There are many, many ways to grow an Instagram profile. Some are services, some are apps, some are simple sets of growth techniques. Today, I’m going to talk about one particular third party service, called Ampfluence. What is it, what does it do, and does it work? Let’s give it a look.
What is Ampfluence?
Ampfluence, a portmanteau of Amplify and Influence, purports to be a 100% human driven Instagram growth engine. They target specific users on Instagram with influence you can use, and engage with them on your behalf. They also guarantee their work: they give you a goal for each month, and if their performance does not meet the goal, they will give you a choice: either they will promise to overperform next month, or they will refund you a pro-rated difference based on how much they underperformed.
I have to say, it’s not as good as a full money-back guarantee, but it’s certainly an interesting choice.
Ampfluence promotes four primary benefits of using their service.
- A targeted approach. They don’t simply throw engagement at anyone who could potentially benefit you, they do research to determine the right kind of audience that can go on to benefit your brand in other way. In other words, Instagram growth is not the primary goal; the quality of the audience is more important.
- Attention. Their growth methods are designed to capture audience attention rather than exploit etiquette or employ short-term techniques like clickbait.
- Exposure. Again, their goal is to get your brand exposure in front of a highly relevant audience, rather than a broad-spectrum low-value showcase.
- Influence. As you grow using their techniques and their service, you begin to gain influence and can leverage your position for further brand success. The larger you grow, the larger you can continue to grow.
A wide variety of different Instagram users have been known to use Instagram. They will work with brand new accounts to get them off the ground. They work wit bloggers and small brands to grow with goals in mind beyond simple social media growth. They work with existing influencers to solidify and expand areas of influence. They work with agencies and social media managers to resell their services to clients. They also cover a wide variety of industries and niches, ranging from photography and lifestyle to modeling and cosmetics.
How Does Ampfluence Work?
Ampfluence uses 100% white hat techniques, so far as I’ve been able to tell. They don’t use bots to boost their numbers, they don’t rely on round-robin mutual engagement, and they don’t sub-contract shady follow-sellers.
The first step of the Ampfluence process is a consultation. Once you sign up, an Ampfluence agent will contact you and go over your profile and your goals. They will help identify what you have done in the past that has worked for growth, what has fallen flat, and what opportunities you have. They will then create a customized strategy that considers all of these personalization factors.
I’ll be honest here: most “customized strategies” end up basically the same. Target relevant accounts and engage with them, fishing for attention and return engagement. Approach other influencers in similar niches for shout-outs. You get the idea. Ampfluence doesn’t do anything that other dedicated social media marketers don’t, and they don’t do anything you couldn’t do yourself.
The second step of the process is research. Ampfluence will research your niche – or apply previous research from similar clients as a starting point – and will figure out what kind of content is being posted, how it’s performing, and who are the most influential users to target.
Once the research is done, Ampfluence will then reach out to relevant Instagram users. They use your account to like and comment on content relevant to your business, with the occasional follow if you’re paying for the right plan. This causes the users you engage with to give your account a look, and if they like what they see, they will engage in return and even follow you.
It’s worth noting that Ampfluence does not attempt to abuse follower churn. They don’t follow accounts on a broad spectrum; the only accounts they follow are influencers who are highly relevant to your niche. They don’t aggressively follow/unfollow and they don’t attempt to churn low-value accounts to boost numbers. They will, however, unfollow accounts that you follow – or that they follow for you – if those accounts prove to be inactive, if they don’t engage, or if they provide no value to you.
As far as engagement is concerned, Ampfluence will like and comment on other content, will respond to comments on your content or replies to your comments, and can even potentially create content and schedule posts for you.
Note that Ampfluence does not appear to be an official Instagram Marketing Partner. This means that the scheduling they do is handled in the way past post scheduling is handled; either with delayed push notifications and manual submission, or through giving your account information to their representatives so they can post at the time required. API-based scheduling is only available to official partners.
Finally, Ampfluence measures your performance and provides you with reports on the growth of your account. Depending on the level of account you pay for, if you meet or exceed your goals, you’ll be good to go. If performance falters or your goals aren’t met, you can request application of their guarantee. Now, this may or may not involve cancelling your account if you’re asking for a refund, that depends on you.
