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The 13 Best Instagram Tools (My Personal Fast Growth Stack)

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The 13 Best Instagram Tools (My Personal Fast Growth Stack)

Home / Social Media Marketing / The 13 Best Instagram Tools (My Personal Fast Growth Stack)
top instagram tools cover
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Hey, looking for the best Instagram tools for growing fast?

Today, I’m going to give you a peek under the hood at our “Instagram growth pack”, apps we use to create, manage, and market Instagram accounts to grow as quickly as possible. 

It’s actually way easier than you think. Most of them have FREE plans that can help you get thousands of new followers quickly if you use them right.

But First, Here’s Something I Learned the Hard Way About Instagram…

Instagram might seem like it’s only about cool pics of you schmoozing with digital marketing celebs. 

For your personal account, that’s totally fine.

But if you’re doing this as a business, you’ve got to treat it like one.

Which leads me to this…

If you don’t treat your Instagram account just like any other business, you will FAIL.

If you don’t schedule Instagram posts, touch up photos, search hashtags, use analytics, research competitor posts, or any other of the social media strategies you’re supposed to do, you will lose the war for attention.

It’s a zero-sum game. All of your competitors are doing it.

And guess what? Instagram loves accounts that do it. So if you aren’t prepared to optimize your strategy, quit now.

Trust me, you cannot do Instagram without help. 

You need proper analytics and data, you need to know what to post, when to post it, and who to share your post with. You need to understand hashtags, social karma, how to hook users, edit images, and cross market on Facebook.

Good thing there are tools for that kind of stuff…

Introducing: Instagram Tools

Without Instagram tools, you won’t be able to grow your online business, personal account, nor an Instagram business. Period. 

Sure you’ll get a few followers here or there, but you won’t ever get the real growth you need to actually start making money.

And here’s the thing – all of your competitors are using Instagram tools, and probably a ton of other apps for social media too. 

So if you don’t, they’ll have better content, better analytics, and better scheduling. So every time someone is looking for a business, your competitors will get their attention first.

Or when a potential customer views both your content, they’ll choose theirs. 

Sucks. That’s social media in a nutshell. That’s life too – people will always choose the better option (damn that’s dark for an Instagram tools guide).

Anyways, lucky for you it’s way cheaper and easier to use Instagram tools to grow a social media following than it is to improve yourself. So, here are the best tools on the market broken down into the most important categories including pricing.

The Best Instagram Management Tools

1. Hootsuite – The Best Social Media Management Tool

Hootsuite - The Best Social Media Management Tool

Price: $19 per month billed annually

Free trial: YES.

What is Hootsuite? 

A real life-saver.

The most popular and powerful Instagram management tool for small and large businesses. An all-in-one social media management platform for scheduling, messaging, monitoring, analytics, and advertising your Instagram account that integrates with everything.

Why I Recommend Hootsuite:

  • The most advanced Instagram planning and scheduling platform available
  • The best management tool for big businesses with multiple accounts and users
  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Granular social insights into what’s working (or not!)
  • Schedule your social posts in minutes
  • Mobile app included in pricing

Hootsuite is my favorite Instagram social command center. This is the only Instagram account management software I use… because I literally don’t need anything else.

It covers all my bases. I can:

  • Brainstorm, plan, and schedule posts 
  • Connect my Instagram marketing with all other social accounts (eg Facebook)
  • Easily promote any Instagram post
  • Evaluate social content performance and even choose the best influencers based on recommendations
  • Monitor my account comments, likes, and message all from one place

Plus it integrates with just about every major marketing app out there. That’s what I really like about it. If there’s something it can’t do, you just add a 3rd-party app and BOOM, now it can do it.

I use it as a solopreneur, but it’s really meant for big businesses and influencers.

You can manage dozens of social media accounts from one spot, manage clients, assign tasks/messages to any user, keep all communication in one place, and instantly add high-quality images, videos, and stories with company-approved media all in one place.

For the price, it’s a steal.

