Social networks and other sites are frequently on the lookout for bot behavior. To protect your account and stay under the radar, you need to be aware of a few good practices and rate limits.
1. Best practices
Start slowly + warm up your account
When you begin to automate your account, it's a good idea to start by automating the same amount of actions you would normally do if you were doing it manually. Gradually increase how much you do each day to warm up your account and allow it to become accustomed to high levels of activity until you can safely do much more.
Spread your actions throughout the day
It's not a great idea to do a crazy amount in a short space of time - this doesn't look like human behavior. If you want to get a lot done, you should do it in smaller batches spaced out throughout the day. You can easily set this up by defining the 'Number of [actions] per launch' in a Phantom's Setup, and then scheduling repeated launches at set times and intervals.
It’s also a good idea to keep your launches within working hours (9am-5pm), particularly on LinkedIn, so that your account isn't continually active at all hours of the night. The time Phantoms are set to run is during your time zone.
Be aware of rate limits
Social networks and sometimes other sites have "rate limits,” meaning there is a limit to how much you can do in a certain period of time before they become suspicious of your account, or even block some of your actions. With some tasks you are unlimited, but for others it's important to be restrictive.
These limits are frequently changing, and are often much more restrictive for automation than manual behavior.
2. LinkedIn rate limits
A lot of automation can be done on LinkedIn to enable you to generate leads, start prospecting sequences, and grow your audience. The most commonly used are these Phantoms:
- LinkedIn Profile Scraper for scraping profile data
- LinkedIn Network Booster for sending connection requests
- LinkedIn Message Sender for sending messages (this one was quite obvious)
These 3 Phantoms work the same way - they perform a profile visit on your behalf.
Our recommendation is to not exceed 80 profile visits (i.e. scraping/connection request/message) per day with a standard LinkedIn account. If you're a LinkedIn Premium/Sales Navigator user you can safely reach 150 daily profile visits, allowing you to double your automation capabilities.
So, for instance, if you plan 60 connection requests per day with a regular account using LinkedIn Network Booster, you should send a maximum of 20 messages per day with LinkedIn Message Sender: 60 connections + 20 messages = 80 profile visits.
If you exceed these recommendations, LinkedIn may begin to disconnect you and cause your Phantoms to encounter errors (i.e. expired session cookies), and if you continue anyway, LinkedIn could begin to send you warnings. Rest assured, we've seen very few accounts banned so far - the majority being fake accounts or those that have attempted to scrape thousands of profiles a day over a continuous period.
Recommended rate limits for top LinkedIn Phantoms (find a comprehensive list in this article):
- LinkedIn Search Export: 1k profiles per search URL x 1 launch per day
- LinkedIn Auto Connect: 10 profiles x 8 launches per day
- LinkedIn Profile Scraper: 10 profiles x 8 launches per day
- LinkedIn Message Sender: 10 profiles x 8 launches per day
Reminder: You can double these numbers if you’re a LinkedIn Premium/Sales Navigator user.
3. Instagram rate limits
Since the summer of 2019, Instagram has drastically updated its anti-automation algorithm. For that reason, we recommend a qualitative approach to automation for this network.
You should not auto follow more than 1 account per hour and engage with (like/comment) with more than 20-40 posts per day. However, the limits for scraping posts or profiles are much less restrictive.
Recommended rate limits for top Instagram Phantoms:
- Instagram Auto Follow: 1 account x 1 launch per hour
- Instagram Auto Liker: 1-2 likes x 1 launch per hour
- Instagram Auto Commenter: 10 per hour, 8 launches per day
- Instagram Hashtag Collector: 5k posts x 20 launches per day
- Instagram Follower Collector: 5k profiles x 20 launches per day