social media toolsIs your business using Instagram?

Do you need better tools?

Many marketers haven’t adopted Instagram because it doesn’t offer the right tools to help them use it effectively.

Here are five Instagram tools to help you become more efficient with Instagram.

Why Instagram?

Instagram is a rapidly growing photo and video sharing platform with more than 150 million users and 16 billion photos shared. Over 55 million photos are shared on Instagram to a very engaged community every single day.

Google Trends show you the volume of searches for “Instagram.” As you can see, over the last year it has grown significantly and is set to grow further in 2014.

google trends instagram search report

Google Trends show a rapid growth in the search for “Instagram,” which is a good sign for the application’s popularity.

Read on to find tools that will help you market yourself or your brand on this popular platform.

#1: Improve Your Account Management with is a web-based management tool for Instagram. In addition to providing detailed analytics, it equips you with a faster and better way of interacting with a lot of content shared on Instagram at the same time. Of course you can use the Instagram web browser, but this tool provides more useful functionality.


  • Viewer—Allows you to view your feed and the people you are connected to in different ways. It makes it easy to navigate through images/videos and like, comment, share or repost them. You can also add or remove new followers.
  • Statistics—View statistics on your own account such as most popular content, growth in followers and how engaging your content is.
  • Snapshots—Collection of images which highlight the statistics on your account so you can share them with your Instagram audience.
  • Manage—Interact with the most recent comments you received on your Instagram postings.
  • Promote—Let people who don’t have an Instagram account view all of your photos and comment on them through Facebook (for example,
  • Promote—Provides ways for you to further promote your Instagram photos. For example, you can install an app on Facebook from that will display your images on a separate tab, or create a photo gallery to include on your website/blog.
  • Contests—Paid contest platform for running your competitions on Instagram.

How it Works

To get started, just go to and log in using your Instagram username and password. pulls all the details from your Instagram account and presents it to you in a variety of ways. main screen

Go to and log in using your Instagram info. functionality is broken down into the following sections that are available through tabs in the application.


The viewer is a way of viewing and interacting with your feed. There is a strong community on Instagram and to be involved in this community, you need to be active. You may fall behind on updates being shared on Instagram, so the viewer is a good way of catching up.

Rather than viewing one picture at a time on, you can easily scroll through your collection of pictures as thumbnails and immediately interact with them (i.e., comment and like).

This is much easier than using the interface on Instagram, enabling you to interact with a lot of pictures in a short amount of time and build up your engagement.

multi image view on

You can view many pictures at the same time. This makes it easier to interact with more users over a shorter period of time and find the most interesting pictures.

Click on a picture or video to see more details such as who has liked it, all comments and more. You can also share the image on your other social channels or repost it to share with your followers on Instagram.

sharing an image on

Share a picture on your other social channels or repost it to your followers.

Apply various filters within the viewer:

  • Feed—This is a feed of the latest media shared by people whom you follow.
  • My Media—Any media that you’ve shared. You can also organize them into folders.
  • My likes—Photos that you’ve liked.
  • My Followers—Pictures of everyone who follows you.
  • My Followings—Pictures of all of the people you follow.
  • Populars—Pictures that are currently popular that have been shared on Instagram.


You can view detailed analytics based on your account to assess its performance. It’s useful to regularly assess how you’re doing.

For example, you can work out:

  • How engaging your content is
  • Your best piece of content
  • When you’re currently posting and when you should be posting
  • How many followers you’re picking up or losing on a weekly basis

You may not use these analytics on a daily basis, but assessing your performance regularly on Instagram will help it improve.

viewing new followers on

View new followers over the last 7 days.

Snapshots does an analysis of your account and produces a range of media that summarizes your account status (either pictures or videos).

Choose the style you like from the library of snapshots and send it your email. You then need to open the email on your mobile so you can save it to your photo library and post the snapshot to Instagram.

