An active social media presence is critical to ranking well on Google since social signals are part of how Google decides where to rank a website for any particular keyword phrase. But, because each social media network has its own nuances for posting content, it can be quite time-consuming to create content, adapt it to each network, and then post it all yourself.
Of course, no rule says you need to be everywhere, but the more channels you have to reach your customers, the better. So, how can you automate your Instagram to get more followers, and build an account that makes it easier for you to attract and retain customers?
1 Use an Automation Tool to Follow/Unfollow People
There’s no shortage of tools for Instagram automation available out there to use. Some are free, though many are premium and require ongoing payment to use. Most of them offer free trials so you can experiment with the bots you want to use.
While the majority of tools are focused on helping you get more followers, others include additional features to help automate your entire account. Among these features are scheduling posts, liking posts, commenting, and sending direct messages to your followers. More on those features below.
These tools will allow you to follow people who fit your audience based on what you tell the tool to look for. You can choose to follow profiles or hashtags. Most of the tools will also unfollow people for you after they’ve been given a certain amount of time – usually three days – to follow you back. The unfollow feature is designed to keep your follower ratio in good standing since you can only follow a total of 7,500 accounts on Instagram.
2 Use a Scheduling Tool to Schedule Your Posts
It can be a pain to have to create content every day and take the time to remember to post it. Instead, you can use a scheduling tool to batch the creation of your content – say, once a week on Fridays, you can spend the day preparing your content, then load it into the scheduler on your computer for the following week.
If you have a business account – which you should so you get access to the Instagram Analytics tools – some schedulers will automatically post the content to your profile on your behalf. Others will send a push notification to your phone, with the post content ready to go, so all you have to do is open your Instagram app and click post.
3 Automate Likes
Liking other people’s posts on Instagram is a great way to engage with them, get more Instagram likes and build followers at the same time. Because it only takes a few seconds, automating this is easy, and no one will ever really notice.
Like with Instagram automation tools that follow/unfollow, you can set it up so you’re only liking things that are targeted toward the audience you’re trying to attract. The automation tools only like 60 to 80 things an hour to keep things looking natural so the Instagram algorithm doesn’t penalize you for unnatural activity.
4 Avoid Automating Comments and Direct Messages
While many Instagram bots give you the ability to handle this part of the process, in the interest of keeping your account as authentic as possible – you should avoid automating these two things. Why? Because it’s impossible to personalize and customize the comments and messages the way they should be in the name of authenticity by using a bot.
Simple, generic comments, like, “Great photo!” or “I love your profile!” are glaringly obvious as bots. And going more specific to avoid looking like a bot, can still make it obvious it’s a bot because if you program a comment like, “What a lovely photo of roses” and it gets posted on a photo of cats or dogs, then it’s clear you didn’t write it specifically for that post.
You can automate basic messages like, “Thanks for the follow!” but those are often annoying to the recipients. If you’re going to DM someone something – go a bit more in detail about what you offer, and what you like about their account. Again – that’s something that requires personalization and customization for each account to not only look natural but to be real.
5 Resist the Temptation to Use Multiple Bots at the Same Time
If you want to grow your following quickly, it stands to reason you could do so with multiple bots, right? Wrong! Running more than one bot at the same time could easily trigger the algorithm into seeing scammy activity on your account, and getting it flagged. Plus, if your settings are the same, it could create a lot of issues with the following/unfollowing and post liking.
That said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with testing bots to decide which one you like the best – or to take advantage of multiple free trials before committing to a paid service. The key is to disable one bot before starting another.
6 Analyze, Refine, Repeat
After running automation for a while, take time to analyze the results of your progress with Instagram Analytics. Take what you’ve done and learn from the results. Refine your efforts as needed based on your goals and how well the automation has helped you reach them. Then, repeat.
Instagram automation can be a great tool to help you grow your following if you use it correctly. Rather than relying on automation to run the account for you and stay hands-off, the idea should be to save time, so you can focus on creating more quality content to attract followers naturally.