By: TRIPNITY SAS
Iconosquare is a monitoring and management tool available for Instagram and Facebook. The latter was introduced quite late on this platform though. This French service started in 2011 by the name Statigram. They experienced significant growth in popularity in the next few years and changed the name to Iconosquare in the year 2014. It is considered to be one of the best analytics tools for Instagram.
With more than one billion users worldwide, Instagram is easily among the most used social media platforms. The rate of influx of new users on this service does not seem to slow down soon as well.
What started as a means to share your thoughts and emotions through images and videos, has now become one of the most significant marketing fields.
Social media influencers and businesses like to use this platform to promote themselves. Images can be very influential as they leave a lasting impression on the viewer’s mind. And one who is able to transpire right set of emotions on Instagram is bound to enjoy a healthy following.
Iconosquare is a tool which allows its subscribers to manage various facets of one or multiple Instagram accounts. They also provide similar services for Facebook, but it is the features available for Instagram which make them a giant in their field.
Most of the properties of this tool are well suited for Instagram, and some of them are exclusive to it as well.
One uses Iconosquare primarily for three tasks- analytics, monitoring, and publishing. We will review these three aspects of this platform in details.
Even though Iconosquare caters its services for both Instagram and Facebook, our primary focus will be on features available for Instagram.
A lot of social media management tools fail to provide satisfactory features for Instagram and Iconosquare is seen as an answer to all such woes of the user.
We will see how well it gels with your profile and what tools it provides you to grow on the platform. By the end of this review, you will have a better idea of the capabilities of this tool, and you will have enough knowledge to pick the right management tool for Instagram as well.
The first thing you should know before getting started on Iconosquare is that it is made specifically for business profiles.
It needs to be either a business profile on Instagram or a business page on Facebook. It will be much easier for you to take care of this aspect before you start.
If you have business profile(s) ready at your disposal, then it is a cakewalk to get started.
The easiest way is to login into your Facebook and Instagram profile on your desktop, and then open Iconosquare in the other tab. When you click on the option to add a new profile, it will automatically scan for active profiles and display them in a list for you.
All you need to do after that is select profiles which you want to manage using this tool.
The other way is to manually enter profile names and then login into each one of them when you get a prompt. You will also need to grant a few permissions so that the application can help you manage and analyze your account.
There should not be much of an issue for you to set up multiple profiles on Iconosquare.
Before we get into the gist of things and explain analytics and monitoring features on this application, let us first get through the content management part.
The publishing section of Iconosquare has two parts, one is where you keep your content, and the other is where you manage posts.
You can put all the content, which you may want to post on Instagram, inside Media Library. You can upload content from your device or import it from Dropbox and Onedrive.
With all this content inside your profile, you won’t have to worry about getting content when you will be posting or scheduling it. You can save images with labels and captions so that you don’t forget what the picture or video was about while posting it.
Scheduler is the next section in the publishing tab. It contains a calendar with time slots. If you have scheduled a post or a story for later, it will be visible in the relevant slot.
The visual display makes it easier to get an idea of content scheduled in that slot. You can select a slot and then choose what you want to post on that day.
There are a lot of advantages of pre-planning your content for Instagram and scheduling it beforehand. You must be aware of how much time consuming and tiring it is to post content on Instagram every single day.
It is much easier to come up with engaging and relevant captions if you are scheduling a post. Our minds often betray us in crunch situations, and creativity also gets a hit if you are under a pressure of deadlines.
Scheduling a post in advance will give you ample time to conduct relevant researches for hashtags. Hashtags have a very special role to play in the promotion of your brand and increasing the reach of your posts.
If you have got your posts planned, you get the flexibility to adapt according to any change in trends. It will provide you a buffer period which you need to make sure your feed is in tune with the recent modifications.
It has not been long since Instagram allowed third-party applications to post content on the platform automatically. You can take advantage of this fact and schedule a post when you know you will not be able to it.
You can schedule a post for when you will be traveling or have a meeting with someone or for many other scenarios.
It is a simple enough task to schedule posts on Iconosquare. You will have to choose the timeslot in which you want to post the image, video or stories. Type in the caption and insert relevant hashtags.
This application allows you to save captions and hashtags. It speeds up scheduling, and you can prepare for your Instagram feed well in advance. There is a preview option in the scheduler which shows how your feed will appear once all posts go live.
You can use this feature to take care of the overall appearance of your feed.
You will also need to download the mobile application of Iconosquare if you want to use the scheduler. Instagram has some guidelines for images when it comes to an automatic posting feature of third-party apps.
If your post does not fall under that category, the app will notify you when it is time to make the post go live.
Scheduler marks best time slots to schedule posts, and you can use this feature to ensure your post reaches a broader audience.
If you have a business account, then you must be aware of the importance of analytics. Analytical reports of different facets are one of the primary requirements to decide future strategies and policies.
Since Instagram is such a vast landscape, there are a lot of factors which can affect your growth on the platform. Simply guessing a trending topic and posting media hoping that your audience will like it, will not do the job.
You need concrete data to steer your growth strategies. Instagram provides some analytical data related to profiles, but often its scope is limited, and the narrow time scales don’t allow long term planning.
