Should you be using Instagram Bots? If you were ever tasked with meeting certain growth goals on Instagram, then you probably have had this question pop into your mind once or twice. It’s getting harder and harder for accounts to grow, since there are just so many out there for users to explore! This is one of the big reasons why you see more bot services popping up out of everywhere. So If you’re on the fence about using them for your account, then keep on reading to find out the pros and cons about these services.
First things first: what are they? Instagram bots are robots that can perform some automated tasks for users on Instagram. The most popular actions performed by bots on Instagram are liking or commenting on posts and following and subsequently unfollowing accounts. Different services will offer different opportunities. Some examples include bots that can follow all the users that follow your competitors, or leave comments on posts that include a hashtag you’re interested in.
Why People Use Bots
If you’re trying to grow the amount of followers you have on Instagram, then you know that engagement is the way to go. You need to connect with other users who are interested in the same things you post about and engaging with them and getting them to engage with you. It takes a lot of time, so having a robot that can do that for you can seem so very enticing. A robot will like, comment and follow relevant accounts so that you can put your time into focusing on other aspects of your Instagram or overall marketing plan.
People use bots on Instagram because, unlike us humans, bots never sleep, never complain and work efficiently at the tasks that they are given. They’ll go on a rampage on your behalf and engage more accounts than you could possibly reach by yourself. This will dramatically cut down the time you put into maintaining the account. If you are under some time pressure and really want to boost your number of followers, using a bot is a quick way for you to meet that goal. It also serves as a starting point for getting your foot in the door. The bots will make the first contact with users, then it’s up to you to react back to those that are receptive. Sort of like when your friend introduces you to someone they think you’ll get along with. It takes away that first awkward part of approaching someone new and gets your foot in the door for engagement.
These are all pretty good reasons why someone would want to use bots for their Instagram accounts. And with so many accounts using them and more and more bots popping up on the market, there is some sort of value that users get from it. But, of course, there is always a flip side to be aware of.
Why You Should Be Careful With Bots
The biggest reason why using bots for your Instagram account is pretty simple: it’s not allowed. These bots use Instagram’s API in ways that violate the terms that Instagram published. In the terms and conditions, it says that you should ensure comments are uniquely tailored for each person and not to post unauthorized commercial communication or spam. Unique comments are definitely not something that a bot can do! Secondly, these bots may use unreasonable amounts of bandwidth to keep up with the volume of follows, likes and comments they need to perform, which is another violation of the terms.
Besides that, using bots can also land your account in some trouble or awkward situations. These tools can be pretty smart and follow the instructions that you give them in terms of what sort of hashtags or accounts to follow or interact with, but at the same time, they are still not as smart as we are. You are relinquishing control to this bot to act on your behalf and so there are a few ways this can go wrong. For one, your account may end up posting comments that simply don’t match the content of the photo it is leaving a comment under. We’ve had a case where one of our Preppr employees received a “love your feed!” comment under a photo that was about a tragic moment in their lives. This was obviously posted by a bot. This isn’t the sort of impression you want to leave with a user, right? Your account will come off extremely insensitive as a result.
Other points to keep in mind is the perception in users’ minds if they know an account is using a automation tool to build their following. If a random account likes 3 of your pictures, gives you a follow, then unfollows you 5 minutes later, it’s pretty clear that it’s a robot behind the scenes. When this happens, users actually get turned off since there is a prevailing mentality that it’s dishonest and fake.
Probably the most important thing to keep in mind when considering using automation tools is that it could potentially get your account banned. Robots are able to work at an unmatchable pace and this is something that Instagram keeps an eye on. If your activity is out of the ordinary, your account can be reviewed and result in a ban since you’re violating the terms and conditions.
We find the use of Instagram bots quite interesting and also want to share this 2 year case study with you. Calder Wilson gives a super in-depth report on his experiences using the popular bot Instagress, which coincidentally got shut down last year. We recommend you give it a read if you’re thinking about using a similar tool!
Other ways to Reach Your Instagram Goals
Luckily, automation tools aren’t your only option when it comes to growth. The most obvious way would be to grow your social media team. More hands on deck can help you to really develop meaningful follows and engagement with those users. It will go slower than a tool will, but keep in mind that it’s quality over quantity that counts! Second, if you really find yourself in a bind and want to grow your followers fast, you can always opt for advertising. If you target it to the right people, then they you will see your number of followers increase quite nicely since they are genuinely interested in what you’ve got to show.
And of course, you can use other tools that won’t get you in any trouble like these would. If you’re short on time, hands or whatever it is, incorporating Instagram planners into your work activities is the way to go. This will increase your efficiency so you can put your time into other important stuff, while still reaping the benefits of a well-managed Instagram account. Our tool, Preppr, is perfect for streamlining your Instagram management by helping you to visually plan, schedule, post and manage your content.
Images designed by Freepik