10 Instagram Tools to Help You Build Your Following in 2018

Successful brands and influencers have used these tools in order to generate sizable Instagram audiences in no time.

learn more about AJ Agrawal

By AJ Agrawal • Mar 3, 2019 Originally published Jan 1, 2018

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What do the world's best brands and most successful influencers have in common? One comonality is a massive Instagram following that can be mobilized at the drop of a hat to take a specific action.

Cultivating a strong Instagram following is a great way to build an audience or a customer base. Think of a brand like Brandy Melville, which has amassed 3.8 million followers, or an influencer like Tim Karsliyev, founder of Daily Dose, who has 1.2 million followers.

Here are reviews of 10 Instagram tools that successful brands and influencers are using to generate sizable Instagram audiences in no time.

1. Magic Social

MagicSocial allows you to build your Instagram account using two-way engagement. That means you can not only pick who you want to follow you but can also pick whom you choose to follow. The result is a curated following that grows without needing any intervention. Magic Social's level of customization in terms of audience demographic is something that has not been achievable in other Instagram tools, making this tool a must-have for people who want to build a following without sacrificing quality followers.

2. Grum

Seamlessly schedule Instagram posts right from your computer, using Grum. The web-based software platform is ideal for Instagrammers who have great content -- stuck in a computer -- that isn't easily accessible on a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, Grum allows users to schedule posts, captions and comments in advance, making it easy to create a stunning editorial strategy without major headaches.

Related: 8 Simple Steps to Help Your Business Get Started on Instagram

3. Owlmetrics

There is a reason 78 percent of marketers surveyed in one study said that data was essential to their work. The best marketing teams are those that are able to quickly collect, analyze and react to data. Owlmetrics helps marketing teams do just that, thanks to a robust Instagram analytics platform.

The tool is capable of analyzing Instagram performance with regard to follower growth and post (including Instagram Stories) engagement. Users can also determine the best time of day to post content based on easy-to-interpret calendar heat maps that elegantly synthesize large data sets.

4. VSCO

Because Instagram is a highly visual social media platform, a successful strategy using it is dependent on your creating stunning visual content. VSCO empowers Instagrammers of all skill levels to edit images and video so that they look as though they were produced by a professional. The platform, available on iOS and Android, is a pleasure to use because it is so sleek and intuitive.

5. Later

Later offers media storage and scheduling features marketers will love. It's perfect for social media marketing teams that need to build a complex Instagram content calendar. The platform offers content-management features like a Chrome extension, which help users to search for and even re-post Instagram content, and a bulk-media uploader complete with labels and tags.

6. Woobox

Roughly 70 percent of large brands use gamification as part of their marketing strategy. With Woobox, brands of all sizes can create a social media-based contest that can help to increase followers, collect leads and drive online sales. Woobox has been used by four million organizations, including Spotify, American Airlines and the NFL.

The all-in-one social media contest tool even includes a landing page and form builder for those who have yet to purchase some sort of marketing-automation software.

7. Canva

Edit media and create great-looking designs in minutes with Canva. This design platform inhabits a space somewhere between Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop. Brands of all sizes rely on the tool to create social media images without needing to rely on professional designers.

8. Linktree

In a move that's somewhat controversial, Instagram allows users only one opportunity to link out of the platform to another website. But there's a solution: Linktree is a free tool that turns one link into many by creating an intermediate landing page. This page allows visitors to choose where they land on the target website.

For example, if you are an ecommerce store, the link can lead visitors to a page with options for men's and women's clothing.

9. Ink361

Manage Instagram content, measure performance and keep an eye on competitors with Ink361. Since the platform is still in its early stages of development, pricing is currently free for all users, though that will change at some point. Ink361 is a great tool for Instagram marketers who are just starting out, since they can gain access to a robust all-in-one tool without first needing to make an investment.

10. Juicer

Display a curated series of Instagram posts on your website with Juicer. This social media widget can easily be embedded on any webpage to drive website visitor traffic to your Instagram profile. The tool even includes filter options, making it is easy to curate just the right content to suit the intent of the webpage.

Related: 7 Marketing Tips to Help Grow Your Brand on Instagram

Conclusion

With roughly 800 million monthly users, Instagram is quickly becoming a critically important marketing channel. Using the tools outlined here, marketers of all stripes can create a substantial Instagram following that can be harnessed to improve brand awareness and increase sales.
AJ Agrawal

Founder of Verma Media

AJ Agrawal is the founder of Verma Media, a marketing agency that focuses on emerging tech, like blockchain and AI, and on cannabis companies.

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