2. Agorapulse – The Best Instagram Management Tool for Agencies

Screenshot of Agorapulse

Price: Free – $159 per month billed annually 

Free trial: YES

What is Agorapulse? 

Part powerful social media management tool and part project management app.

Agorapulse is your agency’s hive for planning, communicating, and reporting. You’ll never use email, messenger, or spreadsheets again.

Why I Recommend Agorapulse:

  • Reasonable pricing for agencies
  • Shared Calendars are game changing (explanation below)
  • A proven and popular platform (3,000 + agencies)
  • Assigned user roles feature – clarify workflows and allow clients to be part of the process
  • Mobile app to schedule your posts on the go
  • Schedule your posts easily

Agorapulse is like Hootsuite just better for agencies for a few key reasons:

  1. Shared Calendars: A total game changer of a feature. It turns normal content plans into collaborative work spaces. Create a content calendar and share it with team members and clients. Then, clients can accept/reject, leave comments, chat with team members, and assign back to you. Goodbye email tag.
  2. Affordable Plans: Agorapulse’s pricing is on point. Hootsuite is $599/mo annually for mid-large agencies. Agorapulse delivers most of the same features with paid plans starting at $159/mo annually. I’m not saying it’s just as good, but $5,000 more in your pocket to grow your Instagram business per year is pretty nice.
  3. Easy Reporting: As an SEO at heart, I geek out hard on reports. So I love this feature. Agorapulse’s easy reporting tools are a huge value add for your clients too. Just click on their Instagram, choose weekly or monthly reporting, and it instantly creates a report that shows followers, engagement, shares, and cool graphs.

If you’re a small to mid-sized agency having trouble managing clients, Agorapulse is a gamechanger. Better communication, better content plans, better reporting – it’s a no-brainer.

Just don’t expect it to have the same powerful features or analytics as Hootsuite for promotion, engagement, or integrations. It’s not on that level. It’s more a communication and reporting tool than anything else.

3. Crowdfire – The Best Instagram Content Curation Tool

Crowdfire - The Best Instagram Content Curation Tool

Pricing: Free – $99.99/mo. Most users will pay $9.99/mo.

Free trial: Free plan.

What is Crowdfire?  

A cheap, no-frills Instagram management tool that makes finding and sharing content dead simple. Crowdfire scans thousands of sources for targeted content based on your recommendations. If you’re a busy solopreneur, this is one of the easiest, fastest ways to grow.

Why I Recommend Crowdfire:

  • Save hours of time searching for content
  • Share highly targeted content instantly
  • Track mentions and comments in one dashboard
  • Solid Instagram analytics
  • Unbeatable pricing
  • Mobile app

Crowdfire is the working man’s Instagram social media management tool. 

For $9.99/month or even less, you get a tool that:

  1. Finds highly relevant content for you
  2. Lets you publish directly to your Instagram account
  3. Schedule content in advance
  4. Analyze content performance
  5. Provides targeted hashtag recommendations

And if you upgrade to the next level, you get even more features. You can track mentions, likes, comments, and social messages from a neat dashboard.

It even integrates with Shopify, Etsy, and WordPress. Not sure what else you’d need as a small channel in the beginning.

As a solopreneur, content curation is a game changer. 

You could easily spend half a working day or more just searching for relevant social content and deciding which one is best.

Not only does Crowdfire do that for you, it eliminates the guesswork. You get content that you know will work and you get it right away.

Feel free to reinvest that time into content strategy, promotion, collaboration, or sleeping (hey rest matters too).

One of the few must have tools out there.

Click here to give it a try!

4. Tailwind – The Best Instagram Smart Assistant

Tailwind - The Best Instagram Smart Assistant

Price: Free – $39.99/month

Free trial: Free plan 

What is Tailwind? 

Part content planner. Part social content optimization wizard. Part content creation assistant. 

I don’t know exactly to call Tailwind, but damn do I like it.

Visually plan, create, optimize, and publish eye-catching social content all based on smart recommendations from whatever evil genius AI is behind all this madness.

