As a consultant who has helped over 100 small and medium businesses succeed with social media marketing, I‘ve evaluated my fair share of Instagram growth tools. In this comprehensive review, I‘ll share my in-depth analysis of Combin based on extensive research and real-world experience.
The Instagram Automation Boom
Instagram has exploded into one of the most important marketing channels for SMBs. With over 1 billion monthly active users, it provides a massive opportunity to reach targeted audiences. But organically growing an account takes serious time and strategy.
This high demand but limited time reality has fueled the rise of Instagram automation tools. The global market for social media marketing tools hit $3.2 billion in 2022, up an astounding 27% from 2021 according to ResearchAndMarkets.com. Simplified solutions that provide "growth-as-a-service" are attractive.
But not all automation tools are created equal. As I‘ve tested services for clients, I‘ve found huge variability in quality, features, and results. Many fail to deliver. So businesses must thoroughly evaluate options to find the best fit.
Combin – An Automated Audience Targeting Tool
Combin falls into the Instagram automation niche, designed specifically to target and engage desired audiences to drive growth.
Some key features Combin provides:
- Advanced keyword and hashtag targeting
- Competitor follower targeting
- Auto liking and commenting
- Auto direct messaging
- Audience analytics filters
- Post scheduling
But does the reality live up to the promises? I put Combin to the test to find out.
Hands-On Experience: Testing Combin for Clients
I first trialed Combin 2 years ago for a client – a boutique jewelry startup looking to drive awareness on Instagram.
The simple dashboard was intuitive. After entering some branded hashtags and competitor handles, Combin started auto-engaging. Within 2 weeks we saw solid follower growth, gaining 523 new followers.
However, upon closer inspection engagement quality was lacking. Many followers were unrelated or inactive accounts. The startup saw minimal sales impact.
I tried Combin again with another e-commerce client focused on pet products. Similar results – fast follower growth but minimal engagement and sales lift. The targeted quality was underwhelming.
In both cases, the clients discontinued use after the initial trial month. The growth wasn‘t translating into impact.
Combining Automation with Strategy
While Combin did deliver on fast follower growth, the retention and engagement results were mediocre. But this isn‘t entirely surprising – even the best automation tools need human strategy behind them.
For Combin to be effective, you need to carefully choose hashtags and competitors in your niche. Monitor auto-engagement to ensure quality. Add value through captions and engagement. Combine it with an overarching growth strategy.
Used strategically, Combin can augment and amplify your efforts. But on its own, it falls short of delivering targeted, high-value followers.
How Combin Compares to Alternatives
Combin isn‘t the only automation tool on the market – far from it. The space has exploded with options making comparisons crucial. Here‘s how Combin stacks up against two alternatives based on my testing:
|| Combin | Growthsilo | Upleap
Pricing | $49+ / mo | $49+ / mo | $89+ / mo
Targeting Options | Hashtags
Locations | Interests
Lookalikes | Hashtags
Account Limit | 5 accounts | 10 accounts | Unlimited
Analytics | Minimal | Robust | Strong
User Reviews | Limited | Highly Positive | Positive
Risk Mitigation | Moderate | Strong | Strong
Ideal For | Basic growth | Broad growth | Large scale
Key Takeaway: For SMBs, Growthsilo comes out ahead based on more advanced targeting, better analytics, higher safety, and superior engagement quality.
Is Combin Worth It for Your Business?
The right automation tool ultimately depends on your specific business, audience, and goals. But based on my extensive testing, I would only recommend Combin in a few situations:
- You have an ultra-tight budget – Combin is affordably priced
- You want a basic, easy-to-use growth boost – Combin is very beginner-friendly
- Your goals are lower-funnel – e.g. sales, not branding
For most small businesses I work with, Growthsilo and Upleap are better options. Combin can work, but requires extra effort to see results. Make sure to carefully test engagement and analytics.
The key is never relying on automation alone – have an intentional strategy for attracting and engaging your ideal audience. Combin and tools like it should amplify your efforts, not replace them.
The Bottom Line
Instagram automation tools clearly have appeal. But finding one that aligns to your business needs and delivers real ROI is crucial.
As someone who‘s evaluated and implemented many social media tools for SMBs, my advice is to thoroughly research options, rigorously test engagement quality, and carefully monitor analytics. Combin provides a lower-cost automation solution, but comes up short compared to leading competitors.
At the end of the day, Combin or any tool should be one part of a comprehensive Instagram growth strategy rooted in delighting your ideal audience. With the right focus and execution, you can find success and reach on the platform, even as a small business.