Instagram tools: Best free IG tools to elevate your social posts (Updated 2023)By Nykea Marie Behiel
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 2.35 billion monthly active users, Instagram holds the keys to a huge audience (Demandsage). That makes the best and free Instagram tools more important than ever.
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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 18 free Instagram tools to help you succeed on Instagram, which is far more than coffee foam and wingtips.
You can also check out 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:
Table of Contents
- Why use free Instagram tools?
- Tools for Instagram: How to choose the right ones
- 10 Free Instagram tools
- Instagram marketing tool: Repost App
- Instagram management tool: Crowdfire
- Instagram marketing tool: Iconsquare
- Instagram management tool: Layout
- Instagram branded content tool: Later
- Instagram marketing tool: Adobe Express: Graphic Design
- Instagram marketing tool: Adobe Spark Video
- Instagram marketing tool: Adobe Premiere Rush
- Instagram marketing tool: Prequel
- Instagram marketing tool: Milkshake
- Best Instagram tools that aren’t free but worth the price
- 8 other best Instagram tools for social media managers
Why use free Instagram tools?
It’s pretty hard to believe, but Instagram is turning 13 this year. Instagram is a middle-schooler! That’s some seriously impressive longevity in an ever-changing digital landscape with lots of apps vying for our attention. Despite exciting relative newcomers like TikTok, Instagram is an incredibly powerful social media platform, with over a billion monthly active users. As such, it remains a key platform for businesses to reach their target audience and promote their products or services.
Managing an effective Instagram presence is an important component of any successful digital marketing strategy, but ask any marketing manager and they will confirm: it can quickly turn into a full-time job. This is especially true for marketing agencies that manage multiple clients' accounts simultaneously.
Fortunately, there are a variety of Instagram tools available that can help businesses optimize their content schedule and streamline their social media management. Using them can help in some important ways:
Posting regularly is essential, but social media is about video and image quality and quantity. From scheduling posts to creating engaging visuals, Instagram tools can help ensure that your clients’ content stands out on the platform.
Both paid and free Instagram tools enable businesses to schedule posts in advance, saving time and improving the consistency of their posting schedule. This feature is particularly useful for agencies that are tasked with managing multiple clients' accounts since it allows them to plan and schedule posts for each account well in advance.
Creating engaging visuals
It goes without saying that Instagram is a highly visual platform, and businesses that can create visually engaging content are more likely to capture their audience's attention. Free Instagram such as Canva and Adobe Spark enables those who aren’t necessarily design pros to create professional-looking graphics and videos.
Using the right hashtags can help businesses reach a wider audience of interested prospective customers on Instagram. This strategy is still effective after all these years, but finding the right hashtags can be a time-consuming process. Luckily, there are free hashtag tools out there that can help businesses identify relevant hashtags and gauge their popularity, making it easier to optimize their content for search.
Streamlining social media management
In addition to optimizing content, the best Instagram tools can help businesses streamline their social media management, making it easier to manage multiple accounts and engage with their audiences without spending all day, every day in front of a screen.
Social media management platforms
A variety of Instagram management tools are free and offer a suite of solutions for planning and scheduling content in advance. Some of these tools can also help businesses monitor engagement, track analytics, and collaborate with team members on social media campaigns.
The days of marketing being a one-way conversation are long over. Today, it’s all about engaging in conversations with customers. Conversing with the audience is a key part of building a successful Instagram presence. However, managing comments manually can be a huge time drain, especially for larger accounts. Some of the best Instagram tools offer comment moderation features, making it easier for businesses to respond to comments and engage with their audience from a user-friendly dashboard rather than in-app.
Influencer marketing has become an increasingly unignorable strategy for businesses looking to reach new audiences on Instagram. Influencers are perceived as more authentic and therefore make great partners when it comes to persuading audiences to become paying customers. However, identifying the right influencers can be a challenging task. There are tools for Instagram that help businesses identify relevant influencers based on their niche, engagement rates, and follower count, making it easier to create effective influencer marketing campaigns.
Tools for Instagram: How to choose the right ones
When it comes to choosing the best Instagram tools for your agency, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. There are lots of great tools for Instagram out there, so it’s helpful to know what your goals are before you start evaluating them. Here are some things to consider before making a decision:
- Features: Look for tools that offer the features your agency needs to effectively manage Instagram accounts. Some common features include analytics, scheduling, and content creation tools.
