The 5 Best Instagram Apps to Boost Engagement

Motivate your followers to interact more with your Instagram content

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram

Instagram is a top social network for both individuals and businesses. Whether you're trying to build a personal brand or use the site as a sales platform, Instagram engagement apps help you reach and interact with your followers, boosting your appeal and presence on the social media platform.

Here are our picks for the five best Instagram engagement apps based on features, ease of use, and effectiveness.

of 05

Best for Scheduling Posts: Buffer

Buffer Instagram engagement app
What We Like
  • Free plan lets you schedule up to 10 posts.

  • Add multiple images or videos to a single post.

  • Access past reminders.

  • Prepare and schedule Instagram stories.

  • Schedule a "first comment."

What We Don't Like
  • You'll need to upgrade to a paid plan for more scheduled posts and social accounts.

Posting at the right time of day can make a huge difference in the number of followers who see, like, and interact with your content. Buffer makes it easy to schedule posts to appear at the specific days and times you want. Buffer even includes default posting times based on when Instagram sees the highest traffic.

Buffer is simple and easy to use. Select an image or video file, create a caption, and then add it to your queue to post it immediately. Or, schedule it to post at a time you specify. Customize your queue and reset scheduled times whenever you want.

Buffer is a set-it-and-forget-it tool. Line up posts in advance, pause posting, tag users and locations, set a "first comment," use emojis in your captions, and much more. Use Buffer with Instagram and other social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Buffer is free to download and use on an iOS or Android mobile device, but you'll be limited to three social accounts and 10 scheduled posts. Upgrade to Pro for $15 per month and schedule up to 100 posts. Use Buffer on the desktop in a browser, as well. The free version isn't accessible in a browser, but you can try a 14-day free trial of the Pro version.

Download For:

of 05

Best for Social Media Management: Later

Later Instagram engagement app
What We Like
  • Search for and repost user-generated Instagram content.

  • Easy-to-use scheduling calendar.

  • Unlimited media library storage.

  • Use filters on your photos.

What We Don't Like
  • You'll need a paid plan to post videos.

Later (formerly Latergramme) is another top Instagram app for post scheduling, but this app is a more complete Instagram management solution. Use it on an iOS or Android mobile device or right from the website. Like Buffer, Later can be used with other social sites, as well.

With a free account, schedule up to 30 photo posts and collect user-generated Instagram content to repost to your profile. Just search a hashtag, and Later will grab the original, high-quality photo for you to repost.

Later is free to download and use, but many more features are available with Later's paid plans. View, manage, and reply to comments from within the Later dashboard so you never miss anything. Schedule video posts, plan and schedule stories, tag locations and users, and optimize post timing.

Later's paid plans include Starter ($12.50 per month), Growth ($20.50 per month), and Advanced ($49.50 per month); the higher the tier, the more features you'll get.

Download For:

of 05

Best for Instagram Analytics: Iconosquare

Iconosquare Instagram engagement app on an iPhone
What We Like
  • Preview posts before they go live.

  • Track competitors and compare against them.

  • Monitor conversations.

  • Access to detailed analytics and reports.

What We Don't Like
  • You'll need a monthly subscription starting at $29.

Instagram users who are serious about increasing engagement know that statistics give vital information about what's working or not working. Iconosquare delivers comprehensive social media management for Instagram along with advanced analytics, so you'll get a deeper understanding of your followers and how they engage with your content.

Track your competitors to see how your performance measures up to them, see your post reach and impressions, understand your video views, check your Stories analytics, and gain follower demographic information such as age and gender. Iconosquare also has all the traditional engagement tools, including scheduling posts, managing comments, tracking hashtags, and more.

Iconosqure is meant for serious influences, so take advantage of its 14-day free trial and see if you need all its features. Download the tool for free, and then pay $29 monthly for the Pro version or $59 monthly for the Advanced version.

Iconosquare works on Android and iOS mobile devices as well as on the desktop in a browser or via a Chrome extension. The tool can also be used with Facebook.

Download For:

of 05

Best for Professional Photo Posts: Canva, with professional photos to boost Instagram engagement
What We Like
  • Easy and intuitive to use.

  • Wide range of visual elements (both free and paid) to add to designs.

  • Instagram post template available.

What We Don't Like
  • The best visual elements cost money.

  • No photo-specific editing features.

With Canva, add visual elements to your photo posts to inform and inspire your followers, grabbing their attention. This free graphic design tool has virtually no learning curve and comes stocked with amazing, high-quality elements to use.

Upload your own photos to Canva or use one of its premade templates. Search for elements to add from Canva's huge library, including stock photos, illustrations, shapes, lines, arrows, symbols, frames, and more. (Many images are free, but premium images will have a price.) When you're done, instantly download your design.

Canva isn't as advanced as Photoshop, but it's a powerful free graphic design tool for creating a professional-looking Instagram post in just minutes.

Use Canva's iOS or Android app, or use it on the desktop at Canva's free features are plentiful, but if you need more customization options and even more templates and images, consider Canva Pro ($9.95 per month).

Download For:

of 05

Best for Instagram Graphics and Video Posts: Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark for editing Instagram video posts
What We Like
  • Templates for both photo and video posts.

  • Intuitive video editor for simple video creation.

  • Attractive selection of visual icons for photo designs.

What We Don't Like
  • You'll need a paid upgrade to remove the Adobe watermark.

  • No vertical full screen template option for videos.

  • Limited music library.

If you want to spruce up your video posts and Instagram Stories, Adobe Spark is an excellent tool for creative and engrossing content. It also incorporates graphic design functions, similar to Canva.

When you start a new project and select Video, choose from a selection of existing video templates or create a custom template. Add as many clips as you want and use the video editor to edit each scene with your own text overlay, music, or anything else.

Adobe Spark is easy to learn and use, and you'll be able to quickly create dazzling videos and other content.

Adobe Spark is actually a family of products. Use Adobe Spark online to create social graphics, web pages, and short videos, or go to Adobe Spark's online video editor for more advanced video creation and editing. Use limited functions for free, or upgrade to a paid plan for $9.99 per month, often with a generous free trial.

Adobe Sparks has two iOS apps, Adobe Spark Post and Adobe Spark Video, which divide the graphics and video functions. Use for free or upgrade to the $9.99 paid plan to eliminate watermarks and gain full functionality. Only Adobe Spark Post is available for Android.

If you already have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription plan, you may already have access to the premium version of Adobe Spark.

Download Adobe Spark Post For:

Download Adobe Spark Video For: