To Bot or Not to Bot? Why You Should Think Twice when Automating Your Social Media
Young companies will often do everything they can to amp up their social media presence. But how far is too far? Is using a “bot” to help you gain social media traction going to put you at risk of being booted off the social media site altogether?
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That said, there are many similar bots operating on Instagram that continue to be able to stay out of Instagram’s eye. If the service allows you to modify settings, please think about modifying these settings so that the bot is very slow and the accounts it follows are as relevant as possible to your business (e.g. specifying hashtags). For example, Instagress is one of the most popular bots, and it has a “Safety” section that provides recommendations for users to keep their accounts “safe.” Check it out here. One of the most important things you can do is NOT use Instagram while the bot is running.
Additionally, Instagram allows you to follow an additional 20 followers per hour, or one follow every 28–38 seconds (with a maximum of about 1,300 new follows in a day). The “like” rate is 350 photos per hour, or one like every 28–36 seconds (with a maximum of 28–36 seconds a day). Comment maximums are in the range of 350–400 a day. It’s best to make sure the bot is not close to approaching these numbers. Finally, stay away from topics and industries that are ripe for this type of hacking: fitness, health, tattoos, women in bikinis, etc. If using a service, be sure to filter by very specific hashtags that are closely related to your core business. Don’t use general tags (#Chicago, #tbt, #mesohungry). But besides — in an era where your social media and online presence define your brand, do you really want to be the brand that’s spamming others with impersonal, automated comments? Genuine social media traction is what you want.
It’s also important to note that these rates don’t apply to all accounts in the same way: Trusted accounts (those that have been on Instagram for years) will have rates in line with the numbers cited above. But new accounts with few followers or posts will be limited to as low as one-tenth of those rates.
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