Let’s face it. If you want to be a successful social media marketer, you need to gain thousands of followers (millions, if you can). Marketing success in the digital world is directly proportional to the number of people who follow your social media accounts such as on Instagram. No followers, no business.
Digital entrepreneurs on Instagram seek to attract more followers that belong to their target niche. Everyone wants to be popular on Instagram, how much more entrepreneurs who are banking on affiliate sales? So how does one become popular on Instagram?
There is only one answer, and that is by being active as much and as often as possible. You have to post comments after comments on pictures that are relevant to your account.
You have to like posts of other people, especially those that are related to your subject matter. You have to follow accounts that are within your niche, and people have to follow you back.
This is the only way for you to build your brand and be successful on Instagram. The question is, can you do these activities every single day?
Of course, you can do these things, but you won’t have time for other equally important things in life such as spending quality time with your family and friends or taking the trash out.
You would be in front of your phone or laptop always, while you neglect other things. Nobody wants this to happen. There has to be a balance in life. This is why automation has become popular even in the digital marketing world.
Automation and Instagram Bots
In this fast-paced environment, everyone wants everything to be automated. Whether it be monthly bills payment, emails, responses, etc.
But can comments, likes, and follows on Instagram be automated? With Instagram bots, this is made possible.
You don’t need to spend all your time tracking posts, commenting, and following back. You can actually use Instagram bots to automatically post a specific comment, or follow an account, or like a post, as long as you program it to do these things on posts that use a particular hashtag.
You can use Instagram bots to automatically follow other Instagram accounts within your niche. And they can also auto-follow the Instagrammers who followed your account.
You can program Instagram bots to comment “Wow!” on photos that use the hashtags #foodie or #wanderlust.
There’s no denying the fact that Instagram bots can definitely help you build your brand.
This article, however, is not just about all the good things that Instagram bots can do for you and your brand. We will also explore the negative side of using Instagram bots.
Wait….so there are negative sides to this automation?
Yes, there are but let’s start first with the advantages of using Instagram bots.
Instagram Bots: The Up Side
1. Bots Provide Speed and Efficiency
No matter how much you want to engage with your Instagram followers and comment on relevant photos 24 hours every day, seven days a week, you just can’t do it.
There are still so many other things to do. Instagram bot automatically does your tasks on Instagram. You can program them to comment, like, and follow, thereby giving you results while you do other activities.
2. Bots Can Increase Followers
Since Instagram bots can be automated to like, comment, and follow other Instagram accounts that are relevant to your niche, it follows that the number of your free Instagram followers will also increase.
You will be more active and visible on Instagram, allowing more users to see what you have to offer.
The good thing is that you don’t need to manually search for users that are potentially within your target audience. Bots will automatically find them for you.
3. Bots Can Increase Engagement
It is not enough that you have followers. You have to engage with them so that they won’t leave you, and so that they will share your account with the people in their circle. Engagement is like the proverbial hitting of two birds with one stone – you get to keep your existing followers, and also gain new ones.
The problem is that manual or real engagement (where you will really look for posts to comment on them manually) takes so much of your time.
With Instagram bots, however, engagement is done automatically. Just program them to comment a specific sentence to posts that use a corresponding hashtag, and you are good to go.
Instagram Bots: The Down Side
As mentioned previously, Instagram bots are not all rainbows and sunshine. It is important to explore the negative side of using Instagram bots for your business.
So here are some of the disadvantages of using Instagram bots.
1. Bots Can Post Inappropriate Comments
Instagram bots only consider a post’s hashtag, without taking into account the actual content of the photo or the caption.
For instance, if you programmed the bot to comment “This is great!” on posts that use the hashtag “#goodnews”, the bot will comment just that on all posts with the #goodnews hashtag even when the hashtag is used sarcastically.
Many social media entrepreneurs have fallen prey to this, just like Stephanie Gilbert, the founder of Small Talk Social. She programmed a bot to comment smiley emojis, and the bot commented a smiley face on a photo posted by a girl whose friend just died.
If this similar situation happens to you, you won’t ever know that your bot left an inappropriate comment until someone sends you a DM about it.
2. Bots Can Potentially Destroy Your Brand
Just as Instagram bots can help you build your brand, it can also potentially destroy what you carefully and painstakingly built.
A screenshot of an inappropriate or insensitive comment posted by your bot might go around and damage your reputation.
You can work around this issue by using safe emojis or generic comments.
3. Bots Generate Unauthentic Engagement
Engagement generated by Instagram bots are not real because well, they are made by robots, not by a real person.
Since you will be using generic comments to avoid awkward situations that arise from inappropriate and insensitive comments that will potentially destroy your brand, the result will be a simple comment that nobody would want to react to.
Your automated comment of “Thanks for sharing,” will not generate reactions from your target audience, and will not attract new followers.
4. Bots Bungle Up Your News Feed
If you enjoy scrolling through your news feed and see the posts from Instagramers within your niche that you follow, then this is definitely bad news for you.
