Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a thousand new followers in your account in a week or less? Growing a business account organically takes time and it needs a good strategy. For that reason many apps and web-based robots promise to generate attention and grow their users accounts by auto-liking, auto-commenting and following/unfollowing techniques.
If you are considering using a robot to grow your followers quickly, please take a few minutes to read this. Yes, who doesn’t want their follower count to grow fast? But, let me talk to you today about robots that help you grow your account, about what does it represent from a business point of view, and why they are bad for your brand.
The other day at a speaking gig I was approached by a young attendee who privately shared with me he uses an app named Unfollowers to grow his private Instagram account. This app helps him track the users that are using a certain hashtag. He orders the app to follow them in bulk; he waits for a period of time to let some of them to follow him back, and later unfollows the ones who didn’t follow him back automatically via the app.
He’s certainly not the only one. It is common knowledge that some businesses are using robots to engage with users using specifics hashtags, or to follow in bulk their competitors’ follower. The robots [false] promise is to do what you would do organically but faster.
The fact is that Instagram does not like this bot activity and in order to reduce spam has set some rules. Some of them are official and published in their Community Guidelines “In order to reduce spam, Instagram doesn’t allow anyone to follow more than 7,500 people”.
There are some other unspoken guidelines too
- About following. Instagram only allows you to follow/unfollow 20 people per hour.
- About liking. One account can only like up to 100 pictures per hour
But there are more powerful reasons to avoid its use. If you have been tempted to use one of these ‘apparently’ fast growing tools let me ask you the question I ask all my clients before starting our work together. What is the purpose of your business account? Do you want to achieve brand awareness? Do you want to promote your business? Do you want to sell?
It is very difficult, if not impossible to achieve any of the previous business goals by using a robot. All you can do with a robot is artificially increase the follower count. But is the higher follower count your business goal? I mean what for? Because your potential clients are not idiots, they want value for whatever you are asking them to do. Let me explain with an example.
Wonder why some accounts are following 3500 users when they only have 300 followers? This normally indicates the account is using a robot app to grow its followers. If you notice their engagement ratio (even when they have a large number of followers), i.e. comments or likes per post, is really low. Generally speaking, these robot assisted accounts lack of interest. They do not have beautiful and engaging content, and when they say something interesting often times it is what everyone else is saying. Consequently, their levels of engagement are really low.
There are only two ways to sustainably raise the level of engagement to any account:
- great content that people love
- meaningful interactions with your followers and other users’ content that makes them give love back
These accounts lack both of them. Even when the accounts have acceptable content the followers don’t convert to clients. The accounts do not sell because they do not care about their community. They do not have passion for their products or they would never let poor content and lack of engagement represent their brand. And people know there is something fake about these accounts that it do not offer trust.
Now the good news,
- Instagram is the social media platform with the highest levels of engagement for brands and the one with 100% organic reach
- Instagramers show buying intentions in their interactions with branded content when it makes them dream (nobody wants to see a catalogue of products on IG)
- It is possible to sell (or achieve any other business goals you set for your account) by spending 30 to 40 minutes a day working on and executing your strategy. But you need to be clear about your goals, about the niche you want to reach, about the personality and message of your brand, about the content your potential client wants and needs to see. You need a written strategy.
If you do social media right to amplify your brand’s message, there is no need of expensive marketing techniques and robots. Please see my post on how to build an effective IG strategy. If you need help please let me know.
And please remember, friends don’t let friends use robots on Instagram!
Thank you for reading. If you found this post useful, why not follow the blog for weekly musings on how to win on Instagram. Or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions.