Instagram best practices

This guide outlines best practices when it comes to managing Instagram accounts in Buffer Publish. Our top tips include using a unique, authentic, and active Facebook page for each Instagram business account, avoiding allowing multiple people logging into the Facebook or Instagram accounts that authorized the connection to Publish, and avoiding logging in and out of multiple Instagram accounts on a frequent basis.

This article contains the following sections:

  1. Each Instagram business account must be connected to a Facebook page
  2. We do not recommend managing more than five Instagram accounts
  3. It’s ideal for only one person to have native access to your social channels
  4. It’s important that each of your social channels is authentic and active
  5. Confirming your social channel's email address helps prove its authenticity

Each Instagram business account must be connected to a Facebook page

In order to use direct scheduling, each Instagram business account must be connected to a Facebook page. If you skip the step of linking to a Facebook page when converting your Instagram personal profile to a business account, an unmanaged Facebook page will be automatically created. You can request to claim the page and become its Admin. If you do not claim the page, your Instagram business account will not be connected to a Facebook page and you will not be able to use direct scheduling.

We have seen a few cases where customers have created fictitious, inauthentic, or low-usage Facebook pages, to be used for the sole purpose of linking to an Instagram account, in order to use direct scheduling. Whilst we appreciate that not all customers have a relevant Facebook page to use, we strongly advise against fictitious Facebook pages, as this is against Facebook’s guidelines, and is likely to result in access tokens being revoked, and the need to continually reauthorize the connection, and/or account suspension. Whilst these measures are usually temporary and can be resolved by reauthorizing your Instagram account, this is likely to need to be done on a frequent basis, i.e. daily in some cases.

If you do not have a relevant Facebook page to link to your Instagram business account, we recommend creating one and completing some minimum pieces of information, such as:

  • Company name
  • About/description
  • Location/address
  • Contact information

It's also important that your Facebook page sees some activity, such as publishing posts and gaining followers, to avoid Facebook seeing it as a completely inactive page.

Additionally, each Instagram business account does need to be connected to a unique, individual Facebook page. The access token will be revoked if a Facebook page is connected to multiple Instagram accounts.

We do not recommend managing more than five Instagram accounts

We have seen a few cases where agencies are managing hundreds of Instagram accounts for various clients. If single image or video posts are being shared to Instagram business accounts, this doesn’t tend to be an issue since those posts will be published automatically. However, since Instagram’s API for automatic posting does not yet support multiple images, those posts will be sent as reminders to your mobile device.

Instagram currently allows you to connect five accounts per device, meaning you can easily switch between them without logging in and out each time. However, if you’re managing more than five accounts, you’ll need to be logging in and out of accounts on a frequent basis, in order to publish the post to the right one when the reminder comes through.

It’s likely that the clients themselves are also accessing their own Instagram accounts, which means that those accounts are being continually logged in and out of, and often from different locations (and therefore different IP addresses). We have seen a few cases where Instagram have raised security flags on these accounts, since this can be interpreted as suspicious activity.

Unfortunately, there is very little we can do in these cases, and the only way to continue using Buffer Publish is to reauthorize those Instagram accounts on a frequent basis, i.e. daily in some cases. We appreciate that this is time consuming and frustrating, and for this reason, we do not recommend managing more than five Instagram accounts if you’re likely to use the reminders feature on a regular basis, as it’s very likely to lead to these types of issues.

It’s ideal for only one person to have native access to your social channels

For Facebook and Instagram, it’s best to have only one person access the native social channel. This is the intended use for these platforms, and we’ve seen that when Facebook notices that the account is being accessed from many IP addresses, it sometimes results in a lack of functionality, such as suspensions, errors, and frequent disconnections.

It’s important that each of your social channels is authentic and active

Along with having an authentic and active Facebook page connected to each Instagram business account, ensure that each of your Instagram business accounts is also active with real followers, and used for an authentic purpose. If Instagram or Facebook sense unauthentic behavior, they can disconnect your API access without explanation.

Confirming your social channel's email address helps prove its authenticity

Each Instagram account you have should have an email address connected to it, and it should be confirmed. The best way to do this is to check each of your Instagram accounts' settings to make sure there isn't a "Confirm Email" link listed below the email address.

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