After many many obstacles, I built the mobile app. I eventually settled with React Native, using a cool open source library called nodejs-mobile-react-native which allows you to run a nodejs server in a React Native app. This library also caused me a lot of pain because it's still in development and required me to manually implement a few work-arounds.
Anywho, technical stuff out of the way, so I tested the results of the app, and it worked like a charm. Posting on instagram daily for over a year got me to 900 followers and using Social Sauce daily for less than 3 weeks was enough to get me through the 1,000 follower barrier.