Popamatic – An Instagress Alternative
Okay, I admit it – I was disappointed when Instagress shut down.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in the importance of engaging organically. But the reality is, if you want to grow your business, you can’t spend hours a day on Instagram and many small business owners and solopreneurs don’t have the budget for a social media manager to grow an Instagram following.
So, like everyone else, I turned to Google and searched for alternatives to Instagress. That turned up a Reddit thread where people were discussing that very topic.
One user wrote, “You could try another bot or you could just hire an Instagram assistant on Popamatic for almost the same price and get all the features that Instagress had + also grow your account organically.”
I had toyed with the idea of hiring another employee in the Philippines to manually grow the account. But if I could hire an “Instagram assistant” for just $39 per month, it was worth the money. (After all, the time it would save me by not having to do it myself was worth it.)
So I decided to sign up for a free 7-day trial of Popamatic as a replacement for Instagress.
Here’s why I continued using the service:
1) Real people do the work at Popamatic, not bots
This is really the primary difference between Instagress and Popamatic. There are real people manually following and commenting. Unlike Instagress, this keeps you compliant with Instagram’s Terms of Service. And Popamatic can add more complex services in the future – tasks that bots just aren’t capable of completing.
The Popamatic staff manually go through all of the targeting options that you define. Once they identify ideal targets, they start following, liking and (if you want) commenting on photos based on the filters you set.
While bots, like the ones Instagress used, can be effective, the truth is they DID sometimes like pictures that were inappropriate.
For example, Instagress once followed a woman in a suggestive pose for a client’s Christian-based business account. Imagine my client’s surprise on that occasion – yikes, right?!
A real person will recognize when the hashtags don’t match a picture. And, of course, they’ll spot porn right away – a way better alternative to Instagress in that regard.
1) Popamatic has awesome targeting options
If you’re growing a targeted following manually, there are a few ways you might do it:
• Perform a hashtag search to engage with content and follow users who used those hashtags
• Follow or engage with people who followed your competitors or leaders in your industry
• Use the advanced search to target based on geographic location (this is powerful, similar to Twitter’s Advanced Search)
You get those exact methods for targeting your ideal client with Popamatic! Just enter the targeted hashtags your ideal clients use into the dashboard.
Popamatic also makes recommendations for related hashtags that you might want to include. You can even specify Instagram users and target users who are following them.
You also get the option of targeting users based on their geographic location – an essential for brick and mortar businesses.
Finally, to protect you against negative content, you can create a Blacklist. This feature identifies specific users you don’t want to follow and hashtags to avoid. Popamatic assistants avoid engaging with inappropriate content. Still, the Blacklist reduces the likelihood that something might slip through as a result of human error.
3) Popamtic has powerful filtering tools
I love that Popamatic allows me to filter based on the media age and size of the account.
Why does this matter?
Selecting a media age of one week, or even one day, filters out the less active accounts. Those Instagram users are unlikely to follow you back or engage with you. You want to follow ACTIVE accounts, which is what makes the “media age” filter so useful.
The Min/Max Likes and Min/Max Followers are used to filter out very small and very large accounts. For example, someone with only a few followers is probably not active. Those accounts are unlikely to follow you back.
If you want to follow regular people (not massive Instagram accounts that don’t engage), set a “Max Followers” of 1000. This filters out large accounts and helps you target the average Instagram user.
The result is people more likely to notice that you’re engaging with their content. Those people often come and check out your Instagram page, which is exactly what you want.
4) Popamatic includes customized scheduling
I love that they make it so easy to create an engagement schedule. As you can see in the picture below, they offer engagement 24/7. That means business hours, weekends and lunch, and at random times (see the screen shot below).
You can easily add or remove times based on your preference. But these quick start options make it easy to hit the ground running. I recommend starting slow with Popamatic. Also, make sure you take into consideration when your target market is hanging out on Instagram.
For example, I’m in the midst of starting a new project aimed at helping young entrepreneurs. I’m specifically targeting entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who want to raise a child with entrepreneurial skills.
Since I use Popamatic to grow my audience, I need to focus my activity on when those people are online. For this audience, I’ll start with random hours and slowly increase the level of activity over time.
My Popamatic Recommendations
If you use a service like Popamatic in addition to engaging manually, schedule it off when you plan to engage. This reduces the risk of activity overlaping.
I would also recommend turning off the commenting feature. Even though it’s a real person commenting, they aren’t you and the comments can appear spammy. I would stick to just liking and following.
So what do you think of Popamatic as an alternative to Instagress? Will you give it a try? Good luck and let me know what you think in the comments section below!