- Integrations: Consider whether the tools you're looking at integrate effectively with the other platforms and tools your agency uses. For example, if you use a social media management platform, you'll want to look for Instagram tools that integrate with those platforms.
- Ease of use: Choose tools that are easy to use and navigate. You don't want to waste time and resources trying to figure out how to use a complicated tool. Whether your clients or your team will be engaging with the Instagram tool, the easier it is to use, the likelier it is to actually be used.
- Pricing: We’re going over some of the top free IG tools available out there today, but you may find that you want a more robust product. If you end up looking at paid Instagram tools, take the time to understand their pricing structure and make sure the tools you're considering fit within your agency's budget. Consider whether the pricing structure is scalable and whether there are any hidden fees or costs to be aware of.
- Customer support: Look for tools that have a great reputation for customer support, whether that's through email, phone, or live chat. You'll want to be able to reach out to the tool's support team if you have any questions or issues, since your agency’s reputation may be at stake.
- Reviews: Do some research on the tools you're considering to see what other users have to say about them. Look for reviews and testimonials from other marketing agencies to get a sense of the tool's reputation.
Ultimately, the key is to choose tools that fit your agency's unique needs and goals. The most popular or trending free IG tools aren’t necessarily the best for the job: take the time to research and evaluate each tool to find the ones that will work best for your agency.
10 Free Instagram tools
Instagram marketing tool: Repost App
With Repost App, Instagram users can quickly share someone else’s photo while giving credit to the original poster. Users can also see their repost history, which can come in handy.
Instagram management tool: Crowdfire
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, although it has far more limited features than the Plus plan or higher. You’ll get regular emails with some insights and 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 use it to :
- Schedule and plan out your posts
- Publish to Instagram and other platforms
- Get AI-powered insights into when the best time to post is
- See advanced analytics about your Instagram account at a granular level
- Conduct competitor analysis to see how your account compares
- Keep an eye on followers and fans
Instagram marketing tool: Iconsquare
Iconsquare is an awesome tool to look at your Instagram analytics. Using a 14-day free trial, 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 also handle all of your Instagram scheduling and planning needs. It can even prove to be a useful tool for brand managers to print and report to higher-ups' growth in social marketing. While you do have to pay eventually, it’s a useful free Instagram growth tool to use over a 2 week period.
Instagram management tool: Layout
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.
Instagram branded content tool: Later
Formerly Latergram, this app allows you to create your post ahead of time, then post at a later time. Compose your post, edit your photo or video, and choose a time for it to go live. When your post time comes, the app can either auto-post or pop up a notification on your phone, which opens Instagram, allowing you to post. Users can also create branded content—that is, content marked as being made in collaboration with another business for a fee—directly in Later.
Later makes it very easy to upload your media on both mobile and desktop, so you can work whether you’re on the go or at your desk. The handy calendar view enables you to see everything coming up for an account at a glance.
Plus, unlike many other Instagram tools, Later has a truly free plan that remains free forever, with enough features that it can actually do the job for many SMBs.
Instagram marketing tool: Adobe Express: Graphic Design
Adobe may be best known for its powerful suite of industry-leading design tools, but luckily they have created some surprisingly robust apps that are completely free. One of these is the editing and photo effects app, Adobe Express; Graphic Design.
It’s packed with thousands of Adobe fonts, royalty-free images, assets, and templates, making it easy to create professional content by dragging and dropping a few elements around.
Instagram marketing tool: Adobe Spark Video
Video has rapidly overtaken static images thanks in large part to the popularity of TikTok. Instagram has clearly taken notes by integrating reels and stories into its platform. For many of us, it felt like just as we finally got a handle on how to create great graphics, video came on the scene and humbled us.
Thankfully, you can use Adobe Spark Video to turn static images into engaging, eye-catching videos with a few clicks. Just upload your content or choose from the in-app content, and let Adobe Spark turn into with cinematic motion, text overlays, and more.
