It is no secret that Instagram is a booming platform for brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs. New businesses today are often envious of social media business accounts that have a large, alluring following. While this illusion of affinity has a lot of pros and cons to it, the cons aren’t worth it.
How do bots work?
Bots are (fake) accounts, or spam, that are bought on social media platforms, such as Instagram, that are used to build a large following. They can be bought to increase following and/or boost engagement. Users initially are drawn to this enticing cheat because, well, who wouldn’t want a large following right away? It takes out the manual work, the time, and gives a false illusion of popularity.
Bot or Not – Not!
Buying bots may produce high engagement initially – but the real audience can see the disingenuous comments (such as one-worded responses or emojis in the comment section), and today’s social media users are not naive. If a user, or potential customer, sees that your followers are bought, this can ruin the trust in your brand and the credibility.
Not only can buying followers destroy your brand’s credibility – but your account can be deactivated or suspended if Instagram identifies the use of bots.
Fake followers will also create skewed results. When measuring user analytics, whether done daily, weekly, or monthly – identifying who your true audience is, what your audience is engaging with and what they want to see more of will get very messy.
Less is more.
Markerly analyzed 800,000 Instagram users, with the majority having 1,000 followers, resulting in about 5,000,000 posts. This research resulted in the understanding that as a user’s following increases, their engagement decreases, “Those with less than 1,000 followers generally received likes on their posts 8% of the time. Users with 10 million+ followers only received likes 1.6% of the time.”
Buying bots is a quick fix, a shortcut, and a method that does not result in good business. The secret sauce to finding success on social media is that there is no secret. Conduct your social media business in an organic fashion – post consistently with engaging, quality content and build a trusting relationship with your following. This takes strategy, team work, and a lot of patience.