Over the last year or so, I have launched nearly a dozen side projects (most of which are on my Product Hunt profile). While not every project has been a wild success, I have picked up a number of anecdotal learnings just by going through the process of identifying problems, experimenting with product solutions and soliciting customer feedback.
One of the biggest takeaways, reinforced in all of my experiences, is that we makers have very little time to spend on auxiliary pieces of the puzzle. In other words, time is our most valuable asset, and spending it on non-ROI-positive activities can kill our momentum.
So I try to automate all of the systems that are separate from our core product development — that way we can be completely focused on solving the problem at hand while still reaping the benefits of those complementary activities.
Social media marketing is a prime example of a channel that can definitely be ROI positive , but that can take enormous amounts of time away from our most important work. I still believe that it is important to have an online brand presence; I just think we should spend as little time as possible dealing with tiny complexities that do not really return any value (especially early on).
So, rather than fight the system, I try to automate as much as possible using tools I have at my disposal. Luckily, there are many to choose from.
I have played with and researched all of the Instagram automation tools out there, and here are my top 10:
1. SocialDrift — Automate your Instagram growth
SocialDrift is one of the leading platforms for automating your Instagram presence. They target users you should follow by username, hashtag, location and other metadata to find people who are likely to follow you back. You can further refine the targets to match your intended audience, using descriptive filters such as gender and popularity.
2. ViralUpgrade— explode your brand’s Instagram followers
ViralUpgrade is a must-have for any brand and influencer using Instagram to get more traffic. Once you sign up, you’re paired with your own account manager, who will work around the clock to engage with other users and expand your brand’s reach. They also offer a variety of filters so you can target specific demographics with precision. Once you’ve got everything set up, all you need to do is relax and watch as the weekly growth reports come in.
3. SocialEnvy — Grow your Instagram following
Many companies offer fake followers and fake likes that don’t interact with your profile. Social Envy helps you build real, organic Instagram followers who will actually engage with your content. They do this by targeting specific users with whom you should interact to boost your popularity across the platform.
4. Social Sensational — See your Instagram surge
Social Sensational is a growth agency that helps you expand your reach by providing a “tailored Instagram growth strategy.” They give you an account manager who works with you to refine your Instagram advertising campaign so that you are interacting with the right target audience. You don’t have to install anything to use them.
5. Social Upgrade — Real growth from real people
After answering a few questions about your current brand presence, Social Upgrade helps you “upgrade” your brand’s following by providing custom techniques you can leverage to scale your brand. There are no downloads or complicated settings — their growth managers do it all. They help you target users by industry, size and style.
6. Socially Rich — Get 1000 followers quickly
Since there are hundreds of millions of followers on Instagram, it can be hard to find your customers. Socially Rich provides you with a list of users that fall in your “desired audience.” Influencers, small businesses and personal brands use Socially Rich to connect with customers.
7. Relaxed Social — Increase social exposure
Relaxed Social will interact with hundreds of users each day on your behalf. They make sure people only follow you if they are interested in you or in what you have to offer. Since these are users who show actual interest, your engagement rates should also increase.
8. Popamatic — Get an Instagram assistant
Popamatic will manage your Instagram profile for you using their “Popamatic Assistants.” These assistants get customers real Instagram likes and followers by talking to the people who are most likely to fall in love with your brand. They claim: “It’s like having a social media agency without the big price.”
9. Social Growth — Automated Instagram growth software
Social Growth engages with your target audience via their extremely powerful hashtag and location targeting. They use their software managers with over 11,000 Instagram accounts, running simultaneously. Social Growth offers stable, secure and reliable growth solutions to help you reach your Instagram goals.
10. Robolike — Simple Instagram liker
Robolike lets you set tags that are relevant to your profile or to your target audience. Their software likes photos and tweets on behalf of your account. Over time, you’ll gain real followers from the interactions, and your following will grow.