The most prominent social media challenges include declining engagement rates and organic reach vs. increasing ad cost. With plummeting organic reach on leading social platforms, brands struggle to achieve their goals within their budgets.
According to a Trust Insights study, the average engagement rate for unpaid branded content on Instagram stands at just 0.3% now, meaning, for every 1000 followers, only 3.1 of them will engage with your content.
Forget about the engagement rate of the content on Instagram; the influencer industry on Instagram is also taking a nosedive. In a study conducted by trust insights in 2019, influencers' median engagement rate for more than half a million unpaid posts saw a 41% drop in just one year.
In this scenario, growing social presence and getting authentic followers can become a severe concern for businesses and marketers.
Instagram automation tools can efficiently speed up the process of adding followers and growing your social presence. However, here is a word of caution before you begin using the automation tools. Use only the legit tools to grow your account, and don't spam your followers.
This article discusses the best practices of Instagram automation, so you can drive engagement and accomplish your social media goals.
What is Instagram Automation?
Instagram automation enables you to manage your account, interact with users, and complete tasks using third-party software without the need for any human interference.
Instagram automation tools are of the following two types broadly:
- Service that takes over your direct interaction with users, such as likes and comments.
- Service that automates Instagram backend features such as reporting, publishing, and analytics.
Let’s talk about Instagram bots. You can easily sense bot activity in your account if you notice disappearing followers, mysterious story views, or spam comments. So, putting your Instagram interactions on autopilot can be risky and lead to spammy activities.
Instagram declared its “war on bots” years ago. The platform even went to the extent of shutting down many such bots or Instagram automation tools that violated its protocols and best practices. In 2017, they shut down a popular automation tool Instagress
On August 13, 2020, Instagram introduced new authenticity measures on the platform. Instagram announced that they only wanted to see authentic content on the platform from real people and not bots trying to mislead you. They began asking people to confirm their identities, especially when they observed a potential inauthentic behavior.
Even though bots don't enjoy a good reputation, it doesn't mean that all tools are spammy.
The second type of automation tool includes the tools that work at the backend and undertake post scheduling and publishing tasks. And here is some good news about these toolsāyou can freely use them without worrying about spam or a penalty from the platform.
With the help of these tools, you can automate your posts according to the slots when your audience is most active on the platform. During these slots, the users have the time to uncover hashtags, helping you expand your reach.
How to Automate Your Instagram Marketing for Better Engagement?
Here are the seven tips to automate your Instagram marketing to grow your account faster:-
1. Leverage the Benefits of Story Mention Automations
If you're on Instagram, you'll get lots of story mentions. If you reply to them in masses, you can generate lots of engagement. Automatic and personalized responses help you build instant connections and get more story mentions. As a result, your account grows faster, and you can easily nurture relationships.
Through automated story mentions, you can enter people in a contest. It also allows you to create promotional offers and attract even more mentions. Through these story-mentions, you can virtually respond to everyone who mentions you in their story.
These crafted messages can be stored in the automation tool and sent as soon as someone mentions you. People appreciate this kind gesture and personal touch, which helps you build customer loyalty and establish yourself as an Instagram star personality.
You can use MobileMonkey and set up story mentions in it. All you need to do is first go to your Instagram account and link it to a Facebook Business Page and then to MobileMonkey and follow the instructions.
2. Streamline Posts Scheduling
Now, you can easily schedule posts in advance on Instagram using its post scheduler feature known as Instagram Creator Studio. The tool helps you control your online presence, manage messages, and monitor growth. The batch scheduling feature will save you time.
Creator studio has many features, and one of its prominent features is its professional dashboard which allows you to monitor your success on the platform. It will also help you find educational content shared by Instagram. The growth insights will also help you understand which content is performing and attracting people to your account.
The platform's best feature is its advanced post scheduler, which allows you to follow your content calendar by scheduling posts for Instagram Feed and Instagram TV. It offers a calendar view and is quite addictive.
3. Grow Your Account through DM Response Automation
As your Instagram account grows, the number of direct messages also increases. It feels nice that many people want to speak to you. You can use this favorable opportunity to create a loyal fan base. Still, it's also annoying because you don't have the time to answer every message individually.
It's a common tendency to ignore these messages, but this is not a standard practice if you are a serious entrepreneur or individual. According to a study by Media Brief, 75% of the customers want to talk to the brands through private messages.
Automated direct messaging feature allows you to do many things, including:
- Schedule automated welcome messages to users who DM you
- Send bot-generated automatic replies to Instagram DMs. These are based on keyword triggers.
- Send FAQ answers in DMs using bots.
Even though these generic messages may look like spam in some cases, these can be an excellent way to add calls to action to numerous Instagram comments.
The best way to take advantage of using automated DMs is to ask the users to leave a comment with a specific keyword if they want to download a free eBook, report, or white paper.
This strategy will naturally lead to better engagement, lead generation, and increase the audience on autopilot.
