So you’re taking the time to really be active in engaging with and posting for your target audience. Props to you my friend! You’re tapping into a seriously engaged community.
But holy cow, you’re starting to realize that the Instagram app isn’t the most time-efficient mode of marketing.
Like, how do businesses find the time to post every day at prime posting times?
And there’s gotta be a better way than constantly logging in and out of personal vs. business Instagram accounts!
But let’s take a step back here… * deep breath*. Instagram wasn’t made for time-saving marketing necessarily, but you can make it a serious marketing tool that doesn’t suck 4 hours out of your day with the right tools. (PS. You can learn all the tactics for engaging with your audience and turning them into customers here.)
I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the Top 7 Most Frustrating Instagram for Business Issues – and best of all, how to solve them with some pretty rad time-saving and automation tools!
Problem 1: No Time to Post Around Your Optimum Sharing Schedule
The secret nitro-injection to getting more likes and engagements on your Instagram photos is to post around the ideal engagement times for your followers. And you should find these optimum posting times (if you haven’t already, tsk tsk!) with a little research on analytical apps like Iconosquare.
But… what if that research told you that your followers are most active on Fridays at 5:00pm… and darn it that’s right when your weekly reports are due – you just don’t have a clone to both polish up an Insta-post and also finish all your biz at once!
Well, check out these time-saving scheduling apps for Instagram (I know, it’s been an elusive concept!). Queue up those like-worthy posts when you have the time, and send ‘em out throughout the week. Time crunch nightmare over!
Sked Social – All the Bells and Whistles of Instagram Management
As far as handy features and time-savers go, Sked Social is on the rampage. In a good way. We’re still covering Insta problem number one at this point – scheduling – but the more I talk about Sked Social the more you’ll see it’s going to solve a lot of your other Insta-issues, too.
Just be ready for the price tag that comes along with it (starts at about $20 a month if you have less than 10,000 followers).
With Sked Social you can schedule future posts using a calendar system similar to Latergram, but when the time comes to publish you don’t even gotta be hooked up to the grid. Sked Social posts it for you! Voila.
This clever app that found a way around Instagram’s third-party posting rules (they’ve got a fleet of physical phones and tablets shootin’ out posts via the Instagram app) also boasts some totally kick-butt features.
Perks of Sked Social:
- Upload photos in bulk (from either desktop or iPhone)
- Built-in photo editing (it’s integrated with Canva, for awesome text overlay and filters!)
- Easily post to multiple Instagram accounts without always logging in and out
- Add as many users as you want to be able to contribute and collaborate on your Instagram account
- Fill out your caption, hashtags and ALSO a first comment (if you like stickin’ your hashtags in the comment, not that caption)
Photo courtesy of Luiz Centenaro.
- Not free.
- Double-check your posts – Because this app has to work around Instagram’s third-party terms to post for you, some users have found troubles with posts not actually getting posted, or Instagram deleting posts later… it hasn’t happened to me, but if you want that assurance that your post really goes through, Latergram’s manual posting might be the option for you!
An important disclaimer – remember that Instagram is intended for ‘sharing moments’ and the culture of this social media revolves around authentic, real-life glimpses into behind-the-scenes lifestyles. So don’t go all robot, and impersonal and schedule everything. Keep it personal and human, too!
Runner Ups (because it’s always good to have options!)
- OnlyPult – starts at $12 a month (with a 7-day free trial). Schedule posts from both desktop and mobile, built-in filters and editing, and it posts for you (like Sked Social does)
- Postso – Starts at $14.95 a month (14-day free trial), this scheduling app works for multiple social media sites (including Twitter and FB). Simple and straightforward scheduling.
Problem 2: Balancing Multiple IG Accounts
The Instagram app does NOT make it easy to flip between accounts. So when you wanna go from your personal account (just posted those great Hawaii sunset pics!) back to your brand’s account (time to launch a contest!)… it can get time-consuming logging out and logging back in every time!
Here’s the trick – use a third-party app to manage BOTH (and more) accounts from one spot.
I’ve already mentioned the motherload offered by Sked Social… and yes, they have an awesome option for switching between accounts easily. Just keep in mind that Schedugram charges per account, so again, it’s the pricier option.
Here are some more options for solving this Insta inconvenience and managing multiple accounts from one place (check out this awesome list from Digital Trends, too):
Fotogramme – Your Two-Places-At-Once App for Balancing Multiple Accounts
David Lee King was struggling to switch between both his personal IG account and his library’s account – until he discovered Fotogramme!
“Fotogramme is an Instagram management iPhone app with multiple account support. It allows me to view photos, post Likes and comments, manage followers, and Favorite users and hashtags for easier recall,” says King. “It also sends alerts to my iPhone, so I know when there’s activity on the library’s Instagram account.”
The Perks of Fotogramme:
- It’s free!
- Switch between multiple accounts without annoying logins! You can view your feed, comment and like all from one place.
- Search for hashtags and users right on the app
- Create a ‘Favorites’ list of users, with a separate feed of only the peeps you never want to miss a post from
Downsides of Fotogramme?
- You can’t upload or schedule posts
- Mobile-only (but so is Instagram, mostly).
So, if you’re mainly looking for a more comfortable and convenient way to manage your engagement and comments on Insta – Fotogramme’s got you covered.
Problem 3: It’s Tricky to Respond to Every Comment!
So your brand is popular on Instagram – right on! But if you’re getting tens – even hundreds – of comments for every post, how are you supposed to keep up that engagement and get to everybody? There’s an app for that.
Iconosquare – The Ridiculously Helpful Instagram Manager That Almost Shouldn’t be Free!