Since Instagram bots can follow hundreds of users in an hour, your news feed will be affected. It will be full of posts from people or users that do not add value for you.
You would have to spend some time scrolling through your news feed in order to get to the posts that really matter to you. For some, this is a small price to pay for using Instagram bots.
Instagram bots work by accessing Instagram’s API without the social media platform’s permission.
“Sad news to all of you who fell in love with Instagress: by request of Instagram we’ve closed our web-service that helped you so much.” – Instagress’ announcement.
6. Bots Can Get You Shadowbanned
You might be thinking that you are safe using Instagram bots since you are not (yet) large company such as Instagress. But beware. You can actually get banned for going beyond Instagram’s hourly and daily limits.
Yes, Instagram has usage limits. You should not go over 60 follows or unfollows, 60 comments, and 150 Instagram likes every hour. This is pretty much reasonable as no normal person can’t really like more than 150 posts in an hour.
But bots can definitely reach and even go beyond this limit because they don’t have a mind of their own. This will notify Instagram that there are unnatural activities on your account.
And for this, you will be shadow banned by Instagram. The sad thing about shadow banning is that you are made to think that everything is normal in your account when in reality it’s not.
You will still be able to post and engage with your existing followers, but you will be virtually invisible to those who don’t follow you. No matter how clever your hashtags are or how relevant your posts are, you won’t be able to attract new followers.
Thus, you won’t be able to build your brand and follow through with your marketing strategy.
What do proxies have to do with Instagram bots?
A proxy server protects your real identity and hides your real IP address, thereby allowing you to use Instagram bots without the fear of getting banned.
Social media marketers manage several Instagram accounts, which can get you banned as well. Connecting to a proxy server can help you from getting banned for having several Instagram accounts.
There are several proxies for free Instagram bot out there, but we recommend you use a reliable and safe proxy provides. LimeProxies provides fast and reliable connection to proxy servers all over the world.
Instagram Bots Substitutes
If, after reading this article, you decide that Instagram bots are not for you, there are other ways by which you can engage with your Instagram followers and gain new followers.
Below are just a few suggested substitutes for Instagram bots:
1. Do everything by yourself
You can comment, like, and post on Instagram manually by yourself. Although this takes a lot of your time, but it will generate authentic and personal engagement and will really tell you followers how genuine you are.
This is also the most cost effective way because you won’t be paying anyone and you won’t be buying any tool. You will really need to put in place a good time management strategy so that you will still have time for other tasks and activities.
As previously mentioned, there has to be a balance in life. So don’t spend all of your waking hours on Instagram. Just dedicate a specific period of time, say one to two hours, each day to reach out to you followers, post relevant photos, and engage with your target audience.
2. Hire a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants can do the things you should be doing, allowing you to allocate time to other activities. Pretty much like Instagram bots, but they are real people who will create genuine and authentic engagement with your followers.
The best thing with virtual assistants is that they are less likely to leave inappropriate comments.
Virtual assistants are more expensive than Instagram bots though. However, they can also sort emails and schedules for you.
3. Instagram Advertisements
Instagram ads are a great way to surely and effectively reach a huge portion of your target audience. You just have to create a persuasive and convincing ad, and you will be visible to a lot of people.
Instagram ads are not too expensive, and you don’t have to take so much time in engaging with people.
4. Make Use of Instagram Scheduler
Instagram Scheduler allows you to schedule your posts, and even edit your images. After setting the schedule, the tool will post your images on the date and time you specified.
This allows you to spend less time posting on Instagram. All it needs is a good content planning, so you would need to think ahead.
This has been a long post, and thank you very much for reading. The digital world has truly changed almost everything, including entrepreneurship and marketing. Social media marketing has become more and more effective in promoting your brand and products.
Instagram is one of the most effective social media platforms for marketing, which is why entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for ways to become popular on Instagram.
Using a free Instagram bot is one way to engage with your audience, and it has a lot of advantages such as:
- Bots Provide Speed and Efficiency
- Bots Can Increase Followers
- Bots Can Increase Engagement
However, Instagram bots also come with disadvantages, so it’s up to you to weigh and decide if bots are for you or not. The disadvantages are:
- Bots Can Post Inappropriate Comments
- Bots Can Potentially Destroy Your Brand
- Bots Generate Unauthentic Engagement
- Bots Bungle Up Your News Feed
- Bots Can Get You Banned
If you decide that the advantages of using Instagram bots far outweighs its disadvantages, then it will do you good to use Proxies while using Instagram bots. With proxies, you will avoid getting banned by Instagram since your IP address will be masked, and your real identity will be hidden.
On the contrary, if you think that Instagram bots are not for you, you can do everything by yourself, hire a virtual assistant, create advertisements on Instagram, and use Instagram Scheduler.
Know that you have a lot of options, and you can make your own marketing strategy. The key is to never give up.