Startup Instagram Growth Hacking

People who game the system. Are you one of them?

They sit behind the comfort of their laptop simply hitting keys while automating hundreds of thousands of interactions.

Like, Like, Like, Comment, Comment.

You think that person on Instagram must really admire you. They post cool pictures, right? So, you follow them. They continue to like your posts here and there, so you drop a comment on one of their pictures. No response.

Strange.

You take a look at their activity feed and notice that they’re dropping thousands of likes and hundreds of similar comments every day across random profiles.

Wait one second…

Yep, you just got played.

They took what you value most: your time.

Who are these people?

GROWTH HACKERS.

I graduated college with no technical skills, just like millions of others. And then I had an epiphany: Why not risk the little money I have in order to found an online lifestyle publication?

I assembled a team and got to work. Turns out trying to build a website and drive traffic to it with zero marketing and technical skills is a bad idea…

With everything riding on this, I needed answers immediately. Employees looked at me, and I ensured them I would come through. So, I quickly learned ways to game the system. To get results with zero marketing budget.

Some hacks worked, but many didn’t, and the startup failed a year later.

Over the next several years I had many “aha” growth hacking moments. One of these moments that stands out in particular was learning to automate Instagram marketing.

I started off like many of you – manually liking other people’s posts while hoping to get them to like mine back. It was insanity.

I started reading more about Instagram automation and came across several blog posts that led me to several tools that in turn led to a forum comment about some guy’s idea:

Instagress Comment

I knew people were using Instagress to automate their Likes, Comments, and Follow/Unfollow actions. I had tried that, and it led to mediocre results – on track for only 8,000 followers a year. However, I wanted 40,000 within a year, and this forum comment pointed me in the right direction.

I Google searched to find a solution. That led to this little-known tool called Mass Planner. With this tool, I could easily automate interaction with any influencer’s top fans. As a growth hacker, naturally, I pushed the limits with it.

BANNED.

BANNED.

BANNED.

I went through several accounts before I hit the perfect chord.

Days later, I had eight Instagram profiles on autopilot (client-confidential accounts).

The future became clear – me, sitting on a beach with a piña colada, living the laptop lifestyle.

At this point, in many people’s career, they would lean back and relax, maybe start an entire business from this growth hack. I thought about it several times. Why not take the easy route? Be lazy for the next five years of my life and watch the money come in?

These two thoughts kept me on the right path:

  • I work in marketing to help create value every day. Too many entrepreneurs need my help.
  • If I could discover a growth hack like this one, I wondered, how many others existed.

I also learned something frightening.

It wasn’t just me. There were THOUSANDS of others. I was led down a dark path, seeing hundreds of growth hackers each automating over several hundred Instagram profiles.

Accounts with 50K followers.

Over 500K followers.

Over 1 million followers.

They would stack up their automated profiles, and then cross-promote them, so they could rapidly increase their followers. They used hundreds of proxy servers to avoid getting caught.

Few think about growth hacking Instagram. It’s always Twitter, Google search, or paid advertising. Well, I’m here to debunk that myth because this is exactly how hundreds of people are hacking Instagram:

You don't need superior technical skills to build a social media empire Click To Tweet For many of us entrepreneurs and marketers, results come down to persistence and hustle. From combining several tools to reading a forum comment that puts you on a mission to find a solution.

Growth hackers are only as good as their next hack because because platforms catch on. After four years of growth hacking, I’ve realized excellent growth hackers always find a way to stay one step ahead. Remember, Instagram is only one traction channel. Growth hackers are already jumping on Snapchat and Pokémon Go.

Think you can keep up?


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