If you’re reading this, you probably know that Instagram is the place to be.
Of their 500 million active daily users, 80% of them voluntarily connect with a brand and 72% of users have made a purchase after seeing an item on Instagram (source).
Based on this kind of knowledge, you might want to learn how to do Instagram Automation so you can grow fast and move forward.
There’s a reason marketers can’t get enough. Instagram offers sky-high engagement rates that put nearly all other social media platforms to shame.
It’s where all the trendy influencers and many of your customers are; a fact that makes interactions on Instagram almost essential for a successful business.
Usually, these interactions take an incredible amount of time, with frustratingly slow results, if done manually by a person. The solution? Instagram Automation.
The basic truths about Instagram Automation
- You don’t want to look like a machine.
- It won’t make you look spammy.
- If it does, you’re not doing it right.
- You can still stay authentic while using automation tools.
But before we jump into that, let’s find out why you need automation in the first place.
Why use Instagram Automation?
Organic Instagram marketing can do wonders for building your brand image – but each like, follow and comment takes time. Especially when your business starts to grow.
What we mean by this is that it’s difficult to dedicate hours on a daily basis to manually interact with dozens of Instagram users, maintain a steady account aesthetic, and monitor results at the same time.
Luckily, this is why automation apps and tools exist. They allow you to engage with tons of users on a daily basis, without needing to worry about actually performing the tedious manual tasks.
Moreover, you can always optimize the settings to suit your needs, and that too is pretty easy.
Setting up an automation tool like MegaFollow(screenshot below), for example, will barely take you a few minutes.
How to drive authentic engagement with Instagram Automation
The problem is, not everyone knows how to use automation properly.
After all, it’s a machine. If you leave everything up to it, you’ll come across as one too.
The key to staying authentic while using automation is to optimize the settings to keep it as close to that personal touch as possible. Here are 4 clever ways to do that:
1. Keep it real
Those of us who use Instagram know how annoying bots and automated comments can be.
If you’re using Instagram Automation, make sure your platform doesn’t come across as spammy. That’s a turn-off, and will never get you substantial engagement.
To come across as authentic, you need to make your account as human as possible.
First of all, make sure your automated account looks pretty. Seriously.
Have a nice, well-thought-out aesthetic in place that your customers find warm, welcoming and follow-able. This will take away, or at least minimize, the cold, technical aspect of a machine-run account. Because people expect social media to be, well, social.
Related: let people know that you’re authentic get verified on Instagram (a.k.a.: BLUE BADGE)
If you’re using MegaFollow, navigate to the “Follow” tab under your settings.
Make sure you check the “Don’t follow private users” and “Don’t follow the same users” boxes. Why? Because that’s what a human would do!
Get it: private accounts are private for a reason. They will most likely find random businesses requesting access to their images/videos annoying.
Similarly, following/unfollowing the same people will probably get you reported as spam. It might even get you blocked by some users.
Remember, these settings will make you look like a decent person on social media instead of a sales-y business trying to intrude into users’ personal lives.
2. Comment smartly
The truth is, comments are a little controversial in the world of Instagram Automation Engagement.
Think about it. The bot running your account interacts with hundreds of users on a daily basis. Is there really any pre-programmed comment you can add that will apply to all situations without seeming insincere? Some say no, and recommend that you keep the comment feature turned off. Others – like Chuck Jones – recommend that you turn it on but avoid generic statements like “cool pic follow back” or “great!”, which are not only massively irritating, but also quite ineffective.
He suggests using this formula: compliment + emoji + request for further engagement.
For example, if you’re trying to get more subscriptions for your literary magazine account, you can follow the hashtag #bookstagramers and feed comments into the settings like:
“Your new read is super interesting! [Book emoji]. I’d love to hear more about it!” Or something like “Whoa! I loved that one. [Pen emoji]. Do you have any recommendations for more books like this?”
These comments are less likely to look spammy and might prompt more users back to your account. And hopefully, have them press the “Follow” button.
3. Follow sparingly
If you want to stay authentic, it’s probably a good idea to leave the automated “follow” and “unfollow” options off for the first few months.
That’s because unprompted follows rarely get a follow back. They just tend to get lost in the sea of mundane interactions on social media.
Initially, likes and comments are the way to go. Simply because they’re much more personal, and essentially lay down the foundation for all the following that you’re going to do later.
When you feel that your engagements are dropping, however, turn these on. But do some research first.
For example, in the ‘Media source’ box, MegaFollow allows you to actually follow the followers of particular users. (Instagram Automation looks like magic sometimes, right?)
If you pick some of the leading influencers in your niche, this setting can help you reach your intended audience faster, because you already know their followers are interested in your genre.
Continuing with the literary magazine example, you can set up your Instagram Automation tool to follow/unfollow the followers of @NewyorkersMag, to ensure you’re reaching out to book/literature lovers on a rolling basis (without needing to follow too many irrelevant accounts).
Similarly, online stores can try this by following the followers of their competitors’ accounts.
4. Do your research!
The best way to keep your automation real is to go in with enough background research and a good strategy under your belt.
Make sure you know who your intended audience is and how to reach them so your automation can work to its full potential. Here are some tips for MegaFollow users:
- When setting your Media source to “Tags”, make sure you choose the tags with posts between 100K and 1 Million. More than that and you’re likely to get lost in the clutter. Less, and you don’t reach enough people.
- Go for tags which speak to your targeted niche. Selling gym clothes? Try #gymselfie or #workout or #nopainnogain, instead of the broader #clothes, which may be too generic to appeal to your customers.
- Try and follow users with less than 100 followers initially. These people are more likely to check their notifications and follow you back.
That’s how you get the best of Instagram Automation
The tips and tricks above will help you get started on your way to driving more authentic engagement and growing your following. Not to mention, you’ll also be able to direct loads of traffic to your online store.
María José Canifrú - I'm 27 years old with 8 years of experience in different areas such as design, content creation, creativity, business intelligence, paid media, etc. I've learned to analyze and act upon the behaviour of users to achieve client's objectives, I love building brands, client's identities and packages that make a difference.