If you’re into Instagram marketing, you’ve probably already heard about bots or Instagram automation. They promise to grow your Instagram followers and boost your engagement. But before you jump on the bandwagon, you should consider a few things.
It’s 2023, and using Instagram automation is becoming riskier – sometimes, they do more harm than good.
In this blog post, we’ll explain why you shouldn’t let Instagram bots touch your account and what alternatives you could use to boost your follower growth.
So, let’s dive in!
What are “Instagram Bots”?
An Instagram bot or automation is a piece of software that automatically likes, comments, follows, and unfollows accounts on your behalf.
They log into your account and target hashtags or your competitor's followers. It’s obvious why some people choose to trust their Instagram growth to bot services. You don’t have to worry about your engagement, it saves you time and attracts some new followers.
Less time doing manual tasks, more followers, and an engagement boost sounds great, right? If you look closely, you'll see how they can cause much more harm than good!
Why Should We Avoid Instagram Bots in 2023?
Instagram, just like any other social media platform, has its own guidelines. If you violate their terms of service, there is a high chance that you might get suspended or banned from the platform entirely.
The Instagram team is constantly perfecting its algorithms to easily “catch” any account that could harm the community or the platform’s integrity. They are smart and good at detecting fake Followers or any sketchy activity.
So, what are some of the activities that could put your account at risk:
• Using automation or bots to engage with your followers
• Paying for an engagement boost, likes, comments, followers
• Using Instagram engagement groups to boost your likes or comments artificially
Now let’s discuss some of the main risks your account could face if you sign up for Instagram growth automation tools.
How Instagram Bots Damage Your Reputation
There are several reasons why bots have a bad reputation, mainly because they are not authentic and threaten Instagram's integrity. No one likes talking to a bot; we want to know that we are dealing with a real person. Imagine someone following you and engaging with your content only to find out it was a bot. How would you feel? You probably wouldn’t value that connection, right?
If your audience suspects you're using a Bot, it’s obvious that they wouldn’t be super happy about it. In fact, it will change their opinion of you or your brand. It might also give off the impression that you're desperate for followers and engagement, which can ruin your online reputation. In short, it's better to create an engagement strategy that doesn’t involve bots and focuses on organic growth.
Insensitive and Inappropriate Comments
Even though Instagram growth automation has come a long way over the years, they still need help understanding the context. Instagram bots still struggle to figure out what they are seeing and reading. This could often lead to awkward and embarrassing situations.
Imagine a bot commenting something like 'love this pic 😍' at a funeral... At best, a bot's comment will be generic, but at worst, it could be deeply insensitive or completely out of context, causing damage to your brand. These comments can turn off your real followers who genuinely show interest in your content, making them less likely to engage with your posts. Eventually, leading people to unfollow you and slowing down your Instagram growth.
Remember when we talked about sophisticated Instagram algorithms? One of their main goals is to encourage genuine interactions and engagement. When you use bots that like or comment on your target audience’s content in a spammy way, you will come across as inauthentic.
Algorithms can quickly detect this type of activity and flag your account as a bot. Getting on the wrong side of Instagram can ultimately lead to decreased reach and engagement.
It is also very easy to spot a bot, so it should come as no surprise that if you keep leaving generic comments, your target audience will notice.
If you keep commenting ‘wow!” on something that’s not wow-worthy, your comments will appear very disingenuous and spammy. Unfortunately, it's highly unlikely to convert people into your followers using this strategy.
Bots Get you Banned
If Instagram discovers that you're using a bot, it could have a catastrophic effect on your brand and even lead to your account being shut down, blocked, or shadowbanned.
When you are shadowbanned, your photos practically become invisible to your audience. Your posts won't appear in hashtag search results or the 'top posts' section making your engagement plummet. Our clients often reach out to us after using bots - complaining, so we know all the horror stories!
The Future of Instagram Bots
As the number of Instagram users increases, so does the demand for Instagram growth services and tools. Instagram bots are no exception. Despite their many negative effects, people still choose to automate their engagement in a ‘spammy’ way.
Yet, Instagram wants to create a community where organic and genuine connections have more meaning than automated interactions. That’s why they’ve taken steps to crack down on Instagram bots as well as fake follower farms.
So far, the number of people using Instagram bots is increasing, and so are the reports of being banned or limited. But bot services won't disappear as long as there is a demand for them. They will adapt to algorithms unless Instagram refines its policies and creates stricter mechanisms to limit spammy activities.
Instagram Bot Alternatives
It’s clear that Instagram bots are bad, but how else can you grow your Instagram followers without spending hours on your phone? Maybe you’re growing your business and really need to boost your brand awareness – you can’t just give up on your follower growth, right?
There are alternatives and two different approaches you can take. One is 100% organic marketing, which involves creating your content and engaging with your audience without outsourcing your Instagram growth or paying for advertising.
Paid marketing involves running Instagram ads or outsourcing your growth to an organic growth agency, saving you time and taking your daily engagement schedule off your shoulders.
If you want to outsource your follower growth, you can always consider using Social Boost.
• Greater reach
• Can generate faster results
• Increased visibility and brand awareness
• Can target different demographics
• 24/7 Support team and Campaign managers
• 100% Hand-powered growth
We are an organic Instagram growth agency that can help you engage with your target audience in a non-spammy way. Instead of using bots or automation, we have a team of over 130 real Instagram experts who perform actions on your behalf using an iPhone.
