You may have heard the word “bot” bandied about but if you’re not sure what it is, well this blog should help shine a line on the subject for you. So, what is a bot and what do they do? I found this super helpful article At Least 40% Of Comments On Brand Instagram Posts Are Fake where they kindly explain that “Instagram bots are computers which take over your Instagram account to help it “grow”. The computer becomes responsible for liking and commenting on Instagram posts containing certain hashtags that you define beforehand, or posts from the followers of a specific account (again defined by you). You can also choose which comment you post, which is supposed to make the comment seem genuine – even though it’s not. Bots can do other things too, like follow accounts with certain words in their bio, depending on the kind of account you’re looking to connect with”.
Is it all making sense now? Why you keep getting all these random, seemingly pointless comments? It’s because something in your post (either your description or your hashtag or even just your account name) is triggering a bot and it’s taking an action.
The problem with people using this strategy to grow their accounts is it’s the antithesis of being social. It’s a shortcut that reflects negatively on the brand using the strategy. The more comments being spammed out from the account, the more obvious it is that this is not a genuine transaction.
They will also throw your engagement rate completely completely out of whack. If, as they say, 40% of the comments are fake comments, your rate is actually lower than you would have originally calculated. To calculate your engagement rate follow this formula:
Engagement rate = (like + comments)/followers
As a guide, 2% is a good rate to aim for.
If your’e lucky enough to not know what I’m talking about, here’s a shot of a recent post I did on Instagram. Every single comment in this post is from a bot.
So how do you get rid of these comments and the bots? Unfortunately the only options you have are to:
- Delete the comments yourself;
- Make your account private; or
- Disable comments completely.
At the moment there is no other way to combat bot activity but if you have any suggestions, please share them below!
Hardcastle Social Media is an independent social media consultancy based in Inner Brisbane. We provide strategic social media marketing to organisations of all sizes and have recently started offering newsletter services too! Specialising in Facebook & Instagram business page management we provide services from setting up your Facebook or Instagram business page through to total management of your current platforms. Contact us today on 0401 505 423 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer expert social media advice and look forward to discussing your business needs.