In 8 months, Sumo grew an Instagram account to 100,000 followers:
50,000 of those followers were gained in just 90 days.
Instagram has helped:
Drive traffic and awareness to our content
Entrepreneurs grow their email lists by 10,000 subscribers or more each month
We followed a very specific process to grow a 100,000 follower Instagram account, which we unveiled in our guide on how to use Instagram marketing to grow your ecommerce store.
But growing our following so quickly with highly targeted followers would have been impossible if we had to do everything manually.
We used a handful of super convenient Instagram marketing tools to understand our audience, create a content pipeline and make sure our Instagram posts went out on schedule.
Check out the following 7 tools for massive Instagram growth.
Price: 7 day trial. $49/yr for 1000 hashtag queries per month.
Helpful for: Finding the right hashtags to get your images discovered.
Tool URL: https://ritetag.com/
Use case: RiteTag will let you right click on any image or text, then instantly give you a list of hashtag suggestions based on real time hashtag engagement.
Different colors indicate different hashtag strengths:
GREEN = use this hashtag to get seen now.
BLUE = use this hashtag to get seen over time.
RED = do not use this hashtag, your posts will disappear in the crowd.
GRAY = do not use this hashtag, very few people are following it.
With RiteTag you have an easy solution for finding non-obvious trending hashtags in 28 languages that boost reach of your posts and grow your Insta-following.
Here’s a demo video of how it works:
It works on desktop, mobile, and inside all the popular Instagram scheduling tools like Grum, Later, Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, HubSpot, etc.
Price: 3 day trial. $9.95/mo for 1-2 Instagram accounts.
Helpful for: Scheduling your Instagram posts from the web (without your phone).
Tool URL: https://grum.co/
Use case: One of most Instagram users’ biggest complaints about using the platform as a marketing channel is that Instagram doesn’t allow scheduled posts.
Unlike Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you can’t just load up a post and schedule it to go live later. Which means that many people think they have to manually press publish on all their posts - becoming a slave to their mobile phones.
A few tools like Later have come out to allow you to schedule reminders and make it easier to publish on the fly, but they’re not as hands-off as most marketers would like.
Grum is the only popular tool that allows you to schedule posts to go out automatically - without you manually having to press “publish”.
You can set a schedule and, as a bonus, you can actually upload the content from your desktop - meaning you don’t have to fiddle around with your phone or type on a tiny keyboard.
For these reasons, Grum is by far the best Instagram tool out there.
Price: 4 day free trial. $59-$259/month.
Helpful for: Done-for-you organic instagram growth.
Tool URL: https://instagrowth.ninja/
Use case: One of the strategies we outlined in our guide to driving massive traffic with Instagram marketing was the follow strategy.
This is where you find out which popular accounts already reach your target audience, and then follow their followers.
About 30% of the people you follow will follow you back - so if you follow the audience of large, similar accounts, you have the potential to reach tens of thousands of highly targeted people, who are more than likely to be interested in what you’re doing.
But Instagram caps the amount of people you can follow to somewhere around 6,000. So how can you keep the following goodness going if you’re tapped out?
One way is to unfollow the people who aren’t following you back.
We used a tool called Crowdfire to do this, but since early 2017 Instagram stopped allowing third-party tools to see one-to-one relationship data like who you’re following but isn’t following you back. So Crowdfire no longer works.
Now the best way to do this without taking up all your time is by using an Instagram growth service like Instagrowth. Instagrowth will manually like, follow/unfollow, and strategically comment on people’s accounts in your target market.
By taking all these actions on your account 24/7, Instagrowth is able to grow your account organically from people who come to your page from seeing your likes, follows, and comments.
Price: 14 day free trial. $29-$79/month.
Helpful for: Finding which hashtags perform the best for you (and competitors), and the times of day to post that get the most engagement.
Tool URL: https://pro.iconosquare.com/
Use case: Let’s say you were to create a marketing plan for Instagram.
You plan to post 3-4 times per day, which you estimate will lead to you reaching 10,000 followers in 90 days.
So you get to work creating the content, throw some posts up on Day 1… and nothing.
You hear crickets. Nobody is liking your posts, and forget about comments. Your Instagram posts are about as lively as a death metal concert in a retirement home.
What went wrong?
