Instagram for Business Automation: 3 Powerful Templates to Get Started
A few weeks ago we introduced a series of tips and best practices to automate Instagram for Business. Now, it’s time to take a deeper look at practical solutions.
Unlike the more casual users of the app, Instagram for Business users tend to deal with tasks that aren’t always easy or speedy to solve, such as:
Using content calendars to manage present and future posts
Analyzing the performance of past posts
Engaging with large numbers of followers in the comments
Getting a feel of what competitors are doing
Doing this is not a walk in the park.
Think about Instagram marketing agencies running behind the scenes to get good content out there for multiple accounts. Or perhaps, about store owners replying to commenters who ask for prices or product information on a daily basis. The struggle is real!
Cue automation and these grueling tasks become significantly lighter, providing the necessary room to focus on what matters the most: Visually appealing content that converts.
Time to get to work.
In this article, you will find three Make templates to start automating Instagram for Business. Let’s begin by addressing the most universal of the three, which will help you publish content automatically to Instagram from a simple content calendar.
1. Automated content calendar for Instagram
Instagram users are spending more time on the platform than ever before. In order to make the most of the moment, nothing beats the old (by internet standards) adagio: Post often, post consistently.
Easier said than done? Sure, but that’s where automation comes in.
If you distill the process of posting to Instagram, you will find out that the most important thing is coming up with good content.
When you have something good to show, all the other subtasks associated with posting feel like clutter. And yes, mistakes are often made at this particular stage as well.
In order to solve this, we have created a template where you can manage all your Instagram posts from an Airtable base.
In essence, it works rather simply: You upload photo and video content to Airtable (along with the copy and hashtags), and then schedule the Make scenario to post at the time you tell it to.
Make will recognize if it’s a video or photo post, upload accordingly, and then update the corresponding records in Airtable so as to avoid duplicate content in the future.
In the template, the scenario is scheduled to execute once a day, but you can adjust this (as well as other parameters) by clicking on the clock icon.
And here’s what the scenario looks like when executed:
As told, this will help you focus on the content rather than on all the other mini-tasks that eat away valuable creative time from your workday.
2. Auto reply to Instagram comments
Instagram recently rolled out a “Quick replies” feature for dealing with direct messages (DMs), but when it comes to answering comments in a post, users are on their own.
Needless to say, the excitement of answering Instagram comments quickly dries up after a couple of dozen times of doing it.
Picture the following scene: You run a store and are about to get a shipment of new products.
A few days before arrival, you start posting to Instagram with the goal of sparking up your followers’ interest.
Some of them start commenting on your posts, asking for prices, for variants, for more information.
Great! You created interest, but now you’re gonna spend half of your morning replying to last night’s comments made to these posts.
Or not! The following template will post automatic replies to comments made to your Instagram posts.
There’s a catch, however: You’ll have to be familiar with how your audience talks, as this solution is highly reliant on keywords.
Since not all comments require an automatic reply, the scenario uses a keyword filter to identify which ones do.
In other words, it only replies to comments that contain certain keywords, and these keywords have to be defined by you.
For example, say that you want automatic replies for comments that feature the word “price”.
When there’s a match (i.e. a comment with the word “price”), Make will automatically post a reply with the price, or perhaps with a link to a website where the price is featured.
You can tweak the template to include any keywords that you want, and answer your audience’s comments immediately as they pop up in your posts.
From a customer perspective, nothing feels better than a timely answer when you’re interested in something - and this is what the following template allows for.
3. Get insights on your competitor’s followers and media
Businesses need a solid strategy to be successful in the competitive landscape that Instagram is.
Speaking of the devil, turning a blind eye to competitors is a mistake, no matter how strong your social media game is.
For instance, you may think that the amount of content you produce is enough to engage your target audience, only to realize that your competitors are pushing out double the quantity and getting more traction out of it.
Our point here is simple: Watch your competitors with eagle eyes so you can create sound strategies to be on par with them.
The template below does some of the heavy watching for you. It’s designed to track your competitors' follower count and posting rates on a weekly basis.
All you have to do is add the Instagram usernames to a Google Sheets spreadsheet, and Make will take care of the rest.
Note: You will only be able to track data of Instagram for Business accounts; it will not pick up data from personal or regular accounts.
Below you’ll see the scenario in action, where competitor’s data is added to the sheet after the automation runs:
The best part is that you won’t have to manually scour through multiple Instagram profiles on the regular to get a sense of what’s going on out there.
Ready to give it a try?
There’s no doubt that Instagram is the darling star of today’s social media landscape. For hundreds of brands, agencies, and businesses, automation will be the key to better results.
All it takes is a bit of tinkering, getting used to new workflows, and the desire to get back to what matters the most: Creating excellent content that people will love.
In the end, that is what Instagram for Business automation is all about.