The analytics tab of Iconosquare has a lot of categories which inform you about status, growth, reach, and a lot of other properties of your profile. They have created various sections which makes it easier for you to find relevant data and saves you from getting lost in the jungle of data.
Let us go through some sections of the analytics tab and discuss how they can help us grow our brands or profiles. There is a button which specifies a time frame for the data. You can manually set the period or choose from one of the options.
The ‘Overview’ section gives a comprehensive report of your profile. It will go through the number of followers, number of impressions, follower growth, engagement rate, etc.
It displays your recent media and how it performed in terms of likes and comments. If you click on media, you will get a bunch of other data relevant to media.
You can choose from various sorting options and decide if you want to see your recent media or some with other characteristics. Let’s say you display media based on the number of likes. You can then analyze statistics related to these media to find what is it that made your audience appreciate them so much.
It depends on you and your analytical abilities to efficiently use the available data. The engagement section will tell you about the engagement patterns of your audience.
It will give you a graph for how frequently people liked your posts or commented on them. Audience engagement is a necessary ingredient for the organic growth of a profile. You can find out what sort of content is most engaging for your audience.
The ‘Community’ section will let you know about the demographics of your audience. You will get to know age and gender distribution, languages they speak, countries where you are most popular. Iconosquare provides popularity charts even for different states within a country.
Once you know much about their age groups and what languages they speak in general, you can post media coherent to what they prefer to see on their feeds.
If you are social media influencer, you can use this data to find a brand which will benefit the most from your services.
The ‘Reach’ section is all about how much penetration your posts have. It also tells you when your followers have been most active. You can modify your schedule and content according to data in this section to make sure it reaches more people.
There are a lot more sections in the Analytics tab of Iconosquare which will help you prosper on Instagram.
It is highly likely that you will find some data more relevant as compared to others. There is also a good chance that the charts and reports you want to monitor regularly will be present in different sections.
Well, this tool allows you to place this data on the dashboard in any order you prefer. This fully customizable dashboard will become an analytics hub for you, and you will find it easier to monitor the profile.
There is not much of a difference in our definitions of monitoring and analytics on Iconosquare. The subtle difference which we think exists between these two is that one is a direct analysis of parameters related to profiles while the other takes care of elements around it.
Iconosquare lets you monitor foreign elements with ease as well. You can analyze various trends around your industry, get to know about the performance of multiple hashtags, etc.
But before we go out and analyze behavioral patterns of others, a little bit of self-introspection can be helpful as well. The ‘Profile activity’ section will tell you about views and clicks you are getting on your profile.
It is up to you how you interpret this data and act upon it. We consider this as a way to know if things are going in the right direction or not. After all, all you will want is people to interact with your post and reach where you want to direct them.
The ‘Stories’ section will tell you what story types are making you more relevant on the Internet. You will get to know about their completion rate and if your audience is interacting with them.
‘Mentions’ will tell you how relevant you are on this platform. It displays data for each time someone on Instagram mentioned your profile.
You can further compare mentions in comments, captions, and tags. You will get actual numbers as well as comparative data of these numbers.
‘Industry Benchmarks’ measures your performance against the average performance of your industry. This will give you a realistic comparison of how well you are doing against those who are trying to do the same thing as you.
This will let you know how much harder you need to paddle or if you need to continue going with the flow. It will give you a side by side comparison of various sorts of data. You can get to know if these people are posting more images or stories or videos, see average follower growth for them, etc.
When it comes to comparison, what can be better than a head to head comparison with those who you feel are your competitors on Instagram. But we have saved this topic for a later section in this review.
Hashtags are to Instagram what keywords are to SEO. You need to make sure that you are using the right hashtags in your posts. The most common and most popular hashtags will not be of much use to you if you have a small or medium sized profile.
You need to find hashtags which have a lot of relevance to what you do, and they need to consistent with the following you have on the platform.
‘Hashtags’ lets you research hashtags you are interested in, and brings in all the information related to them so that you can use them to your advantage.
It takes 24 hours for Iconosquare to get data related to your searched hashtag. You can use this information to improve your practices of using hashtags.
You will end up with an extensive and relevant collection of hashtags if you use this section wisely. It takes time to know what hashtags work best for you. One needs to be patient just like it is advised in case of SEO.
No matter how big or small you are on Instagram, you will always have some competitors who are in the same field as you, have the same size as you, and have same goals as you.
You can choose either not to bother about them at all, or you can decide to embrace the spirit of competition and compete with them. If you want the first option, either you will surpass them, or they will surpass you.
If the latter happens, it will be too late for you to play catch-up, and you will end up on the not-so-bright side of things. But, if you choose to compete, you will always have a sense of how they are doing, and it will be highly unlikely that you will fall so far behind that you won’t be able to shorten the difference.
Iconosquare allows you to keep your competition in the loop and keeps you informed of their progress. You can mention all those profiles which you think will be ideal competitors for you.
You will get an overview of all of them. You can choose to view stats individually or even collectively. In any case, you will get insights on what strategies they are using to rank higher on Instagram charts.
