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What Are Instagram Bots and How Can They Negatively Affect Your Account?

What Are Instagram Bots and How Can They Negatively Affect Your Account?

Even if you have excellent content on Instagram, it could turn into a waste of your time if your posts fail to get real followers and engagement.

While Instagram might not have the largest community compared to other social media platforms, it has the highest rate of engagement, and that is the very reason why a lot of online marketers and influencers are so keen on using Instagram for their digital marketing campaigns.

However, managing your Instagram account to keep it active and engaging every day would take tremendous time and effort. Not to mention the time you need to spend on your other social media accounts as well.

Even social media managers are having trouble managing multiple social media accounts to keep each account engaging simultaneously. In this case, using Instagram bots could be very beneficial since it frees you up enough time for other significant tasks…

But what if I said there’s a better way to grow your Instagram following?!

In this guide, I will teach you how to grow your following with Instagram bots, but also about a better way to grow your fan-base with real followers:

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What are Instagram bots?

Instagram bots are created to help you perform your daily Instagram tasks such as liking, commenting, and following, without lifting a finger.

It might sound simple, but as mentioned earlier, doing those simple tasks eats up a big chunk of your precious time. Bots can make this a whole lot easier.

You can also program your Instagram bots to auto-follow accounts that have followed you to make them feel that they are valued. In other words, Instagram bots can help you increase awareness and effectively build real followers organically.

How do Instagram bots help increase followers?

One of the best advantages of using Instagram bots is that they work continuously regardless of the time zone. Instagram bots can work day and night to keep your account active.

By setting up your preferred parameters like targeting specific hashtags and influencers within your niche, Instagram bots can easily look for them automatically and follow them instantly. This saves you a lot of time since you don’t have to scroll through various profiles. And as mentioned earlier, Instagram bots allow you to like, follow other users, and comment automatically.

This is how Instagram bots help you get more potential followers since all the people they have automatically followed will most likely follow you back in return.

If you are targeting audiences that live in different time zones, the Instagram bot can effectively engage and interact with them according to their feed time. With the time zone barrier getting eliminated, you now have a higher chance of getting more followers.

What are the benefits of using Instagram bots?

Aside from saving you a lot of your precious time and getting more followers organically, below are some of the benefits that Instagram bots have to offer.

You will get increased exposure

Today, Instagram limits its new users to follow 20 people per hour or no more than a hundred people a day. By automating your following and engagements, you will have more opportunities to receive a lot of exposure. In other words, Instagram bots maximize the total number or allowed Instagram following per day and send each of them an invitation and encourage them to visit your page or follow you back.

You will get an instant result

Since you get the highest exposure, most likely you will receive instant likes and comments from the people whom your Instagram bots have followed. And this immediate result is significantly valuable since you don’t have to wait to see the outcomes.

By getting organic followers instantly, it increases your brand awareness and improves your chance of generating leads and conversions. You might be surprised by the sudden increase in web traffic on your website since you can redirect all your followers to visit your site directly from your Instagram account.

You will get real and engaged followers

When compared to buying Instagram followers, the people that the Instagram bots attract are a lot better since they are real people. When you buy Instagram followers, you are actually buying fake Instagram accounts that offer fake engagement or no engagement at all. Instagram bots, on the other hand, allow you to reach and get genuine and active people within your niche who will be engaged with your posts in the future.

You can become an Influencer

When people within your niche see that you have a significant number of real followers, they will most likely ask you to promote their brand or services. And this opportunity increases your credibility significantly. It will make your brand trustworthy and more likely to attract followers in the future.

Is there any risk with using Instagram bots?

While using Instagram bots may sound perfect to easily increase your followers, it comes with some risks.

Bots may put you into a very awkward situation

Unlike a real person, Instagram bots don’t consider the sensitivity of the context or the captions in a photo. After all, bots are designed to like and leave a comment and based on a hashtag you’ve given. And this may lead you to some awkward situations since you don’t have control or track where the bots will comment. Bots may accidentally say the wrong or inappropriate comments on a certain post.

