Written by Lisa Kalner Williams

April 21, 2017 at 12:00 am

4 Instagress Alternatives That Won’t Leave You

[[updated February 20, 2018]]

Marketers across the Instasphere are crying because their favorite automation tool Instagress is gone. Quickly these folks are asking their friends and Dr. Google for Instagress alternatives to keep their Insta-mojo going.

We can help — but not without a little lecture beforehand.

The short of it: This article will not talk about alternative bot tools.

Automating your interaction on Instagram is bad social media.

Instead, I will talk about alternative STRATEGIES to using bots like Instagress.

Be aware of that before reading on.

Why You Should Seek Legit Instagress Alternatives

I explain it best to my nine-year-old daughter whose Instagram account I monitor.

I’ve told her, “Don’t get excited if you wake up to see a bunch of comments on your posts. Some of these people didn’t even see your post. If their comment could also work for a photo of your mac and cheese, a soccer field, or your homework, it’s spam. If you post a picture of a pile of dirt and the comment is ridiculous (“Nice shot!”), it’s spam. Don’t respond or follow them.”

Most people older than nine see right through these “Nice one” or “Great feed” comments. They’re not going to do anything to grow your Instagram account.

Cuz it’s tacky.

Earlier this month, I was living vicariously through my boss Emeric’s trip to Mauritius and saw some great, nonsensical comments on his Instagram feed. Here’s a video he took of a butterfly — which attracted comments about rocketships and making bags of money. Huh?

instagram video comments
Don’t want to take my word for it? Security giant Symantec warns its readers to stay away from Instagram bots because of potential security breaches. Social media management tool Hootsuite ran an experiment with Instagram automation and got the non-results I’m warning you about.

The photographer Calder Wilson went to great lengths to do nothing on one Instagram account — he let Instagress take it over. He compared it to another account where he had no automation and did everything by his human hand. Here’s how his Instagram automation experiment fared.

Why You Seriously Should Seek Legit Instagress Alternatives

If you don’t give a flying Fig Newton about “real social” and solely aim for a quick solution for more Instagram followers and likes, let me get serious with you.

Using Instagram automation tools (aka “bots”) can jeopardize your Instagram account. Seriously. This photographer had his Instagram account shut down without warning and couldn’t get through to customer support. It was only when his post describing his ordeal went viral did he get his account reinstated.

Wanna know why these folks were shut down? The way these “helplful” bots work violates Instagram’s Platform Policy. That’s precisely the reason that Instagram “requested” that Instagress shut down. Chances are that Instagram will send more “requests” to the heaps of bot-like Instagress alternatives still out there.

instagress alternative apps

So take a moment to look in the mirror and say, “I’m going to rethink my Instagram strategy.”

And with that mantra, I present to you four Instagress alternatives that won’t disappear or jeopardize your Instagram account. These tools will help you find qualified people to begin a conversation and help grow your Instagram presence. The process requires you to look at a screen and physically double tap photos and write comments (gasp!) but this extra effort will go a long way.

Instagress Alternative 1: Iconosquare

For a tool that focuses “squarely” on Instagram, there’s Iconosquare. You can use a variety of filters to get to posts and followers you really want to target using a particular hashtag — in this case, sriracha.

instagress alternative

The tool also allows you to search for influencers in your field. From the list of these photos and videos, you can begin conversing with like-minded and/or influential people.

Do note that Iconosquare is an Instagram-only program. The monthly price to use its hashtag search and other features is $9 per Instagram account (under 100k followers).

Instagress Alternative 2: Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a popular social media management app that offers hashtag, location, and people searches. The trick is to find where to begin your search — it took me a while! Scroll down in your message feed to start tracking keywords.

instagram keyword search

Once it’s set up, you can easily respond to people who you see in your keyword feed.

instagress alternative

To get the keyword and location monitoring feature, you’ll be charged $99 per user per month. While that is rather steep for most teams, Sprout does include other monitoring for other social networks.

Instagress Alternative 3: Hootsuite

If you’re looking to monitor a bunch of hashtags and want a “dashboard” type of feel, you might like finding kindred folks on Hootsuite. Here is how I searched for fellow Prince fans.

instagram search tool

Hootsuite offers monitoring for other social media channels. If you’re a team, you’ll have to sign up for the Team plan that runs at least $99/month but unlike Sprout, includes 3 users (instead of 1).

Instagress Alternative 4: Agorapulse

Agorapulse is a social media management tool that provides Instagram monitoring for hashtags and locations.

instagram monitoring

What’s nice is that this search capability is available for all plans. (It also has sweet Twitter and Facebook search options for all plans.) This, along with unlimited reports, is available for all plans.

If you’re looking to reach new people through Instagram ads, Agorapulse has an incredibly easy Instagram ad comments monitoring feature — another great way to build relationships.

If automation is what drew you to Instagress then you’ll be glad to know that Agorapulse has a direct-publish and scheduling feature, which allows you to create categories of Publish Queues that can recycle evergreen content for publishing. Set it and forget it.

Using this strategically, along with quality content, could have dramatic effects on your following.

instagram ad comments

A solo plan starts at $49 and a basic team starts at $99 which includes three team members and 10 accounts.

multiple Instagram account

Yes — I realize these Instagress alternatives take time to build a following. But your following will be much more involved with your posts — and you won’t get on Instagram’s bad side.

You ready for an alternative way to approach your Instagram automation? Let me know in the comments!


Charlie Lawrance

November 1, 2018

Rivka Hodgkinson

October 25, 2018

Stephanie Leishman

October 11, 2018

Lisa Kalner Williams

Lisa Kalner Williams is the Lead Social Media Strategist for Sierra Tierra Marketing and the Content Marketing Director for Agorapulse. You might see her speaking across the country on how to better market using Instagram.

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