Instagram is home to over 200 million business accounts and is projected to grow to 1.2 billion active users by 2023. In addition, the social media giant is the fourth most-used social media platform in the world. It’s facts like these that make Instagram the ideal place to market to your audience, drive engagement, and grow your business, as long as you have the right Instagram tools in your pocket.
Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a fitness influencer used to grow from 0 to 600,000+ followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.
Instagram scheduling tools
1. Hootsuite’s Composer
Create Instagram posts on the fly or schedule them for later by using Hootsuite’s Composer. With an easy-to-use interface, the Composer is a powerful publisher that comes packed with features that will help you get the most out of your Instagram posts, including editing, customizing, scheduling, and an AI-powered hashtag generator.
Plus, use the Best time to Publish recommendations, which are based on your unique historical posting data, to make sure you schedule your posts for the times when you are likely to get the most engagement, click-throughs, or impressions.
You can also use Canva inside the Hootsuite dashboard (no add-on app required).
To use Canva in Hootsuite:
- Log in to your Hootsuite account and head to Composer.
- Click on the purple Canva icon in the bottom right corner of the content editor.
- Select the type of visual you want to create. You can pick a network-optimized size from the drop-down list or start a new custom design.
- When you make your selection, a login pop-up window will open. Sign in using your Canva credentials or follow the prompts to start a new Canva account. (In case you were wondering — yes, this feature does work with free Canva accounts!)
- Design your image in the Canva editor.
- When you’re done editing, click Add to post in the top right corner. The image will automatically be uploaded to the social post you’re building in Composer.
2. Hootsuite’s bulk scheduler
Save time and resources by using Hootsuite’s bulk scheduling tool. Bulk scheduling your Instagram posts allows you to streamline your social media campaigns, giving you an opportunity to focus on other areas of your business. Hootsuite’s bulk scheduler means you can post up to 350 posts ahead of time across various channels, not just Instagram.
Instagram analytics tools
3. Instagram Insights
Creator and business accounts have access to Instagram business tools like Insights. From the Insights tab, you can learn about who’s following you, when they’re most active, and what type of content is most popular. Some data disappears after 7-14 days, so consider the following tools for more detailed reporting.
Hootsuite offers features that go above and beyond Instagram’s analytics tool. From the Hootsuite dashboard, you dig deeper into data from the past and run customizable or historical reports whenever the need arises. You can also monitor your account’s response time and rank Instagram comments by positive or negative sentiment.
Hootsuite Analytics is available to Pro and Team plans.
Up your analytics game with Hootsuite Advanced Analytics. This results-oriented platform provides graphs, tables, and KPI summaries, so you can clearly measure the ROI of your Instagram marketing. Plus, you can compare how your campaigns measure up against competitors with built-in benchmarking. Another benefit is you can connect with Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics and BI tools, like Tableau and Microsoft Power BI, for measurement across the customer journey.
Iconosquare offers a free audit of your Instagram business account. The audit evaluates your last 30 days of posts, overall profile performance, and provides tips for areas that could use some improvement. Beyond the audit, Iconosquare’s paid tools include analytics and scheduling, but only on Instagram and Facebook.
Panoramiq Insights adds powerful Instagram analytics to your Hootsuite dashboard. The app allows you to analyze account activity, follower demographics (super handy for targeting campaigns!), and measure the success of your posts and Stories.
If you’re working with influencers, want to analyze a competitor, or simply just creep on celebrities, Phlanx’s Instagram engagement calculator gives you handy insights into total followers, engagement rates, and average likes and comments on posts.
Kim Kardashian’s engagement rate on Instagram is 1.1% (sounds like someone needs to read this blog post!)
Monitor mentions, comments, and tags by adding Panoramiq Multiview into the Hootsuite dashboard. As the name suggests, this Instagram business tool gives you a panoramic view of how people engage with your account. Plus, it’s called multiview for a reason: Add multiple accounts to one stream so you can get back to people faster.
Automate tracking mentions of your company, competitors, and keywords. This tool is compatible with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and other web sources like blogs. That means you can see where Instagram fits into the bigger picture and where your brand is being mentioned most. And you can sync it all up with Hootsuite.
Instagram ads tools
Ads Manager is a platform shared by Facebook and Instagram for creating and tracking ads. This Instagram business tool provides advertisers with access to Facebook’s targeting capability and the ability to run campaigns across both platforms. After launching a campaign, you can make adjustments, respond to comments, and track performance. Track how much bang you’re getting for your buck in the Amount spent and Cost per result sections.
Advertisers should be familiar with Instagram’s branded content tools. These tools include tags that allow creators to label branded content, a disclaimer that Instagram policy and many governments require. When a business account is tagged, they are given the opportunity to approve partners and see the reach and engagement of their posts or Stories in Insights.
Social marketers understand the value of running paid and organic campaigns in harmony with each other to help achieve business goals. Hootsuite’s Social Advertising allows you to plan and publish ads on Instagram alongside your organic content, giving you the ability to make data-driven decisions about your campaign strategy all in one place.
