3 Tools To Kill It On Instagram

Good morning internet fans. Ryan Perry, Simple Biz Support. Hopefully I sound better this morning, I had to get a new amp… New amp, new microphone because I upgraded to Windows 10. Today is Wednesday the 19th, we’re still on the month of August. It is Wednesday, therefore it’s Social Media Wednesday. Hopefully, I’ve beaten Wednesday enough today. Sarah, you’re here. It’s Wednesday.

Sarah Giometti: I am. It’s Wednesday and it’s overcast. What the heck?

RP: What the heck? With all the fires raging in Northern California, it’s probably a good thing. For those of you who may be new to this show, Sarah is with Provaro Marketing. She is the go-to person that I use for social media for all the accounts that I work with, very knowledgeable in multiple facets of social media. Specifically today, though, we’re going to talk about Instagram. Correct?

SG: We are. We’re going to talk about a few apps that will make you just totally kill it on Instagram.

RP: Alright, awesome. Let’s start with… I think the issue with Instagram from a business owner’s point of view is that, “Hey, I’m busy. I got things I need to do,” and to try and schedule time throughout the day to actually post images and put the cute little text in and trying to figure out what the hash tags and all of that. Even if I create a marketing calendar and plan it out, it’s still very difficult because unlike Twitter and unlike Facebook, where there’s some known tools out there where we can post content, we can schedule it out in advance, Instagram really wants you to post content live. They want you to go to your phone, do whatever it is you’re going to do and post it. That’s really difficult as a business owner.

RP: It is. Instagram is meant to be live and interactive, on the fly. And so, within, native in the app, there is zero scheduling tools. And as a business owner, we all know we get busy. So even if we had perfect intentions to post something in Instagram at noon on Wednesday, we get busy. Appointments happen and that time comes and goes, and we totally forgot to do it. There are some tools that kind of work around Instagram’s inability to post because also another part of the problem is they… Instagram has an inner terms of service that is a violation of their terms of service if you schedule posts.

RP: Alright. So you’re not going to be able to use a program like HootSuite, as an example. If you did, let’s say it was capability for some reason. You would essentially be violating their terms of service is what you’re saying?

RP: Correct, and a couple of the scheduling apps out there are in violation of it and they say they are, too. If Instagram finds out you are using it, then the risk is you could get banned. They’re good apps, they really are useful, but they… Since they do auto-schedule it out, they could… You are risking your account. There is an app that I use on a regular basis that works around to that so you actually are not in violation, and I use it all the time for my Instagram accounts.

RP: Alright, so there are loopholes out there. We always love loopholes. So what is the first app that you’re suggesting that you look into?

SG: The first app is Latergram, that is one that if you are trying to do an Instagram strategy for your business, this is the first app I would say start using first. That’s kind of your takeaway for today. Sign up for Latergram on the computer, install it on a mobile device. And how it is the loophole is, on the computer you can upload the photo, type your caption, type in your hash tags, everything you want it to be, schedule the day and time you want that image to post. And at the appropriate time, the app will push a notification to your mobile device, and tell you that it is time to post the picture.

SG: Then you go into, you click the notification and the app pushes the photo to Instagram. It used to post the content also, but there’s been a little Instagram coding change. So what they do is, they push the photo to Instagram, opens it up as if you had manually put the photo there. You go through, pick your filter, you edit it if you want to, and then when it goes time for the caption, Latergram has copied the caption you’d already written, copied it to your clipboard, so you just paste it into Instagram and you are manually hitting post. That is why it does not violate Instagrams terms of service. They’re just helping you remember to do it at the time you wanted to do it, but you are still manually hitting the post button, and so, you are posting it live.

RP: Okay, so this is not purely autonomous, like maybe some of the other programs that are violating Instagrams TOS. However, if you’re going to be a legit and if you’re going to grow your brand and you plan on being in business for a long time and growing your brand on Instagram, you really have to be careful. I can tell you back in the day when Facebook started doing business pages, they really cracked down on people having personal accounts as businesses. The horror stories that people had, “I had 5,000 people that liked me, that followed me. I was promoting my business, I was doing great, and I go to login one day and, poof, it was gone,” because they had violated Facebook’s terms of service.

RP: With Facebook, you have to have a business page to promote a business. Instagram’s being pretty clear, and if they go, “Geez, you know what, you’re doing a great job, but we noticed that you’re violating our terms of service.” Boom, all of that information goes bye bye. So this may not be a purely autonomous solution, but at least it’s a safe solution for not getting your accounts closed.

SG: Right, and it only takes a few seconds because you’ve already preloaded all of the information to Latergram on the computer, which is a lot easier because you can type on a regular keyboard, upload from your computer. You can preload all of your images and it only takes a few seconds, it pops up in your phone, you click it, then you click through the filter, you click again, hold down paste the thing, click post, done deal. It still takes maybe 10 seconds of your time, which… But it’s also reminding you that all of us as business owners we can find the 10 seconds to finish the post out. The real kicker is trying to remember to do it in the first place, so that’s where this really helps us. And you don’t run the risk when you put all of this effort into building your Instagram brand and page and following, you don’t run any risk of losing it, which is key.

RP: Yeah, definitely. Okay, and I’m assuming they probably have a free trial or something like that so you can at least give it a try and see if it works for you.

SG: They do, they have a free account, which is for one Instagram app. But I have… Because I manage Instagram for clients, I’ve got multiple… I’ve got like three apps on there, and it’s only… I think I paid $29 a month to have multiple apps in there, so it’s not a huge expense if you’ve got more than one to manage, but most business owners will probably only have one and they do have the free option for that.

