How to Choose the Best Instagram Automation Bot for Your Brand

We cannot emphasize this enough: Automation is not a solution to growth.

Automation, especially Instagram automation should be a means of scaling up tactics you've already proven to be successful manually. Get to know your audience and interact with them. Research hashtags. Put some serious time into it and then maybe start thinking about using automation to scale up these manual efforts. Some of the strongest Instabrands had humble beginnings scrolling through hundreds of photos. They started off carefully selecting the people they'd engage with, grassroots style.

If you're relying on Instagram automation to grow your brand, give up now.

Or at least consider changing your approach to the platform.

Instagress shut down on 4/20/2017.MassPlanner followed on 5/13/2017. The vast majority of major marketing blogs are announcing the death of Instagram automation as a whole. We're not convinced. In our article about Instagress' shutdown, we explored this concept. The situation beckons one question. If Instagram were shutting down bots, why wouldn't they close off their API to all Instagram automation services?

This article is dedicated to everyone who has proven their manual efforts successful. The people that simply don't have the time to sit around liking and commenting on photos on a daily basis. The people that want to scale up this daily habit to its technical limits. If you don’t fit in this category, start with the basics of Instagram hashtag research. Forget about automation. You aren’t at that phase of growing your brand yet.

When selecting the best Instagram bot for your brand, you need to consider what types of engagement are most important to you. What gets you the best results: liking, commenting, or following? You also have to think about the risk vs reward elements at work here. If automation isn't handled with complete proper care, you're putting your Instagram account at risk of a swift ban. But don't think of it as just an Instagram account, this is your brand we're talking about. Your business. Treat automation carefully and your manual efforts are amplified.

Automated Liking on Instagram Photos

On average, for every hundred photos (by people you don’t follow), you gain 6.1 followers. The odds of your account getting (shadow)banned from just liking photos is quite low in comparison to other forms of engagement. To play it safe, most Instagram bots cap out the total # of photos you can like to a range of 40-80 per hour. Imagine doing that manually.

Paying for an Instagram bot to auto-like photos for you 24/7 is a low risk, low reward tactic. You will passively gain a small amount followers and new engagement.

If this is the tactic for your brand, RoboLike is only $7.77 a month and has all the targeting options you need. It’s pretty basic, but it’s all you need. Competitors at a higher price point offer extra targeting options. For auto-liking, we couldn't find a measurable difference in performance.

Bonus: RoboLike doesn’t have “Insta” or “Gram” in its name, so they aren’t at risk of the same lawsuit that shut down Instagress back in April.

Automated Commenting on Instagram Photos

You need some real marketing finesse to use auto-comments on Instagram effectively. Like we said earlier, start off manually and go from there. It’s much more difficult than you’d think. Try to write a comment that applies to every post for a particular hashtag that’s actually engaging. Comments that don’t read like spam.

The trick here is to use laser-focused targeting and write comments that engage with people in ways that invoke an honest reply. Questions perform best because it’s a CTA to reply back to you. Huge step up from the typical “I like this post 👍”  auto-comments, rght?

Archie is the biggest player in auto-commenting currently. While not anywhere close to the power that MassPlaner had, it’s the best we have at $19 a month.

If this is out of your current budget, go for Instazood for $9.99 a month. The downfall of Instazood is that it has “Insta” in its name and could be shut down at any point. Grab a monthly subscription and don’t be shocked if Instagram hands them a lawsuit.

Automated (Un)Following Instagram Users

Following and unfollowing is a tactic that’s frowned upon by many, but it can be effective when done right. The problem you’ll run into with this tactic is that it’s very aggressive. It’s the highest risk type of engagement you can put your brand through.

Target the wrong people and you’re left with an following that won’t engage with your content. Move too fast and you’re bound to get banned.

Whether you’re stealing competitors’ followers by engaging and following with them or infiltrating your super fans’ group of friends - manual efforts come first. High risk, high reward. That risk goes down by following people with a strategy on a low scale before thinking of Instagram bots.

InstaMacro is the most powerful Instagram bot on the market right now and that’s reflected in its price: $59.99 a month. It’s the closest power we have to MassPlanner for now, but like Instazood, it’s at risk of being shut down at any moment.

InstaMacro’s pricing model mimics the late Instagress’, where you buy time and set when automation should be run. This is not only a means of account safety, but it ends up being cheaper than the face value price tag.

Worried about paying for InstaMacro’s price tag and having it shut down?

KeplerBot is $24.90 a month. It’s not quite as powerful as InstaMacro but you’ll sleep easier.

Run automation only when people are most likely to be on their phones browsing Instagram. You can use Instagram’s built-in analytics to find these times. We like to use Iconosquare. It all comes down to preference. Avoid touching your phone during these periods of automated activity. This approach not only lowers the odds of your account being banned, but you use up less of that precious InstaMacro time you just bought.

The Takeaway: Research your audience and prove tactics are effective manually before considering automation. Automation isn’t for everyone. You’re at risk of being banned if you don’t handle Instagram bots with some love,. Still considering it? Think about the options we’ve given for each type of engagement on Instagram.

Instagram is our favorite social platform at the moment. It changes rapidly, implementing new features and updating its newsfeed algorithm.

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No bullshit, just practical knowledge.

Chris Tweten