PhantomBuster review a versatile automation tool

By Fabian Maume · May 12, 2024

Disclaimer first :

  • I’ve been an affiliate partner for Phantombuster since 2020. So I’ve been a fan of the tool for a long time.
  • I also joined their developer program in 2023. So I might be working on your project if you request a custom Phantom.
  • I’m also one of their 6 certified coaches worldwide.

What is Phantombuster

Phantombuster is a no-code too for data extraction and web automation. Phantombuster can automate activity on LinkedIn, Twitter, and a few other platforms on your behalf.

The phantombuster team is maintaining a set of Phantoms. Each Phantom is designed to perform a specific action like :

  • exporting the result of a LinkedIn search
  • send a LinkedIn contact request
  • Send a LinkedIn message

Data scraping and extraction

Common use cases are pure data extraction : You can for example use the LinkedIn Search export to get the result of a LinkedIn search as a csv file.

  • If you want information about a specific LinkedIn Profile you can use the LinkedIn profiles Scraper to extract all the information about the profile.

Pro tip: If you want to extract data from sales navigator at scale, check out our Sales Navigator Search Template

workflow automation

For a more complex use case, it is possible to combine several Phantoms together. For example, you can chain the search export with the profile scraper to get information about all the people in the search.

Phantombuster is cloud-based, so you can run data extraction 24/7. Phantombuster is offering advanced scheduling options for each Phantom. That allows you to spread your data extraction over time and avoid platform limitations.

For example, LinkedIn will not let you visit 1k profiles within a day, but you can schedule to scrape 100 profiles per day with Phantombuster. You will have to schedule 5 launches per day each processing 20 profiles.

To keep your LinkedIn account safe it is critical to avoid 2 phantoms at the same time. That is why I recommend always using the advanced scheduling option as it allows you to control the exact at which each phantom runs:

Content Marketing

To keep your account safe, you also need to keep your automation at a reasonable scale. Phantombuster is updating its blog post about rate limits on a yearly basis to keep you posted on the best practices. You can find recommendations about 2024 rate limit here.

Phantombuster also offers some flows that are ready-to-use workflow combining several phantoms. A common flow is the LinkedIn Outreach one. It will:

  • Send connection request
  • Monitor accepted request
  • Send a follow-up message

You can also combine multiple phantoms using a Google sheet template. Each phantom results file can be imported into Google using the importData function. All Phantoms can get information on a Google sheet as input (the sheet just needs to be accessible to anybody with the link).

I have built a few Google sheet templates over the years to help you run LinkedIn automation. If you want inspiration about possible workflow check out our free Phantombuster automation template

Phantombuster pros


Phantombuster is a highly versatile tool. It covers many platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For each platform, you have several phantoms available. There are currently 32 phantoms for LinkedIn automation.

By combining Phantom you can cover a lot of use cases. I will be giving a few examples later in this article.

In case there isn’t a suitable phantom for what you want to do, it is possible to deploy a custom script on Phantombuster. If you know how to use Puppetter you can code your own phantom.

If you don’t know how to develop a scraper, you can request custom development here.


Phantombuster has quite an active Slack community. If you have any questions about how to use the tool you can ask in the #Community-help channel.

There are also channels about :

  • AI : #talk-ai
  • Lead generation: #talk-lead-gen
  • Custom development: #talk-developers

I strongly recommend following those channels if you wish to stay tuned for the latest tips. Tips aren’t only from Phantombuster team. The certificaied coaches are also active in the community. Coaches are people like me who are external to Phantombuster, and can bring an outside perspective about how to implement the tool.

As I’m not part of Phantombuster team, I can recommend you complementary tools. For example, if you want to run a Linkedin outreach to prepare your product hunt launch I recommend combining PhantomBuster with PHlead.


All Phantoms run in the cloud. That means that you can run phantoms 24/7. You don’t need to be logged into the Phantombuster app, for Phantombuster to work for you.

That also means that you can schedule Phantom to run during your vacations.