Here’s how you do it:
- Link your Instagram account to a Facebook Business Page, then connect it with MobileMonkey.
- Sign in to your MobileMonkey account. Go to “Chatbot” and then click “Chat starters” on the top bar.
- Go to “Instagram Welcomer” and follow the instructions.
- Write the message you want users to receive when they DM you on Instagram. You are free to choose elements and widgets like attachments, forms, and images, etc.
See the preview and send it.
4. Create Drip Campaigns Messages in Instagram
Email drip campaigns are pretty effective, and you can leverage them on Instagram, too.
Instagram’s drip campaign feature helps you take advantage of the standard automated DM response to increase engagement on the platform.
So, with a drip campaign, you don’t just send a DM; you can share links to your landing pages, blogs, and other content assets, increasing brand awareness and engagement. This activity should go on for several days to achieve tangible results.
You can split the activity in the following manner:
- After you receive their first message, share some educational links about your brand.
- Your next marketing message a few days after your first interaction may contain some social proof. You can share a case study or user review for the purpose.
- Once you’re able to grab their attention, ask them to subscribe to your newsletter or offer them a tool or a free trial.
You can also power your Instagram drip campaigns by launching a lead nurturing campaign or sending an upsell campaign.
You can also try sending onboarding and educational messages to engage users. Another way to utilize drip emails is to ask questions for retargeting.
How to setup Instagram drip campaign:
- Choose “Campaigns” from the top bar and click “Drip Campaigns.”
- Create a new “Drip Campaign.”
- Choose the social platform.
- Choose the audience.
- Choose a schedule for your campaign messages and time interval to send those messages.
- Create messages along with follow-up messages for a 24 hours cycle. If a user responds, another 24-hour cycle starts.
5. Automate Comment Replies
You can leverage comments to go viral on Instagram. Moreover, you can encourage and increase comments on your posts by responding to the existing user comments. More comments lead to more views. Automation allows you to do it in a personalized manner.
You can set it up in the following manner:-
- First, link your Instagram account to a Facebook Business Page, then connect it with MobileMonkey.
- Sign in to your Mobile Money account>>Go to “Chatbot“>> “Chat starters.”
- Go to “Instagram comment guard“>> Create a new one.
- Choose from the two options the Comment Guard will work with, i.e., “All Posts” and “Specific Instagram Post.”
Now, you can decide how to respond.
These options include “respond to all comments” and “respond only to comments that contain the following keywords.”
5. You can put a cap on the frequency cap if a user posts multiple comments.
Craft a message for the users who comment on your Instagram post. You are free to choose elements and widgets like attachments, forms, and images, etc.
6. See the preview and send it.
6. Utilize Instagram Guides for Lead Nurturing
Instagram Guides were introduced for health and wellness businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and are a new Instagram feature. Later, it was rolled out to all users.
Through these guides, you can share helpful, scrollable curated content and tips in an easy-to-digest format. It makes otherwise lengthy and complex content easy to share and consume.
Three types of guides are prevalent on Instagramāposts, places, and products. You can share guides in stories as well to amplify their reach. You can't precisely term it as automation, but Instagram guides help marketers amplify their reach in a big way.
First, guides are a boon for businesses on a shoestring budget as it's a free tool. Instagram does the heavy lifting of designing your brand pages and guiding you through content promotion.
Secondly, the curation style of guides makes them engaging and easy to share. Instagram guides are highly informative; therefore, you can use them to educate new customers about your brand and how your products add value to their life.
You can use this feature hassle-free because you can set it and forget it. It will help you create enormous content to engage users without putting in the extra effort.
Instagram Guides also make content delivery flexible by giving you a choice of the types of formats. For example, you can convert your text-based articles into slideshows and add images and videos tutorials. You can also create video tutorials that can walk users through the process.
7. Integrate With Short Video Apps Such as Tiktok
Cross promoting on social media amplifies your reach and gives you access to various low-hanging fruits in marketing, such as brand awareness, lead generation, and lead nurturing.
You can easily share your Instagram content on TikTok through the following steps:
Select “Edit profile” in TikTok>> “Instagram“>>Enter your user name>> Click connect
You're ready to share your content now. For example, you can repost your Instagram Reels on TikTok. Don't forget to remove watermarks, though. Follow the platform guidelines. Make sure the content you share is ideal for both audiences.
What Features of Instagram Can I Automate?
As discussed above, you can automate many elements using Instagram automation tools. So, you can:
- Like and comment on posts
- Respond to story mentions
- Schedule posts
- Send automatic responses to DMs
Instagram automation makes your life easier by preventing you from doing repetitive menial tasks and helps you achieve your marketing goals. You can instead use that free time for other crucial business functions like outreach and developing content.
Instagram automation allows you to manage the backend and front-end social media tasks without manual or virtual assistance. If it becomes a routine, it will boost your productivity and help you build strong community links and loyalty.