You may only share this content for fun. I suppose the main reason this functionality is here is to get you to share it on Instagram to help promote

sharing stats on

Share your Instagram stats with your community by choosing from a range of snapshot styles.


This shows you the last five comments on your account so you can read, delete and/or respond to them. You can also send private messages to other Instagram users.

responding to comments on

Respond to picture comments.


You may have great imagery, but some of your clients/customers may not be on Instagram. So provides various options for promoting your content, for example:

  • You can provide them with a website address on where they can view your content. When they interact with your content, they can share it out on Facebook.
  • There is an app you can use to add your Instagram content onto your Facebook page.
  • Create a profile cover on Facebook with a selection of your Facebook photos.
  • Add badges on your website so people can follow you on Instagram without leaving your website.
  • Add photos in a widget to your website so you can display your best pictures.


The Contest tab displays a list of contests that are currently active on Instagram, using the competition functionality. Browse through the library to discover ideas for competitions you could run or even enter a few contests yourself.

Click on the thumbnail for a competition to view it fullscreen.

If you want to use the functionality to create your own contest, this is how the process works. (Note: this is a paid feature.)

  • When you set up your competition, define one or more hashtags, the country you are targeting and your terms and conditions.
  • People can enter your competition by including the hashtag on Instagram. They can also submit their entry through a public page available through Plus, you can set up a tab in Facebook with the competition entrants.
  • Your competition is listed in the public directory of contests, which is displayed within
  • Moderation is available, so you can decide which pictures get displayed and are therefore included in the competition.
  • You can monitor analytics during the competition.
  • When the competition is over, you pick a winner and publish your results on the competition page.
competition library on

Browse through the library of competitions for inspiration.

Benefits helps you:

  • Use a well laid-out, web-based interface to interact more with your community
  • Monitor how well your account is doing through the analytics
  • Run competitions on Instagram

Summary is a useful tool that helps you analyze and manage your Instagram account from a web-based interface. This will save you time and help grow your community. Competitions can work very well on Instagram, and their functionality for this is straightforward and user-friendly.

#2: Share Content From Your Communities with Repost

Repost is a mobile app that allows you to browse through content from your community and repost this content, giving full attribution to the person who posted the picture in the first place.

Since is not available on mobile, this is a handy tool to use in combination with Instagram so you can also repost from your Android or iOS device.

Note: At the time I wrote this post, there were mixed reviews about the app online, but it looks like some bugs have been fixed because it worked perfectly for me.

How it Works

After you install the Repost app, you can start browsing through pictures. You can like or comment on pictures and also repost. When you see one that you would like to share, you just click on it.

When you select the Repost option, you can choose the attribution method:

  • Where the attribution to the person who originally shared the picture will be included (bottom, top, left or right)
  • Whether the background for the attribution text should be dark or light
repost options on

Select the repost option and choose where you want to put the attribution to the original Instagrammer.

When you’re finished, select Repost again. This will open the picture (with the attribution) within the Instagram app. Note: you must be logged into the Instagram app on your phone for this to work.

At this stage, you just follow the normal process for posting a picture on Instagram. Apply a filter, specify the text you want included with the image, choose on which other social networks you want to share, tag people, and so on.

You’ll notice that the attribution to the original sharer is automatically included as part of the text for this share.

You may think that there are too many steps involved in this, but give it a go. In reality it’s very easy to repost images.

updating repost options on

Update details such as the repost text.


Think about all of the times you retweet content on Twitter. Why don’t you do this on Instagram?

This tool will ensure that you share more of other people’s content so you help build up your community. There is also good attribution displayed by default so everyone knows who shared the original piece of content.

#3: Schedule Your Content on Instagram with Postso

Postso is a posting and scheduling tool. It was initially created for Instagram, but other platforms have been added over time. (Note: It’s a paid platform with a 14-day trial.)

In general, you probably just take pictures when you are out and about and share them instantly with Instagram. But what if you want to share a bunch of pictures? Rather than sharing them all at once, it might make more sense to schedule them.

