Of course, your business is on social media – what modern business isn’t? After all, more than 1/3 of all people on this planet use social media; there’s no better way to connect with your audience. What you perhaps didn’t know is that many businesses are now utilizing proxies to facilitate their marketing campaigns. Well, what are proxies, and how are these businesses using them for marketing? Let’s get started with a quick explanation of what proxies are, then we’ll get into how they’re using them to boost productivity and enhance their marketing effectiveness.
What is a proxy?
A proxy is a special server that acts as a gateway between you and the internet. You tell the proxy what internet content you want to access, and the proxy gets it for you. Since the website only ever communicates with the proxy and never you directly, it has no idea of the identity of the person requesting the data. In this manner, proxies help preserve your identity when you’re browsing.
Proxies come in all shapes and sizes, but the two key types you need to know about our residential and data center proxies. They can be used for scraping or market research but in this article, we’ll focus on social media management for your business.
- Residential proxies
Residential proxies are proxy servers where each proxy address is connected to an actual physical location through an ISP. As its name suggests, these addresses are booked by ISPs to be distributed to the homes of their customers. However, some of these addresses are purchased by proxy services to be used as individual proxy servers.
When you connect through a residential proxy, you’re essentially connecting through a home IP address. The websites you access only see that you’re connecting through a home address, but they have no idea that’s not your actual home address.
Since you’re using an actual physical address each time you use a residential proxy service, they are several times more expensive than data center proxies. The upside, however, is that they’re stable, safe, and very fast.
- Data center proxies
Data center proxies are massive banks of virtual servers. What this means is that in a single data center, there might be several actual physical connections to the internet, but each physical connection is then split into dozens or even hundreds of virtual addresses. When you connect to the internet through a data center proxy, the websites can see that you’re connecting from a virtual address but have no idea where you’re actually connecting from.
Data center proxies are ultra-cheap and can be very fast. However, the downside is that since you’re connecting through one of the dozens of virtual addresses linked to a single physical connection, if someone else does something wrong and gets their virtual address banned, it could lead to the website banning every virtual address on that connection.
How are businesses using proxies for marketing?
Businesses also use proxies for cybersecurity purposes and identity protection, but they’ve also began using proxies for marketing. Think about it, there are 25 million business pages on Instagram alone. How can you compete in the pile of competition? What can you do to stand out from the crowd?
Any marketer will tell you that creating discussion and conversation around your brand product is a surefire way to start building an audience. Hoping for your next marketing piece to somehow go viral is essentially taking a shot in the dark. In the past, the only relatively consistent way of making a splash was to invest in an expensive multi-media campaign, hoping that somehow it would reach enough people to get them talking about your brand. Nowadays, you can create your own buzz through the use of multiple social media accounts.
Why would I need multiple accounts?
Human beings are naturally curious. When there are buzz and discussion around something, our curiosity draws us to that object. Creating a business page on Facebook or a special promotional account on Instagram is a great start, but you need some way to get people to start talking about your business in the first place. How do you build buzz and discussion when people don’t know what you do? The answer is simple: Make Your Own!
Smart businesses create their own buzz through the clever use of multiple social media accounts. These accounts then help foster conversation on company pages. For instance, you could use your multiple accounts to like any posts, comments, or pages relevant to your product. You could also use them to engage in community forums and bring up certain talking points that you think deserve extra attention.
Sounds good! But why would I need the proxy to do that?
Most social media platforms have mechanisms in place to dissuade the creation of multiple accounts from a single location. If you start creating too many accounts from your company’s network, they’ll be detected and swiftly blocked. Fortunately, proxies let you get around these mechanisms.
Facebook proxies allow you to circumvent these restrictions when accessing Facebook. Assign a separate proxy address for each of your social media accounts, and you can continue to engage with your audience from multiple accounts, and Facebook will be none the wiser!
The great thing about proxies is that you can choose the location that you want to appear to be connecting from. For instance, let’s say you want to engage with your Italian audience. Create a social media account through a proxy in Italy, and Facebook’s algorithm will detect you’re connecting from Italy and automatically prioritize posts and comments from Italian Facebook users.
Similarly, you can use Instagram proxies to make multiple accounts from a single location without getting banned. These proxies also make it possible to use special software called social bots that can automate all of this for you. These tools can create multiple social media accounts that you can then configure to your liking. For example, you can set them to like your posts at certain times of the day, the comment specific things on your product pages, or collect data about your audience’s response to certain marketing campaigns.
How do I choose a proxy provider?
Now that you know how to create a buzz using multiple social media accounts, it’s time to choose a proxy service that’s right for you. Only you know exactly what your company needs, so you’ll need to do a bit of research on the different providers available to you. Here’s a quick rundown of the criteria you should be looking at when selecting a provider.
The size, stability, and variety of their proxy pool.
How many proxy addresses do they have in total? What’s the uptime and reliability of their proxy servers like? Some of the largest proxy providers have literally millions of different IPs located in countries all around the world. You also want a proxy provider that maintains a pool of active IPs. There’s nothing worse than trying to connect to a social media account through a proxy only to find the IP has been blocked due to someone else’s actions.
Any limitations or data caps
Many cheaper solutions might have monthly data caps that you’ll want to consider before signing up. If you’re thinking of automating your social media accounts, you might be running thousands of Facebook and Instagram accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the whole year through.
Now all you need to do is get out there and start exploring your options! Soon you’ll be orchestrating complex social media campaigns like a pro with proxies.