Why I Recommend Tailwind:

  • Effortless planning from a visual interface
  • Automatically publishes at the optimal time
  • Example themes and posts for inspiration
  • Caption templates to sidestep writers block
  • Built-in branded bio creator
  • Paid plans starting at $9.99

Tailwind is a marketing, management, optimizer, personal assistant, and bio link tool rolled into one. Of all the smart assistant/planning platforms, this one is the most intuitive.

This one tool serves as your photo artist, content planner, post optimizer, scheduling app, growth partner, and link bio creator.

Let me break it down feature by feature:

  • Plan: Drag-and-Drop editor, a visual grid, smart time posting, scheduling up to a month in advance, and a ton more.
  • Create: Posts for inspiration, caption templates, themes and prompts, post-type recommendations.
  • Schedule: Auto publish to IG, advanced story and multi-image scheduling, hashtag scheduling.
  • Optimize: An awesome hashtag finder that multiplies your reach by finding unique, high-leverage hashtags for each post.

I highly recommend this to any individual or business that wants stunning Instagram content, with the best hashtags at the best times. 

Click here to try it out!

The Best Instagram Marketing Apps

1. Keyhole – The Best Instagram Influencer Marketing Tool

Screenshot of Keyhole - The Best Instagram Influencer Marketing Tool

Price: Starting from $79.99/mo

Free trial: YES

What is Keyhole?  

The most popular Instagram influencer marketing app.

Hard to argue with tools used by Netflix, the BBC, NBC, the Smithsonian, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Use this great tool to discover, screen, connect with, and evaluate influencer performance to grow your Instagram brand the fastest, most cost efficient way possible.

Why I Recommend Keyhole:

  • Fool-proof Instagram influencer marketing – easy metrics, clean dash, simple evaluation
  • In-depth profile analytics tools
  • All relevant data in real time
  • Influencer aggregator to evaluate performance in one place
  • No more spreadsheet Hell

Keyhole is one of the best tools to help with finding, vetting, and managing influencers as well as measuring the success of individual influencer campaigns. The pricing is a bit high, but it’s worth it for big businesses.

Here’s Keyhole in a nutshell…

You locate Instagram influencers based on relevant hashtags and find the ones with the best engagement metrics. Then you compare them against each other. Once you turn the best ones into minions in your Instagram marketing force, Keyhole lets you track everything they do – including how they talk about your brand – and provides simple metrics in a clean dashboard to evaluate them. 

As far as Instagram tools go, it doesn’t get cleaner or simpler than this:

Screenshot of finding, vetting, and managing influencers of Keyhole

And here’s a cool bonus…

Keyhole is also a sweet Instagram tool for event marketing. If you’re putting on a concert, festival, corporate function, online summit, or anything like that, Keyhole lets you market, manage, and create shared experiences for your events. 

2. ShortStack – The Best Instagram Tool for Contests

Screenshot of ShortStack - The Best Instagram Tool for Contes

Price: $99 – $499/mo

Free trial: YES

What is ShortStack? 

ShortStack is social media gamified.

It’s one of the best tools for creating, running, and managing uber-high ROI hashtag contests. Collect and display user generated content, interact with followers, choose winners, and watch your Instagram channel grow. Aside from being awesome to grow your following, hashtag contests are just fun.

Why I Recommend ShortStack:

  • Contests simplified 
  • Run contests without landing pages or choose from landing page templates
  • Everything in one place 
  • Easy forms to collect more customer info

ShortStack is the easiest way to grow your Instagram channel with contests based on hashtags. Choose your hashtags, create contests, monitor posts, interact with user generated content, choose winners – that’s it. 

To run a contest, all you have to do is choose hashtags, set up a landing page with your rules, provide a form to submit content, and watch as the content rolls in. Once it’s over, ShortStack will randomly choose a winner for you.

Doesn’t get much easier right? 

Check it out here.

3. Combin – A Fast, Safe Instagram Growth Tool

Combin - A Fast, Safe Instagram Growth Tool

Price: Free – $30/mo

What is Combin? 

