are less interested in measuring performance.
Another great option is using Picdeck, which is essentially Tweetdeck for Instagram. You can follow your feed as well as add columns to follow specific users and hashtags for easier monitoring.
Latergramme is a post scheduler that you can use on your browser or through the mobile app. Although you can post directly using the app, reminders are sent for scheduling posts, making it easy for avid Instagram photographers to manage the frequency of their posting.
It also provides basic analytics on your top “liked” and commented-on posts, indicating which photos are engaging your audience.
Use Latergramme to schedule posts from a browser or use the mobile iOS app. Latergramme sends a reminder at the scheduled time, which you can open and post via Instagram.
Ink 361 combines lots of functions into one tool. Multiple tabs offer a nice dashboard display of the photos on your feed, a general look at popular posts, and a variety of statistics on your feed, including engagement rate, post history and post distribution.
There’s also a handy blog looking at Instagram news, celeb pics, tips and even the possibility of printing your photos from the Ink 361 page.
You can browse by #tag, view, and order prints like the other apps above, but you can also join cool photo challenges. There are also multiples in which you can view and organize your photos.
5. Klear (formerly Twtrland)
Klear isn’t just for Instagram—it covers Twitter and Facebook as well—but you get a concise view of how any Instagram account is performing, not just your own. This enables you to compare your performance to that of your competitors.
Clear rates any Instagram account’s activity, popularity and responsiveness, so you can see how your performance measures against the industry standard. It also comes in a paid version, which gives you lots more statistics to measure performance.
Data like most popular photos, average “likes” and comments per post, and even most-used filters are nicely presented in a tab on their Twtrland (now Klear) profile screen.
The popularity of image sharing on social networks is testament to the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” With these handy tools, you can see exactly what impact your pictures are having and ensure that your posts are the talk of the Instagram world.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Talkwalker blog.