Instagress recently announced that they are closing up shop, per Instagram’s request.
Cue frustrated marketers and “Instagram famous” accounts around the world scrambling to keep their growth targets on track.
If you’re unfamiliar with Instagress, it was a third party platform utilized by users to accelerate Instagram growth by automatically following, liking, and commenting on user’s accounts based on the parameters set by the user. Essentially, you were paying a bot to put your Instagram account on autopilot.
If you are familiar with the platform and used it regularly: don’t fret. There are ways to continue growing your online presence on Instagram without this third party app.
Instagram Ad Placement through Facebook Ads Manager
It’s not breaking news that you can use Instagram as an ad placement through Facebook’s Ads Manager and Power Editor, but have you tried using only that placement? By unchecking all of the other boxes by the other placement options, you can ensure your ad dollars are being devoted to just Instagram growth. Plus, other ad options are being rolled out to select accounts, such as ads between Instagram Stories, which is similar in design to the ads placed on Snapchat Stories.
Facebook Dark Post Linking to Instagram
If you’ve tested Instagram placement only with your ads and still aren’t pleased with the results, there’s another ad method you could test, if you have an engaging target audience on Facebook. Amplify a dark post on your Facebook account that links to your Instagram account and craft the copy to encourage users to follow the account. If you use URL Genius as your link source for the post, users who click on the link will be directed to your profile within the app and not on the crummy web version within Safari.
Contests and Giveaways for Instagram Growth
A third method for Instagram growth is hosting a contest or giveaway (that stays within Facebook’s Page Guidelines). Camping With Dogs partnered with popular outdoor brands, such as ENO and Merrell to create an outdoor bundle that campers everywhere would drool to win. By partnering with large brands that have a greater influence than your brand, you automatically increase your total reach by having your brand be featured on these other accounts.
To execute this giveaway, our team use third party contest platform Rafflecopter, where users had multiple actions they could take to gain more entries into the contest, such as following on Twitter or submitting an email address. The first giveaway ended with a list of over 18,000 email submissions, which is data that can be used to grow both an email marketing base, as well as a custom audience that you can target back on Facebook. Hit ‘em with some ads on Facebook, get the user engagement up, and serve them with some Page Like ads. Ta-dah!
Consistent Instagram Practices
The previous three tips are great ways to accelerate Instagram growth, but implementing a consistent routine on the platform is key. Make sure to post content regularly with appropriate hashtags to spread the potential reach to more users. If your audience isn’t engaged, then they are likely to unfollow. Also, be sure to engage with other users on Instagram. People appreciate the likes and comments just as you do with your brand — remind these users that you are a human as well. Compliment them on the photo or ask how they were able to capture a great moment. This step of personalized engagement helps build relationships with these users, helping you establish a community within your followers. At the end of the day, no bot can take the human element out of responding to individual posts.
Instagress may be gone, but hear us out when we say that this isn’t a death sentence for Instagram growth. If you’re struggling to maintain your brand’s growth on the platform, or would like to learn more about our other approaches to platform growth, let us know by clicking the button below!