A fast, simple way to get Instagram karma on your side and grow safely.

The natural way social media likes. Find relevant hashtags, like and comment en masse, target geolocation, and more. I know people getting dozens of organic likes per day just from this tool alone.

Why I Recommend Combin:

  • Grandma-proof functionality – you literally just search hashtags and everything else feels like Instagram
  • Steady, natural growth that won’t get you penalized
  • Free plan is limited but contains most key features

Combin is the quickest route to natural Instagram growth there is out there. If Instagram were the Olympics, Combin would be an approved performancing enhancing supplement.

This Instagram tool turbocharges the entire karmic process by putting all relevant posts in one dashboard, so you can like posts in bulk.

Without it, you’d have to manually search each hashtag yourself, go to every profile, find an image, like, and leave a comment. You’d have to do that hundreds of times per day to even come close to what Combin can do.

Ain’t gonna happen.

With Combin, you search all your Instagram hashtags at once and relevant posts pop up in the window. You can like directly an image from that window and even like previous posts from that account by double clicking. Plus you can leave comments directly from the window too.

And there’s a free account… no 14-day free trial needed.

Sweet!

4. Kicksta – Gain Real Organic Followers on Autopilot

 Kicksta - Gain Real Organic Followers on Autopilot

Price: $49 – $99/mo

Free trial: YES

What is Kicksta?

A simple (but expensive), Instagram app that brings in a steady stream of real followers if you use it right.

Set target accounts and Kicksta engages with their audience for you. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Why I Recommend Kicksta:

  • Grow (modestly!) on autopilot
  • Zero-risk growth
  • A simple Instagram app for busy entrepreneurs

Kicksta does one thing and one thing only: It uses machine learning to automatically like photos of the followers of your target accounts. You choose an Instagram channel, and Kicksta likes their following’s photos. That’s it. 

Since you’re in the same space, this SHOULD result in more followers for your page 100% hands off.

Kicksta uses machine learning to automatically like photos of the followers of your target accounts

I think Kicksta is best for established Instagram channels that are too busy to manually research and like photo after photo. If you’re just starting out, put in the effort yourself to gain a following.

This will save you hours of agony a month and should get you a solid amount of followers. Paid plans start at about $50, so it’s not cheap compared to other platforms, but the juice is worth the squeeze.

It’s nothing special, but it’s an extra marketing platform that should bring real results.

Get started now! 🙂

The Best Instagram Monitoring and Analytics Apps

1. Awario – The Best Instagram Monitoring Tool

You choose brand and industry keywords/hashtags, and Awario scans the interwebz for all related discussions

Price: $24 – $249/month

Free trial: YES

What is Awario? 

Awario is a relentless hashtag watchdog that monitors the InterWebz for brand/industry keywords and hashtags, and then provides a 365-degree view of every mention, at every hour, from every corner of the web. 

Why I Recommend Awario:

  • Grow organically by joining in real conversations about your niche
  • Instant gratification – score new customers when they’re looking for businesses
  • Instagram analytics for your audience
  • Improve brand reputation by answering customer questions
  • Great value pricing

Awario is a reputation, industry, and influencer management powerhouse.

You choose brand and industry keywords/hashtags, and Awario scans the interwebz for all related discussions. So it’s an Instagram tool that’s one part reputation protection, one part influencer marketing, and one part brand marketing.

You can see what people are saying about you, join in related conversations (quickly, I might add), gather data on your following, and reach out to influencers with the most pull.

Let me break it down a bit for you.

  • Reputation: Awario not only takes the temperature of your brand’s reputation around the web, it shows you what people are saying in real time so you can keep your reputation safe. 
  • Marketing: Imagine you own a coffee shop in New York (must be nice). With Awario, you can set “New York coffee shop” as a hashtag, and if anyone on Instagram asks “hey, does anyone know a good coffee shop in the City?”, you’re the first to know. Boom! You got a sale.
  • Influencers: Awario shows you the most influential accounts mentioning your name. Why not reach out and try to form a working relationship. Or, if they’re always negative, threaten them with a lawsuit :)?

