Apps that help you make the most of Instagram


instagramInstagram is more than just a photo gallery. It’s a marketing tool and opportunity. For community building, there’s nothing as effective as pictures, hashtags and videos.

The social network boasts more than 60 million photos and over a billion likes daily.

However, just posting and interacting with people isn’t enough. Use the right tools, and Instagram becomes an amazing part of any marketing campaign.


Every marketing decision made must be based on something, whether it’s past experience, surveys or good practices. You can’t market a product in the dark. It would be like driving somewhere without a map — you’ll move, but it won’t be toward anywhere specific.

BestBuddies is a tool that tells you who gives your photos the most likes. All you need to do is log into the site, and it will give you your top 10 list, along with how many posts they’ve liked. While it seems simple, you can do a lot with this information.

For example, you can use this tool to figure out if your pictures appeal to a specific gender. It will also tell you if you have any influencers enjoying your content, which can help you plan future campaigns. is a gateway to a wealth of information. It tells you when posts are engaged with likes or comments or which of your many hashtags gets the most attention.

It also allows you to examine your community by finding which posts get the most interaction and who contributes the most to the discussion.

It even lets you figure out some of these analytics in real time or export all relevant data to a PDF to send to colleagues or bosses.


For marketers and businesses who want a multi-purpose tool, SocialRank is a good application that works for both Twitter and Instagram.

It comes with many useful features. For example, you can sort followers according to various traits, from who has the most influence according to engagement levels. You can use that information to target further campaigns by appealing to that group’s sensibilities.

SocialRank also allows you to sort followers by location and can help you figure out which of your users are on both Twitter and Instagram.


Many Instagram tools revolve around getting enough information to mount a focused campaign, but Yotpo is designed to help you interact with your community better. Think of it this way: and SocialRank help you plan campaigns, and Yotpo helps you execute those campaigns.

For example, it offers a content curation service. Content curation is powerful on its own;  many online personalities have built their reputations on having good taste and sharing their thoughts with people.

Yotpo takes it a step further by giving you the tools to search for images related to your company and upon your order will send a message to the poster asking for permission to use those images. Those images can then be used in your campaigns.

A content curation tool actually does a lot for your campaigns. The average user is suspicious of any branded or company-originated content. Using content from your community lends your advertisements and slideshows the kind of trust you can only get from testimonials.

Buffer or Hootsuite

Online marketers probably know Buffer or Hootsuite from their use in other platforms like Facebook and Twitter. They’ll be happy to know that it’s now on Instagram, ready to make things easier.

The problem with many online marketing campaigns is timing and coordination. There’s so much going on that getting posts out on time can be difficult. This can drastically affect your marketing campaign’s performance.

Instagram doesn’t allow you to upload photos with outside apps, so Buffer and Hootsuite decided to approach the problem differently. You pre-write and arrange your post ahead of time, and then it will remind you with a notification that it’s time to post. Tap the button and it will load your photo into Instagram, using your clipboard to bypass Instagram’s third-party block.

Granted, you won’t need all of these tools. For some companies, Buffer or Hootsuite will be more than enough as businesses can get analytics elsewhere. Other marketers may need two or more tools due to lack of information.

Figure out what works for you. Many of these apps are free or offer free trials, so you can test them and see if they’re a good fit.

Dan Natividad, a Stockton native, is a partner at Port City Marketing Solutions along with Kristen Dyke and Erin Diego. Dan can be reached at [email protected]


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