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December 18, 2020 Last updated on December 23rd, 2020
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Need to learn how to improve your Instagram marketing with automation?

Instagram now has over 1 billion monthly active users. This makes it one of the most popular social networks, worldwide. It has become a game-changer for modern businesses. It empowers them to connect with their audience in an entirely new way.

Visual storytelling is becoming hugely important for brands. Customers react well to visual elements in marketing campaigns. People are likely to remember only 10% of the information they hear. However, if there’s a relevant photo attached, people retain 65% of that information.

Instagram is a very visual form of marketing. It requires businesses to use photos and videos to engage with their customers. People engage with businesses through content posted on their grids and through Stories.

About half of Instagram’s monthly users are using Stories. That’s 500 million people posting 1 billion Stories every day. And about 62% of those people say they’ve become more interested in a brand after seeing it in their Stories.

Brands have responded to the channel’s popularity by posting an average of 2.5 Instagram Stories a week. In fact, 4 million brands are now advertisers on Stories.

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Source: Magistro

Social media never sleeps, but you can’t expect your staff to be working on it 24 hours a day. It does, however, require regular involvement and engagement at specific times of the day. In the midst of a busy marketing schedule, it can be hard to give Instagram the time it needs.

This is where automation can be a vital tool for businesses engaging on Instagram. Thankfully, there are a few tools that can help automate many of the tasks necessary to drive growth. They allow marketers to distribute content to the masses with just a few taps, and keep on top of the responses.

What is Instagram Automation?

Instagram automation uses software to manage aspects of an Instagram account. It can be used to carry out tasks, time posts or interact with users.

Instagram automation tools can be put into two general categories:

  1. Services that manage your front-facing interactions with users such as likes and comments.
  2. Tools that automate Instagram behind the scenes. For example, taking care of tasks such as publishing, reporting and analytics.

The first category can lead to spammy, inauthentic content. We’ve all come across bots making comments that don’t feel organic. They’re likely to make users engage less with brands.

While this can give Instagram automation a bad reputation, not all tools are spammy. This leads us to the second category of social media automation tools. These are the ones that largely deal with your account’s backend.

They can help with automating posts to publish when your followers are most active. They can also uncover hashtags to expand your reach. Using these tools will help up your Instagram game. Let’s look at some ways that automation can help streamline Instagram marketing for your business.

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Source: Top Dog Social Media

Finding and Following New Accounts

Most automation solutions will offer the ability to automate finding and following new accounts. Generally speaking, all you have to do is specify the hashtags and accounts you want to follow.

Using that information, the software will automatically start following those accounts. It can then also pick random ones from within the hashtags to begin following. It will gradually follow a certain number of new accounts every day to boost your activity.

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Source: Oberlo

Following new accounts regularly can make a big difference to your Instagram engagement. This is something that can easily be automated, so you don’t have to waste time actively doing it every day.

Make sure you are also using automation to unfollow any accounts that are not useful to your business.

Liking Posts

Using automation to like posts is fairly safe, even if you wouldn’t use it for comments. Automation can identify posts that align with your brand and like them on your behalf.

It won’t come across as spam or get flagged by Instagram. Likes are a non-intrusive way to increase your odds of engagement.

Scheduling Posts

Using software to schedule posts keeps your online presence active, even when you’re not. Plan and publish your social media content in one place, to be posted either at the time or later.

You can schedule single image and video posts, and Instagram stories, too. It also allows you to cross-post content to multiple profiles at once to save time. Using omnichannel retail software will help to streamline different channels for ecommerce brands.

Scheduling allows you to post at times when engagement is likely to be highest. You can identify these through the use of analytics.

Source: Iconosquare

Collecting and Interpreting Analytics

You need to make your statistics work for you. Use tools to automate analytics and make data-driven decisions for your Instagram. Actionable insights can optimize your social media strategy.

You will want to collect and examine quantitative data. This is a really simple way of seeing which content and posts are working well.

