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Understanding Instagram’s Posting Policy

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How to schedule your Instagram posting without breaking the rules

Marketing automation can be a time-saving strategy that ensures you remain consistent in your digital marketing tasks.

Automation software helps you schedule out social media posts, analyze reports, and keep track of sales, among other things. We recommend incorporating marketing automation into your marketing strategy if the demands of digital marketing are taking too much of your time.

But if automation begins to erode the human touch of your marketing, it could backfire - especially on Instagram.

Instagram has set itself apart among the popular social media platforms in purging fully automated posting from its network. In doing so, it has created a space that has a different feel from other popular networking sites. Fewer comments are posted automatically in a bid to boost an account’s followers but have little to do with the original post, and there are fewer mindless posts that seem out of place or poorly timed.

Instagram last year updated its platform policy to limit the use of third-party apps that take automatic actions on the platform, unlike other social media platforms that allow third-party apps to automatically post directly to their sites.

Here are a few relevant outtakes from Instagram’s policy update.

  • Don't participate in any "like", "share", "comment" or "follower" exchange programs.
  • Respect the way Instagram looks and functions. Don't offer experiences that change it.
  • Ensure your comments are uniquely tailored for each person. Don't post unauthorized commercial communication or spam on Instagram.

Instagram has stepped up enforcement of these policies in recent months, deleting content, banning certain hashtags, and freezing accounts that appear to be operating automatically. It also successfully shut down a third-party app that offered Instagram automation services.

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Sanctioned Automation

Instagram automation services that alert you when it’s time to post but leave the actual posting to you remain legitimate. They can also help you monitor comments and hashtags and search keywords on the network. These services include Agorapulse, Hootsuite, Eclincher, Later, and SproutSocial.

Hubspot also recently announced an Instagram scheduling solution.

These apps can be a huge time-saver and organizational tool. The Later app, for example, accesses photos on your phone and allows you to pull the pictures you want to post onto a calendar-style scheduler. You can also pre-write your captions and hashtags.

When it’s time for a scheduled post, the app alerts you with a phone notification. Open the notification and Later automatically posts the photo to Instagram and lets you paste in your pre-written caption. You can then add filters and make any edits to the caption and hashtags.

This kind of hybrid automated/hands-on approach sets Instagram apart from social networks that allow completely automated posting.


The human touch

Nothing beats a well-curated Instagram feed with well-thought-out posts, interesting hashtags, and a history of logical engagement with other users and content around the platform.

This is best accomplished by you, and not an app. Instagram has made a conscious decision to retain its humanity by warning its users to avoid automated posting and discouraging those that do.


You can automate your posts on other social media. But when it comes to Instagram, it’s best to bring your full attention to the table.

Thanks for reading,

Christine

Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company specializing in marketing strategy, social media marketing, and building beautiful, optimized, and mobile responsive websites. We work with clients in Vermont and throughout the United States.

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