Instagram marketing tool: Adobe Premiere Rush
We’re deep into the Adobe section of this list at this point. Rounding out Adobe’s fantastic suite of some of the best IG tools out there that are unpaid is Adobe Premiere Rush, a video editing app with an excellent free version that can be used to shoot in-app, slow down or speed up content, combine clips together, add sound effects, animated titles, and transitions, add voiceover, and more. The sophisticated built-in editing tools would have only been available to pros not too long ago, so for general Instagram video editing needs, this is more than enough.
Instagram marketing tool: Prequel
Prequel is a filters and video effects app that can be used to add effects, create eye-catching AI-powered images, retouch, play with super on-trend features, and more. If you want to create content that resonates with the younger set, Prequel is a fantastic free tool to get you there. Rather than overwhelming users with a few great filters hidden amidst thousands of forgettable ones, Prequel’s offering feels highly curated and considered.
Instagram marketing tool: Milkshake
Instagram is a great app for connecting with customers and even selling directly, but often businesses need their prospective clients to navigate away from the app to take a desired action. For example, professional services businesses aren’t likely to set up an Instagram store, but instead may want to promote their business and have users click through to their website and schedule a consultation.
That’s where Milkshake comes into play. Instagram only allows one link in its bio, which has led to many different apps that can be used to create a links page. Milkshake stands out as a super stylish way to create a lightweight website with all the links a business may want to share. With custom fonts, colors, and images, and a variety of attractive layouts, Milkshake is a free tool that outperforms even many of its paid competitors.
Best Instagram tools that aren’t free but worth the price
Everyone loves a free tool, but many of the best Instagram tools do have a price tag attached. These ones are well worth it.
Social marketing is an all-in-one social media management platform that is purpose-built for agencies to manage Instagram and other social accounts in-house, or to resell to SMBs so they can easily manage their accounts themselves.
It includes multi-platform publishing, audience-building tools, analytics, stock images, link tracking, and more. Plus, you can try it for free in case you need that extra little nudge to be sure it’s the right choice.
Since Instagram was purchased by Facebook—now known as Meta—Instagram ads can be created both in-app and from the Facebook ads manager. While this is a great way to create ads for those who know their stuff, it can be challenging for those who don’t have ad creation experience. AdEspresso provides real-time actionable advice about how to adjust campaigns to maximize results while they’re running which makes it easier not to waste IG ad budgets.
Agorapulse offers many of the features that you can also find from free IG tools such as Later, but where it stands out and justifies its price is when it comes to built-in social listing functionality. Businesses can listen to conversations taking place on Instagram and other social platforms from the Agorapule dashboard, and easily respond in-app, for straightforward reputation management. Users can also label important content so that they can come back to it later without losing it.
8 other best Instagram tools for social media managers
There are a ton of other useful free tools for Instagram in our blog about free design tools. Some of the tools you might find most useful from our roundup include:
With PicMonkey, you can touch up your images, resize them, and perform other post-processing work within the app. You can also add text to your images and optimize them for Instagram, making it easy to create engaging content quickly.
BeFunky offers a collage creation tool that allows you to combine multiple images into one. You can also add text and other design elements to your images, making it easy to create engaging content for Instagram.
Quotescover is a great tool that turns text into beautiful images. You can choose from a variety of fonts and designs, making it easy to create eye-catching images for your Instagram account.
This online collage creator is great for those who want to create collages quickly and easily. You can choose from a variety of templates and designs, making it easy to create attractive collages for your Instagram account.
Canva is a great image creator that is perfect for creating images and graphics for all forms of social content. You can choose from a broad library of templates, designs, images, and icons. You’ll be surprised how professional the graphics you create look even if you stick to the free plan.
Meme lovers, this one is for you. Make a Meme is a great tool for creating memes with any image, and you can also select from the database of popular meme images. You can customize your meme with your own text, making it easy to create hilarious content for your Instagram feed.
Wordswag is a great app that lets you add text to your images in seconds. With a variety of font and design options to choose from, you can easily create eye-catching images for your feed.
SplitPic is a powerful app that offers a range of features, including a collage maker, cloning, collaborative project ability, stickers, art pieces, and more. My favorite function is the ability to take half a picture at a time.
Did we miss any of the best Instagram tools you or your favorite social media manager loves to use? If so, leave it in the comment section!