Postso provides the functionality to do exactly that.

How it Works

After you sign up, the first thing you need to do is connect your Instagram account with Postso.

Select the option to connect with Instagram. When you add your account, you have the option of viewing all of the posts you have scheduled through Postso, adding a new post to the queue or adding a team member to your account.

Once your account is ready, select the Add post option.

connecting accounts to postso

These are the accounts you can connect to Postso.

On this screen, you can do the following:

  • Specify the account—You may want to just send this to your Instagram account, but you can also send it to other accounts you have connected with Postso such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • Upload the picture and text—Upload your picture and enter the appropriate text you want shared. When you upload the picture, there is some limited editing where you can reduce the size of the picture if you want.
  • Name this location—It’s optional to specify a location.
  • Specify a time to post—Post it immediately or schedule a time in the future. The time is measured in 30-minute intervals.
scheduling a post on postso

Schedule a post using Postso.

Now when you click View Posts from the list of connected accounts, you should see the post you have just scheduled. You can also view the posts that have already been published by Postso.

scheduled post queue on postso

This is the queue with currently one post scheduled to go out.


While Postso doesn’t include a lot of functionality, the scheduling functionality is still very useful to have. I know that when I have a series of tips on social media tools, I don’t want to share them out on the same day so scheduling them makes it much easier.

#4: Tidy Up Your Instagram Account with Justunfollow

Justunfollow provides an easy way to manage your followers on Instagram. It’s a web-based application that helps grow your followers, while identifying users who aren’t engaging with you. Use this tool to clean out the list of people you follow, and focus more on the ones more relevant to your business.

viewing followers on justunfollow

See if you are following people who aren’t relevant to your business, and unfollow them.

While some of what Justunfollow provides overlaps with Instagram’s standard functionality, it has some additional uses that aren’t available in Instagram.

How it Works

When you connect your Instagram account with Justunfollow, there are various options that you can perform on the account.

  • Non-followers—View a list of people you follow who don’t follow you back. If you find that these users are not relevant to your business, you can just unfollow them. If they’re people whom you recently followed and/or they have great content, you might want to keep following them for a while.
  • Fans—These are people who follow you, but you don’t follow back. It’s useful to go through this list every so often and follow the people who are relevant to your business. The green plus icon allows you to follow them with just one click.
  • Who unfollowed me—Once you connect your account, Justunfollow will start tracking accounts that unfollowed you. If you notice that a lot of people are unfollowing you after you share particular content, you may have to reconsider the content you share.
  • Who followed me—This displays any recent new followers you get.
  • Copy followers—With this functionality you can enter the Instagram username of someone who is relevant to your business. You can then copy them to a list and start following some of them.
  • Whitelist/Blacklist—You can highlight accounts and specifically mark which accounts are good (whitelist) or shouldn’t be shown in the future (blacklist).
  • Friendcheck—This is a search facility where you can look up an Instagram account to see if that person follows you.
managing followers on justunfollow

Quickly follow or unfollow people on Justunfollow.


Justunfollow is a useful tool for tidying up your followers. You can remove or add followers, or just monitor your follower list.

#5: Perform Competitor Analysis with Twtrland

Twtrland started off as a Twitter analytics tool, but recently added Instagram and Facebook. The Instagram functionality allows you to analyze your competitors’ accounts on Instagram.

How it Works

Search for a competitor based on skill, location or name.

From the resulting list, pick out the account you want to analyze and open up their profile. You’ll have the option of viewing their Twitter or Instagram details.

finding competitors with twtrland

Enter a skill, location or just keywords to find a competitor’s account.

In the example below, I searched for Sue Zimmerman, who is an Instagram expert. I was curious to see what her profile is like and what works for her.

viewing competitor details on twtrland

View full details of a competitor’s profile, including the pictures with the best engagement.

