Overview of Social Media Automation Methods
Find out the most popular ways to automate social media.
With over 4 billion users, social media platforms are essential to growing your business. And good marketers know – you’ll need to use various social media automation methods to improve your digital presence. Business automation can save a great deal of time, increase engagement, and boost the number of followers. In simple words, it can make your brand well known. But everything comes at a price.
Social media platforms go the extra mile to protect their users by setting terms of service (ToS). Unfortunately, the sites limit the requests you can make. And that’s understandable because not everyone plays fair and square when growing their social media accounts.
Let’s look at the main social media automation methods and why they’re so popular amongst marketers.
Classification of Social Media Automation Techniques
- White hat. The only legit way to automate your social media accounts. These techniques include ToS-compliant automation like scheduling posts, analyzing them, and engaging with your followers. In other words, automation that doesn’t bother other users.
- Gray hat. When you deliberately break the terms and services, you probably understand that your actions looked sketchy at some point. Those could include spamming (sending mass direct messages, mass commenting and liking) or ad fraud, to name a few.
- Black hat. That’s the evil automation for criminal activities like harassing, fraudulently mass reporting other people, or stealing their data.
The Main Methods to Automate Social Media Accounts
The mother-child method, or mother-slave method, is one of the most effective ways to grow your followers. The main idea behind this technique is to create multiple accounts to support the mother account by interacting with its content
The mother account is your primary account where you post quality content; child accounts are the ones doing the heavy lifting. These accounts repost content from the mother account, engage with other followers, and comment. You can also send direct messages to potential audiences and promote the main account.
Let’s say with one child account, you follow 50 people every day and get 10-15 follow backs. If you do that daily, you’ll get up to 100 new followers in a week. Imagine doing that for one year.
Marketers often use the method to boost brand awareness on Instagram while protecting the main account from the platform’s daily limits. So, it’s the safest way to grow your Instagram account. Here’s why.
Through the eyes of Instagram or any other social media platform, the mother account’s growth seems organic as you’re not violating any Instagram guidelines directly. And even though Instagram gives a hard time for users who create or manage multiple social media accounts, there’s no reason for the platform to block your primary profile.
Imagine you’re a celebrity and your followers created thousands of fan pages that link back to your main account. People mention you in direct messages or comments, and you get new followers through the work of your fans. The mother account isn’t involved in any promotional activities that invade other users’ privacy.
Back in the day, the follow-unfollow method was very popular on Instagram. Today – not so much since many social media platforms have enforced strict anti-spam and anti-botting measures.
The whole idea behind the follow-unfollow method is to follow many accounts in your niche every day and wait till they follow you back. And a few days later, you just unfollow them even if they don’t.
When you click on “follow”, a person on the other end will get a notification. Usually, people tend to check their notifications by clicking on them. If you’re interested enough, you’re likely to follow back.
The follow-unfollow method falls under gray hat techniques to automate social media accounts, and Instagram isn’t a fan of this method. The reason comes down to money: you don’t need to buy ads on the platform anymore.
Another reason is that you’re most likely using automation software, which the platform hates. So, what actually happens when you follow-unfollow other accounts – you put your account at risk. And it’s not rocket science; if you perform too many actions on your profile, you might block your account or be punished with an Instagram IP ban.
Mass Direct Message Sending
While mass direct message sending is a questionable method, marketers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram and Discord still rely on it. It’s a way of sending a single message to many people. The mass DMs method can boost your engagement with followers, increase your sales and brand awareness, and, most importantly, reach new audiences.
Bulk DMs are a way to increase followers while interacting with current and target audiences. You can do that manually, but the process can get tiresome even if you have a handful of followers. Usually, marketers use bots and apps optimized for mass message sending. Even though this is time-saving, bulk DMs can get your account suspended as users can report your message as spam.
But, for example, using this method on Twitter seems to be a no-brainer because while the direct message feature exists on Twitter, it’s disabled by default. And you can guess the reason why most people just leave it that way.
Mass direct message sending, on the other hand, is very popular on Discord NFT and crypto-related communities. There are many tools like Discord-dm-go that are primarily optimized for mass messaging users on the platform. Even though Discord’s ToS state they ban such actions, the platform isn’t that strict. Or perhaps the users are more resilient against spam.
But keep in mind that if you’re sending the same message repeatedly, you’re pushing the definition of legitimate. First, you don’t have permission to do so. And second, you invade the privacy of other users. So, while mass DMs seem like a lifesaving method, it’s a gray hat technique, which can lead to account suspension or an IP ban.
What Else Can You Automate?
Depending on which social media platform you’re using, you can automate your actions and make spammy engagements by mass-voting, commenting, liking, story viewing, sharing, mentioning, and the like.
For example, good social media automation software like Jarvee can set up automatic likes. Your account will automatically press the ‘like’ button on every post you set as your target. Even though it’s recommended to perform mass actions manually, it saves a lot of time.
Why Automation Could Hurt your Social Media Profile
Multiple Account Management
When you create more than five accounts from a single IP address, you put your profiles in danger since social media platforms limit the number of accounts associated with the same IP. For example, Instagram allows creating no more than five accounts.
So even if you try to use the mother-child method, which is considered relatively safe, you might not be able to avoid an Instagram IP ban. The platform has methods to link your accounts together using techniques like browser fingerprinting. You’ll need to use specialized software to avoid them.
Instagram’s algorithms detect how many actions you perform every day. Do it too often, and you’ll get action blocks. That means you won’t be able to comment, post, and perform other actions for a few hours or even days. And that’s not the worst-case scenario – if you keep on pushing, your IP address will be banned. So, until you change your IP, you won’t be able to access Instagram from any of your accounts.
Also, users are entitled to report spam when they see one. So, when you send as many promotional messages as you like, recipients can report your content as spam. You might get away if just one person reports your actions, but you can probably anticipate what happens if hundreds do so. Your account will be flagged as abusive, and you’ll face a temporary suspension or a ban.
Tips for Social Media Automation
Use Quality Bots
If you decide to run multiple accounts, consider investing in quality software with powerful automation features.
Social media bots will allow you to manage and automate multiple profiles; you can schedule posts, follow and like other users, reshare content, and the like. Today’s most popular choice is the Jarvee bot – it works with most social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also get Followliker or Storyvoter, to name a few.
The choice should depend on the platform you’re targeting. A good bot will let you manage hundreds or even thousands of accounts, boost engagement and attract potential customers.
But your bot might get exposed if you don’t hide your IP address or browser fingerprint. Contrary to automation, you can manage multiple social media accounts manually with an antidetect browser which lets you create different browsing environments with their own digital fingerprint. However, antidetect browsers don’t hide your IP address but support proxy integration.
Get Yourself a Proxy
Another thing you should consider before going the easy way – hide your real IP address and location. Once you have more than five accounts on a single platform or you start to perform bulk actions, your accounts are in great danger. Even a warmed-up account or a good bot won’t help you avoid account blocks.
That’s why you need to pair your bot with a social media proxy by adding different proxies to each account. And, if you’re smart, you can have as many accounts as you like.
Warm-up Your Main Account
Don’t compromise your account because you’re too lazy to set it up. When working with social media automation tools, you have to be careful because the administration can quickly pick up your account as suspicious and ‘award’ you with suspension or IP ban. That’s why you need to warm up your account before going full scale. Here’s how you can do that.
First, verify your email (it would also be good to have a few emails with authority), and fill in your profile with your name, username, profile picture, bio, etc. Then increase your activity slowly; start with maybe 10 followers and likes and increase it by 25 every day. Don’t forget to rest because that’s what real people do.