Instagram Third-Party Automation

5,000, 10,000, 100,000…what is your Instagram follower goal? And, what lengths are you willing to go to achieve that goal?

Some brands and individuals have been turning to Instagram third-party automation services to help them grow their followings fast. Third-party automation services automate Instagram activities like commenting, liking, following, and unfollowing by having a bot facilitate these activities instead of a human.

Types of Third-Party Automations:

  • Follow/Unfollow: The automation bots follows a large quantity of Instagram accounts with the goal of people following the IG account back. Later the same bot unfollows all the accounts they originally followed. This grows the IG account’s followers while keeping the following number low
  • Mass ‘Liking’: The automation bot ‘likes’ thousands of photos per day based on set search parameters with the goal of gaining attention (i.e. profile visits and/or new followers).
  • Mass Commenting: The automation bot comments on thousands of photos per day based on set search parameters with the goal of gaining attention (i.e. profile visits and/or new followers).

So, does this automation actually work? On the surface, maybe you could call it a success. There is a good chance you will get new followers, but that doesn’t mean they will be within your company’s target audience. Some say it works well, and is very cost effective, but…

is the $15/month, too good to be true?!

Mass automated ‘liking’, commenting and following can easily be spotted by an Instagram user.

For example: We included ‘#travelgoals’ on a client’s Instagram post. We then received the following comments which are super generic and in no way related to the original Instagram post.

The problem with third-party Instagram automation services is that it violates Instagram’s Terms of Service, and creates an inauthentic environment on Instagram. Which Instagram dislikes.

Going against Instagram’s Terms of Service not only puts your Instagram account at risk, but your business too!

The Risks:

    • Account Suspension: Instagram recognizes when your account is connected to a third-party automation service, and can and will flag your account. A flagged account can be suspended from use for hours, days or indefinitely.
    • Security: You create a hole in your Instagram account security by sharing access to your account credentials with a third-party company not affiliated with Instagram. This opens up your account, brand, and business to cybercriminals.
    • Inauthenticity: Instagram users are not dumb, they catch on and recognize inauthentic interactions. This could hurt your brand reputation in the long run.

Where does this leave you? How then do you gain Instagram followers? If you are purely judging your social media success by the number of followers you have, you are severely missing the point of social media. Having more followers does not result in more meaningful analytics. In fact, automation does not guarantee engagement with your new followers. It is possible to have 10,000+ followers and only have .001% engagement. Wouldn’t your business rather have a smaller number of REAL followers/fans of your business with a higher engagement rate with your posted content?

Now that you know third-party automation is the inauthentic way to gain Instagram followers…let’s take a look at a healthier option for your business to use. 

The GaryVee $1.80 Strategy (ends at 5:46). This strategy works well but takes time. However, with this strategy you will gain more customer focused followers who view you as the industry expert you are.

Breakdown of Gary Vee $1.80 Strategy

$1.80, leave your two cents (a meaningful comment) on 9 of the top posts, 10 x per day.

$0.02 X 9 = $0.18 X 10 times = $1.80 

Before you implement any new social media tactic make sure to plan it out strategically. What are your goals? How long will it run? How will you track your results. How will you define its success?