Automation has become a lifesaver for marketers: it allows companies to free up time for bigger picture work without leaving their social accounts to gather dust.
When it comes to social media, Instagram is a pretty big deal. With 500 million active users every day, you’d be silly to neglect this ever-expanding platform.
Sadly, it’s also one of the more challenging social accounts to automate – done wrong, you could find bots comment the wrong things on the wrong kind of pic, or other similar disasters.
Getting clued up on the best automation tips and tools will give you all the benefits of a great automated Instagram account, without any of the stress!
Understanding what you want from Instagram automation is a key element in deciding how you approach automation services.
It’s worth considering the following you already have, monitoring the kind of interactions you have with your followers, and how you want to appear to the rest of the world. If you’re looking for engagement any way you can get it, choosing automation options with heavy like, follow and comment options might be for you.
Generally though, your central goal should always be to come across as human and authentic as possible (even when it’s not always a human posting).
With this in mind, here’s a taste of the different automating services available and some general tips for figuring out which ones will work for you and your brand!
If you’re just starting out with Instagram automation, the chances are you don’t want to jump straight in at the deep (read: expensive) end.
Trialling automation to see if it’s the right thing for you and your company is always a good idea, but selecting a dodgy bot could lead to very bad results (and trust us, there are a lot of bad automation options out there).
Ensure you’re selecting a tool which, while cost efficient, is safe and of a decent quality - a quick Google and scan of online reviews is usually sufficient for checking the legitimacy of any automation account you’re interested in.
Instazood has some great prices and is very usable for those just starting out with Instagram automation. Covering all the general bases, Instazood offers service in following, liking, commenting, messaging (etc.) to get your Instagram off to a healthy, automated start.
Find your Instagram posts often fall flat? Trying to spend time identifying the best accounts to follow for your particular audience is time-consuming and difficult. Even when you do find relevant accounts, how do you know they’ll follow back? What type of customer should you be engaging to get the best return from time invested?
This puzzle alone could take days and days of a marketers’ time without any guaranteed pay-off.
That’s where companies like Popamatic come in. This automation assistant helps you expand your following, but with relevance. Unlike other automation tools which offer random interaction with other accounts, Popamatic will engage and interact with users which match up with yours.
For example, let’s say you own an online pet store and you want to grow your followers, but in a niche-specific direction. Popamatic identifies users with relevant interests — following one of the many dog Instagram accounts, for example — and likes and comments on their posts. This piques their interest, leading them to your site in a way that feels natural, simply by joining in conversations about pets online.
This improves the chances of you getting a following from the right audience, and thus appearing in the explore page for other users who align with your target audience. Et voila! Your social media presence will start to snowball nicely.
Looking for automation which reaps great results? As it currently stands, humans still trump bots when it comes to truly understanding online engagement. But, as we already know, working on this yourself is highly time-consuming.
So, who are the best humans for the job? Why, trained professionals of course.
A company like Social Sensei is great for extra powerful social optimization. That’s because every step is handled carefully, and thoughtfully. The price reflects the service: the higher level of detail you require, the higher the price tag. Still, if you have the budget, but not the time, this is a great way of expanding your Instagram in all the best ways without having to lift a finger yourself.
When using a service such as Social Sensei you need to go in with a certain amount of knowledge: even the experts can’t tell you who your target audience is. Your understanding of your customer base is more thorough than anyone who is not involved with your brand.
Discover the hashtags that are relevant to you and give examples of what you want to achieve – this clear communication allows for the best pay-off when using a service like Social Sensei.
While the benefits of automation are undeniably big, the potential pitfalls are arguably larger still. More than a few brands have fallen victim to an automation fail or two. Having a bot commenting, liking and following accounts to within an inch of its automated life is not the approach you want to lead with when handing over the wheel.
Not only does this make your account look annoying and inauthentic, it will lose you followers – the exact opposite of what you want to achieve. Regardless of what tool you use for automation, most will let you customise the frequency with which interaction is played out from your account, and here is where it’s better to err on the side of caution.
There’s no way to guarantee every like will hit the mark, but testing techniques and starting slow is the best bet for an automated account which gradually, yet consistently, builds its reach (without the need for heavy monitoring).
Automating your Instagram account may just save you bags of time, while also bringing you bags (and bags!) of followers. Ensuring you research thoroughly before making use of a service, and having a clear idea of the direction of your Instagram account will make the automation experience safer and more rewarding. Do it for the ‘gram!
Victoria Greene is a writer and brand consultant. She writes a blog called Victoria Ecommerce. A big advocate of making smarter marketing decisions using the power of AI and data.
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