You want to take advantage of the high engagement rates on Instagram to build your customer base, but with so many competing brands occupying the same platform, you have your work cut out for you. Posting a steady stream of high-quality content that will engage your audience and convert into sales is no simple task, but with the right tools, you can keep your social media campaign running like a well-oiled machine.
Here are five tools to help your brand thrive.
To attract new followers and keep your current ones engaged, you need to keep your account active. Disappearing from social media when life gets busy sends the message your company is unreliable. To improve the chances of your posts appearing at the top of everyone’s feed, you need high engagement rates within an hour of posting, which means you should post when your followers are most likely to be online. The best time of day for your audience, however, might not be the most convenient time for you.
Hootsuite is a scheduling tool that allows you to plan ahead by uploading and editing hundreds of posts in one sitting and programming each piece of content to drop at a later date. Access content from Google Drive, Dropbox, or other cloud-based services and use the Chrome extension to add content you find online, so you don’t have to root through your bookmarks to find it later. The dashboard lists your complete content calendar along with customizable analytics to track your growth and monitor social media trends.
Hootsuite is particularly helpful if you’re working with a large team. Allow everyone to add content to a shared library, but grant different permissions to different team members and oversee the approval process to ensure no inaccurate or inappropriate content ends up on official channels. Evaluate your customer service by tracking how long it takes your employees to respond to comments and resolve complaints.
One limitation of Instagram is the inability to include links in your photo captions or comments. The only link that appears on your account is in your bio, so you need to make the most of it. Linktree provides a way to insert multiple destinations into a single link. When visitors click on your bio, they’ll be able to view all of your recent content without scrolling through your entire feed.
Through a simple paste, drag and drop process, you can add and reorder links and prioritize which links attract the most attention. Link to your homepage, other social media profiles, guest posts you’ve written for blogs, event announcements, and best of all, your online store. Add a signup field for MailChimp or other email services. If you use Google Analytics, you can set UTM parameters, labeling links as “Social” or “Referral,” to monitor traffic sources more accurately.
On Instagram, visual content is key. VSCO is a tool designed to maximize the impact of your visual marketing. Choose from a variety of individual filters or purchase preset packs to create a theme that will appeal to your audience and distinguish your feed from your competitors.
If you’re looking to create a vintage look, for example, check out the expired film stocks and the gritty aesthetic of the Classic Films pack. For a more versatile collection, try the wide spectrum of vivid, muted, and tungsten-balanced options in the Eclectic Films pack. All the desktop presets are compatible with Adobe Lightroom.
The platform also provides a creative community where members can enter photo challenges. Blog posts include the precise settings used for each photo, from exposure, contrast, and clarity to saturation, temperature, and tint.
The Instagram Stories feature offers new opportunities to post dynamic video content. While many video editing apps exist, not all of them are beginner-friendly. Kapwing provides a variety of tools for artists, freelancers, and influencers alike. Faster and more accessible than most software, the platform doesn’t require downloading and works equally well on your computer or phone.
Use Kapwing to resize your videos or shorten the length to 15-second Stories. Create memes and video montages and add subtitles to make your videos more accessible. Experiment with cropping, rotation, filters, sound effects, and stop motion. Add a custom watermark to improve brand recognition when your content is shared or published elsewhere.
- Magic Social.
To grow Instagram followers, you need precision targeting. Magic Social is a service that engages with users, so you can focus on creating content. Answer a few questions about your goals and demographics, then a growth expert will create smart filters based on hashtags, usernames, or locations to pinpoint users interested in what you have to offer.
You can choose to target potential influencers, engage with customers on your competitors’ accounts, or avoid certain users entirely. Focus on users in specific cities or target accounts in certain industries, including fitness, fashion, music, pets, and parenting.
What are your favorite tools for Instagram growth? Let us know in the comments.