Any social media manager worth her salt knows that Instagram is an integral piece of the puzzle for brands with strong visual content and identity. With over 500 million monthly active users, 4.2 billion daily likes and more than 95 million photos or videos posted each day, Instagram holds the keys to a huge audience (Instagram).
With opportunity often comes complexity and fragmentation. You can't see all the analytics and measurements you need to run a successful Instagram account from within the app. That's why we've compiled this list of the top 20 free Instagram tools to help you succeed on Instagram, which is far more than coffee foam and wing tips.
You can also check out other other free tools blogs to supplement your ever-growing marketing technology stack with some great free tools to help with anything you need to do:
- 37 Free Design Tools to Make the Online World a Little More Beautiful
- 20 Free Writing Tools to Take You from Blocked to Inspired
- 10 Free Twitter Tools
- The 30 Best Free Stock Photo Sites
10 Free Instagram Tools
With Repost App, Instagram users can quickly share someone else’s photo while giving credit to the original poster. Because Instagram hasn’t (and likely won’t) open their API up to anybody, you have to paste the original caption into Instgram from the Repost App.
Like with Twitter, you can’t see who you follow on Instagram who doesn’t follow you. In fact, Insta is worse because you can’t see that information even when you click into a profile, whereas Twitter tells you if a user follows you back. This app tells you who you follow that doesn’t follow you back and vice versa, new followers and anyone who has blocked you. There are more insights available in the paid version, but you get the basics in the free mobile app download.
Crowdfire is free for 14 days, so you can do a quick overview and tidy up of your Instagram account, then decide if it's worth keeping. There is an account that is permanently free as well. Firebot contacts you every day with some prescriptive tips on how to improve your account, and you can go into Crowdfire at any time to check some of your more important user stats. You can see:
- Non-followers - Here you can see the people that don't follow you back and easily unfollow them. You can also white list them so they stop appearing in your list (because you know that Amy Schumer likely will never follow you back).
- Fans - These are people that follow you but you don't follow back. You can access their account to see if they post anything you find interesting and follow from within the web app.
- Recent unfollowers - See the people that have unfollowed you recently.
- Recent followers - People who have started following your account.
- Friend check - Simply enter a username and you can see if you follow them/they follow you. This is useful as there is no way to see that on Instagram.
For when you’re on a desktop and not on your mobile device, Icon Square is an awesome tool to look at your Instagram analytics. For free, you get a very detailed breakdown of your Instagram presence—followers gained and lost in comparison to posted media, your follower growth, like and comment history, engagement stats and plenty more. It can even prove to be a useful tool for brand managers to print and report to higher ups growth in social marketing.
Simply Measured offers an awesome free analytics report that tracks a bunch of interesting metrics, including your engagement stats. It also shows you which photos are your most popular, so you can repurpose well-received content.
With Boomerang, you can take a series of quick photos that will play on your Instagram feed like an animated GIF. It’s actually a mini video that loops back and forth for a few seconds. You’ve likely seen this before along with the caption “Made with Boomerang” below the video.
Layout is Instagram’s collage maker. Select your photos and layout, then you can re-orient images with a mirror or flip toggle and adjust borders.
With Hyperlapse, users can create time lapse videos. Instagram is further democratizing photography—this sort of functionality used to take heavy tripods and expensive cameras. Now, users can shoot in app and Hyperlapse will do the stability work.
Formerly Latergram, this app allows you to create your post ahead of time, then post at a later time. Because Instagram won't open their API to anyone, the process isn't as smooth as scheduling a post with a social marketing tool for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn, but it's as good as it gets with Instgram for now. Compose your post, edit your photo and choose a time. When your post time comes, the app will pop up a notification on your phone, which opens in Instgram and then you can post. Not seamless, but a handy free tool for Instagram. Later also allows you to insert your media via desktop rather than mobile, and shows a calendar view. Schedugram is another tool to offer this functionality, but is only free for seven days.
Other Tools for Social Media Managers
There are a ton of other useful tools for the Instagram in our blog about free design tools. Some of the tools you might find most useful from here include:
- PicMonkey - Touch up, resize and other post work on a photo in app. You can also add text and optimize for Instagram
- BeFunky - Here you can create collages and add words to images.
- Recite This - In Recite This, you can find images free of copyright issues and add quotes and inspirational (or uninspiring, if you wish) text.
- Quotescover - Turns text into beautiful images to post on your Instagram accounts.
- Fotor and Photovisi - Online collage creators.
- Canva - Great image creator, good for making images for all forms of social content.
- Make a Meme - Create a meme with any image to customize for your Instagram/social accounts.
- Wordswag - A great app that let's you add text to your images in seconds, offering a great variety of font and design options.
- SplitPic - SplitPic has collage maker, cloning, collaborative project ability, stickers, art pieces and more. My favourite function is the ability to take half a picture at a time.
Did we miss any Instgram tools you or your favourite social media manager loves to use? If so, leave it in the comment section!