5 Must-Have Instagram Tools

Unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn't exactly make it easy for marketers to do their jobs. These tools circumvent that problem.

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By Matthew Toren


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Instagram is about so much more than posting photos. Savvy marketers are using the platform to start conversations with followers; engage with people using hashtags; and now, even post Snapchat-esque stories.

With more than 60 million photos and 1.6 billion likes dished out per day, Instagram is a marketing goldmine, which all too often goes untapped. So sure, you're on Instagram, but are you making the most of the platform? These five tools will help you squeeze the most value out of every like.

1. Collect and amplify Instagram photos with Yotpo.

Yotpo gives you a range of new ways to engage with your Instagram fan community.

No matter how cool your company's Instagram content may be, consumers don't always trust brand photos. They trust their peers. Yotpo lets you prove to your followers that actual people love your products by allowing you to curate user-generated content (UGC) that relates to your brand.

As a business owner or marketer, you can use Yotpo's moderation tools to search for images relevant to your brand and automatically ask the original poster for permission to add their visuals to your collections.

You can then display it on your site - either as a slideshow widget on product pages or on landing pages that include content related to various products.

2. Save time managing your social media with Buffer.

Already a beloved scheduling tool for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media outlets, Buffer has done it again with its new Instagram capabilities.

While Instagram doesn't allow you to publish photos straight to your account using third-party apps, Buffer will let you pre-write and arrange your posts ahead of time. When it's time to post, Buffer will send a push notification to your smartphone, which you can then use to automatically migrate the content over to Instagram.

Buffer is even better for teams.

Multiple people can contribute to one account, with adjustable permissions for each. With built-in analytics, your marketing team can see exactly which posts have been the most successful and why. Whether you're a solopreneur or the CEO of a company with thousands of employees, Buffer is a simple tool that works for everyone.

Related: This 5-Year-Old Photographer With 160,000 Instagram Followers Just Kickstarted His Own Book

3. BestBuddies tells you who likes your photos the most on Instagram.

Have you always wanted to know who your biggest Insta-fan is? Of course you have.

BestBuddies by Sweeble is the perfect way to do just that. Log into the BestBuddies web app with your Instagram credentials to see your top ten likers. BestBuddies will not only display your top likers' usernames, but it will also tell you how many of your posts they have liked.

So what do you do with this information?

Well, if nine out of 10 of your top likers are women, who identify as foodies in their Instagram bios, you know who you want to target with your next marketing campaign. Knowing the specific users, who like your posts the most, can also help you identify potential influencers or advocates, if that's something your business is looking for.

Related: Why Your Business Should Establish an Instagram Presence ASAP

4. Find and analyze your followers with SocialRank.

SocialRank is a great tool for businesses seeking an all-in-one Instagram resource.

First, the program imports your followers, so you can view the most engaged and most valuable alphabetized lists of your followers. Then you can search your followers according to keywords and hashtags to drive better engagement surrounding specific topics.

If you're targeting a specific geographical area, you can search for followers by location. And because SocialRank also works with Twitter, you can see which of your followers engage with both social media platforms. Now, you can see if your top "liker" on BestBuddies is actually your biggest fan on SocialRank.

Related: 7 Instagram Accounts That Inspire the Entrepreneurial Journey

5. Minter.io provides Instagram analytics.

Minter.io offers a range of useful analytics features via a clean and easy-to-use interface.

Simple tracking allows you to easily chart audience growth, along with the gender and geographical distribution of your followers. Minter.io will show you new followers and people who unfollowed you. You can track which posting times result in the most likes, and measure the use of branded hashtags.

Which of your followers comment the most on your photos? With Minter.io, you can track that data in real-time. And if you're extra serious about your data, Minter.io will let you export it all to a spreadsheet, PDF or presentation.

With all of the great Instagram tools out there, you have no excuse for not fully engaging with your fans.

Matthew Toren

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.

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