Everything You Need to Know About Using an Instagram Bot

Are you thinking of investing in an Instagram bot?

In today’s fast-paced digital world, companies need an efficient and reliable way to engage with an almost infinite number of potential leads and customers.

For many marketing and sales teams, automation and artificial intelligence are leading the way to better productivity, efficiency, and ROI in the workplace.

Now that consumers are engaging more often with brands over social channels like Instagram, some companies are even beginning to explore the potential of automation in the social media landscape. After all, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90% of all companies will be using social media for customer support.

Handling all of those social conversations manually would be #exhausting, so automation offers a way for businesses to limit the work on their shoulders.

Enter the Instagram Bot.

Defining the Instagram Bot

An Instagram bot is a clever piece of code, designed to help organizations with repetitive actions such as liking, commenting, and following other accounts.

All of these actions are a big part of “engagement” – the stuff that makes you successful on Instagram. However, engagement takes up a lot of valuable time. Since time is money, an Instagram bot can take over some of your work, by using plug-in parameters to track and connect with specific accounts.

#Simple right?

Well, maybe not…

In theory, an Instagram bot sounds excellent – like a personalized assistant that helps you to spend less time scrolling, and more time nurturing real leads for your business. The only problem? An Instagram bot isn’t human.

You can set your bot up to auto-follow, auto-like, and auto-comment on posts, but you can’t teach them how to understand that they’re commenting on. An Instagram bot wouldn’t understand the sarcasm in a post like “I’ve lost my job – that’s just great!”. Instead, it would pick up the words “great” and “job” and respond with something like “Nice Work!”.

Example of an Instagram bot not understanding context.


Does an Instagram Bot Create More Followers?

You might be able to overlook the occasional humiliating post from an Instagram bot if you can rest assured that the system will help you gain more followers.

So, do IG bots work?

It depends… Most Instagram bots will follow specific accounts, like posts and comment according to the parameters you set. If you’re smart when it comes to choosing the hashtags you want to target, and selecting comments you want your bot to share, then you will gain followers through extra engagement – even if it’s just a few.

The problem is that the balance isn’t right. While you might earn a couple of followers with an Instagram bot, you’re far more likely to lose dozens, or even hundreds of customers who might have already liked your brand, by annoying them with spammy behavior.

A handful of followers who never engage with your company again don’t equal dozens of targeted leads. What’s more, your damaged reputation will make it even harder for you to gain followers organically in the future.

An Instagram Bot Could Damage Your Brand

Your Instagram bot can’t understand social cues, which leads to a lot of seriously uncomfortable and inappropriate comments. Even if your customers know that it’s an Instagram bot sending those messages, your reputation still suffers because you’re branded as a company too busy to genuinely interact with people.

Even if you can get past that brand reputation issue, you’ll be risking a serious penalty from Instagram. The social site’s “Terms of Use” dictate that an Instagram bot is in strict violation of the following rules:

  • Don’t cache or store login credentials
  • Don’t use the IG API to manage Instagram relationships without permission
  • Make sure Instagram comments are tailored to each person
  • Do not post spam on Instagram
  • Don’t enable companies to take multiple actions on Instagram at once
  • Add something unique to the Instagram community

What You Can Do Instead of Using an Instagram Bot

So, if an Instagram bot isn’t the way to grow your social following, what else can you do?

Well, the simple answer is to do the work yourself.

While Instagram bots can automatically like and comment on posts, they can’t offer genuine Instagram engagement. If you want to connect with your audience, then you’re going to need a human touch.

That means spending maybe fifteen minutes a day searching for hashtags relevant to your brand. For instance, if your target market is stay at home moms, you can look at the #SAHM hashtag.

Screenshot of #SAHM search results on Instagram

Sure, it takes a lot longer to do all this yourself, but when you find a post you like and leave a comment, you can rest assured that it will be relevant, compelling and interesting. You’ll be building relationships with your audience, rather than just going through the motions.

Here are some other options that you can consider when you want to avoid the Instagram bot.

1.     Hire Someone to Help You

If you don’t have a lot of time to connect with your audience personally, consider hiring someone else to deliver that “human touch” for you.

There are plenty of social media managers and virtual assistants out there that can assist with everything from liking Instagram posts, to creating exciting content. All you need to do is find the candidate that’s the perfect fit for you.

Once you find the right assistant, they’re sure to help you out with getting more Instagram followers. You’ll take the work off your plate, without running the risk of accidentally leaving the wrong comments on your followers’ pages.

It’s a win/win.

2.     Slow Down

One of the biggest reasons that companies find themselves investing in an Instagram bot is that they’re driven by the #NeedforSpeed. In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive marketplace, it’s tempting to think that you need to be earning at least 50 followers a day just to keep up.

The fact that we’re living in an era of instant gratification and agility is part of what makes automation so compelling, to begin with. As great as it sounds to get hundreds of followers overnight without lifting a fingers if something seems too good to be true – it often is.

Quick results won’t give you the dedicated potential leads and customers you’re looking for. Alternatively, a slow and steady approach is more likely to provide the loyal and active following you need to generate real results. Think of it this way – would you rather have 500 people following you because they’re genuinely interested in your content, or 1000 followers who are just there because you followed them first?

What’s more, as Instagram algorithms continue to push genuine, valuable IG accounts ahead of the pack, spending 15 minutes a day on Instagram could mean that you find a way to stay ahead of the curve. Even a small amount of time each day can make a massive difference to your long-term following. It could also help you get your all-important #IG Verified badge.

The request verification page to get Instagram verified

3.     Get a Personal Instagram Account Manager from Upleap

Finally, if you need followers fast and you can’t afford to slow down and do the work yourself, why not get help from the experts instead?

At Upleap, we give our clients a dedicated account manager that’s committed to helping them grow their brand. When you join Upleap with your free trial, we’ll get to know your brand, your goals, and what you need to do to generate followers fast, then we’ll implement the strategies you need to see results.

Upleap uses smart targeting, engagement pods, and real-time tracking to make sure that you can make some real progress with your Instagram follower level in very little time. All you need to do is let us know what kind of followers you’re looking for, then sit back and relax while we do the rest.

Why not try Upleap for free today?

Forget the Instagram Bot

Automation might be very popular today, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the right option for everyone.

While an Instagram bot might be able to grow your following quickly, the followers you get won’t have a meaningful impact on your long-term success. More often than not, the negatives of an Instagram bot far outweigh the positives.

Not only will an Instagram bot put your reputation at risk, but you could end up having your account banned too.

Either grow your account naturally or get support from experts who can give you an organic path to Instagram success.

It’s a no-brainer.

By Rebekah Carter

Hi! I'm Rebekah, a full-time writer specializing in the spaces of digital content, business, social media and tech.

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