For example, your bot may leave an insensitive comment that says “Very Nice!” to a post of a girl who grieved over her dead best friend or to a woman who posts about her miscarriage. And these instances can ruin your brand’s reputation. Moreover, it can also affect your genuine Instagram followers since it will make them feel uncomfortable. So it is essential to educate yourself first on how to use Instagram bots and other automation programs properly before employing them.

Bots may negatively affect your engagement in the long run

Nowadays, lots of people are now getting aware of Instagram bots. And once they’ve figured out that you are using bots, most likely you’ll receive in return less meaningful engagement or no engagement at all. Besides, it is impossible to automate meaningful engagement. However, if you are confident that you are providing high-quality content, Instagram bots can still effectively encourage real following and engagement.

Bots may permanently damage your Instagram account

While Instagram bots can help you in many ways, the social media platform itself is discouraging their users to rely on it fully. Furthermore, your bot may violate Instagram’s terms of use putting your account at risk of getting shadow-banned.

In case your account gets shadow-banned, Instagram makes all your posts invisible to people who are non-followers of your account. While you can still create posts and create engagement with your current followers, you will no longer have the opportunity to reach and attract new people. It means you won’t be able to grow your brand in the future since people won’t be able to find your brand regardless of the hashtags you use in a post.

How do you use an Instagram bot without getting shadow-banned?

To avoid getting shadow-banned, all you have to do is to follow these simple techniques.

Slow your pacing

If you are still new to Instagram and start following hundreds of accounts per day, you’ll probably get noticed easily by Instagram admins. So we highly suggest starting your following and engagements slow and periodically increase them as your account grows.

Stick to your niche

One common mistake when it comes to increasing your followers is by attempting to tap into almost everyone, even those who are not interested in your niche. Make sure that your bot is reaching Instagram accounts and hashtags that are actually relevant to your niche so you can grow a consistent following.

Minimize the bot activity

By using the filter option, set up your bot to only follow Instagram accounts that are regularly active. Setup a minimum number of posts, comments, and likes per day similar to what a real person can do.

Don’t let your bot do all the work

Don’t rely too much on your bot and instead take some time to do your Instagram engagement yourself. After all, if you automate all your Instagram activity, it could get your account shadow-banned. Make some time to respond properly to comments, like other people’s posts, share posts and more importantly, interact with your audience so they will feel that you are not a bot.

Now, without all the risks of losing your profile from using a bot, what are some more authentic ways to grow a real following?

The best Instagram bot alternatives to organically grow your following

Using Instagram bots has its advantages and disadvantages that can greatly affect your account in many ways. However, there are lots of ways you can improve your Instagram following without the need to use bots, and below are some of them. These tactics have far more long-term value as you will grow real targeted followers.

#1. Increase your reach with hashtags

HashtagsForLikes is a safer and longer-term solution compared to using Instagram bots.

HashtagsForLikes helps thousands of people every day use the right hashtags on their Instagram posts to get their content found easily by other Instagram users in their niche.

After all, hashtags are one of the vital parts of your Instagram growth success.

HashtagsForLikes is an online tool that helps you research, analyze, track and save the best hashtags to use to attract an audience organically, increase your engagement and make your brand known. You can also track your profile inside your dashboard to measure the success of your accounts performance.

It is proven that using the right mixture of popular, trending and niche hashtags will help your target audience to find your content more often. HashtagsForLikes takes the guess-work out of the equation.

The team at HashtagsForLikes are also working closely with their Instagram growth community to design and build additional tools and resources to help people get more engagement and grow their targeted followers. The level of support, quality content and attention that they give their customers is unique in this industry.

#2. Identify your target audience

If you really want great results when it comes to your Instagram marketing, it is still better to plan on how to achieve it rather than relying on bots.

This approach may inevitably take a lot of time on your end, but you can assure avoiding some risk that Instagram bots can’t avoid, such as those mentioned earlier. By taking the time to identify your target audience, you can focus on increasing your brand awareness organically and get their attention. With this approach, you can improve your Instagram following without any risk of getting into an awkward situation or being shadow-banned.

