Why I Won’t Use an Instagram Bot {And You Shouldn’t Either…}

I’ve always said that I’m all about ORGANIC content growth.  That still remains true today. Part of my job is to make sure that I’m in-the-know on what people are doing to boost their engagement.  What are they doing to increase their followers?  What are their hashtags looking like?  Are they relevant to their business or are they just putting random hashtags in there to boost their engagement?  Are they using an Instagram bot?

Let me tell you about an Instagram bot, if you don’t know what it is.  There are programs out there that will go in and custom follow certain users based on the hashtags that they use, in the hopes that the user will then do the polite thing and follow you back.  The idea is that you’ll follow them, they’ll follow you – but then, here’s the kicker – they set up the bot to UNFOLLOW you a few days later.  Ever notice when your followers go dramatically up and then dramatically back down?  Unless you’ve posted something wildly controversial, chances are, you got unfollowed by a bot.

How do you remedy this?  Well, in some ways, you can’t fully remedy it.  People are going to do what they want to do in order to increase their followers.  I’ve always been a “quality over quantity” type person when it comes to social media.  If it’s supposed to ACTUALLY be social (and it is), then we should be spending more time finding the people who might turn into clients, not focus so heavily on how many followers we have, how many likes a post gets, etc.  While those things still matter (it’s why you hashtag, after all), you have to be more calculated than using an Instagram bot to make it happen.

Use Hashtags and Engage with Them!

One of the main ways to do this is to make sure that you’re using hashtags that are TRULY relevant to you and your business.  It’s good to have a few broad ones that will boost engagement (i.e. if you’re a wedding photographer, and you say #weddingphotographer).  But if you’re in the Hampton Roads area and aren’t using the more narrowed down hashtag of #hrvaweddings if you’re in the wedding industry, you’re missing out!  Get specific with your hashtags, and think about what you’d be searching if you were on the hunt for someone for your wedding.

With the new option to follow hashtags, the first thing that I chose to follow was #hrvaweddings.  While I serve clients all over the country (and beyond!), I wanted to make sure that I had a handle on what was happening in my city.  You want to boost your engagement and your followers?  Engage with those hashtags!  While bots can do it for you, it means so much more to genuinely follow someone, interact with their posts more than a “100%!” or “Great job!” from a bot.  And we can all tell the difference (and if you can’t, contact me, let’s talk about that!).

Keep Social Media Social

I’ll always maintain social media should be social.  I won’t be using bots any time soon.  I downloaded one (and didn’t use it!) so I could see how they work, and the more I got into the infrastructure, the more frustrated I got.  Bots are one of the things that are wrong with social media.  It turns us all into people trying to work around the system and find those genuine people that want to work with us, and weed through the nonsense comments and sales pitches via our commenting system.

Keep social media social.  Don’t use an Instagram bot.  Do your research.  It’s a lot of work at first, but in the end, I can almost guarantee that you’ll have a much more successful social media campaign than those that are using bots, because you’re actually putting GENUINE information out there.  Make sure that there’s actually a person behind those comments – by being a person behind yours.  Or letting me do that – because, isn’t that what Misty Saves the Day is all about?  I’d love to help you with your Instagram account if all of it seems like too much!  I’ll help with engagement, use the right hashtags, and make sure that you’ve got an actual person on the other end of your account ready to make things happen for you!

Want to follow me on Instagram?  You should!  Check me out here.


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