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Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world. Since Facebook purchased the platform in 2012, its growth has been explosive, creating a new industry in the process; the Instagrammer.
With almost a seventh of the entire world’s population now using the platform, standing out from the crowd can be tough. Despite Instagram’s switch to an algorithmic feed, one of the best ways to get noticed is by increasing your follower count.
Instagram’s inbuilt tools for managing and growing your followers are limited. Could the Instagram marketing tool Combin be the solution?
Explosive Growth (And Fake Followers)
If you’ve been on Instagram for any length of time, then you’ll have had at least a few fake followers. Often their goal is to market a service (or to make you buy fake Ray-Ban sunglasses) by getting you to click through on the link in their bio.
These are easy enough to spot, along with the “click-here-for-free-followers” accounts too. Some people choose to use tools which will mass follow people indiscriminately, which is how my account came to be followed by a veterinary practice on the other side of the world.
There’s good reason to increase your followers on Instagram, as so-called good followers are seen as a measure of your influence. If you have 1,000 followers, but only ten ever interact with your account, it’ll be hard to convince advertisers or brands to partner with you. So then, what you need is large numbers of high-quality followers, who share the same interests.
What Is Combin?
Despite being one of the world’s most popular social networks, with hundreds of thousands using it professionally, Instagram’s follower management tools are almost non-existent. The Instagram marketing tool Combin addressed this shortcoming by developing an easy-to-use set of tools to organically boost your following.
The Combin app — available for Linux, macOS, and Windows — brings together these tools for cross-platform Instagram management. Now, this isn’t an Instagram app — there’s no feed for example — but it will enhance your experience, and help you gain credibility and influence on the photo-sharing network.
Combin offers free and premium accounts, with many features available across both account types. The current range of tools is focused on growing your followers list and fostering relationships with your most loyal followers.
In May 2018 Combin announced its commitment to new features including post scheduling, messaging, location search, statistics dashboard, and auto-tasks.
Across all social networks, hashtags are the best way to follow topics and trends that interest you. In recent years, Instagram has rolled out the ability to follow hashtags in your feed and even add them to your profile bio. This is great if you want to add relevant content to your feed, but Combin’s hashtag search allows you to follow and interact with users who share your interests.
Hashtag searches are saved in the Search tab so you can revisit them at a later date. The search options allow you to specify a time-frame for posts to help you interact in a timely fashion. You can even search by location, allowing you to filter just posts as local, or remote, as you wish. Free accounts are limited to 50 results per search, while premium accounts can access up to 500.
Combin helps you interact with whichever posts you choose by adding comments on your behalf. Some Instagram tools post generic remarks to thousands of posts all at once, inadvertently marking your account as spam. Combin doesn’t fall victim to this trap. Select the posts, click the comment icon, and you can write multiple custom comments that’ll be applied randomly across the posts.
Instagram’s Discover tab is a great way to find new accounts to follow, but it is based on an algorithm that you can’t control. Using Instagram’s inbuilt features means that you can’t perform follow or unfollow actions in bulk. That’s where Combin comes in. The user search feature lets you find followers based on the account they follow; your own or someone else’s.
A sure-fire way of gaining new and engaged followers is to find users who are already interested in similar accounts. Enter the target account’s username, and Combin will return a list of their followers. If the account you want to search has thousands or even millions of followers, additional options allow you to find your best potential users.
You can also search via location, which is a highly desirable feature for finding people on Instagram. It lets you make sure you’re only finding people who reside in an area that’s useful for your business.
Selecting the “Analyze users when searching” option turns on Combin’s machine learning algorithm to identify and prioritize the accounts most likely to become loyal followers.
Gaining new followers is great, but not if it comes at the expense of your existing users. Fortunately, you can use Combin’s user search tool to your advantage here, too. Creating a new user search with your account as the target will return results for your followers.
If you enable the machine learning option in the search settings, then your most likely loyal followers will be prioritized. You can then use Combin’s like and comment tools to interact with these people.
To protect the community from spam, Instagram limits the number of comments and likes from any one account. This isn’t a hard limit though. It is based on factors like account age, number of followers, and average activity. Combin sets hard limits on activity to protect your account from being mistakenly labeled as spam.
The daily rate is set to 1,500 likes, 1,500 comments, and 1,500 follows — although this is lower for free accounts. Unfinished tasks are stored for later if Instagram limits your activity.
Third-party apps caused the recent troubles at Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. They accessed Facebook accounts and illicitly stored personal information. So it’s understandable that you may worry about the safety of a third party app like Combin.
Combin is available in three price tiers; Free, Personal, and Business. Free accounts currently have access to the same features as the premium ones, but are limited on the number of actions they can perform. Only 50 results are available in search. Free accounts won’t get pending new features.
Personal accounts cost $10 per month (an annual payment tier is “coming soon”) and increase the daily action limits up to 1,500. Searches are expanded to 500 results, with the ability to refresh the search to bring up new results.
Once messaging and auto-tasks are launched, these accounts will get access. Business accounts are $30 per month and include everything from the Personal level, adding support for up to five Instagram accounts and the statistics dashboard when launched.
Is Combin The Instagram Tool For You?
Before Instagram introduced the algorithmic feed, gaining new followers and interacting with other users was a much more straightfoward affair. These days, your content and profile may end up hidden from potential followers with no recourse.
Combin’s Instagram tools are built to help you overcome this setback. User and hashtag searches allow you to be proactive. This means reaching out to potential new followers rather than waiting for Instagram to recommend your account to them.
Where similar tools fail though is by falling foul of Instagram’s spam detection. Combin’s action limits aim to protect your account while helping you interact with as many people as possible.
With a range of new features on the horizon to supplement their existing tools, Combin looks set to become a go-to Instagram management app.