You can also easily manage several LinkedIn accounts from one Phantombuster account. You will only need to collect the cookies parameter and user agent. Check the video below to learn how to do it:

Phantombuster cons

Complexity to setup

Phantombuster can be a bit complex to set up. This is particularly the case when you are using a Google sheet template.

Phantombuster recently released an academy that can help mitigate this issue. For now, the academy is mainly covering topics around LinkedIn outreach. You can check the academy here

If you need guidance on a specific problem can also ask for the help of a Phantombuster coach.

For Linkedin, Twitter an Instagram Phantombuster will require some cookie parameters to connect to those platforms on your behalf. Those cookies might change from time to time, which forces you to update your phantom setup.

On the plus side, it is easier to ask your client for some cookie parameters rather than their social media password.

Pro tip: In advance setup always ask for notifications in case of error. That will enable you to know if you need to update cookies parameters in the setup, and not let the automation idle for some time.


Phantombuster isn’t the cheapest tool on the market. I will be covering some alternatives at the end of the article. If price is an issue for you, I recommend to go for Chrome extension automation like linkedinHelper. Chrome extensions are usually cheaper but they run from your computer, so you will lose the benefit of 24/7 availability of Phantombuster.

What are common Phantombuster use cases?

Phantombuster is a highly versatile tool and you can use it to automate various workflow. Phantombuster use cases are handles.

LinkedIn automation

Linkedin automation is the main reason, I’m using Phantombuster.

target relevant Linkedin Leads

Phantombuster offers interesting ways to target relevant people on LinkedIn. I already mentioned the search export, but you can get a multiple way to get targeted audience :

  • Sales navigator search export. Pay attention that the Sales nav search is limited to 2500 results but you can use our Sales Nav search template to get more leads
  • Group members exports
  • Attendee of specific events
  • People who liked or commented on a specific LinkedIn post If you want to learn more on the topic of targeting, check out my webinar about LinkedIn Outreach.

Outreach and get noticed by leads

Phantombuster allows you to send contact requests to reach people on Linkedin. However LinkedIn contact requests are limited to 100 contact requests per week, so the scale of this outreach is quite limited.

Phantombuster offers a few options to go above the 100 contact request limit :

  • You can follow people instead with the Linkedin Auto Follow Phantom
  • You can send messages to a member of a LinkedIn group with Linkedin group messenger
  • You can like other people’s posts (so you will appear in their notification).
  • You can comment on other people’s posts. Check the video below if you want to automate this with AI.

Lead feature

Every time you use a Linkedin Phantom the people you interact with are saved in Phantombuster’s lead.

This is a database of all your leads. The database includes all metadata you have about your leads, like the job title and company name. Picture: Phantombuster lead feature

You can easily create segments of your leads and create a target group. You can use those segments as input for any Phantom.

This is particularly useful if you want to target a specific persona within a set of companies, as I explained in the tutorial below:

Building email database

All Phantombuster plans include email discovery credits. You can use those credits to build a targeted email list from Linkedin. I wrote a guest post on the Phantombuster website going into detail about how to create an email database from LinkedIn

Google map scraping

That is my second favorite use case. Phantombuster as flow to generate lead from Google map. This is a nice source of lead if you target brick-and-mortar businesses. Phantombuster has a tutorial video on the topic on their official channel:

Twitter automation

Phantombuster allows to automate a lot of action on Twitter. The most common workflow is to automatically follow people to grow your audience. The auto-follow Phantom works perfectly for that.

Rate limits for Twitter tends to change quite often, so I recommend being careful when automating your activity there.

Instagram automation

I’m personally not a fan of Instagram so I can’t tell much about phantoms for it. Instagram rate limits are really low. You can max follow up 24 people per day, so it is quite hard to get an impact with automation.

If you want to growth your audience on Instagram I recommend using paid advertising instead of Growth Hacking.

Phantombuster is still relevant if you want extra data. You can for example monitor the recent Instagram posts of a specific account. This has a lot of potential if you combine it with the openAI integration. It is possible to set up an auto-comment automation similar to what I showed with Linkedin.

openAI integration

Since 2023 all Phantombuster plans include some AI credits. You can use those to call the chatGPT API. Phantombuster is offering a few ready-made chatGPT templates.