Well, for one, you could be posting at the wrong time of day. After all, if your target audience lives mainly in Asia, and you’re posting during North American daytime hours, your audience are sleeping right through your incredible content.
And since Instagram is a feed, and people see on average only about 30% of their feeds, they’ll never see those posts.[*]
Or maybe you’re using the wrong hashtags - the type of hashtags that nobody engages with, and that perform poorly in your industry.
Either way, you’re missing two key ingredients to marketing plan success.
That’s where Iconosquare comes in. Iconosquare is a premium Instagram analytics tool that has some data that can be incredibly helpful - including which hashtags perform the best for you, and the times of day to post that get the most engagement:
With Iconosquare data you can post at the time of the day your followers are online and most active - and with the hashtags that resonate with them the most.
Like Ink361, you can use Iconosquare to do competitor analysis. And if you haven’t even started an Instagram account yet, that means that you can identify people who reach the audience you want to reach, to take the guesswork out of coming up with a strategy:
Iconosquare is a premium paid analytics tool, but you can get a 14 day free trial to try it out before investing.
Price: Free. $4.99 for Word Swag Pro.
Helpful for: Automagically turning words into beautiful text designs on your Instagram photos.
Tool URL: http://wordswag.co/
Use case: Once upon a time, I thought posting images on Instagram would be a lot of work.
Especially considering I didn’t want to just post pictures of my latte or random photos of my travels. I also wanted to be able to post inspirational pictures with text over top, and content that could convey a message beyond the image itself.
But it turns out that you don’t have to be a designer to post this type of content on Instagram - and these posts don’t have to take more than 2 minutes to create.
That’s because there are apps to make this dead simple, like Wordswag.
With Wordswag, you can create your own custom text, add your own logo, or choose from hundreds of popular quotes, jokes, and thoughts if you’re stuck trying to think of your own.
There are alternatives, like Typorama, and in reality it doesn’t matter which you use - they both take the pressure off of you as the Instagrammer to create beautiful content.
Helpful for: Quickly getting a snapshot of your day-to-day follower growth (or any other content creator, live streamer, or brand).
Tool URL: https://socialblade.com/
Use case: I know I’ve already gone through a couple of solid analytics tools, but since each tool has its own highly useful purpose, I had to throw SocialBlade in there too.
Whenever I want to check Sumo’s Instagram stats quickly and get a snapshot of its day-to-day follower growth, SocialBlade is the first site I log on to:
You can use Iconosquare, Ink361 and SocialBlade for different purposes, but SocialBlade is completely free and you can use it to look up any Instagram account to find out quick stats on their following.
Price: Free - $399/month.
Helpful for: Reposting content you love at the tap of a button (without having to take a screenshot, crop it, and add your own caption).
Tool URL: https://buffer.com/
Use case: If you’ve been growing your Instagram for a while, you know the struggle.
The one thing that’s so annoying about growing your Instagram following...
The content hamster wheel.
You’re constantly on the hunt for new content ideas for your feed, and it gets pretty exhausting. So one strategy that not only allows you to take a break in creating unique content but also connect with other Instagrammers is... reposting.
Let’s say you were an ecommerce clothing store, and a customer posted a photo to Instagram wearing your products. You wanted to repost it to your feed. It used to be that you had to take screenshots of other posts, crop them into Instagram, and add your own caption when you wanted to repost, but not anymore.
Buffer came out with a feature that allows easy reposting.
Instead of doing all that manual work, it allows you to easily repost content from the Buffer app.
Anything to make your life easier, right?
As a quick recap, here's a 4-minute video on all the tools I've mentioned above:
Instagram can be a huge asset for list building, traffic, and even increasing your revenue for your online business.
But, without a few tools to help you along, it will be a long, hard road to grow your following.
These Instagram marketing tools will help you understand your audience, grow your followers and engage with the people you want to get your content in front of.
And if you want the ultimate Instagram tool? The one that will help you grow the quickest?
Click the link below to get our Instagram marketing swipe file. Inside you will find:
The marketing plan we used to grow our account to 100K followers in a matter of months.
Standard operating procedures to grow your account to the next level.
P.S. Want to learn the 10 growth hacks we’ve used to grow our email list to over 100,000 subscribers once people get to our site via Instagram and other channels? Click here for our most actionable growth hacking ideas to grow your email list and traffic.