You simply choose the most suitable package: Basic, Premium, or Turbocharged. Next, you fill out our onboarding form and tell us about your target audience.
We review your Instagram account, your goals, and the type of followers you’re trying to reach.
The next step is engagement: Our team of Instagram managers will engage with your target audience, all while following Instagram's rules. The main advantage here is that you hire a real person to do the job for you. Our experts can actually see the content and understand the context before taking any action. So, your brand’s reputation is definitely in good hands ( literally).
If you also have difficulty coming up with new content ideas and staying consistent with your posting schedule, we are here to help you create engaging posts on social media.
We’ll work with you to create awesome content that focuses on increasing your brand awareness.
Tips for Successfully Growing an Account without a Bot
If you have a small budget and want to focus on free Instagram growth practices, we’ve combined some helpful and time-saving hacks for you.
Start with Optimizing Your Profile
Having a clear and optimized profile will set you apart from your competition. It will also help algorithms understand what your account is about and push your content to the right target audience.
For your profile picture, use a clear, high-resolution headshot or a brand logo.
Your Bio should be short and to the point. Here is a great formula:
🌟Say who you are
🚀Describe what you or your brand does
#️⃣Use one or two main industry keywords
👇Add a call to action
Don’t forget your story highlights: make sure to add at least 3-4 different highlights where you can group most of your stories. Choose the covers based on your brand colors and try to keep them simple.
For example, if you are a food blogger, here are some ideas for different story categories:
• Restaurant Reviews
• Healthy Eating Tips
• Meal Prep Ideas
Create a Powerful Content Strategy
Burnout is real on Instagram. You will not be able to boost your follower growth if you push yourself too hard. In fact, most people end up giving up way too early, way before they even reach 1k followers. You don’t want to be that person - instead, you want to follow our useful strategy to create engaging posts on social media.
Having 3-4 content pillars is a must. Content pillars are the main themes that your account will discuss. If you’re just starting your Instagram growth, it’s best to stay as niche as possible. Let’s say you have a fashion boutique and generally enjoy blogging about fashion. Since you’ll have a lot of competition in this industry, it’s better to start with very niche topics such as petite fashion. This niche focuses on fashion for shorter women, including styling tips and brands. As you scale, you can always adjust your content strategy.
Here are some content pillar examples for petite fashion:
• Petite Styling Tips: Share tips and tricks for styling outfits that flatter petite frames.
• Petite-Friendly Brands: Reviews of specific clothing items or collections
• Petite Celebrities and Influencers: Showcase petite celebrities or influencers.
You can apply this example to your content creation process and make it simpler to come up with different ideas.
Post More Reels
Unlike other features, Reels have a viral effect that can get your content in front of a much wider audience. So, it's a good idea to prioritize your Reels game and try to post at least one reel per week.
What type of reels go viral? These can include educational, relatable, entertaining, or controversial videos. We’re not saying that you should post anything controversial to go viral, but it’s a good idea to keep your video as entertaining or useful as possible.
Here are some tips you should follow to get an engagement boost from reels:
• When recording your reel, start with a strong hook: ask a question or say a bold statement.
• Add captions to your video: It stops people from scrolling.
• Keep it relatable: use humor if possible.
• Research trending topics: look up popular hashtags and accounts to see what they’re posting. Look for the latest news, viral challenges, or popular memes. Also, Instagram has recently added a new feature called “Tips and resources,” full of content and reels inspiration. You can access this from your professional dashboard (to open your professional dashboard, make sure that your Account is set to Creators or Business type.)
So go to your professional dashboard, scroll down, and select “Inspiration.”
Here you’ll see all the trending reels other professionals create.
Engage with Your Audience Effectively
Engaging with your target audience is very important if you really want to boost your follower growth on Instagram. Set aside 15 minutes every day to engage with at least 10-20 of your current followers.
• Watch their stories
•Reply with insightful or supportive comments
• Start further conversations in DMs
• Like and comment on their posts
If you want to attract more visitors, take 15 more minutes to engage with your target audience:
• Look up small hashtags in your niche
• Look at 10 most relevant posts and engage with it
• Find at least 15 similar accounts in your niche
• Go to their Followers List and engage with their content
This strategy should get more eyes on your profile and help you boost your engagement as well. So, give it a try, and we guarantee that you will see results.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Before you start preparing your content for the week, check your Instagram Insights. See what content has performed the best in the last 30 days.
Don’t just rely on likes or comments - look at how many people have saved your posts, and how many clicked your links or started following you. Then you can make a better judgment about what content resonates with your audience.
So, to sum it up, when it comes to growing your Instagram followers, there is nothing better than a human touch. Remember that bots could get you banned and damage your reputation in seconds. It could also jeopardize your Instagram growth process. So why take a risk? If you really want to boost your followers or increase your brand awareness on Instagram, it’s best to look for organic Instagram growth agencies.
One of the best Instagram growth agencies that you can try to grow your followers is Social Boost. We help you grow your followers in an organic way- only using hand-powered growth methods. You can click here to see our Growth Plans.
If you want to focus on free Instagram marketing methods, follow our guides and track your progress.