If you want to use your own template you can use AI advance Phantom

Phantombuster Pricing :

Phantombuster pricing is based on 4 variables :

  • Run time
  • Phantombuster
  • Email discovery credits
  • AI credits

Phantombuster pricing

Committing to a yearly plan will give you a 20% discount

Run time

Run time is the main variable. Every phantom will perform some action for you. Each actions take time and you need to pay for it. For example, the Linkedin autoconnect phantom takes about 1 minute per invitation. Note that most Phantoms are slow on purpose to seem more human-like.

Phantom slots

This is how many phantoms you can run in parallel. If you want to optimize for this, you can delete phantoms, that you are using on ad-hoc basis. For example:

  • once you run the LinkedIn search export you will have 1000 leads to work for.
  • Download the result, and upload it on a google sheet.
  • You can use the Google sheet as input for your other phantoms.
  • You can now delete your search export phantom.

Email discovery credit

Phantombuster offers some email discovery for 2B2 emails. The data are similar to drop contact data.

Several LinkedIn phantoms can use those credits:

  • Auto connect
  • Profile scraper
  • Message sender

If you have your own list of leads with first name, last name, and company website you can use the Profesinal email finder phantom.

AI credits

Those are credits for the chatGPT API. You can use them with any of the AI phantom. If you want to build your own chatGPT query the Advance AI phantom is realy versatile.

Is phantombuster safe ?

Phantombuster can perform several actions on your behalf. You need to be reasonable about the scale of your automation. Phantombuster team publishes a blog post about recommended rate limits for each platform every year. Keep up to date with. If you are in doubt regarding scale you can schedule a coaching session to review your setup.

Alternative to Phantombuster

Phantombuster is a really versatile tool, but there are still a few alternatives you might consider.


Apify is another tool focused on versatility. Apify offers plenty of ready-made actors, which works in the same way as phantoms. They will do one action on the internet for you.

However Apify is mainly focused on data extraction, they aren’t offering much automation. Apify can be a good complement to Phantombuster to prepare the lead database. I usually use Apify for data extraction and Phantombuster for running the LinkedIn outreach.

For example, I’m often using the google search scraper to build a lead database. That is a good way to build a niche audience.


Icereach is a tool focused on LinkedIn automation. It is a bite more expensive than Phantombuster, starting at $72 (with the 10 % discount code TETRIZ10).

Icereach is a bit easier to use as you will have a graphic interface to build campaigns. Icreach also relies on passwords to log into Linkeidin on your behalf, this avoids the issue with cookie maintenance. Icreach also has great features if you are working with several LinkedIn accounts:

  • You can avoid duplicate outreach between different campaigns.
  • The inbox allows you to check answers across multiple LinkedIn accounts.

However, Icereach misses a few options to target LinkedIn leads. For example, you cannot scrap the attendees of a LinkedIn event. You can use a Phantombuster account on an episodic basis, to extract those leads and then import the leads into Icereach (It is possible to import leads in Icereach from a Google sheet).


This is also a tool focused on LinkedIn outreach. It is a bit more expensive than Icereace and therefore much more expensive than phantombuster.

Like Icereach Expandi relies on user passwords to log into Linkedin on your behalf. And like Icereach, Expandi is missing out on a few ways to build targeted audiences. So you combine Expandi with Phantombuster.

Expendi has one great feature to help you scale your LinkedIn outreach: mobile connection requests. This feature sends LinkedIn contact requests via the mobile app once you reach the 100-weekly invitations limit. It is a nice way to scale up your outreach.

You can check out our full review of Expandi; if you want more information.


This is the low-cost option if you want to run LinkedIn outreach. It relies on a Chrome extension so it won’t run 24/7.

If you are not sure if Linkedin is a good channel for you, LinkedinHelper can be an affordable option to test the channel.

Check out other growth hacking tools we are recommencing.

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