Growing your Instagram can be a nightmare and this is no secret to anyone. Instagram is very important platform for all businesses right now. There is so much more to Instagram than just posting beautiful images and funny videos on the platform. For starters, you can connect with 500 million+ active users on the platform and actively engage with them.

It's a perfect platform to build a community no matter what your industry is. 36% of B2C brands and 13% of B2B brands consider Instagram as “very important” to their social media marketing. Additionally, the user engagement on the platform is very high.

If you're posting some stunning content on your Instagram, then you're already doing half of the job which is needed to grow your account. But, you can aggressively engage with your target audience and get them to follow you and engage with your content.

For this, you need to spend a lot of time on your phone doing some repetitive tasks. Now if you have time, then you can follow Gary Vaynerchuk's $1.80 Instagram Strategy and grow your account. Additionally, you can follow these 5 hashtag hacks.

If you're someone who doesn't have a lot of time to spend on Instagram but still want to grow your account then you're lucky. The folks at PhantomBuster have come up with an Instagram Automation API which allows you to automate your Instagram.

You'll need following things to set up Instagram Automation -

  • An Instagram account
  • A PhantomBuster Account
  • Google Sheets

Currently, there are 9 APIs available. They are as follows -

  • Instagram Hashtag Collector - Extract the most recent posts for any hashtags or locations on Instagram
  • Instagram Auto Follow - Automatically follow a list of Instagram profiles
  • Instagram Auto Liker - Automatically like a list of Instagram Profiles and/or of Instagram Posts
  • Instagram Follower Collector - List all profiles that follow Instagram influencers
  • Instagram Following Collector - List all profiles followed by Instagram users
  • Instagram Multi Hashtag Search - Find posts that match multiple hashtags or locations on Instagram
  • Instagram Profile URL Finder - Find Instagram profile URLs based on full names and/or company names
  • Instagram Profile Scraper - Collect valuable information from Instagram profiles
  • Instagram Photo Likers - Get a list of everyone who liked specific Instagram pictures

In this tutorial, we'll make use of these 3 APIs -

  • Instagram Photo Likers - We'll use this to collect the profile data of all the people who like a particular photo.
  • Instagram Auto Follow - We'll use this API to automatically follow/unfollow the users collected through above API.
  • Instagram Auto Liker - We'll use this one to like the first 2 or 3 photos of the accounts gathered through Instagram Photo Likers API.

Setting up

Make sure you're signed up into your Instagram account through a desktop. Create an account on PhantomBuster and create a separate folder on your Google Drive where you will keep all your CSVs.

Collecting all profiles who liked a photo

Now you have to engage with your target audience. Create a list all the Instagram accounts which you believe have the right audience. Once you have these accounts, select some of the best performing photos from their account and enter the photo URL in a sheet. We'll call this "source photos"

Now, once you have a list of all the photo URLs in your "source photos" sheet, head over to this page and follow all the instructions given on that page to successfully run the API.

I've only added one image URL, but you can add multiple.

Once your API has successfully completed running, you'll get a CSV file as a result. Download that file and upload it to your Google Drive folder. (Make sure you set the permissions to the file as public. So that anyone with a link can access the file)

This file will contain the links to all the profiles who have liked the photo in your "source photo" file. The column which you'll be using in the next step is profileUrl

Following all the profiles collected

Now you have a list of the profiles who are liking content similar to what you're creating. So if you follow them, it's a high possibility that they will follow you back. Or at least have a look at your profile and if they like your content then they'll follow you.

Now we'll use the auto-follow API to automatically follow these accounts. Head over to this page and follow the instructions to set up the API. While you're setting up, you'll have to be careful when you're entering the "Number of profiles to follow per launch" field. You can start with 10 accounts per launch.

That's it. You've set up auto-follow for the accounts in the sheet. You can also pass again after it's completed and select unfollow option to unfollow these accounts again. ;)

Liking photos of all the profiles collected

Just like if you follow someone you can get their attention, same can be achieved by liking their photos. Imagine getting a notification from a user who just liked your photos, there is a very high chance that you'll go and check their profile. So when you'll like photos of other people, they'll like back too. Or even follow you.

For this, we'll use the auto like API to automatically like the photos from accounts. Head over to this page and follow the instructions to set up the API. While you're setting up, you'll have to be careful when you're entering the "Number of lines to process per launch" field and "Number of posts to like per profile opened". You can start with 10 lines per launch and 2 or 3 photos per profile.

That's it. You've set up auto like for the accounts in the sheet.

Automate your automation

You can also set up these APIs to launch manually. Head over to the My APIs page and click on settings for any API.

There are different schedules which you can select depending on your usage. But you can start with Twice or Thrice per hour.

Warning: Instagram is against automation over their platform. However, if you make your automation act like a human, you can avoid getting shadowbanned or banned. You can explore the Instagram API limits here.

Now I've been using this only for a week or two now. I saw some great results and hence thought of sharing this technique. I'll write a different post about the results I got by using these 3 APIs.

Let me know how this works out for you. If you're facing any problems ask for help in the comments below.