Other Salient Points
There are a few potentially relevant details that might come up but don’t fit another category I’ve already mentioned.
- Ampfluence requires a unique account for each unique Instagram profile you want to use their service. This means agencies and outsourcers will need multiple accounts for each client.
- Ampfluence caters to agencies, and their services are provided whitelabel. They do not contact your clients; they work with your agency, even if you’re representing a client.
- Ampfluence does not take over your account; you are free and encouraged to continue using it while they work in the background.
They do use the follow/unfollow method to grow accounts, but do so carefully. In an ideal situation, this is risk-free, but it’s always possible that they will be too aggressive, or that Instagram will change their detection methods and will penalize people skirting the line. You will always need to be cautious employing any app, marketer, or system that uses this method.
Since Ampfluence is not an Instagram Marketing Partner, everything they do is performed either through another app they don’t tell you about, or through the basic Instagram app. They do not have access to the API or to OAuth, meaning you must give them your username and password. As with any company or app that asks for your login information, make sure it is unique to that site and is not duplicated anywhere else. This will always be a security risk, no matter how much you trust the company. If you choose to cancel your subscription, immediately change your password as a precaution.
Additionally, Ampfluence requires you to disable any two-factor authentication protecting your account, because they won’t have access to the security code and even if you give it to them, constantly requiring new codes will be a huge hassle for both you and their team.
Because you’re sharing your account, you are likely to receive security warnings about access to your account via unusual IP addresses. Ampfluence will warn you when they are using your account, both to avoid conflicts and to help you identify if you are getting security warnings for other issues as well.
Ampfluence has three tiers of pricing, and they don’t come cheap. Since you are essentially paying for full social marketing on Instagram, these are about the prices I would expect.
For $119 per month, Ampfluence will actively seek out content in your niche to like and comment on. They do some basic research to target a relevant audience, but they do not guarantee their results with this package.
For $149 per month, Ampfluence adds their guarantee and claims they will gain you 250-500 new followers per month.
For $249 per month, Ampfluence will assign you a dedicated account manager and will double the potential growth, guaranteeing 500-1,000 new followers per month.
All plans estimated numbers vary based on industry. If you’re in a small niche with low growth potential, they will not provide a guarantee for 500 followers per month, even if you’re paying for that plan.
No plan makes a guarantee as to the longevity of the followers or to the quality of your engagement. In fact, the comments Ampfluence leaves on content come from an approved list you must submit.
Regardless of choice of plan, you are required to keep your account active with at least 10 posts per month. They also want you to reply to comments manually whenever possible; their automatic comments are best for outreach, not internal engagement.
Does Ampfluence Work?
I say yes. However, I will qualify this statement.
Ampfluence works, but they employ techniques you can do on your own for a much lower price. There are other apps and platforms you can use on a self-service basis for the same automated outreach, coupled with your own knowledge of your niche and the content in it.
The follower churn that Ampfluence uses is a huge risk, as is the requirement to give them your login information. For this alone I would be skeptical of using their service. I don’t care how many satisfied clients they have; giving away login information is always a security risk.
When you’re paying for Ampfluence, you’re paying to save your own time, as well as their knowledge of limitations with the platform. Employing the same techniques on your own too aggressively could result in a shadowban or a suspension of your account.
In order to calculate whether Ampfluence is worthwhile, consider how much time you spend employing the same techniques, and/or researching or learning about them. Assign a value to your own time, and multiply the hourly price by the number of hours you spend with Instagram marketing. If this amount of time is less than what Ampfluence charges you, you technically save money. You can, after all, apply your time to something else once you have Ampfluence on the case.
I will echo the same advice I give to everyone for any new service: Start small and experiment. Buy their smallest package for one month and see how the experience goes. If you feel like you can’t trust their actions, or if they fail to deliver any results, cancel your account. If they deliver at or above what you expected, you can then consider increasing your plan, or simply continuing it month to month. Never heavily invest in an untested or untrusted service, and never invest more than you can afford to lose. I don’t want to see any of you breaking the bank or losing a business because of overinvestment.
If you want to save some money and do what Ampfluence does on your own, you can find any number of Instagram automation apps like Jarvee, Social Drift, Later, or even a bot like Robolike. Use your best judgment and do your best to not get banned.