AdEspresso’s tools are designed to help you make the most of your Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads budget. Its customizable dashboard allows you to focus on the metrics that support your advertising goals. But what sets AdEspresso apart is that it delivers actionable tips on how to improve campaigns while they’re running.
Instagram ads are often monitored for reach and conversions, but it’s important not to neglect comments, too. That’s where Adview comes in. With this app, you can see and respond to comments on Instagram and Facebook ads in one place. Hootsuite users can also connect to their dashboard for more unified management.
Instagram hashtag tools
Integrate Panoramiq with Hootsuite to keep tabs on popular or branded hashtags in your space. This is a great tool for research and analysis. Compare multiple hashtags so you can use the best ones on your post. Or you can track a specific hashtag to find user-generated content or contest submissions.
This web-based tool delivers the details on Instagram hashtags. Lookup a hashtag to discover related tags, age and gender usage demographics, and a language breakdown. You can also see the top posts that have used the hashtag.
Keyhole’s analytics portfolio includes hashtag tracking tools tailored for Instagram campaigns. Are you using a branded hashtag? With Keyhole, you can calculate its ROI. Partnering with influencers? You can measure their impact on your hashtags, too.
One of ShortStack’s specialties is helping marketers track social contest hashtags. Track your hashtag, identify high-profile users, and select winners with its Random Entry Selector.
Keep a firm eye on the competition with Synapview, a Hootsuite app that allows you to create and save Streams that monitor competitors and hashtags on Instagram. The app comes with a cool analytics feature that shows you where and when your hashtags are being used on Instagram, along with where and when your competitors are posting. Impressive stuff!
Instagram Stories tools
When Instagram’s Valencia filter and editing tools no longer cut it, try Adobe Lightroom CC. The app makes professional photo editing tools easy to use, especially if you’ve downloaded Lightroom presets.
Boomerang is a standalone app by Instagram with built-in integration that adds looping effects to photos. The Instagram tool offers a simple way to spruce up static photos that can be posted to the grid or stories.
Snapseed is a photo editing app owned by Google that consistently earns top rank in the photo categories of the App and Google Play stores. Among its 29 tools and features, Snapseed offers selective editing options, so you tweak just parts of a photo that need a fix.
VSCO is more than just a photo and video editing tool; it’s a community with weekly challenges, #VSCO hashtags, VSCO girl memes, and more. The app is best known for its filters—10 of which are free when you download the app. Subscription members get access to advanced tools, including filters by Kodak, Fuji, and Agfa and its latest tool video and photo Montage tool.
Prequel’s bold filters and special effects will keep you on-trend with Instagram aesthetics. Among its latest updates are palm shadow effects and Aerochrome filters that will make your videos and images pop. Both weekly and yearly subscriptions are available.
Up your mobile video production game with Adobe Premiere Clip. Shoot pro-quality video on mobile, edit with advanced features, add subtitles, and publish directly to Instagram. This free app also lets you combine videos or export 15-second clips for Instagram Stories, with plenty of templates on offer, too.
Instagram tools for influencer campaigns
Instagram business and creator accounts now have access to Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager. The platform is designed to make it easier for compatible brands and influencers to find each other and collaborate on campaigns. Brands can look up lists of creators based on their past partners, creators who like their account, and setup audience matches.
One of the biggest social media trends of 2022 is brands partnering with authentic creators to build community and drive consumer trust. Tint is the ideal tool to help you tap into user-generated content that can be used on Instagram to create credible influencer marketing assets for your campaigns.
Fourstarzz’s influencer recommendation engine has helped brands like BMW, Philips, and Expedia find the right matches for branded campaigns. With a database of 750,000+ influencers across five social media channels, and the ability to search by topic, keyword, handle, and 19 filters, the platform takes the search and guesswork out of partnerships. The app, which integrates with Hootsuite, also provides content tips and estimated results.
Your superfans are already amateur brand ambassadors. With Trufan, brands can find the influencers and fans who are already among their ranks. Identify highly engaged Instagram (and Twitter) and show your appreciation by returning the engagement, or offering rewards and special opportunities.
Other Instagram marketing tools
Did you know that Hootsuite comes with OwlyWriter AI, a built-in creative AI tool that saves social media pros hours of work?
You can use OwlyWriter to:
- Write a new Instagram caption in a specific tone, based on a prompt
- Write an Instagram post based on a link (e.g. a blog post or a product page)
- Generate Instagram post ideas based on a keyword or topic (and then write posts expanding on the idea you like best)
- Identify and repurpose your top-performing posts
- Create relevant Instagram captions for upcoming holidays
To get started with OwlyWriter, sign in to your Hootsuite account and head to the Inspiration section of the dashboard. Then, pick the type of AI magic you want to see in action.
For example, if you’re not sure what to post, click on Get inspired. Then, type in the general, high-level topic you want to address and click Get ideas.
OwlyWriter will generate a list of post ideas related to the topic:
Click on the one you like best to move to the next step — captions and hashtags.
