You post a new photo on Instagram and you notice a sudden swell of new followers on your account and you begin to celebrate. But wait, almost as quickly, you suddenly see half of those new accounts have unfollowed you. And you wonder why so many users would follow your account and then jump ship so quickly.
Relax. Believe it or not, there are people who spend their days following other Instagram accounts. They’re called bots or “spambots” and these fake accounts, nearly 24 million of them, were created to interact with other Instagram users like you. And while Instagram has implemented new rules to get rid of these annoying account, they are an ongoing issue.
What these bots hope to achieve by spamming your account is attention and a follow from you. Unfortunately, if they don’t get that in the first few hours, they’ll unfollow your account and try again later.
So how can you minimize the number of bots you get on your account in lieu of real followers? Hashtags are one of the best ways to maximize true users. Using hashtags that are content focused are more likely to see increased interaction from real audience members who are your ideal followers.
Staying away from generic hashtags like #awesome, #sweet, #cool, or #instafood will show your content to fewer people, but will focus on those who are more likely to be users you want to interact with.
Finally, what should you do once you have attracted those followers? Make sure you’re engaging with them. It’s great to see your follower numbers increasing, but it’s even more important to realize the value of those interactions and make sure you are building long-term relationships with them that will ultimately grow and enrich your business.