An Awario subscription keeps you aware of your brand’s and industry’s goings on at all times. And with paid plans starting at about $25, it’s definitely a must have platform for mid to large-sized businesses.

Try it out today!

2. Iconosquare – My Favorite Instagram Analytics Tool

Screenshot of Iconosquare - My Favorite Instagram Analytics Tool

Pice: $49 – $139

Free trial: YES

What is Iconosquare?  

The industry-standard Instagram analytics tool for mid-sized and up businesses.

Iconosquare digs deep into your audience’s behavior toward your content and spits back easy-to-understand metrics. That way, you can focus more on what’s driving engagement and less on what’s wasting time. 

Why I Recommend Iconosquare:

  • In-depth metrics for Instagram stories
  • Understand what’s driving engagement quickly
  • Optimize your business and time efficiency 
  • Great competitor spying features 
Iconosuqare measures all of your content with granular metrics like audience engagement and average engagement rate per post

Iconosquare is an Instagram tool that optimizes your content planning, production, and scheduling by seeing what works best at what times.

Basically, Iconosuqare measures all of your content with granular metrics like audience engagement and average engagement rate per post so you can make more of what works and post it at the optimal time.

Plus you can snoop around and see what the competition is up to. 

Say you have a competitor that has double the followers and a way better average engagement rate. Iconosquare will show you what’s working for them so you can start doing more of what they’re doing and less of whatever you’re currently doing wrong.

Click here to give it a try yourself.

The Best Instagram Content Tools (Video, Design, etc.)

1. Canva – The Best Visual Content Creator for Beginners

Canva - The Best Visual Content Creator for Beginners

Price: Free – Paid plans starting at $12.99/month

Free trial: Free plan

What is Canva? 

Canva is your design superpower.

It’s the perfect entry-level tool for anyone looking to grow quickly on social media. It features editing tools for designing Instagram videos, thumbnails, images, and presentations.

It even has an entire built-in editor for designing Instagram posts with templates for food posts, ads, sales, holidays, and pretty much everything else. If you get one design tool, this is it.

Why I Recommend Canva:

  • The ultimate beginner design tool
  • Instagram posts made easy 
  • Make high-quality photos and videos easily
  • Massive library of images, animations, designs to add to an Instagram video
  • Create most basic designs for free

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Canva is like a design superpower for photos and videos.

You can design, collaborate on, and share pretty much any kind of content including photos, videos, presentations, print materials, logos, and other types of social media content – a lot of it for totally free.

Canva empowers you to have a consistently beautiful Instagram feed without a photo editing background or pro on board. Not sure what to post? Choose a template designed specifically for Instagram and throw it up there.

Got some design skills? Use the image builder to create killer photos, designs, flyers, branded docs, and whatever else you need. 

Remember, Instagram is not about being good, it’s about looking good. Canva lets you do that with a free account and about an hour of design tutorials. Not bad at all.

As far as Instagram tools go, it’s a must.

Give it a try here or if for some reason you're not a fan of them, we've also covered the best Canva alternatives.

2. Instasize – The Best Photo and Video Editor for Instagram

2. Instasize - The Best Photo and Video Editor for Instagram

Price: Free | Premium: $4.99/mo

Free trial: Free account

What is Instasize? 

Need a free Instagram editor?

Instasize is a simple, powerful photo/video editing toolkit for creatives including layers, filters, text, editing, borders, overlays, touch ups, and anything else you need to make yourself look better.

Why I Recommend Instasize:

  • Create stunning photos fast – upload, touch up, share to Instagram – that’s it
  • Free photo editing tools are enough for beginners
  • Cool features like layering for stunning photos
  • Premium is dirt cheap

If you’re a solo creative or business looking to enhance photos, Instasize is exactly what you need.

It’s a dead simple app containing everything you need to look your best. It’s like a photo/video editor and enhancer rolled into one.

The cool thing is for about $5 per month you get access to premium features like auto-fill, touch up, and premium filters you can’t get elsewhere. 

