This App Just Became a Game-Changer For Your Instagram Engagement
Instagram is a network where every post, every video, every story is very much in the moment. People share and talk about what they're doing right now, regardless of the time of day.
Up early and hitting the gym after the New Year? Check.
Up late working on getting this blog post out in time for tomorrow's news cycle? Check.
As an individual sharing our own personal stories, it's fine to post whenever we feel like it. Our friends either see the posts or don't. No one's counting.
But when it's your business we're talking about, that's a different story.
You better believe we're counting. We're watching how many posts per day, how much engagement each post gets, how much our audience has grown lately, and how that activity is being translated into brand recognition and sales.
The problem, of course, is that only full-time marketers can spend all day on Instagram. The rest of us have jobs to do! Which means we're either limiting ourselves to posting when we have the time, or we're trying to use some of the available scheduling tools to help manage.
This tool, my friends, is a game-changer.
You've probably heard me talk about Tailwind before - it's my go-to app for managing terrific Pinterest activity. With Tailwind, I can get help determining the best times of the day to post, and use the browser extension to help fill that queue with fantastic pins that my audience will love.
Now, you can too all of that, and more, for your Instagram profile.
"Our mission is to make world-class marketing easy for everyone," said Tailwind CEO Daniel Maloney. "When we heard such overwhelming demand from our members for more effective and affordable Instagram marketing tools, it became clear we had a big opportunity to help." After reviewing what Tailwind for Instagram offers, I couldn't agree more.
Just like with Pinterest, Tailwind's new Instagram toolkit helps marketers, bloggers and influencers improve engagement with their content on the popular visual social network. That's potentially a big deal for Instagram marketers since Tailwind members have historically gotten four times more engagement on their posts than non-Tailwind users.
What I love about Tailwind's calendar is that it represents the ultimate in flexibility. Instead of a rigid X times per day, across all accounts approach, Tailwind for Instagram allows you to determine specific time slots for specific days. What's more, the app suggests specific time slots for you to add, helping you to completely optimize your sharing schedule.
If you're familiar with Instagram, you may already see the incredible potential here. Essentially, every time you share an image to Instagram and tag it, it will briefly appear at the top of each tag's feed, giving you exposure beyond your followers. But if you're posting at a poor time when fewer people are using the network or engaging with that specific tag, you risk wasting that post on a smaller overall audience.
With smart scheduling, you can remove the guesswork from posting times and rely on Tailwind to get you the most exposure and engagement possible.
Once you've set up your schedule, you can create shares within the desktop app or mobile app, or use the browser extension!
As you fill up your schedule, you can review what you've planned to share at any time. And at each appointed time, your mobile Tailwind app prompts you and aids you the sharing, making it quick and easy to do.
The best part is that as you begin to ramp up your Instagram posting and begin sharing great images at the best possible times, you'll be able to monitor your success right from within Tailwind.
The reporting suite provides performance metrics on your profile that you can use to further enhance and improve your activities, as well as show off to the CEO.
Advanced New Features
One of the most impressive aspects of Tailwind is their commitment to improvement. They're constantly asking themselves and their community what they can do better or differently, what features could be added to really help users and make an impact.
Since writing this review, several additional features have been added which you should know about.
9-Grid Preview - When viewing your scheduled Instagram posts within Tailwind Desktop, you can switch from Calendar view to 9-Grid Preview giving you a preview of what your profile will look like with posted images as Instagram displays them. It also incorporates your previously posted images so that you can see exactly how your profile will look to others. This is particularly helpful when planning checkerboard or grid images for maximum impact.
Hashtag Lists - Instagram users who want to blow up their engagement understand how important it is to use great hashtags, and that often means having saved collections of hashtags in Notes or some other app. Now, instead, you can create custom lists of hashtags right within the Tailwind app. Simply tap on Saved Hashtags while editing your post description and either select a previously saved list or add a new one. If you used to use a basic note or some other app, this will save you a lot of time hunting for and copying the right set of hashtags. And if you've never before used a saved set of hashtags, well, get ready to explode your Instagram engagement!
Hashtag Finder - Saved lists are nice, but what if you don't already know the best hashtags to use for your post? That's where Tailwind's Hashtag Finder comes in. Once you begin a post, you'll see suggested hashtags below it based on what you've used in the past or have already selected for that post. They're color-coded so you can easily which ones are strong choices or highly competitive, and as you select hashtags to use, the recommended hashtag list is refined! Use the Hashtag Finder to pull together top-performing hashtags for your posts, then save them as custom Hashtag Lists for future use.
We'll be writing about these and other features in more detail in future articles, so stay tuned for those.
Getting Started with Tailwind for Instagram
To get started, go to Tailwind and log in (or create an account if you don't already have one). In the upper left corner click in Manage Accounts and then add your Instagram account. You'll need to log into the account via your browser and authorize Tailwind to manage the account.
Then, you'll be prompted to download the mobile app and sign in there as well. Once you've done that, your Instagram account will be connected.
Note that Tailwind's pricing at the Plus level is per account, so if you're already using Tailwind to manage one or more Pinterest accounts, you'll need to upgrade your Instagram account to a Plus plan separately.
With Tailwind for Instagram, you can now not only schedule, but bulk schedule Instagram posts at the optimum times for your audience. Businesses and marketers that have been hesitant to explore the potential of Instagram need to give this tool a try.
And if you pair it with AgoraPulse for monitoring and responding to comments, you'll have a complete Instagram marketing suite.
DISCLOSURE: Many of the links in the article above, and throughout this site, are affiliate links. While there's no additional cost to you, any purchases made via those links may earn me a commission. Rest assured, only products and services which have been rigorously tried and tested are reviewed, and those reviews are always thorough and honest. If you benefited from my review and have a genuine interest in the linked product, your use of the affiliate link is appreciated and allows me to continue writing these kinds of helpful articles. Current examples include Tailwind, AgoraPulse, Post Planner, PromoRepublic and Freshbooks. Please also note that I am employed by SiteSell as their Chief Marketing Officer and am fully authorized to share product and company information from extensive personal experience.
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, award-winning Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."Follow @Mike_Allton