With so many things to do in online marketing and social media, in particular, it makes sense to automate when and where possible. With the right tools, you can create a profitable Instagram account that’s completely set and forget - bringing in leads and money on autopilot.

Step One: Use the Right Automation Tools

There is no shortage of Instagram automation tools out there to help you get the job done. Using the right tool can make all the difference, allowing you to focus less of your time and energy on tasks such as following new people or liking their content, and more of your resources on creating the kind of content your followers will love.

Step Two: Follow New People Every Day

While automation tools make it easier to follow people, it’s still important to make sure you’re following new accounts every day. You should be looking for influencers to follow, so you can get to know them, build relationships with them, and possibly partner with them in the future to tap into their following to continue growing your own. 

Most automation tools like SocialCaptain will allow you to be selective about who you follow, so you can keep everything targeted. You can search bios for keywords, to make sure you’re not just blindly following anyone with an Instagram profile.

When your account reaches a certain size and engagement level, you can also use automation to unfollow those you find are not engaging with you. Unfollow a certain number of people every day, so you can keep your audience tight-knit and highly engaged.

Step Three: Automate Posting New Content 

If you’re not posting at least one new photo a day, you’re not building the content you need to attract followers, and to keep the followers you have engaged. Use the automation tools to test to find the ideal posting time for your niche. It may take some time to figure it out, but you want to be posting your new content when your followers are online and most likely to engage with it.

Make sure you’re using a posting schedule that’s similar to what others in your niche are using. You also want to make sure you’re posting the same kind of photos your competition is posting. If you want to post pictures of yourself, you’re not going to be able to automate the entire process, since you’ll still have to take photos. 

Emulating the content that influencers in your niche are sharing is the best approach because they know what works, and that is a part of how they built their loyal following. The most important part is making sure your images are quality because regardless of what they are and how you’re automating it, image quality is the main part of Instagram success.

Part of your automation should include relevant popular hashtags for your niche because they are tied to discovery. This will help bring in new followers, without having to go find them yourself or wait for your automation tool to follow them for you.

That said, it’s entirely possible to automate the full Instagram experience because you don’t have to create your own content. You can simply repost content from other Instagrammers, with appropriate credit, of course. You don’t even have to ask their permission to repost the content as long as you @ the original poster in the description. Most people are just appreciative that you’re sharing their content and expanding their audience.

Do this by making a list of the relevant influencers and hashtags so you know where you can go to grab photos to repost. You can outsource the process to a virtual assistant so you never have to do it yourself, organizing the photos into Dropbox to make it easy for your automated posting to pick them up and schedule them accordingly.

However, depending on your niche and your goals with Instagram, complete automation may not be ideal, and you may wish to create unique content to share there.

Step Four: Automate Liking Content

Certain Instagram automation tools will like content for you, giving the impression that you are an active Instagram user in your community. While you can do this manually, it’s best to let the tools handle it so you can focus on content creation - the one thing that most people opt not to automate. Your tool should let you choose certain hashtags to follow and like content from. You can also use those hashtags to find people to automatically follow.

Step Five: Comment on Posts, Carefully

Pay close attention to the automation settings on commenting. If you don’t, you could end up hurting your reputation with a bunch of obviously automated comments. Comments are an important part of social media engagement and should be automated with care. 

Stick to things that complement the account’s overall profile, to make sure the comments look genuine. Automate a small number of comments until you know what they look like and can trust your tool to work correctly. Then, scale up your efforts accordingly.

Once you get your automation on a roll, always check in from time to time to make sure things are still running the way you want them to. Assuming the well-oiled machine is still functional when it’s not could do a great deal of damage to your account and social media reputation. That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep some of your process manual.

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