Use Instagram Stories insights to post more of what works for your audience. There are various metrics that can be used to allow you to easily build an effective strategy. You can automate analytics to understand the reach and impressions of Stories. It can also help to understand completion rate by story type and the best time to post Stories.

Use data and analytics to inform the way you manage your brand. Make sure you develop a refined idea of your brand image, personality and values. When you’re creating a public image of your brand on social media, it’s important to get it right. That way you can find like-minded people who align with your brand.

Engage with people on a personal level and work towards building a community. Establishing personal connections and communities is what Instagram thrives on.

Monitoring and Increasing Engagement

You can use automation to monitor and increase engagement with your audience. It allows you to easily keep track of discussions about your brand online.

Analytics can break down your mentions on Instagram and help you to keep track of them. Use metrics like mentions-by-type, mention-by-post-type, mentions history and more. It can also help you effortlessly monitor any posts that you are tagged in. You can then respond to tags and comments in real time.

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Source: Oberlo

Working on keeping your followers engaged is important. Analytics helps you understand what they are interested in and what they need. Make sure you keep ahead of the curve and keep adapting.

Instagram has recently been looking into the world of videoconferencing technologies. The latest trend is Co-Watching posts. Instagram users can chat about posts live and unfiltered over video chat. Is this something that could build hype around your business? Try it out, and use your automated analytics to ascertain whether it’s working.

Expanding the Automation

Once you’ve streamlined your Instagram marketing using automation, the sky’s the limit! You can take automation to other areas of your business. Chances are your business will be booming once you’ve nailed your social media.

As you gain business, customer service becomes more important than ever. As does managing the influx. Employ a call forwarding service to route incoming business calls to where they need to go. Use custom answering rules to route calls based on criteria such as day of the week, time of day or caller ID.

It might be a good time to think about the workflow of your customer service staff, too. Integrate the traffic from your Instagram into other areas of the business. Make sure you’re supporting your new clients sufficiently. For example, if your business involves people booking a service, it’s worth looking at the options that are out there.

There are a lot of advantages of an online booking system. Customers can choose their options and book themselves in. They can pick a date and time, pay, and receive an email confirmation. This can all be done without any human interaction. It frees up your staff to do more valuable things with their time. The key benefit of automation, as we’ve mentioned throughout.

So, you’ve streamlined your Instagram marketing with automation and got new engagement. Now, you’ll be wanting to direct your followers to your website. You need to make sure your Instagram community knows all about your business. But the risk can be that you’ll lose them at this stage. Instagram is short and snappy. Your website needs to be, too, and the switch between the two must feel organic for the user.

Make sure your webpage is simple, clear and scannable. 79% of readers only scan a webpage, they don’t read it in full. Your content needs to be crisp and bold. Prioritize your website maintenance to keep your customers engaged. You don’t want any glitches. Make it easy for your new followers to get the information they need and connect with your business. Otherwise, you’ll risk the Instagram attention not actually turning into significant gains for your business.

Don’t Leave it All up to Automation

You will still need to spend a certain amount of time actively engaging on Instagram. Even after you enlist automation, you’ll need to create content manually. Automation will free up time that you can then put into creating quality content.

The best approach to Instagram marketing is a multi-faceted one. Automation allows processes to be streamlined in order to achieve the best results. It will become a vital tool in the marketing arsenal of your business.

Put Automation to Work for Your Brand

There are many ways to use automation. Some seem organic and others can add to inauthentic activity. By using the tips in this article, you can harness the power of automation and thus use it in a way that will most benefit your business. Your engagement will increase and your business will flourish as a result.

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About the author
Richard Conn

Richard Conn

Richard Conn is the Senior Director, Search Marketing for RingCentral, a global leader in unified communications and auto dialer software. He is passionate about connecting businesses and customers and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Experian, Target, Nordstrom, Kayak, Hilton, and Kia. Richard has written for sites such as Right Inbox and Marketscale.

More posts by Richard Conn

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