It’s not a surprise that people are doing this. Anyone who has an Instagram account can see how quickly random accounts follow them and how quickly they unfollow. It’s hard to grow a following and get yourself out there.
It’s a tactic used by many and I’ve even read articles that give advice on how to grow Instagram suggesting to use bots or mass follow and unfollow. Brands do it. Bloggers do it. I’m sure many other people do it.
But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about something else.
We all go on about how the right way to grow a following is to do it organically. But what does that mean?
Well, let’s look at what’s not organic.
Buying followers is the ultimate no-no, it seems. It’s not organic EVEN A LITTLE BIT. It’s lazy, it’s fake. Most of the accounts that follow you are fake, or porn, or selling weight loss wraps and other crap accounts like that.
Using bots is another way and it’s the one that seems to be the thing in the spotlight lately. Bots can do many things for you. They can comment for you. Really shitty comments like ‘great post!’ and ‘keep up the work’ or ‘I love this photo!’. You’ve probably seen it. They can also like photos and follow people. The idea is to get your attention and get these people to return the favour.
Another tactic is manually following people. Then unfollowing later to make your followers/following ratio to look better. I’ve seen this used many times, mostly because you start to see the same accounts follow you over and over again. Those people just look like a nob really.
Another way to get people to follow you is to hold a giveaway. You can do this on your own, by buying some makeup or something similar and asking people to either follow you, regram, comment or whatever. You can work with a brand and give away a prize they supply to a winner. Or you can hold the competition on your blog using a Rafflecopter then request people follow you on a whole host of social media platforms. There are people that enter 100’s of comps a day. Known as compers. If your giveaway gets posted in a comper Facebook group of forum then you can get 100’s of hits and followers! Winner, fake views and fake followers. Bingo!
Another tactic used is comment pods. This is where a group of bloggers start a chat, either in direct message or Whatsapp and then comment on each others posts and like them. This is an attempt to trick Instagram into thinking they’re more popular than they really are so they can appear higher in the searches and peoples timeline. This started happening when Instagram changed the algorithm and bloggers felt the need to do something about not being shown in peoples feeds as often.
You can also comment on peoples photos as a way to get them to come to your feed, follow and comment back. You can search through hashtags to find relevant accounts. You can interact with people manually – liking, commenting and following. All in hope for getting someone to to like you back. To follow you back.
Of you can grow organically. But posting a photo and hoping for the best.
I guess it all depends on where your moral compass is.
How many of these tactics have you used? Which do you see as okay, and which are a total nono for you?