As a marketer, you know you should be on Instagram, but starting with zero followers and new types of content can be daunting for an already busy professional. Fortunately, there are many tools which can make it easier for you to earn followers, discover influencers, and manage content. Here are some of my favorite tools for Instagram management.
1) Hootsuite (scheduling)
There is little doubt that Hootsuite is king when it comes to posting and scheduling on social media, and since August, that same power is now behind Instagram posting as well. While Hootsuite’s Instagram support requires you to acknowledge a push notification on your iOS or Android device before actually posting to Instagram, it does allow you to create the content in the same process you do all of your other social accounts, and that’s a huge benefit.
2) Demographics Pro (demographic analysis)
Exulted Media client and leader in social follower analysis Demographics Pro has recently added Instagram support to their dashboard; this allows users to view detailed demographic information about their Instagram followers, the followers of other accounts, and those participating in hashtag campaigns.
For businesses which are new to Instagram, demographic analysis is perhaps most useful for identifying who your target audience is on the platform, and for discovering influencers who can be leveraged in advertising campaigns. Influencer marketing has proven to be an effective engagement tool with an extraordinary return on investment. It may be worth devoting some advertising budget to this relatively new form of marketing.
3) Union Metrics (quantify engagement)
Modern marketers know that measurement is important to demonstrate the value of marketing and to know when to change strategies. Finding the best tool for monitoring (and quantifying) engagement can be difficult, but I recommend Union Metrics; its dashboard is easy to decipher and hosts many useful stats, like which of your hashtags earn the most engagement and who your most enthusiastic followers are, which will be useful in identifying your key influencers and what content appeals to them.
4) Agorapulse (active engagement, social CRM)
One of the most time-consuming aspects of social media management is active engagement with your audience. Logging into five or more platforms to respond to your social audience is hugely time-consuming, and increases the odds of missing an engagement. Agorapulse is the answer to your problems with its social inbox, designed to host all social engagement so that you can quickly respond. It also includes a CRM so that you can keep tabs on your conversations and history with all of your contacts, just as you do in email.
5) Over (Image creation)
The best images you can create for Instagram are honest, attractive, simple, and not overtly promotional. Instead of spending a ton of time creating salesy images, take some images of your team, product, or office that are actually interesting, and add some elegant text to increase their shareability. Over is a simple-to-use tool for taking pictures and overlaying text with modern typography; it will help decrease the amount of resources you need to put into image creation.
6) ROI tracking
Unfortunately, the tracking of conversions on Instagram is more difficult than with other platforms, because Instagram does not allow active outbound links, meaning you can’t simply track clicks and conversions in Google Analytics. In fact, there seems to be no reliable way to track the ROI of marketing on Instagram. And don’t be fooled, conversions are the ONLY metric for measuring return on investment. There are some workarounds, such as using a unique URL within Instagram posts which forwards to your landing page or main website, but these methods are inaccurate for obvious reasons, such as users bypassing the unique URL and going directly to your site. Hopefully in the near future there will be a viable method for tracking ROI on Instagram.
What tools do you use to help market more effectively on Instagram?