The recent explosion of Instagram has captured the attention of marketers everywhere – especially those keeping tabs on trends in visual storytelling and social media-based audience building.
As of June this year, the platform has over 500 million monthly active users , 300 million of which are logging on daily, making it more popular than Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.
And Instagram's looking to cash in on that interest, announcing new marketer tools like the ability to switch between accounts and providing new analytics options like view counts on videos . And those efforts are clearly paying off - latest reports suggest that there are now more than 500,000 businesses utilizing the paid reach options on the app.
Given the rising interest, competition for attention on the platform is also on the rise, which means marketers need to do all they can to stay one step ahead of the competition. To help with this, here are eight Instagram tools that can help you maximize your on-platform efforts.
1. Manage Your Community
Crowdfire enables you manage your following on Instagram (Twitter too, by the way). See who has recently followed and unfollowed you, learn who’s no longer active on the network, discover commonly followed accounts among your followers and identify the profiles you follow that don’t follow you back. You can also use Crowdfire to learn who your most engaged fans are, so you know to interact with those people more often.
2. Monetize Influence with Merch
With ViralStyle , you can create merchandise and promote it to your Instagram following with minimal friction and investment. The branded tee shirts are printed on demand, and orders are fulfilled and shipped by the platform. Using the platform’s design tools, you can create a custom product and make it ecommerce-ready in a matter of minutes.
Plus, integrated marketing tools enable you to create social ads. You can also integrate your email campaigns to advertise your products to your list. You can set up a storefront, use coupon codes and engage with customers for upselling.
Take a look at this example from Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots. He uses ViralStyle to sell tee shirts to his Instagram fans, giving away autographed units as a raffle and driving cross-channel engagement by posting contest terms on Twitter.
Additional on-demand printing companies like Represent and GearBubble can also be used to achieve similar results.
3. Measure Your Contests
Running Instagram contests is a great way to boost user-engagement, attract new followers and create a buzz around your brand.