Instagram Automation

Instagram Automation

Instagram began in 2010 as a photo-sharing site loved by vacationers and people posting snapshots of weddings and family get-togethers. Today, though, this social media platform boasts 1.074 billion active users worldwide, and around 71 percent of US businesses use it to promote their brand. For these businesses, engagement is the Instagram metric that matters most. However, maintaining the kind of Instagram presence that boosts engagement and brand awareness can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.

To keep up the constant stream of liking, following, and posting that’s necessary to build an audience on Instagram, it’s tempting to turn to one of the many third-party platforms offering Instagram automation. Software that puts many of the routine tasks of running an Instagram account on autopilot for the account managers.

It’s very important to know that Instagram frowns on certain kinds of bot-driven automation on the platform, but marketers and advertisers can legitimately automate some aspects of Instagram activity to save time and resources.

Building Brand Awareness on Instagram

Instagram is now among the fastest-growing social media platforms on the Internet. Currently, about 50 percent of its mostly younger users turn to the site to learn about new products and services or buy them directly. Businesses of all kinds can benefit from a presence on Instagram, but that presence needs to be relentlessly cultivated with a steady stream of new content as well as keeping up with the social side of things through likes, shares, and follows.

Like other social media sites, Instagram promotes accounts based on the results of its complex algorithms. Therefore, accounts that post and interact frequently are rewarded with higher visibility. Through regular posting and Instagram Stories, which disappear after 24 hours, businesses have the opportunity to put their brands before an eager and engaged audience — but making it all happen with manual input can take hours out of a workday.

With options for scheduling posts, liking and following other accounts, and collecting the numbers on engagement, automation can seem like an ideal solution — but it needs to be done carefully to avoid a crackdown by Instagram’s army of bot detectors and other security features.

Should You Automate Your Instagram Account?

Social media automation tools can help businesses maintain an active presence on all the major social media platforms, including Instagram. Offered by a large and growing group of SaaS providers, these tools help users to keep fresh content in front of the target audience, track the analytics that shape a social media strategy, and handle many time-consuming, low-level tasks such as liking comments and posts. A number of these tools focus on automation for Instagram.

Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be able to decide which aspects of your Instagram or other social media accounts you want to automate and set up the appropriate parameters, such as scheduling posts. Most leading platforms also integrate directly with websites via plugins and widgets. Plans range from free to a range of professional level and enterprise-class services.

Automation can allow account holders to spend less time maintaining an account and more time creating winning content and interacting with followers. Automating analytics helps brands and businesses learn more about their audience and fine-tune a content strategy that appeals to its audience. For many businesses, building engagement with the brand is a key reason for an Instagram presence so, automation can boost visibility and keep a connection with customers on the site.

But automation also has some downsides. When a majority of daily tasks are automated, it’s easy to miss out on important interactions and issues that need to be addressed. Poor automation software can also compromise a brand’s reputation with low-quality performance and spammy activity that interferes with the human interactions that drive engagement. Too much automation can give a brand’s account an impersonal feel — and bot-driven activity is usually easy to spot.

How Does Instagram Automation Work?

It’s possible to automate some, or all, of your activity on Instagram with the tools available in most of the popular social media automation software or apps. But Instagram doesn’t view all types of automation on its platform in the same light — and the site is particularly vigilant about activity that violates its best practices for authentic engagement.

Instagram aims to ensure that its platform is supported by active, engaged users who have a positive experience with the brands they find on its platform. This means Instagram works hard to eliminate the kind of bot activity that slows down the site, looks spammy, and contributes to a poor user experience. And that’s exactly what can happen with automation software that handles “front-facing” activity such as posting likes, comments, and shares.

Strange, off-topic, or generic comments, a flood of random likes, and following too many accounts at once are all signs of automated bot activity. These are red flags on Instagram and can get accounts blocked or suspended under an umbrella category of “inauthentic activity.” Once that happens, users must petition the site for reinstatement.

Although front-facing automation that leads to “inauthentic” outcomes isn’t welcome on Instagram, the platform typically has no problem with automation on the back end, which helps users handle administrative tasks such as scheduling the posting of original content or making sense of account metrics. Automating tasks like these aren’t likely to affect the experience of other Instagram users, and it can help businesses manage their Instagram accounts for more engagement and a better overall user experience.

Making Instagram Automation Work for Your Brand

Automating your Instagram account the right way can boost engagement and raise the profile of your brand. Well-established, quality social media automation platforms have the tools to automate just the right parts of your Instagram activity, without triggering the site’s bot detectors. The most productive ways to automate your Instagram include:

Scheduling your posts. This feature allows users to add prepared content to a calendar that runs weeks or months ahead, which saves time and ensures that posts appear at the best times for optimal engagement. Consistent posting helps a brand stay active on Instagram and build a long-lasting connection with its audience.

Automating likes. On Instagram and other social media sites, “liking” a post or comment is the most casual form of engagement. Likes don’t even necessarily mean that you actually like the content you’re responding to. Rather, a like can simply indicate acknowledgment, such as when a customer comments on a brand’s recent post and the brand likes the comment. Setting your automation software to respond with a like is a low-risk action that maintains your presence on Instagram.

Finding followers. Following too many accounts in too short a time can trigger Instagram’s bot detectors, but automation can make it easier to find and follow the accounts that matter. Quality social media automation tools can analyze hashtags and keywords to identify accounts that might be relevant to a brand and its audience, and automatically follow them — another low-risk, timesaving use of automation.

Generating site analytics. Automation software can collect and analyze multiple metrics related to account activity such as trends in engagement, most shared content, and the number of likes and follows. These insights can help brands and businesses shape a successful Instagram strategy and build better engagement with customers and clients.

Instagram automation can be a time-saving strategy that can deliver useful insights and boost engagement with your brand. Today’s social media automation platforms have all the tools you need to schedule posts, likes, and more. Too much automation means less authentic interaction, but automating small tasks frees more time for connecting with your tribe — and that’s what Instagram likes to see.

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