How An Instagram Bot Based Campaign Shocked The Social Marketing World
Louise Delage is a name that quickly gained popularity on the Instagram social network. The profile was of a Parisian, 25 years old. In just 2 months the account gained 41,000 followers. At first glance, everything seems normal and just an Instagram success story but there is so much more than meets the eye, a story based on clever social media marketing and deceiving thousands of people.
The profile of the social star is a part of a BETC campaign called “Like My Addiction”. The idea was that Louise was an alcoholic. This was just a campaign that was created thanks to the work of Francine Famboise and BETC for Addict Aide, trying to raise awareness about young people alcoholism. Addict Aide declared that 1 in 5 young people dying every year is because of an addiction.
What was interesting was the huge visibility that was created for the Louise Delage account in just 8 weeks. According to key campaign marketer responsible for the campaign:
“We rooted our craft into native Instagram content and user habits, building an acquisition strategy around four pillars: content, hashtags, bots and KOL (key opinion leader) strategy.”
Simply put, the account was launched with really good content but the growth was an artificially influenced one with a really well-known Instagram bot being used to generate the initial bot and create the idea that the account is genuine. Using such bots has long been seen as something that should not be done in the marketing industry but it is something that is done by practically all agencies. The fact that the campaign was so well-received at Cannes raised many questions among professionals in the industry.
The problem is not related to the actual campaign. BETC did a really good job. 2 to 3 posts were added every single day at the right high traffic moments, exactly when most people are active. At the same time, a lot of research was put into the project since fashion bloggers were carefully analyzed. The analysis even included what filters are really common among the most followed Instagram superstars. Every single post included suitable highly trafficked hashtags related to parties, nature, food and fashion.
The problem for many was the use of the bot. A very well-known bot that is no longer working on Instagram following the campaign reveal was utilized to follow some specific people like women that were interested in journalists, celebrities or fashion bloggers. The influence of the automatic follow bot was really high but was this the real reason for the growth of the account?
Louise Delage’s account showed how easy it can be to grown an account when you know exactly what has to be done and when the necessary budget is available (creating high quality content and reaching key opinion leaders is not cheap). However, reaching that level so fast without the use of the automated follow bots is something that is very hard to do. While people argue that it was the bots that created the growth, the truth is that the same growth would have been achieved even without them but in a longer time frame.