You will then have options to take some lessons from them or stick to your methods.
Another advantage of keeping an eye on your competitors is that you will get to know what hashtags they are using. This data may help you improve your collection of hashtags.
Interacting with your audience is vital to building a loyal community on social media. This interaction is an excellent source for new ideas and to know what is it that people expect from you.
Instagram has been notorious for providing limited options for one-on-one conversations through the platform. The only way to chat with another user is by using the mobile application.
You can neither chat with someone if you sign in from a web browser nor it allows third-party applications to include chats from Instagram. There is no other way to manage direct messages other than on its mobile apps.
However, it is not the only means to interact with others on Instagram. There are comments on posts and media which constitute a large chunk of interactions happening on this platform.
The volume of comments on a popular account can be overwhelming, and people often find it challenging to keep up with them. Iconosquare not only lets you manage these conversations, but it provides you with tools which will help you take care of large volumes of comments.
There are two ways to read the comments you have got on your posts. The first way is to check them out in the ‘Conversations’ tab of the platform.
It displays all the comments that you have received on your posts in chronological order. There is no option to filter comments based on posts or any other parameter which might be a turn-off for some users.
You can reply to a comment from here or remove it if you don’t prefer it to be in the comment section of your post. When you reply to a comment, it will automatically get marked as read and disappear from the feed.
The translate button helps you read comments which have been posted in a different language. You can choose what language you want them to be translated into through profile settings.
There is also an option to mark comments as read against each one of them. If you want to make all of them disappear at once from your feed, there is a button which allows you to do that as well.
But what if someone is interested in going through comments of a particular post? Well, Iconosquare took care of that as well.
The window which displays stats for individual posts lets you see comments for that post. You can interact with these comments from within the window only.
You have the option to export these comments as well.
A business profile on Instagram can have so much to do and analyze that it might not be possible for just one person to take care of all of it. It will also be a good idea if professionals handle specific tasks on the profile.
A good analyst may not necessarily be good at interacting with the audience. If a lot is riding on your social profile, then it is natural that you will want a group of skilled individuals to take care of it.
Iconosquare lets you add other users on the account. The number of allowed users depends on your subscription plan.
You can describe the roles of these users and assign them profiles as you wish. Different user roles allow you to decide how you want to distribute control over various aspects of your account.
You can assign the role of either a manager or a team member to this new user. You will be the administrator with control over all the elements of the account. You can also choose what profiles can other users access in your account.
A team member will have access to reports and analytics data but will not have much say in case of tasks related to handles. A manager, on the other hand, will be able to perform actions such as adding or removing social profiles, including other users, etc.
But only an administrator can handle matters related to payments, billing, subscriptions, etc.
We already discussed how Iconosquare provides several charts, graphs, and other infographics about various profiles listed in the account.
There may be times when you want to discuss future strategies with others in the company, or you may want to showcase the growth of the account to superiors. In situations like these, you will want to export files from Iconosquare.
Iconosquare is a very helpful tool for businesses and allows exporting of files and charts in a lot of ways. Most of the reports have a download icon above them, and when you hover the mouse pointer over it, you will see the available file formats for exporting data.
You can export most of these charts in PNG and CSV format.
One handy feature available on this platform is that you can schedule reports for yourself and others at regular intervals of time.
So, if you want to monitor monthly growth of a profile, or if someone else from the company wants to see profile stats every week, you can set up a schedule for Iconosquare to mail reports. You can put in an email address, choose the time interval, and even decide the file format you want to export.
This feature makes sure that you keep getting informed about modifications in profiles at regular intervals of time.
Iconosquare may provide its services for both Facebook and Instagram, but there must be hardly anyone who will subscribe to this service specifically for management and monitoring of Facebook profiles.
Instagram is at the core of all features and tools available on this platform. The ability to do similar tasks on Facebook is more like a bonus for users.
There is hardly any feature possible for Instagram which we missed on Iconosquare. It lets you manage content efficiently, monitor its progress, and allows you to grow by indicating areas in which you can do well.
The ease with which one can manage content on scheduler is commendable. It lets focus your attention on future content when you know that it will take zero or only a few clicks when it is time to post media.
Automatic content posting can turn out to be a life savior when you are unable to post content because of any reason whatsoever.
The scheduler stores all your media files which is a handy feature if you want to manage profiles on the go. Iconosquare ensures that users have no issues in managing content publication on their profiles.
If we go to the analytics section, there was no disappointment in this section as well. There is ample analytical data which helps one figure out parameters responsible for growth or decline of profiles.
Majority of this data is visual and easy to understand, and the option to create a custom dashboard helps the cause even more.
Probably the most impressive, as well as the most critical section of this tool, is monitoring. They bring you data from sources other than your profile to tell which way trends are swaying. This information helps a lot to devise new strategies and plans for growth.
It lets you keep an eye on your competitors, monitor hashtags, tells you about the best time to post content, etc. All these factors combine to make sure you have all the necessary intellect to progress your brand further on Instagram.
There is hardly any drawback of using this tool. If you want to get a monitoring and management tool for Instagram profiles, then you should consider Iconosquare once.