When you open up the profile, you can analyze information such as:

  • Overall analytics—This displays the overall statistics for this account. Is your competitor posting more frequently than you? Are they getting more engagement? It’s worth analyzing several accounts to see how they compare to yours.
  • Photos posted—You’ll see a list of photos posted according to how popular they were. You get to see what photos do and don’t work for your competitors.
  • Your competitor’s network—View this Instagrammer’s connections. You can display their followers according to how much they interacted with your competitor’s posts (i.e., number of likes and comments) or by who has the most followers.
  • View analytics—When you see someone of interest, you can click on their profile and view analytics on their account. You can also follow them on Instagram.

If you want to do further searches, you can add more filters. For example, you can decide to view only people who are relevant to a topic or are from a certain country.

This is a great way to build your network on Instagram—identify your competitors and follow people they interact with who have a good following themselves.


Twtrland provides you with some useful tools for competitive analysis to identify what content does and doesn’t work, to whom you should connect and more.

Final Thoughts

We have seen Instagram grow rapidly over the last year and it looks like that will continue. These tools will help you grow a strong presence on Instagram, and they are all well worth considering.

What do you think? Are there any tools you like we haven’t mentioned? What are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you. Share your favorite Instagram tools in the comments.

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  • Hi Ian, great article, but I’m afraid Postso doesn’t appear to support Instagram scheduling anymore? I’ve been looking high and low for a desktop program to post to Instagram, but I’ve been told they don’t allow for third-party apps to post. Any idea on alternatives?

  • Wow, the tools industry moves fast! I’ve used it a lot recently and it was vey handy being able to schedule posts. That’s the only scheduling app I’ve come across. Ian

  • Thanks for the feedback. Postso allowed Instagram scheduling 2 weeks ago. We’re checking further into this.

  • The social media landscape is always changing! I was told there is an alternative but I haven’t used it and just heard of it today

  • allows scheduling and also complies with Instagram’s terms of use which doesn’t allow for auto-posting. Which was doing until they recently stopped as noted by Places4Students.

  • Hi Cindy, I contacted Postso and they have indicated they removed Instagram support from their website. No explanation unfortunately.

  • I’ve given up on Instagram marketing because they make it super difficult to have multiple accounts. I can somewhat understand why they avoid allowing scheduling, but multiple accounts should be made easy.

  • rodriguez247

    I’ve cleared that obstacle by including a dedicated iPod Touch for any client that might benefit of having an Instagram acct. These tools listed here are also great as complement tools, but I wouldn’t advise you to shut out a network, just because of its inability to play well with others.

  • There is a very good Instagram engagement feature called Admirers in JustUnfollow mobile apps. It helps you retain your brand ambassadors / users who had liked my pics.

  • How do you manage to schedule? Do you like manually post in intervals? Do you put some calendar?

  • Ashlee Carson

    Thanks! I am already using the Repost app and it seems to be working great. Bummer to hear about Postco. I’d love something I could schedule posts with.

  • Thanks Ashlee, yes it’s a shame!

  • Any solutions for Android? Right now I only use my personal account.

  • rodriguez247

    Unfortunately I don’t have one. With the dedicated iPod, client pays for it and it’s their property.

  • I used Postso today with no issues. Wonder why you got that message…

  • Nikita Alok Sharma

    Its Really nice article, Thanks for sharing this useful tool with us for instagram.
    It there any other way to get regular traffic on website by Instagram?

  • Do you use Postso for Instagram? The other platforms are working fine, but they’ve removed Instagram.

  • Darn it, and here I thought there was finally and instagram scheduling solution 🙁

  • Tiana R.

    Seems like everyone was on the same wave as I and was super excited about the thought of scheduling Instagram. Darn!

  • Pingback: Marketing Day: Twitter’s New Profile Page Is Now Available For Everyone()

  • Thanks Nikita, make sure to add a link to your website from your profile page. You could also include your website name/address in your pictures (e.g. bottom right hand corner).

