Instagram on AndroidSocial media continues to play an increasingly influential role in the world of modern business and it would be foolish to ignore just how powerful these networks can be. Boasting even higher engagement rates than Facebook or Twitter, Instagram is proving to be an invaluable business tool for organizations of all sizes. But it’s not just about posting random pictures at random times.

If you want to get the most out of the image-centric social network, you need to go beyond the core app and explore some third-party Instagram apps. These can significantly extend what you’re capable of doing on Instagram, as well as provide you with the insights and tools you need to further increase your reach and engagement. Go get those likes and followers with these free apps for Android.

Instagrid

Expand the view with an Instagram grid

Expand the view with an Instagram grid

Think outside the box with Instagrid. This app allows you to leverage the standard layout of your Instagram profile page to go beyond telling your story in a single post. Instead, it will let you carve a single image into a grid of 3, 6, 9, 12, or even 15 images that will then be displayed as if it were one large cohesive image when someone views your profile page. This adds a healthy dose of creativity to your Instagram feed and it encourages your followers to check out your profile page, hopefully clicking on your profile link to further engage with your brand or company.

Follow Cop

Among the best Instagram apps for follower management

Among the best Instagram apps for follower management

For better or for worse, social media will always be a game of numbers. With Follow Cop, you can stay on top of the users who are or aren’t following you through an intuitive and attractive interface. The app will automatically list all the people who don’t follow you back on Instagram, for instance, so you can choose to unfollow them too. There’s also a list with recent unfollowers, as well as a list for what are called “ghost” followers. These are people who follow you, but have inactive accounts themselves. By actively managing your list accordingly, you can focus your efforts on more authentic engagement. Follow Cop also lets you seek out your top likers and top commenters, so you can know who are your top fans!

Letstag

Easily uncover the best hashtags to use

Easily uncover the best hashtags to use

Just like on Tumblr and Twitter, hashtags are critically important for the “discoverability” of your Instagram posts. The problem is that coming up with the best, most popular and most relevant hashtags for your posts can be a bit of a shot in the dark. Eliminate that guesswork with Letstag. Start by typing out one hashtag that you think makes sense and this tool will bring up related hashtags that are also popular on the platform. This is more effective than some other hashtag recommendation apps that simply provide you with broad sweeping categories to choose from.

Preview

Schedule your posts and more

Schedule your posts and more

Why have several different Instagram apps when you can combine so much functionality into one convenient place? In addition to offering VSCO-like filters and unlimited grid space, Preview empowers you with the ability to schedule your Instagram posts, just like you would with Twitter and Facebook. However, unlike some other networks, Instagram doesn’t allow third party apps to post (without the risk of penalty). So, what Preview does instead is that the app will send you a notification when you’ve scheduled a post. You can have everything done ahead of time, like filters and captions, so all you have to do is send the post to Instagram.

Regrann

A simple way to regram your favorite posts

A simple way to regram your favorite posts

Curiously, Instagram is one of the few social media platforms that doesn’t have a built in “share” function aside from tagging a friend or sending a private message. A simple solution to this is Regrann, which lets you re-post content from other Instagram users, either with or without the watermark. Remember to credit the original user, just as you would when you share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter. Regrann is really easy to use, since you never have to leave the actual Instagram app in order to use it.

Image credit: Michael Kwan / Flickr

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