Instagram Marketing 101: Advanced Target Audience Search

Mia Meier
Combin Blog
Published in
5 min readJun 7, 2019

Instagram is rapidly evolving and consolidating its leading position in social media marketing. The platform is continuously updated with numerous features for both entertainment and business. Sadly, there is more focus on increasing brands’ following and engagement through paid ads, rather than giving convenient native tools for organic growth.

As a result, marketers now are no strangers to finding own ways to promote their products and services ad-free. Many simultaneously use a number of third-party applications for all sorts of actions: from creating the perfect color scheme for their Instagram feed to automating activity and getting detailed account analytics reports.

Today I’m demonstrating how you can perform an advanced Instagram target audience search using one of such specialized applications, Combin. Among other features, it has a powerful search module with various settings, filters and a machine learning-enhanced user analysis.

It allows targeting multiple hashtags/locations, finding and engaging following/followers of your Instagram competitors, as well as accounts that liked and commented on their specific posts and in general.

On top of it, Combin also has a search by bio feature that lets users find potential followers and influencers for their accounts using relevant keywords. Without further ado, let’s see how you can effectively utilize these features for Instagram audience search and growth. Follow my lead!

Search Basics

Initiate search by switching to the Search tab located at the left menu column and then clicking the Add search button.

There are two main search types: the Posts search for hashtags and locations targeting, and the Users search for audience targeting. The corresponding Posts and Users tabs can be found at the top of the search window; click the tabs to switch between the search types, as pictured on the GIF above.

Below the default search parameters, you can find the Advanced Filters and Analysis feature. Enable it to activate Combin user analysis and the language, gender, last activity, following/followers range filters.

Hashtags & Locations Targeting

Once you are on the Posts search tab, type in hashtag into the input field as shown above. You can create a search by multiple hashtags — add new hashtag fields by clicking the plus icon located to the right of the Hashtag field. The same can be done for location selection.

Combin also allows creating combined hashtag+location searches (and multiple hashtags+multiple locations too). Location can be set either through typing in the location name into the input field or via selecting an area on an interactive map. Click the map icon located next to the Location input field.

Location selection on an interactive map.

Select the area of interest on the map and the application will target all places located within the area. All Instagram posts tagged within these places are going to be displayed in the search results.

Moving to the highlight of Combin’s search module, Advanced Filters and Analysis. It makes the search more precise by providing smart audience filtration: built-in user analysis helps detecting interaction inefficient accounts and sifting them out, while demographics filters let users target audience of specific gender, language and size. Enable the feature at the bottom of the search window and set your preferences.

Advanced filters setting.

Filters can be adjusted after, and even right in the process of search results loading:

Audience Targeting

Switch to the Users search mode to start targeting audience of your Instagram account’s competitors or any other public Instagram account.

Click the Search by menu and select the type of audience you would like to target: Followers, Followings, Commenters or Likers of your Instagram competitor’s account. Type their username into the User input field.

Enable the Advanced Filters and Analysis feature to get additional filters and activate user analysis:

Target accounts that liked and commented on specific posts by selecting the Search by Likers and Search by Commenters options, then paste in a URL to one of the competitor’s posts:


After you’ve successfully targeted your potential Instagram followers, sifted out irrelevant posts and accounts using filters, it’s time to attract their attention by single- and mass-following, liking and commenting.

Select all or some of the posts/accounts you would like to engage, and click the Follow, Like or Comment buttons located at the bottom of the Search window. Combin will automatically schedule action tasks and gradually perform them in accordance with your own unique Instagram hourly and daily activity limits. The progress can be monitored at the Tasks tab.

Use liking and commenting not only for interaction with newly found Instagram accounts, but also for maintaining connection with your audience. Switch to the Users tab at the left menu column to see your audience categorized into different user lists: Following, Followers, Unfollowed, Safe and Black lists.

See who doesn’t follow you back at Following > Not followers, manage your audience by selecting profiles and applying filters and actions to them: add or remove from the Black and Safe lists, follow, unfollow, like and comment on the last posts.

Adjust the amount of the recently published posts for liking at Tools > Preferences > Activities > Like last. The Preferences menu also provides a set of general interaction parameters that allow you to control how many posts per account should be liked or commented, to skip already commented posts from the mass-commenting tasks and prevent a re-following of previously unfollowed accounts, among other settings.

All functionality demonstrated in this post is available in Combin (version 2.0 or newer). Target your Instagram audience and conveniently reach out to it with Combin — get a permanently free version for your Windows, Mac or Linux.



Mia Meier
Combin Blog

Writing about Instagram marketing trends and solutions, artificial intelligence technologies and their application in the music field.