  • salcoombes

    There’s gold in here thank you! QUESTION… does anyone know if there’s a tool to help you manage 2+ Instagram accounts do you don’t have to keep logging in and out of each account?

  • leilanitechaira

    It’s such a bummer to hear about Postso. Our company was considering using it. After some searching it looks like another company is going to try it: It allows you to apply to be a private beta user until the app comes out. You have to wonder, will it be like all the other Instagram scheduling apps/programs? Short life span.

  • iFactory Digital

    We use to schedule our Instagram posts and our client’s accounts in the one login and you can have multiple users. It’s an awesome new tool and saves a lot of time.

  • Matt P

    I think that’s the crux of the issue at hand Sal, it is what everyone wants, however Postco looked as though it WAS that option, until the option was removed. It makes Instagram as a platform for brands difficult to build into the mix

  • Very disappointing about Really needed a desktop app that would work with multiple clients.

  • Good stuff as usual Ian. We just started using to schedule posts. So far the results have been good. They are very transparent about how they are set up. No device emulation or reverse-engineered APIs. Hugh and team have been great with support. I fear that will be hard to maintain when the Social Media Examiner community comes running to their door! 🙂 They are actively developing – a team feature just launched. Let’s make them successful!

  • Thanks for sharing, I’ll certainly check it out!

  • HI Lisa, they have stopped supporting it for an new clients, I still have support also in my install!

  • Thanks Matt.

  • Thank you Siddharth!

  • Looks great, I’m going to check it out.

  • Thanks good Bill and thanks for your feedback, Ian

  • John Vite

    I’ve been using and it’s been helping a lot with building better engagement

  • DigitalR31

    Hi – Posto don’t support Instagram scheduling anymore, does anyone have any alternatives?? How do I achieve really high quality photos after the compression? Thanks!

  • Cat

    Hi Thanks for the article. I used AStatigram a few months back trying to make it easier to operate from desktop when operating a corporate account. And imemdiately my Hashtags stopped trending….. Has anyone else had this experience ?

  • Hi, was mentioned as an alternative but I haven’t tested this out yet. Ian

  • salcoombes

    I bet someone is working on it as we speak…let’s hope 😉

  • Is there any way to post photos from a computer or laptop?

  • Ian MacKinnon

    Hi, I’m one of the creators, thanks for the shout-out! The other apps/programs with a short life span are hacking the Instagram API and violation ToS, so they keep getting shut down. Latergram doesn’t have that problem because we play nice with the ToS. However, the main conceit of Latergram is that it doesn’t post automatically, it sends a scheduled push notification with your photo and caption which opens easy in Instagram, so you still post yourself. It’s not automatic, but the goal is to remove as much friction as possible from posting while not jeopardizing ToS violations.

  • Thanks John, I tried signing up but I got a notification saying they’ll let me know when it’s launched so it must be limited availability at the moment. I’ll keep it on the list. Thanks! Ian

  • Hi, I’ve never seen this issue before. Ian

  • It was but unfortunately they have stopped supporting Instagram. Bill has mentioned but I haven’t tested it out yet. Ian

  • Thanks, Ian, for the deep dive above! Really happy to learn more about JustUnFollow – Will have to give it more of a whirl.

    Great post,


  • Yesterday it was … today it is Things do move fast. Great article @iancleary:disqus

  • Sue B. Zimmerman

    It works fine for me. Message Anna and see if she can help you.

  • Nikita Alok Sharma

    Thanks Ian, I will do that way.

  • Kristen

    There’s one now called Schedugram, Not huge on the analytics, and they don’t have a phone based app, but if scheduling is what you’re looking for – they certainly seem to be going places.

  • Thanks Denise!

  • Thank you so much Keri!

  • It appears it’s working for people who already registered, but new users do not have the ability to pair their Instagram account to Postso

  • Eliza

    Oh I thought was only for scheduling on mobile, thanks!

  • Sue B. Zimmerman

    You are correct. I checked in with Anna and they are no longer allowed to take on new accounts. Instagram made them disable this service.

