As mentioned in a previous post, Instagram doesn’t give us a lot of bells and whistles to work with when it comes to promoting ourselves or our brand. Fortunately, there are a few third-party apps that make the job a little easier. King among these is Iconosquare.
What can using Iconosquare do for you? Let’s make a quick review of some of its best features.
1. Like and comment from your desktop. Yes, you can also do this with Instagram’s own web interface, but Iconsquare’s is better. You can delete or reply to individual comments, and the other user’s handle is automatically populated. It also gives you a ridiculous number of emoticons to use, if you choose.
2. Manage Private Messages. The advantage here is that it’s much easier to type out long messages on your keyboards than your smartphone.
3. Statistics. LOTS of Statistics. Besides the usual numbers like followers, followings, media, and likes received, you also receive three “scores,” which are: Love Rate (percentage of likes), Comments (how often people leave comments on your images), and Spread Rate (how many likes come from non-followers).
4. Snapshots. Iconosqure gives you a few “Snapshots,” which are sort of like the stats, but arranged as a shareable image or video. EXCELLENT for showing off your social proof across multiple social media platforms.
5. Creating Groups. By creating custom groups, you can filter your feed and see only the content that you want to follow. For example, you could set up separate groups for friends, family, and business contacts. It just makes it easier to keep things organized.
6. Promoting Tools. Under the “Promote” tab, Iconosquare provides several useful tools to help your Instagram account reach people that aren’t necessarily active on Instagram. Among the features are a public URL, an app for your Facebook Page, Photo Gallery widgets and “Follow” buttons for blogs and websites.
7. Contests. There’s a continuous turnover of new contests on Iconosquare that invite you to submit your best photos for considerations. Sometimes the prizes are significant, including all-expense paid trips to exotic locations. Just make sure to check the location of the contest. Not all contests are available in all countries.
It’s important to note that the one thing that you can’t do with Iconosqure (or Instagram’s web interface, either) is post pictures. For now, Instagram wants to keep at least that feature of the app aligned with its original purpose. Despite all the enhancements and changes, it’s still primary a smartphone app.
There are plenty of other third party apps for Instagram, but so far Iconosquare has proven to be the most useful for managing your account. However, it should be underscored that no matter how efficient you are with managing your account, it’s still the photos that matter most of all.