5 tools to boost your Instagram campaigns

Adding text to photos, printing snapshots and building slideshows for websites are easier than ever with these helpful apps.

Instagram is an incredible tool for sharing visual pieces of your brand. It’s an increasingly popular platform for marketing campaigns. SumAll‘s 2013 study of brands’ social media success named Instagram the best-performing social media platform of 2013.

Instagram boasts one of the best return on investment rates; it comes in just behind Facebook. Instagram serves more than 150 million monthly users, and 25 percent of Fortune 500 companies post on the network. Brand videos account for 40 percent of the most-shared videos on the network. That’s a lot of activity—and love.

Every social media platform comes with apps and services that make handling accounts easier for community managers. Here are a few of the best services for Instagram:

1. Over

The big brother of the immensely popular Overgram, Over allows you to lay fabulous-looking text over your photos from your phone. If you need to send a message in a photo, take the plunge and buy Over. Use it to explain contests or promote a new hashtag campaign. The branding is of much higher quality than other free apps.

2. Followgram

Much like the popular Statigram, Followgram is a great Web-based management tool. It offers analytics on likes and comments, but its best feature is its vanity URL and hosting page for your photos. It’s a great place to direct fans for an overview of your products. Brands such as Nike, Armani and Ford use Followgram.

3. Printstagr.am

Print out brand photos to display in stores, offer as prizes or sell. I’d love to see a band or concert venue do this for a fan giveaway. I’m positive there are some young ladies who would faint if One Direction did it.

4. OfferPop Hashtag Gallery

This one costs a few bucks, but its capabilities are amazing. It pulls content from multiple networks, including Instagram, into a gallery that you can load onto a Facebook app, website or custom landing page. It’s perfect for large hashtag campaigns.

If you intend to conduct a hashtag campaign (they are extremely successful on Instagram), this tool is stellar. It pairs Instagram photos with other social media content to extend your brand’s presence. Constant Contact harnesses the power of Instagram and hashtags in one of the best campaigns I’ve seen.

5. Slidagram

For those interested in adding a slideshow for an account or hashtag, this free service generates a code for your blog, website or other social network. It’s great for displaying contest entries or Instagram photos on a website.

Store owners can create slideshows of photos based on their locations. The code generator is a little slow, but it’s a very cool tool to promote the people who shop and snap photos at your location.

Do you have a favorite Instagram tool?

Constance Aguilar is the head of strategic communications for The Abbi Agency, a digital marketing and public relations firm. A version of this article originally appeared on SmartBlog on Social Media.

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