Sunday, 24 December 2017

My 3 days of Instagram automation: Does it really work?

Okay, ever since I started my career path in social media I've always been against social media automation. I've never actually automated anything on social media, well... I use Buffer, but that's not really trying to fool people... Well, it is, ahhhh, you get what I mean!
Even though I use Buffer to schedule posts I'm still interacting and speaking with people who are connected/following. No automated messages go out on any of the accounts I manage as I feel It's better for followers to actually engage with a human.
TLDR at the bottom
Anyway... Back to the point of this post.
I decided to automate my Instagram account to see why people actually automate social media to find out:
  • Is it better than actually taking time to engage?
  • Did I lose/gain followers?
  • What do I think of social media automation now?
Account size before start: - Followers: 1,220 - Following: 2,732

What I used

I used Instagress to automate likes, comments and follows. With a bit of configuration I set my comments up and the hashtags the account would target...


I used simple comments like 'Great Post, thanks for sharing' or just a simple emoji. This way, people are less likely to know it's a bot. But at the end of the day, there's no engagement. Take for example I was checking the posts it had commented on and one of them said 'Discuss this in the comments' Well... The bot comments with an emoji obviously, that's what it's been told to do.
No real engagement, no followers gained, I just look like an idiot who's just figured out how to send emojis.
So, on the comments front, it's very broad, unless you're getting right down into a niche where you can just comment simple things, I'd just take the time to comment and engage with people.
Over the 3 days, the bot commented on a total of 383 posts. Nothing I couldn't have done myself if I'm honest in a much shorter time frame with valuable comments.


The bot was sent out to like pictures of the hashtags chosen. A total of 2,515 pictures were liked. I'm still in the process of checking what it's liked but most of them seem to be correct and appropriate for the hashtags.
Here's where my problems lie. Some people like to mention you in their comments to create a bit of engagement. e.g. 'Hey @username, thanks for the like' Well... With the bot in place, the only thing you can do manually is post pictures... So no manual commenting, liking, following or unfollowing.
If you do then it has been said in the configuration stages of the bot that your account may be locked by Instagram or your password can be changed.
So yeah, your account basically lies dormant, you can't really use it, it's essentially just a bot.


Lets first take into consideration my Instagram following/followers. Before I started this little experiment I had 1,220 followers and 2,732. Okay, yes, it's a tiny account that I have only just started using and posting to.
Now my account has 1,423 followers and it's following 7,064. To give the bot a bit of an advantage I even started posting a little, all I got was bots commenting with emojis, just like I had been doing.
If you act like a bot, you'll attract bots.


So I ran this experiment to see if bots are actually worth the time, money and effort.
My opinion of bots and automating social media stands... Human interaction is everything, once you start to post, like and comment as yourself, you will get genuine people visiting your profiles to find out more about you and to interact with you.
Using bots may work for some people, it may get you a million followers if you pump enough time and money into it, but in all fairness everything this bot has done, I can do myself, ten times better and ten times faster.
Take from this little experiment what you will. I just don't think bots are worth it. 
TLDR; I ran a three-day experiment on Instagram with Instagress to see if social media automation is worth it... No, it wasn't.
Followers: 1,220
Following: 2,732
Followers: 1,423
Following: 7,064
Followers: Gained 200
Following: Gained 4332
What do you think of social media automation?


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