RP: Okay, perfect. So the second way to kill it on Instagram is?

SG: The next app we’re going to talk about is a relatively new one that’s come to my attention, it’s called TakeOff. And this is kind of the next step from Latergram where you identify a time and day of the week to post based on your audience and when they’re on Instagram. It helps you discover new hashtags to use based on what you’ve been doing, what people are interacting with. And this, again, is also an app so it gives you a little bit more information than Instagram. The only thing I’m not totally clear about is the posting, if it violates it or not.

SG: It’s because it’s not the one that I use and, like I said, it’s fairly new, but it’s one to look into because if you’re having a hard time figuring out what hashtags to post or maybe you’re picking times to post and you’re not getting the interaction that you want, this might be a good one for you to use to help you discover that information and figure out what your posting strategy should be, what hashtags you should use. That way you’re not manually having to check hashtags in Instagram. Doing the search button and typing in one you think might be cool and see how many posts are already done on that hashtag to see if it’s a viable hashtag or not. This will help you do it a little bit more streamlined. So it’ll definitely be one worth checking out. It is just an app though, it’s on your phone. And that is the downside, is you lose that computer connectivity that you have on Latergram.

RP: Right, but I could see it definitely from a kind of a research, really understanding your audience, being more strategic. Again, if you want to take your Instagram account to the next level, having some sort of information so you can make smart decisions about when do you post, and the hashtags that you post could definitely be very valuable information.

SG: Right, and the hashtags are really a big one because you’re going to get likes from people who aren’t even following you. They’re going to find you based on them doing a search on that hashtag and seeing what comes up. And so, the hashtag part is really important. So if you don’t want to manually try and figure out the hashtags, this is a great app to help you discover what… Maybe some outside the box that you’re not thinking of that could apply to your business product post, things like that.

RP: Okay, perfect. And then if you really want to take your analytics to the next level and dive into it, that’s really what this third app’s about, correct?

SG: It is. So it’s a little different because it doesn’t have a scheduling, but it gives you all the key metrics that you could possibly want to know about your Instagram account. And it is connected to HootSuite, so if you’re using HootSuite for Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn… Please don’t use it for Facebook… You can connect, it’s called Iconosquare, is the app. In Instagram, it’s called Statigrim, and you can put that in and get all the key metrics. You can find out where your followers are, when they’re on, what they’re liking. It gives you a lot of information about your Instagram account to help you refine your strategy, refine the posts you’re doing, when you’re doing it, who you’re trying to reach, your hashtags, what’s working, what’s not. So this is really where you get your analytics because there isn’t any analytics really built-in in Instagram like some of the other platforms.

RP: Okay, so the information that it’s giving you is specific to your account. This is not general information.

SG: Correct, yep, it’s all about your Instagram account, which is really… That’s really all that matters, as you need to know how your account is performing. So I would recommend using, if you’ve got HootSuite, plug in this app. You can go into where you add apps to HootSuite and install it. So my recommendation would be a combo of Latergram or TakeOff, and Iconosquare. So can really measure what you’re doing. And if you’re an examiner type of person, you like data, you’ll really, really like Iconosquare ’cause it’ll really give you a lot of information.

RP: Okay, so it’s essentially like plugging Google Analytics into your website then for people that are familiar with that?

SG: Basically, yes. That’s a great analogy of what this is.

RP: Okay, perfect. Well, I tell you what, our time is almost up today, the three killer apps, the first two could be used independently, maybe choose one or the other, and then, the third one, the Iconosquare, really is kind of its’ own separate app for people that, I would say, you want to have some sort of a base following. You need to have some data in order for this to work in the first place. But if you want to grow your account, really good to know what’s going on, just like you should be using Google Analytics on your website. This is kind of an independent app that you should be using regardless. So what were the first two and then the pros and cons of each one?

SG: So Latergram, the pro is it helps you schedule your post and not violate Instagrams terms of service by forcing you, reminding you when to manually post, but then helping you just push all the information in there. The con is it doesn’t help you with any insights; best time of day, best day of the week, or best hashtag used. It just helps you schedule things out. And so, TakeOff helps you discover more information, so it helps you a little bit more with the time of day, day of the week, figuring out, or finding new hashtags to possibly use. So those are the pluses of TakeOff. The minuses is it’s just an app, so there isn’t a desktop version to help you schedule everything out that Latergram has. And then Iconosquare, I don’t really see a negative on that one. It just gives you more data about your account so you can refine your strategy and be even more successful on Instagram.

RP: Right. Okay, perfect. Those are three ways to kill it if you’re not using Instagram. We’ve talked about it in prior episodes, I’m sure we’ll be talking about Instagram in the future. I was going to say one other thing and I forget. Oh, the very first app, if you’re looking for a place to start. You’re like, “I dabble a little bit on Instagram, but I’m looking for a place to start.” The first app is probably where you would want to go, especially if you can do one account at no cost. Why not make your life a little easier?

SG: Right, and it’s really, really easy to use. It’s a really easy click-a-button, drag-and-drop a picture in there, type in the content, schedule it out, done deal. So it’s really easy, user-friendly to use, and just make sure you connect it up to your smartphone when you login so that you have the full connection. But that definitely is, if you don’t know where to start, that’s the place to start.

RP: Okay, perfect. So that’s it for this week’s episode of Social Media Wednesday. Three killer apps for Instagram. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. We’ll make sure we get back to you. Sarah, as always, I appreciate your time and I hope you have a great rest of the week.

SG: Thanks, Ryan. It’s always a pleasure.

RP: Alright, everybody. Take care, and we will see you next Wednesday. Bye.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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