Instagram Automation Tools: What are they and Should you use Them?
Firstly, let’s define exactly what an Instagram automation tool is. Put simply, it’s pretty self-explanatory – they help you complete actions on Instagram automatically, without having to do it manually. However, there are many different types of automation tools, from those that complete actions such as ‘liking’ or ‘commenting’ on posts to those that actually follow accounts on your behalf. Whilst auto-scheduling content is an automatic action, it doesn’t technically count as an ‘Automator’, as Instagram’s API and terms and conditions allow, and encourage you to use this.
💡MYTH-BUSTING TIME: Scheduling tools aren’t actually automators! Whilst a lot of people commonly think that they are Automator tools, they are not treated in the same way as ‘auto-liking’ apps for example, and do not penalize your account. Instagram automation tools are technically legal, as long as they comply with Instagram’s platform policy, and don’t violate their set terms and conditions. Automation tools (some of which are known as bots) like following, liking and commenting bots do go against Instagram’s terms and conditions and may cause accounts to be shut down or penalized, as they cause fake activity on the platform.
Instagram has slowly (but surely) started to ban automation tools, as they pick up on the suspicious activity. For example, if Instagram flags that an account is completing a large number of actions in a short period of time, they will flag this account, look for the source of the bot-like activity, and subsequently ban the tool/activity. Additionally, Instagram has tightened its restrictions in terms of whether third-party apps can log in to the platform via your account, which has cut down bot activity massively.
Instagram won’t automatically block your account the first time they detect suspicious activity, however, they may put restrictions and bans, that stop you from taking actions like liking or commenting on posts for a certain period of time. If you continue to violate their terms and conditions by using bots, they will eventually block your account – think of it as a strike system. You won’t however be at risk of being blocked if you use a scheduling or analytics monitoring tool, as these aren’t automation tools.
Even though they may seem tempting, and may help you see rapid results in a short space of time, Instagram automation tools won’t help you gain a quality audience. Those that you reach with an automation tool likely won’t be targeted within your niche, and will just be a tool casting a wide net, so the followers you gain won’t be likely to have a connection with you or engage with your posts. It’s better to develop a following that actively wants to see your posts and chose to press that ‘follow’ button. Plus – it’s waaaay more rewarding.
Talk Social To Me
Get the latest social media gossip, memes, news and tips sent straight to your inbox.
You should not use any tools that automatically take actions on your behalf like ‘liking’, ‘commenting’, sending DMS or auto-following. But, what tools are safe to use?
- Scheduling tools such as Flick’s scheduler, that allow you to plan your posts ahead of time, and automatically schedule content at its best performing time and date. Learn more about how scheduling tools can help your growth and organization here!
- Analytics and reporting tools, that help you track your performance over time and understand how to alter your strategy according to your best performing posts.
- Hashtag performance tools, and social listening tools. You can read about why Flick is verified by Facebook, therefore making it a safe and secure platform, here!
- Tools that help you respond to, and track your comments.
- Messenger marketing tools, like ManyChat.
Alternatives to automation 👀
So, you now know that you should avoid Instagram automation tools if you want to keep a healthy account, but what can you do as an alternative?
Set milestones and complete actions manually
Create a checklist that you can tick off and hold yourself accountable, to interact with accounts a certain amount of times on a daily basis (don’t go overboard or Instagram might think you’re a bot). Pick accounts to interact with that are either in your community or niche, to attract new followers that will actually want to engage with your content. You can search hashtags that you frequently use to find similar accounts, and reach their audience by posting a few meaningful comments, or liking some of their posts.
Employ someone to do the hard work for you
If you really aren’t keen on admin and are dedicated to growing your account, you can also invest in it, to see growth. Platforms like Fiverr allow you to find experts within the social media field, who are able to help you with some of the leg work when it comes to growing an Instagram account. It’s important to know that you can’t automate Instagram growth, it should always be organic, and done by someone who knows the kind of audience you want to reach and retain, in order to see long-term success.
Use other tools to save time, so you can dedicate more attention to your audience
By saving time in some areas, you can create more time for others. For example, scheduling your content in advance and planning out your Instagram calendar will help you keep your content in order, and understand when you need to create a new batch of posts. By doing this in advance, you save time worrying about when to post, or whether you forgot to post at a certain time because your calendar is already set for you. This allows you to spend more time interacting on Instagram and worry less about needing to post.
Got more questions on Instagram automation tools, or how you can improve your account performance by getting advice from like-minded people? Join our community below!