So we talked about this big-player earlier when I mentioned analytics for your Instagram. But there’s so much more you can get from Iconosquare – including a simple comments manager!
Iconosquare shows you a list of your latest posts:
And tells you which comments you haven’t replied to yet:
Easy as that. (Iconosquare’s got some more tricks up its sleeve – we’ll go over them more in Problems 5 and 8)
Problem 4: Hard to Edit Photos and Manage Feeds from Small Mobile Screens
So, mobile is awesome when you’re out and about, jet setting, and waiting in line at the bank. But sometimes you just want a big screen to edit your shots and organize your Instagram business.
While primarily mobile, Instagram does have some functions for desktop – you can view your feed and you can comment and like photos.
BUT, you can’t post anything, and searching is kinda a no-go. Which sends you back to the good ol’ smartphone.
Unless you use one of these easy-breezy Instagramming tools on your big-screen desktop. Did somebody say full-size keyboard? Woot!
That always helpful app lets you view your Instagram on your desktop as well:
Problem 5: It’s Time Consuming to Post Across Social Media Networks
Want a magic spell to make your insta post insta-appear across your other social networks?
As of right now, you have to go in manually to Instagram and check the ‘Share’ buttons. BUT, with the wizardry that is IFTTT, all that can be done automatically for you! Because, you know, when you’re busy every second saved is sooo worth it!
IFTTT – Your Secret Short Cut for Maximum Efficiency
IFTTT is an amazing app of recipes – no, not food recipes, but little time-saving recipes that add shortcuts to your daily routine.
IFTTT stands for “IF This then That” and it’s awesome for soooo many things, but we’ll focus on Instagram for now.
Basically, you set up any ‘recipe’ for something you want to happen anytime you do something else. So, for example: “If [I post a photo to Instagram] then [share that photo on Twitter]” and so on.
- Your time-consuming technical tasks are done for you, automatically
- Uhhh… none!
I’ll run you through an example of IFTTT’s magic:
Say I want to create a photo post on my WordPress blog every time I post a photo to Instagram with a specific tag.
Here’s how I make the recipe:
First choose the “this.”
I scroll down until I find “Instagram”.
I pick the action I want. For this example, I’m going with the second option – every time I post a photo with a specific tag.
Now I decide what I want that specific tag to be.
With the first half done, it’s time to choose my “that.” I want it to go on my blog, so I scrolled down until I found WordPress.
Then choose, “Create a photo post.”
Now I get to fill in my specifics for the WordPress post…
And click create.
Problem 6: Need to Tidy Up Followers List for Only Quality Connections
When your follower list gets up there, it’s hard to see who’s really engaging with you, who’s following you back, and who’s unfollowing you. That’s where Crowdfire (formerly JustUnfollow) comes in.
Crowdfire – For Managing Your Fans and Friends on Instagram
Organize your followers and fan lists with Crowdfire.
- See who’s not following you back (#nonfollowers)
- See who just followed or unfollowed you
- Whitelist and Blacklist people (highlight as ‘friends’ or ‘don’t want to hear from them anymore’)
- FriendCheck – quickly lookup a specific account to see if they follow you
Problem 7: Promote Your Instagram Photos Outside of Instagram
Let’s face it – we love Instagram but not quite literally EVERYBODY is on it. So how do you include all your fans in your photo-sharing world?
Here are some options for sharing your Instagram love with the non-instagram world:
Remember IFTTT? Check out all the amazing options that magic app has for connecting your IG posts to your WordPress site, Flickr, Facebook… even Reddit, Digg, emails… there are a ridiculous amount of options there for getting your IG photos into other publicly accessible places.
Iconosquare – Back Again to Save the Instagram Day
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this app is totally amazing for analytics (like, we boosted our IG followers by 3,622% in 1 month once we used Iconosquare to strengthen our strategy!).
The Perks of Iconosquare for Promotion:
- Let people who aren’t on Instagram view your whole portfolio – create a web link that looks something like www.iconosquare/yourinstaname
- Install an app on Facebook through your Iconosquare, that displays your IG images on a separate tab.
The Iconosquare app adds a tab to your Facebook page, so FB users can check out your feed.
- Create a photo gallery widget that shows off your latest IG images right on your website or blog.
There are plenty of other widgets available for integrating an IG portfolio onto your WordPress site.
Choose the IG Managing Apps That Solve Your Logistical IG Hiccups
Ok, phew… that was a lot. And let me tell you, this list isn’t even half of the app options out there to manage your business’s Insta. Yeah, I dove in deep. With this list of apps, you should now be able to smooth over the logistical inconveniences of using Instagram for business.
As a refresher, here’s a quick re-cap and link to all the apps I’ve mentioned here, and why you’d want ‘em.
- Sked Social – Covers post scheduling, multiple accounts, multiple users, and some analytics (not free)
- OnlyPult – Schedules future posts (not free)
- Postso – Schedules future posts (not free)
- Fotogramme – Easily switch between multiple accounts for commenting and liking – can’t post, mobile-only (free)
- IFTTT – Handy systems for sharing posts across other social media – and more! (free)
- Crowdfire – Easily manage your follower list (free)
- Iconosquare – Useful analytics, view your feed on a desktop, manage and reply to comments, promote your Instagram for non-Instagram users (free!)
Just think how strong your Instagram engagement and marketing can be with the help of these time-saving management tools.
Everything you wanted from your IG just got a heck of a lot more convenient. Leave a comment if you’ve tried any of these tools and which one is your favorite!
About the Author: Rachel Daley is the content manager at MadeFreshly, the simplest online store platform that truly helps you succeed in business.