My friend Ollie is a photographer in London, England. He shoots some pretty major shows, and lately, it’s been a lot of hip hop. As he’s posting his work on his Instagram feed, he’s been getting a lot of comments from hip hop beat makers.
“Your flow is epic.”
“My friend wants to make music with you!”
These comments (obviously) don’t make sense in this situation. Ollie isn’t a rapper. He’s a photographer. So, why is he getting these comments on his photos?
What are bots? Bots are pieces of code or software that attach to your Instagram profile and search for certain hashtags that are relevant to you or your business. From there, you can preprogram, or “automate” them to leave comments, likes, or follows. So for example, you take a picture of a rapper at a show and leave #rapper on it. Someone else has their bot set up to search for the hashtag “rapper” and leave the comment “Your flow is epic! We should work together.” on any post it finds. Sometimes it finds a post by an actual rapper. Sometimes it finds a post by a photographer.
Which brings me to another point. In my travels recently I found a local Insta account who was following similar hashtags as us. This person was engaging in a large portion of the posts with the same comment. Over and over. And while this may garner them some followers in the short term, their long term success could be poorly affected by this tactic.
Remember, Instagram, and social media as a whole is a game of quality over quantity. Its users, and people in general, crave authenticity. We crave a real connection with other real people. When your business is authentic on social media, it builds a strong personal connection with its fans. Your fans are your customers. Let them see the real you.