Pick the caption you like and click Create post. The caption will open in Hootsuite Composer, where you can make edits, add media files and links, check the copy against your compliance guidelines — and schedule your post to go live later.
And that’s it! OwlyWriter never runs out of ideas, so you can repeat this process until your social media calendar is full — and sit back to watch your engagement grow.
Did you know that you can use Grammarly right in your Hootsuite dashboard, even if you don’t have a Grammarly account?
With Grammarly’s real-time suggestions for correctness, clarity, and tone, you can write better social posts faster — and never worry about publishing a typo again. (We’ve all been there.)
To start using Grammarly in your Hootsuite dashboard:
- Log in to your Hootsuite account.
- Head to the Composer.
- Start typing.
When Grammarly detects a writing improvement, it will immediately make a new word, phrase, or punctuation suggestion. It will also analyze the style and tone of your copy in real-time and recommend edits that you can make with just one click.
To edit your caption with Grammarly, hover your mouse over the underlined fragment. Then, click Accept to make the changes.
It’s all good and well putting out engaging Instagram content, but you need to take the time to listen to and engage with your audience—especially when they have thoughts or concerns about your service or product. Sparkcentral provides you with a catch-all dashboard so that you respond to and manage high volumes of feedback in a streamlined fashion.
It’ll save you a ton of time on social media customer service.
Companies like Food Heaven, Golde, and Goode and stars like Selena Gomez and Alicia Keys use Linktree to refer traffic to their destinations of choice. The platform offers customization, third-party integration, and analytics tools so you can keep tabs on where people click. Linktree also enabled an action feature that subscribers can turn on to promote anti-racism.
Powered by AI and designed to help customer service teams in the social commerce space, Heyday provides an always-on first line of support. It’s the go-to chatbot for companies looking to automate customer service, sales and maximize team efficiency on social media.
Curate the best-looking Instagram feed by using Instagram Grid. This app allows you to create a grid of up to nine images and publish posts straight to Instagram right from a Hootsuite Stream. Unfortunately, Instagram Grid currently only works with personal Instagram accounts. Business accounts are not supported at this time.
Connect with your followers on a deeper level by optimizing your Instagram bio link. With Hootbio, you can create a custom Instagram link page without leaving your Hootsuite dashboard.
To get started with Hootbio, sign in to your Hootsuite account and navigate to the Create section of the dashboard. There, select Hootbio from the menu.
Note: Hootbio is available to Team, Business, and Enterprise plan Hootsuite users. If you are a Professional plan user, upgrade now to access this feature.
To build your Hootbio page, start with basic profile information:
- Profile name. This will show up as the heading at the top of your page.
- Profile description. This is the subtitle text located below your profile name.
- Profile picture. We recommend using an image aligned with the branding of your Instagram account to keep the look of your bio page familiar and on-brand.
- Your website. This is where you create a URL for your link in bio page. We will let you know if a URL has already been claimed by someone else.
Then, add your links. Every link has to include a URL and text that will be displayed on the button. You can also add images to links, but this feature is optional.
To change the order of links on your page, simply drag and drop them using the triple bar icon.
When you’re done, click Update in the top right corner of the page.
You can also direct followers to your other social accounts — or your email inbox — using dedicated buttons.
Head to the Social section of the menu to set up links for Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Messenger, and email.
To save your changes, click Update in the top right corner of the dashboard.
In the Design section, you can customize the design of your Hootbio page. Pick one of the recommended color themes, or customize your font, button, and background colors to make the page truly yours.
When you’re done — you guessed it — click Update in the top right corner of your screen.
That’s it! Your Hootbio page is ready. To start using it, copy the link displayed in the top right corner of the dashboard, and paste it into your Instagram and TikTok bios. You can update your bio whenever you need, but note that URL edits are restricted to once every six months.
Ready to build your own custom link in bio page? Sign up for a free 30-day Team plan trial now, and start converting your Instagram followers into online customers.
… or, watch this video to learn more about Hootbio:
38. Hootsuite Insights powered by Brandwatch
Want to stay on top of the hottest Instagram trends? Hootsuite Insights lets you instantly analyze millions of real-time conversations so that you can tap into what your audience is doing, saying, thinking, and feeling. A must-use tool for any marketer serious about social listening on Instagram.
Milkshake was founded to help small businesses and solo entrepreneurs (particularly women) benefit from the bio link, even if they don’t have a website. The free app lets users customize a lightweight mobile landing page with tappable cards (kind of like Stories). Everything from blog posts to YouTube videos to virtual storefronts can be set up on the platform.
Need social video, but don’t have the time, skills, or equipment to produce it? You’ll love Pictory. Using this AI tool, you can turn text into professional-quality videos with just a few clicks.
How does it work? You copy and paste text into Pictory, and AI automatically creates custom video based on your input, pulling from a vast library of over 3 million royalty-free video and music clips.
Pictory integrates with Hootsuite, so you can easily schedule your videos for publication without ever leaving their dashboard.
Manage your Instagram presence alongside your other social channels and save time using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, engage the audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.