How to Clean Your Instagram Account from Bots and Not to Kill Your Coverage
One of the most widely-discussed issues in Instagram promotion is blocking bots to increase ER. Everyone knows it should be done, but how?
One of the best posts on this blog describes an ER case. It has already gained 10,000 views and counting. I saw heated discussions about the efficiency of this approach in several chats, received huge feedback, and was one of the first (actually, the first) to publically speak about the issue many had been thinking about since the beginning of summer. Not only I spoke, I gave a real example with before/after statistics and all tools. Good job, me.
The end of the not-so-humble paragraph.
Unfortunately, almost everyone who decided to block bots in their accounts did it wrong, and I was no exception. This happened because of several rooky mistakes and no attention to the source material. I hope the situation will improve after clarifications.
TOP 4 Mistakes Made When Blocking Bots on Instagram
- Being too quick. Based on a dozen of examples and one fuckup of my own, I can say that too quick reduction of the number of bots in the account leads to the cutting of organic coverage. This is a deep pit to fall into (2 month after I have not climbed out of it yet). Here’s a couple of screenshots from the profile I am actively working on. The statistics is from LiveDune. First you see the dynamics of blockage and slight growth afterwards. During the blockage we kept attracting new followers, that is why the total amount of accounts under out sanctions has already exceeded 3,000.
I won’t comment on the geography but the audience… well, you see it yourself. However, not every post gets over 500 points of coverage, meaning less than 10% of the account’s audience sees new publications. Gaining likes to reach the top, LT, comments from top accounts, voting — nothing makes your coverage increase. Many posts start to generate likes instantly but stop in about 30 minutes which indicates that the coverage is artificially limited. I received feedback from Instagrammers that used to block subscribers by 500–1,000 a day and got the same coverage cutting.
- Bad knowledge of your audience. I am often asked questions like “What filters should I use to find bots?”, “What subscribers should be blocked?”, “Should I start blocking from one or two thousand subscriptions?” Comments or discussions of these topics are a gate to hell of subjective opinions. Don’t do that. No one can recommend you a filter for blocking bots without prior deep analysis of your account, so do it yourself or hire someone who you may trust. Let me explain it to you on the example of two accounts from which we received leads that turned to conversion.
Two out of three people would recommend you to block accounts without profile pictures or any publications.
Profiles that received leads from these accounts sell expensive men’s clothes. It means certain limits on audience search (you can’t even imagine). Closed accounts and accounts with 0–5 posts are our best friends as they often message and convert into subscribers.
Before crying blue murder and starting total cleaning study the accounts that ask you about prices and profiles of former customers. This will help you define your picture of the world.
- Hoping for a miracle. When we started working on ER increase in this article, we did not only clean the account from suspicious profiles. We worked hard on creating a content plan and a heading list, and we changed our approach to posts and texts. It was a huge job to do, so if you hope to block a couple of bots and to increase your involvement rates immediately, let me disappoint you. There will be no miracle. You will need a comprehensive approach, and cleaning your profile is just one tool.
- Turning back and not looking forward. This paragraph is not a mandatory one, I just got romantic. Instagram algorithms are constantly changing, ranging and organic coverage factors become more complicated, and this is just the first 100 meters of a marathon. Relying on the 100% repetition of one case from half a year ago (even if it is great) is stupid.
Check-List for Cleaning Your Profile from Bots
First of all decide whether you really need it. Look at the distribution of your subscribers by the number of outgoing subscriptions (to do so, use Instagram Analytics services). After that follow these simple rules:
- The number of blocked bots a day should be less than the number of new subscribers. This will prevent your account from getting into the filter of Instagram algorithms (if it exists at all).
- No profile picture or posts in an account does not mean it is a bot.
- One of the main factors that characterize a bot as a useless subscriber from the point of view of involvement and sales is the number of outgoing subscriptions. If there are more than a hundred, it is a mass follower. He or she may even be your customer but would be physically unable to notice your content. If you know that many of your subscribers practice MF (check it manually or via the list of top subscribers on LiveDune), inform them. It does not seem to be a problem — on the contrary, it will show your subscribers that you value their attention.
Write to Direct, make a warning post, or publish several previews in Stories. If it is critical for you to keep such audience with a 100% guarantee, use Instagram profile parsers (like SocialKit, Fidngram, and many others). Gather your own audience, sort it by the number of outgoing subscriptions, and add selected profiles to white lists.
One more point. Many bloggers and profiles using MF often have second personal accounts for browsing the feed without too many subscriptions. I personally know a lot of such cases.
4. Study your audience by blocking a couple of hundreds of profiles manually.
5. Instaplus or OML are good for blocking bots.
6. Keep involving! Users will not start a discussion until you push them. For more information read the article How to Get More Comments on Instagram.
Here’s an important note. After blocking major accounts you use the ability to look through the lists of their subscribers and work with them via ML/MF. Blocking becomes mutual, as you are not able to use their subscribers’ base (well, it is possible but you’ll need parsers and ready-made account lists).
Instaplus, for instance, has a function of automatic un-blocking of blocked subscribers. One needs this to continue working with competitors. Plus, in case you have blocked your target customer, he or she would be able to subscribe to you once again without receiving any messages about being blacklisted.
How to Block Bots in Instaplus?
Here’s a small manual for you. This is how settings look like when you create a blocking task.
Unfortunately, you cannot block bots by filter, so you will have to create your own list of profiles to be blocked via any known parser. Instaplus offers its customers Findgram. Upload an Instaplus list there — and voila.
How to Block Bots in OML?
Things are easier with OML. Create a new channel and use the following parameters.
Filtering goes on traditionally in coverage settings. If you want to block mass followers subscribed to your profile, check whether you use a correct window. Once I got a message from a reader who managed to block all major profiles subscribed to her by confusing Subscriptions and Subscribers.
How to Block Bots in SocialKit?
Cleaning a profile from bots in SocialKit works the same as Instaplus.
First parse the subscribers of your profile with in-built functionality and then apply necessary filters to your account base. There are many of them for any taste. Launch and enjoy the results.
Results of Blocking Bots on Instagram
The times when an advertiser/blogger/business owner was interested only in the number of subscribers and likes are long gone. Today the quality and affinity of the audience are the main parameters for profile evaluation. No one needs subscriptions when one can have sales!
That is why blocking subscribers is important and necessary, but don’t forget about high-quality unique content. Otherwise you will be just wasting your time.
If you have any other questions, or if you feel I missed something, write me a comment, and I will answer you. Good luck, and may 50% ER be with you!