Instagram has become one of the most important social networks for businesses since it has emerged as the fastest growing social network worldwide – outpacing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.
To help Social Media Managers take advantage of the growing Instagram user-base, I’ve researched and discovered five tools you can use to reach more prospects or improve customer engagement:
1. Repost. This Android and iOS app lets you repost (just like retweet) pictures your followings (users you follow) or followers have published.
To use the app, download and access it on your mobile device and sync your Instagram account with Repost. Once you’ve completed the synchronization, you can begin republishing photos your followings or followers have posted.
Using Repost lets you gain the following two benefits:
a. Curate content easily. You no long have to screenshot Instagram pictures, upload them onto Instagram, and attribute the source in the caption section. You can now repost pictures and attribute the sources by sharing images easily with Repost since the app automatically mentions the source whenever you repost a photo.
b. Improve community engagement. You can use Repost to engage with your community by republishing followings or followers’ images.
2. Iconosquare. Use this tool to see a grid and line view of the photos your followings and followers have posted. Seeing photos your followings and followers have posted in a grid or line view makes it easier to identify relevant images you want to like or comment to engage with your Instagram community. For example, if you’re a fashion retailer and see that one of your followers has posted her #OFTD (outfit of their day), you can compliment her outfit to boost user engagement.
Similarly, the grid view makes it easy to scan the images you’ve liked. If you’ve accidentally liked an image inconsistent with your brand, it’s easier to notice.
You can also use Iconosquare to keep track of your community engagement. By accessing to the Statistics section, you can identify the increase in number of likes and comments, your most liked or commented photos, and or growth (or decline) of Instagram followers.
You can use this feature to make adjustments such as publishing types of pictures that have attracted the most comments more frequently to improve community engagement.
3. Followgram. This tool lets you explore and find Instagram images posted by users in specific cities.
For example, you can use Followgram to find photos published by Instagram users in Vancouver, BC. To do so, go to the Explore section and specify Vancouver, BC.
You can use Followgram to find relevant photos published by local users. For example, if you’re a sushi restaurant owner, you can use Followgram to find pictures of sushi posted by people in your city. Once you’ve identified these individuals, you can interact with them and encourage them to follow your Instagram account or dine at your restaurant.
You can also use Followgram to find images whose captions contain certain hashtags. For example, if you are a health product retailer, you can use
Followgram to find photos whose captains contain the terms #organic, #health, or #green. This search helps you find prospective customers.
To find images that contain relevant hashags in their captains, go to the Search section and specify the targeted hashtags.
4. Ink361. Use this tool to determine the engagement of your Instagram community. You can use Ink361 to see the total number of likes your images have received, the distribution of likes by month, which photos have gained the most likes, and which photos have attracted the most comments.
These insights can help you identify which kind of images or videos your audience finds most intriguing. For example, you can publish the photos that historically have gained the most likes or comments more frequently. You can also determine whether there’s a seasonal trend for generating comments or likes. You may find fewer interactions after September because people are either back in school or work and therefore less active on Instagram. This means it’s worthwhile investing more time taking and sharing Instagram photos during the summer because that’s when your audience is most active. By gathering these insights, you can leverage them to improve community engagement.
5. Justunfollow. Use this tool to unfollow followings who aren’t following you back. While it’s important to actively promote your brand and gain new followers, it’s vital to unfollow non-followers to maintain a healthy following to follower ratio. A poor following to follower ratio (3:1) can damage your brand image because it creates the perception that you follow users indiscriminately. A healthy ratio (i.e. 1:3) on the other hand enhances your brand appeal because it shows that you’re an exciting, credible brand that engages in a purposeful way and that’s why more users are following you than you are following them.
Developing a large, engaged Instagram community is becoming increasingly important for brands because more consumers are using the photo-sharing app. By using the five tools above, you can find local audiences who would be interested in following your Instagram account or purchasing your offering, repost images easily to interact with your audience, or unfollow users who aren’t following you back to maintain a healthy following to follower ratio. These engagements help you boost community engagement and strengthen brand loyalty.
If there are other Instagram tools you find useful, please share them in the comments section below or tweet me at @theraywang!
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