Learn about Instagram bots and how to identity when comments and interactions are from bot accounts. Instagram bots appear as real people and can throw off analytical data and create a time sink if marketers can't tell the difference between who is real and who isn't.
- In this video, I'm going to talk about Instagram bot accounts. Now, quite frankly, this is a video that I wish I didn't have to do, but Instagram bot accounts do exist, and I want to tell you a little bit about them, and maybe give you some tips on how you can decipher which accounts are real and which accounts are not. So Instagram bot accounts are accounts that automatically interact with your account. Now, this might be liking your photos, this might be following you, and oftentimes, it's actually commenting on your photos. Now, the reason people use these bots is they'll sign up for a program, and I'm calling 'em bot accounts and not fake accounts, because the accounts aren't fake, the accounts are real, and oftentimes there's real people behind the account using it alongside the bots. But people will sign up for a service that will make it so that their account automatically likes photos, automatically comments on photos, and automatically follows people in hope that they'll get interactions back. Now, as a digital marketer and an SEO expert, I really dislike these black hat techniques, and if you're thinking about using one, I really recommend that you don't, because your Instagram account could get banned, and in the future, Instagram is going to make updates that tries to combat these bots, they already have done that. Now, I think it's important to note that if you get followed by a bot, they will unfollow in the near future, and you're not going to know when somebody follows you if they're a bot or not. Really, the only way to decipher is when they're commenting. But the reason that I think this is important to know is because when you first start uploading to Instagram, you might get five followers, then 10, then 15, and you say, "Okay, I'm done with week one, "I have 50 followers," and then you sign in the next day, and you've got 36, and you're like, "Oh my God, what did I do? "14 people already unfollowed me." No, you didn't do anything, those 14 people were bot accounts. They'll follow you, hoping that you'll follow them back, and then they'll unfollow you in the future. So when you do see that happen, when you see that you're getting unfollowed, don't take it personally, they're bot accounts. And on that note, they can be difficult to decipher, so I actually have an example that I'm pretty sure is a bot, I can't say for 100% certainty, but I'll show you why I think it's a bot. Okay, so here I am in my personal Instagram account, and I'm going to scroll down, because when I first started posting, I really thought that there were a lot of bots that were interacting with my content, and I found one that I believe is a comment that's still a bot. So I have this photo here, and if we go down to the comments section, you'll notice that there's this comment from MobileMinute, and it says, "Hey ansonalex.c0m neat post." Okay, well, thanks, right? That's good feedback, I guess. Now there are a few big red flags about this comment. First of all, they typed out my profile, ansonalex.c0m, and when I created this profile, I had to use a zero instead of an O because the O, the other one was already taken, and so it just seems weird to me that they would specifically make sure to type out the zero, then they didn't even use the @ symbol, so they didn't @ mention me, but they took the time to type out my exact profile name, hmm. Seems a little fishy. Second of all, this is a very general comment. In fact, this comment could be applied to every single post that has ever been put on Instagram since the beginning of time, right? Neat post, they didn't say anything specific about my post. Now, the second one down here where it says, "Nice," that's so short that I believe that's a real one. And you can see I liked the one that said nice and I did not like the first one, so in my opinion, this is an example of a bot interaction, and you're just going to have to deal with them on Instagram. There isn't a solution to kind of get rid of them or avoid them, but I just want to create awareness so that you do know they exist. When people unfollow you, don't get too discouraged, and when you see these general comments come in, sometimes you have to look at them with a little bit of wariness. So I hope that this will just help you kind of decipher things as you move forward in Instagram, and that you don't get too discouraged in dealing with these bot accounts.