  • lrgworks

    I was SO excited to find an app that scheduled Instagrams. I signed up for the free trial and, sadly, Instagram is no longer an option. Sigh.

  • Jitendra Padmashali

    Hye Ian, After recently analyzing data from the all community, we revealed how Instagram users are ten times more likely to be engaged than Facebook and Twitter.

  • That’s very interesting Jitendra, thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks for sharing, Kristen!

  • Cool! Thanks for sharing, Matt.

  • Pingback: Why Marketers Should Consider Instagram | Young and Broke()

  • rodriguez247

    As I mentioned above, I have dedicated iPod touch for any client that wants or can utilize Instagram in their campaigns. It’s great because you let them know ahead of time, and the device is theirs once the contract ends. I realize it’s a bit of a hassle having so many devices, however, since Instagram is not allowing the multiple account option, this is the best option so far.

  • Hey Ian, Would you be interested in super beta tool for Instagram Marketing?
    Currently ~20-30k users are testing it.

  • Sure, email me on my site.

  • If you’re on iOS, you could try the TakeOff feature in JustUnfollow.

  • Gurpreet Dhaliwal

    Check out AutoGrammer, it solves the issue that SOME of the aforementioned apps have

    1) They are no more than a reminder service, you still have to post yourself
    2) They are mobile apps, no web interface
    3) They reverse engineer the Instagram and hence Instagram comes around and gives cease and desist letters and they shut down

  • Sandra Keyes

    HALP! I’m trying to manage an IG account for a client (freelance newbie). I’ve installed the app and logged in with the client’s credentials and now IG is telling all my friends that it’s MY account…….?! I’m assuming it’s because it asked for permission to access my contact list but how do I fix this?!

  • Chantal

    Ya well Schedugram is no longer as of today! Why I am back on this thread to find a new scheduler IG app.

  • Daphne Kay

    + Spotless app. Spotless deletes spam Instagram comments automatically. Bye bye Instaspammers. 🙂

  • Adding another to the “industry changing quickly” category – Iconosquare no longer offers free statistics. When I signed up for my free account yesterday, they did. Today when I went to check it…no luck. Do you happen to know of any free Instagram analytics tools? I’m mostly looking for something that can assess which times of day get the most activity.

  • Sean Pomory

    Hi Amanda, Iconosquare received a lot of backlash from their community and reverted back to free statistics. Hope this helps!

  • Yeah!! I had been keeping an eye on said backlash (and may have been giggling a little…somehow I doubt that only 4% of their users used the metrics portion…haha). I’m able to actually use them now, and it’s pretty dang fantastic.

  • Sean Pomory

    It is! I love it.

  • Ed Troxell Creative

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve been using Take off (app for iPhone) to help schedule posts for Instagram. I don’t make it a habit or put a lot in the pipeline. You want to be very careful when scheduling posts. Always keep checking them. What I like about Take Off is that it won’t post automatically. It will notify you when it’s time to post and then you have to tap on Instagram and manually post it. The nice thing is you already wrote the copy and added the hashtags.

  • Shea Hennessy

    Statigram is okay. You can’t actually manage your account because of Instagram’s strict spam policy, you can only like a few photos over a certain period of time which isn’t really all that helpful. But the free stat reports are fantastic!!

  • very nice tools my search is end today thank you soc much

  • Samantha Grain

    This is an awesome list) All the apps are great and useful, and they do make the management easier. I’ve only got two remarks, everything else is fine. First, i personally don’t use any schedulers, cause most of them can’t upload the pictures, only remind you to. And is arguably the best of them. Second, i’d replace justunfollow with, it can do almost all the things justunfollow can (the rest is covered by, or as it is called now iconosquare), but it has a lot more other functions. By the way i’m afraid iconosquare won’t be with us any longer because of the changes in the Instagram policy.

  • Foundationkwast

    Great tips. Ij just started my instagram and I use crowdfire.