Tuesday, May 24

How to manage your instagram account

The other day I received an email from the folks at Iconosquare. This is what the message said:
On June 1st 2016 we will launch a new version of Iconosquare. The current version will no longer be available and the public Instagram viewer will be shut down.
This new Iconosquare is not just a visual redesign, but a whole new product with new features. Some major changes will accompany this release. You can keep using the current version of Iconosquare for free until the 1st June 2016. After that day the new version will only be available to PLUS and ELITE users.
Well, bummer.
Just when I got comfortable viewing my instagram feed chronologically and, although simple, the free version lets me manage my account in an easy, straightfoward way. Also, iconosquare makes managing comments easy too (btw, I get more comments on instagram than I get on my blog). But my lovely blog readers are way more loyal than my instagram followers. It's pretty common that instagram users will eventually unfollow once they hit 5k and you don't. But I digress.

So, I did a little research.
There are a number of alternatives out there, however, some seem to violate the TOS of instagram, so it pays to read the small print carefully.
*Update - just heard back that Ink361 will change its format. The version will no longer be available
Check out Ink361, where you can conveniently log in with your instagram account. It let's you view the instagram feed chronologically (yay) and manage comments, although the format does take getting used to. Published images automatically have Pinterest / Twitter / Google+ buttons, so you may crosspost easily. There's a backup function for your images / albums. You can also create circles similar to Google+. Useful if you want to check out certain topics, i.e. jewelry, foodpics etc.  Although the statistics aren't in depth, they are suffient for my purposes. Among others you can check hashtag popularity and most liked posts. The down side is there are a lot of ads within the feed itself and also in the side bars. In any case if you do not want to pay $$$ for iconosquare's Plus or Elite versions, then I'd recommend switching to Ink361.

As mine is a relatively small instagram account I currently don't need tons of data, however, Dasheroo seems like a decent place to start. I'm specifically intersted in their small business dashboard, which is also free. Dasheroo lets you configure your dashboard to your preferences and check your stats on multiple apps, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Analytics and Instagram. Seems efficient to me. I haven't tried out all the features yet, but it doesn't look like you'd be able to manage instagram comments. Rather it's an analytic tool for managing your account(s) and perhaps to check current social media trends. Something to keep in mind for when my account grows :)

Lastly, I wanted to share whether the changes to the feed on instagram several weeks ago have affected my sales negatively. Happy to report that this is not the case! With the right hashtags and a great photo you can still reach tons of potential customers. The only thing I've noticed is my growth rate has slowed down. I used to get several new followers per day. Now it's maybe one every three days. But as I mentioned it's not the follower count that's important, it's the quality of followers :)
I still need to figure out how to add a new instagram widget, since my current one will disappear once iconosquare's free version shuts down at the end of this month.

Do you use instagram for your business? Do you know of any other tools to manage your account?


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16 comments:

  1. great post Duni! thanks so much for all the links!! I do use Instagram, but not in any organized way for my shop. But you've given me some things to think about - thank you :)

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  2. Thank you for the tips Duni. There are so many helpful sites out there that is is difficult to keep up!

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  3. Once again I learn about something neat once it's on the way out! I didn't even realize there were apps/websites providing these kind of IG account services. I only just got around to adding an IG feed to my sidebar this past weekend! I'm just using a free WP widget for that and it doesn't provide any other services.

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    1. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't offer such widgets :-/

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  4. I'm still not sure about all this information ... Have to pay attention more to all those things. thank you for sharing, I will have to dig deeper about IG updates.

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  5. usually things that I really like using either get discontinued or they start charging for it..
    I do have instagram but rarely use it. Good info to know though

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  6. Hi Duni, I think I got a similar email from Iconosquare too. I'm glad you discussed this because I hadn't even thought of using a different platform for managing Instagram and other accounts. I use my @chelseycrafts account for my business on Insta and have my personal account too. Might have to look into other options too.

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  7. I don't use any tools to manage my Instagram account, but I do use Instagram alongside my blog/business. I wasn't too upset with the recent changes until they started changing how hashtags work. About half the time when I use hashtags, the image doesn't show up in the search now. This is something new, and because I use hashtags to connect with likeminded accounts, it's pretty frustrating. I'm usually okay with changes in social media platforms because that's just the nature of the beast, but I'd be really happy to go back to the old IG!

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    1. I didn't realize the changes affected the hashtags too? I depend on those to sell!

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  8. Hey Duni I use hootsuite (the free version) once you are used to it its fab! thanks for an interesting look at the others too!
    best xx

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    1. Thanks - will check it out :)

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  9. Hey there! I do have an instagram account since a few weeks ago and all I do is watch the other's photos... so: thanks fpr your tipps ;)
    greetings from my dolomites holidays
    Claudia

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    1. thank you for stopping by and you're welcome :)

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  10. I LOVE instagram! As a visual person, I'd much rather see a photo and read the caption then decide if I'm going to take the time to visit a blog from the profile link.
    I don't use any analytics on my account, but Instagram has a much more active community than other sm platforms and I really like it.

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  11. I am using Ig a lot these days! thanks for this info!!

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    1. You're welcome! Except they have changed the rules since this post again. It's really confusing :-/

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