3. Adobe Rush – A Great “Do It All” Video App

Adobe Rush - A Great “Do It All” Video App

Price: Free plan | Paid starting from $9.99

Free trial: YES

What is Adobe Rush? 

Another great tool for shooting, editing, and sharing high-quality Instagram videos/stories. Point, click, film, then edit by resizing, enhancing, adding animations and titles, and a ton more.

Why I Recommend Adobe Rush:

  • Fast and intuitive
  • Value-packed at only $10/mo
  • Everything you need for stunning vids
  • Voiceovers for unique, interactive stories

Adobe Rush is a simple, intuitive video editing app that lets individuals and businesses stick out from the endless glut of Instagram posts.

Adobe Rush is a pretty impressive toolkit for only $10 per month. It includes features like:

  • Drag-and-drop transitions
  • Easy titles
  • Export to Instagram or other social media platforms directly within the app
  • Color correction
  • Speed controls
  • Advanced audio controls

And the FREE account is actually good enough for you to create high-quality social media videos – though you’ll eventually run into limitations. If you’re serious about your business, upgrade and thank me later.

Conclusion – What Is the Best Instagram Tool for Me?

I know that not everyone can afford all these tools at once. And, honestly, not every business needs every one of these tools at the same time either.

If you’re just starting out, then my 3 absolute must-haves are:

  1. HootSuite – For Easy Management: You should be producing a lot of content to gain followers early on, and HootSuite is the best/simplest management platform out there. With it, you can easily brainstorm, plan, and schedule posts, then see what’s working and promote high-powered posts to get followers.
  2. InstaSize – For Quick Touch ups: InstaSize is free and easy (mostly), and it gives you everything you need to quickly create high-quality images and videos for your account. I recommend Canva if you’ve got extra time, money, and design skills, but InstaSize is enough to get you started.
  3. Combin – For Fast Growth: Combin is the fastest way to get real, organic followers in the beginning and it literally doesn’t get any easier to use. Instead of all that manual searching, just type in hashtags and like/comment away. If you don’t gain a few hundred followers in the first two weeks, y’all done screwed up.

After you gain a foothold, move into phase 2.

By that point, you’ll be big enough that you need content curation, analytics, and influencer marketing tools. Now’s the time to start using:

  1. Crowdfirestart here.
  2. Iconosquareget Iconosquare here.
  3. Awariosign up for Awario.

These three give you the power to not only come up with new ideas and find powerful people in your niche to partner up with, you’ll gain granular insights into what’s working on a big scale so you can double down and really start growing.

Everything else is icing on the cake.

Happy Instagramming everyone. Time to get back to schmoozing with high society.

Once you've got a big presence on Instagram and are looking for ways to get those people on your email list or to promote products, check out our GrooveFunnels review and Clickfunnels to take things to the next level.

F.A.Q

Q: What app do most Instagrammers use?

A: Most Instagrammers use photo and video editing apps like VSCO, Instasize, and Adobe Rush. Plus they use management apps like Hootsuite to schedule their posts on Instagram (Facebook too!) at the optimal times.

Q: What are Instagram professional tools?

A: Instagram professional tools are tools offered by the platform to improve your business efficiency on the platform. This includes analytics, contact information, and promoting posts within Instagram.

Q: How do you get 1k followers on Instagram in 5 minutes

A: The only way to get 1k followers on Instagram in 5 minutes is to cheat and buy them. Do not do that. Get real followers the organic way or you will regret it.

Q: What is the best Instagram growth tool?

A: The best Instagram growth tool is either Combin or Kicksta, since they empower you to get organic followers quickly. Overall, the best growth tools are good management tools like Hootsuite that schedule posts, optimize content creation, and provide in-depth insight.

Q: Why is Instagram the most useful app?

A: Instagram is the most useful app for business because you can easily share stunning visual content related to your industry and interact with buy-ready customers in real time. And unlike Facebook, it’s still easy to obtain organic growth rather than paying to promote ads.