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Over the past few months, the social media landscape has distilled into a few major players. Instagram, the popular photo-sharing application, has quickly become a foundational component of this budding ecosystem. With nearly 800 million active users, the platform is best known as a means for everyday consumers to connect with friends, as well as influencers they follow.

Because of Instagram’s popularity, it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to differentiate themselves among rising competition. However, there are a plethora of marketing-automation tools that can help accounts organically grow a massive number of active Instagram followers.

Though extremely popular and well regarded, Instagress, an Instagram-automation tool, was recently forced to shut down. Luckily, there are a number of alternative platforms that provide similarly powerful features to drive growth and build brand equity.

Here are 5 tools you can use to replace Instagress and expand your Instagram audience.

1. SocialDrift

Those searching for a highly customizable and reliable Instagram automation platform should seriously consider SocialDrift. To get started, customers provide SocialDrift with targeting criteria. Information related to hashtag, location or followers allows the SocialDrift machine-learning bot, Secureboost, to engage only with those who fall within your target audience.

Once this information is provided, SocialDrift will automatically like, comment and follow accounts (based on your preference). SocialDrift customers have access to a dashboard that shows follower growth and bot activity in real time, making it possible for you and your team to monitor performance and measure ROI.

2. ViralUpgrade

ViralUpgrade helps users grow their Instagram following organically by automating follower engagement. They use a handful of authentic marketing techniques to help you drive users directly to your account. After you sign up, you are assigned a case manager, who helps you manage your account and gives you access to a number of filtering and targeting tools.

3. Social Growth

Social Growth helps Instagrammers to gain followers by using marketing automation. The platform has the ability to like, comment on, follow and direct message Instagram users based on your targeting criteria. Unlike some of the other services and platforms in this list, Social Growth can automatically re-post content shared by members of the target audience.

4. PopSocial

Using good old-fashioned human outreach, PopSocial helps influencers and brands to quickly amass highly engaged Instagram followers. According to Forbes, even established brands like Microsoft and Hint Water rely on PopSocial to grow follower count rapidly.

The sign-up process asks would-be customers to provide information related to the target audience. Then PopSocial personnel manually scour Instagram to find and engage people by liking and commenting on content or by following accounts.

5. Social Upgrade

Social Upgrade relies on “Growth Agents” to manually engage members of your target audience on Instagram. Agents like, comment on and follow target accounts in an effort to improve social media exposure on behalf of customers.

To get started, customers provide Social Upgrade with information about the target audience. Information used to target Instagrammers includes hashtags and locations. Growth Agents can also target users who follow competitors, which can be an excellent way to build a committed Instagram audience.


Acquiring engaged Instagram followers can be an excellent strategy for brands and influencers interested in using Instagram as a primary marketing channel. If you want to jumpstart your social media marketing efforts, consider using an Instagram engagement service or platform.

Before committing to a tool, be sure to think about the kind of interaction you want with your target audience. Do you want a low-tech but high-touch service that will rely on a fleet of humans to reach out to Instagram users? Or would you prefer to have more control over the outreach process by using an automated platform like SocialDrift?