Instagram as a platform evolved into one of the top social selling devices of the past three years with the addition of brand/business profiles and the ability to tag products and lead your audience to checkouts. Recently they've added carousel posts on top of their already popular ad sets that allow users to insert up to 10 photos or videos in a single post.
My personal opinion is this move was just another way to squeeze more ad space in between user content since they’ve run out of it across their other platforms. But don’t worry, it will be sandwiched in between all your Facebook Stories and Messenger Days soon enough.
Gotta make that skrillaaaaaa!!!
With the popularity of Instagram at an all-time high and Facebook stepping on necks, then carbon copying anything in it’s path, content creators had to streamline their strategies and production of images and video. Scheduling and automated posting had been in use by 3rd party dashboards for the other major platforms for some time, so it only made sense to include Instagram in the mix.
But here lies the issue - Instagram haven't, and won’t, open their API for 3rd party dashboards to automate posts and replies. It’s against the rules and it can get your accounts banned.
You shall not: Use the Instagram APIs to post automated content to Instagram, including likes and comments that were not initiated and entered by an Instagram user.
If you think that no one gives a rip about a stern warning in black & white, you would be absolutely correct because people are narcissistic jerks who believe everything is owed or should just be given to them!
I’m part of a Facebook group dedicated to Social Media platforms, tools, and helping each other when there might be a slight strategy flaw or an issue someone else in the group may have dealt with before. It’s a phenomenal group of people with great insight and I’ve personally seen many situations overcome from the help of others.
For the past year though, there has been a debate going on between the members that believe using an automated 3rd party tool for Instagram is fine, and the other members that stick by working with the TOS of the platforms. At times the conversation can get heated, which is generally in part from lack of knowledge or not having the ban hammer hit you square in the face yet.
There are highly reputable social media management platforms such as Sprout, Curalate, Buffer, Hootsuite, and Tailwind that can semi-automate the posting process for you and aggregate all your comments in a central area to be responded to but all have to follow the same guidelines.
You can schedule your images, hashtags, and post copy, BUT when it’s time to post you’ll receive a notification on your mobile device at which point it’s pretty much a copy-and-paste maneuver to finish the process. This is the most automation allowed by the Instagram API that will not violate their TOS, so it’s adhered to across the board.