#3. Automatically post ahead of time

When it comes to growing your Instagram following, making simple but basic choices can massively impact how your content performs. For example, posting at peak times can help your posts be seen by more users, and not be lost in a sea of other content.

This is where an Instagram scheduler can come into play. So even when you are not able to be online at that best time to upload, you can pre-schedule your content for the desired time. One option is bigmouthpost, it’s a simple scheduler, but has less confusion and gets the job done.

#4. Automate your growth

It’s no secret that having more real followers on Instagram leads to higher engagement, website clicks, and sales for your business.

But growing a following on Instagram is harder and more time-consuming than ever.

Kicksta is an Instagram growth service that helps you attract your ideal audience and grow your following on autopilot.

Kicksta’s growth methods are simple and organic. Describe your ideal follower and Kicksta will find and engage with users who match your specifications.

These interactions increase your brand awareness and organic growth without having to spend hours on Instagram yourself.

#5. Grow your following by posting consistently

Posting high-quality content consistently is the real key to growing your Instagram following. After all, even if you use Instagram bots, if you offer poor and generic content you will be left with nothing.

Furthermore, don’t forget to post consistently using Instagram stories. If you are always active on Instagram stories, people will be more likely to interact with your page since they’ll get a better understanding of your brand. And besides, most Instagram users love to interact with the people behind the brand.

When using Instagram stories, I highly suggest tagging the location so your story will have a chance of getting featured. Don’t forget to use HashtagsForLikes when adding hashtags to improve discoverability.

#6. Authentically engage with your followers

Authentic engagement is something that automation tools such as Instagram bots can’t possibly achieve. When you sincerely engage with your followers, you are strengthening your relationship with them.

Unlike bots that usually seek out your ideal audience, follow them, leave a generic comment, and then disappear, genuine engagement will work to build trust and ultimately organically grow your Instagram following.

Leave comments that persuade your followers to begin conversations and always reply to comments in your stories, and send private messages if necessary.

#7. Utilize your other social media accounts

Not all people use Instagram. In fact, Instagram currently has less users than Facebook and Youtube, which have more than two billion users. If you have Facebook or Youtube or any other social media account, you can utilize them to get more followers on Instagram by persuading your audience to follow your Instagram profile. However, make sure you have great content ready for them, so they will be convinced to sign up and follow your account.

#8. Interact with Influencers

Another good alternative to avoid using Instagram bots and to grow your following is by collaborating with high profile Influencers.

You can use social listening, to help you find Influencers within your niche. These people have already established a community that is loyal to them, and if you convince them to promote your brand, their followers will most likely become your followers also. However, make sure you have a well crafted Instagram profile, so you have a better chance of persuading these Influencers to promote your brand.

Another way to persuade Influencers to promote your brand is by offering giveaways not only for them but also for their followers. You can ask them to follow your page, and by the end of the week, you’ll be selecting some random audience who followed you to receive a wonderful gift. It is an excellent way to boost engagement, strengthen your relationships, and ultimately grow your Instagram following.

#9. Collaborate with existing Instagram communities

Instagram has a feature that is similar to Facebook, where a person can create a group that talks about a particular brand or service. If you can find such a community that speaks about something relevant to your brand or niche, then you might want to join, follow them and collaborate. Make yourself noticeable by genuinely commenting, like their posts that catch your attention and share with them your content. By increasing your presence in the group, they will most likely check out your profile and follow you.

Final thoughts

Instagram bots and other automation tools might be good at first for those who are new to social media marketing. However, using these automation tools will only hurt your brand and Instagram account in the long run.

Doing your social media marketing manually, is still the best way when it comes to improving your Instagram following since it will not put your brand and Instagram account at risk. You can use the bot alternatives mentioned above to increase your Instagram following safely and organically.

Guest author: Max has been travelling for the past 5 years working remotely as a digital marketing consultant, he’s passionate about helping start ups transform into successful businesses. When he’s not working he loves to travel to remote places of the world! You can follow him on Instagram @maxkthompson

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