I bet you’re here because you want your time back. Social media is whipping it away, one platform at a time. Instagram is your biggest frustration. The infamous algorithm is cheating you out of your hard work and you’re feeling left in the dark when it comes to knowing what to post and when to post it.
Well, let me tell you that Instagram automation is here to help. Take control of your time and make Instagram work for you, rather than you working for it.
N.B. This post isn’t talking about true automation. I don’t advocate ever using bot services to do the work for you. By bot services, I mean sites that comment, like and follow users for you. They don’t get you engaged followers and they can get your account suspended. Who wants that?!
So, there’s one thing you’re probably wondering. How do you do Instagram automation without giving up the social and human side of social media?
Let me break it down for you.
Pick the right tools
The quickest way to get your time back is to use an Instagram automation tool. Now that Instagram lets third-party tools post to Instagram for you, half of your job has gone.
My favourite is Planoly*. Initially free, Planoly is affiliated with Instagram and can automatically post your images to Instagram for you. All you need to do is upload your image, write your caption and schedule it. It may seem small, but by allowing Planoly to post for you, you don’t need to be online or even near your phone. Giving you time to write, or relax. Ahhh!
Auto-posting isn’t all that Planoly does. If you upload more than a few images, you can drag and drop them to see what they would look like on your feed. It also provides you with data on how well your posts are doing and allows you to save sets of hashtags. So all you have to do is click ‘add’ and they’re automatically added to your post.
Learning when to post can be tricky. If you’re new to Instagram then testing the waters is a good idea. Use Planoly to schedule your posts at different times of the day over the next few weeks and measure the results. Your audience will likely be on social media at specific times. Think when that might be and automate your posts for then (usually evenings are good).
Instagram is constantly changing, but one thing’s for certain, you don’t have to post every single day to be successful. Quality over quantity. Posting once every two days is ideal if you can manage it.
Being consistent doesn’t have to mean logging in each day at the same time anymore – just automate and step away.
Don’t forget to check in
Instagram is still pretty strict when it comes to that algorithm. It wants you to be on its platform, liking commenting and updating as much as possible. So make sure to log in and do the rounds (just 5-10 minutes a day will do).
- Reply to any comments on your posts – make sure the comments are conversational (social media is social after all)
- Comment on 2-3 other posts – make your comments meaningful, you’re not a bot
- Post an Instagram story – a quick snap of what you’re up to, your writing view, or what your pet’s doing would work
Instagram stories and Instagram live are worthwhile if you can. Instagram created them for a reason. They want you to use them and if you do, they will give you an algorithm boost in return.
Remember, now that you’ve saved some time automating your posts, you can spend a little time engaging instead. It will become second nature and you will be rewarded for it. Don’t become an Instagram user that posts and runs – the best way to build your fan base is to recognise that they are human too.
If you take anything away from this article, let it be this. Social media doesn’t define you, don’t let your follower numbers bring you down. Don’t be discouraged by the lack of comments on your post, or that you lost followers this week instead of gaining them. Building your following will take time, have faith and persist.
On social media too much and feeling stressed? Or just worried about how much you have to do on Instagram? Check out my post on how to beat social media overwhelm.
* The link I’ve used for Planoly is an affiliate link. If you click it and go through to purchase (although there is a free version), I get a commission. I only list tools that I love or use myself, so you can be sure they are worth the cost!