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"Love It!", "Nice One!", and Other Soul-Crushing Automated Tactics

Instagram: Land of Opportunity 

For businesses, entrepreneurs, organizations, and individuals, Instagram provides a medium to humanize your brand through creative imagery. Businesses have found success showcasing products, highlighting employees, inspiring target markets, building communities, and increasing brand exposure. 

With over 300 million active users and 2.5 billion likes daily, Instagram boasts some convincing statistics around engagement.

But is all that engagement legitimate engagement? 

Heck. No. 

Our Insta-Experience

We created a Blue Archer Instagram account in 2013, but it wasn’t until late 2014 that it became painfully obvious how many accounts on Instagram were using spammy, cheap tactics to increase follower and engagement metrics.

But these spammy tactics didn’t present themselves in the same way as - say - spam-email, for example. In all honestly, they had us fooled at first.

I began noticing that the same Instagram accounts were liking all of our photos… some even instantaneously.  Wow, I thought. They must have a hefty social media marketing team over there scouring the marketing related hashtags.

I rolled my eyes at the thought of an unpaid intern army going through and liking photos on Instagram all day, but hey – at least they were hustling, right?


(Fake-engagement... fakeagement. Are you still with me?)

Then the comments began rolling in. Right on!, I thought. This is awesome. People are interacting with our images!

“I love this!”, a comment read

“@____ thanks so much! What do you love about it?”, I responded. 



Those comments continued. Generic, uninteresting, uninspiring comments.

automated instagram engagement

And if the comments weren’t’ ambiguous, you can bet they were just plain weird. *Sigh*


Most of the comments were vague and uninteresting, but there were a few that were just plain incorrect.

Swing and a miss!


The Issue 

So what do all of these accounts have in common?

They are taking short cuts to increase their vanity metrics. They are hiring bots and downloading apps to comment and like images with a certain hashtag. Paradoxically, they are paying for automated ROBOTS to project the image of building HUMAN connections. 

They are ruining social media.

Harsh? Maybe, but someone needs to shine the light on these accounts. They aren't just your typical "Make $10,000 from home in a month" sales guys. They are marketing agencies. They are self-proclaimed "Instagram experts".

Tools: The Accomplices


Instagress automatically likes hashtags and comments on specific hashtags. Now, I'm not one to smack-talk (ok, maybe I am, occasionally), so I am going to let Instagress' own website content speak for itself:

We wanted to get more Instagram followers without spending the time doing it all by hand, so we developed these tools in order to make the process simple and effective.


I wanted to spam the heck out of my potential audience instead of taking the time to actively listen, learn, and ultimately communicate with my audience. 



Want to spam more than one social platform at a time? You're in luck! With FollowerLiker, they'll let you ruin everyone's day at once.

You can follow users, unfollow users, upload photos, like photos, unlike photos, comment on photos... Your follower and like counts will skyrocket with this amazing tool. 


And by you, we mean us. And by us, we mean automated bots. Actually, the only thing skyrocketing will be eye-rolls. 


"That Guy"

By employing ridiculous tools like these, you become "that guy". What do I mean by "that guy" (or gal)?

Let's use an analogy I know most of my readers will be familiar with: the bar (shout out to my millennial reader demographic).

Imagine you are at a bar with a beer in your hand, surrounded by your friends. "That guy/girl" marches right up to your personal space in the middle of your conversation and says, "I love beer", and then immediately walks away. "That guy/gal" will continue to scan the room for anyone holding a beer and repeat their tactic. After an hour or two, "that guy/girl" may get creative and change their strategy to targeting mixed-drinks. "I love mixed drinks"....... and so on, and so forth. 

Do you want to engage with this person? Do you want to follow-up with this person? Probably not. Why? Because they were not trying to start a dialog. They were talking at you with absolutely no attempt to create a thoughtful connection. 

Why Fakeagement Sucks 

High follower numbers + fake engagement = useless

The problem is, spammy accounts distract from all of the authentic, high-quality images and interaction taking place on Instagram.  Fakeagement adds zero quality or thought-leadership to the conversation. It merely takes up space. 

For most of us, social media provides a space where we can communicate with our audience or other industry professionals. We can develop and build a community that informs, unites, excites, and drives action.

Thoughtful engagement:

  • peaks interest
  • ignites a deeper conversation, possibly leading to offline or in-person connections
  • funnels targeted audiences to your blog or other website content
  • provides insight into the brain of your target market
  • strengthens the bond between your brand and the community

Tools: What You Should Be Using

So, what tools should you actually be employing to help you create and strengthen authentic online relationships with your target market? Glad you asked!

Edit with VSCO Cam 

Do you look trendy? Neither do we. That's why we edit the heck out of our photos. Nothing says hipster-chic workspace quite like the C1 filter on VSCO Cam. Get your photos in tip-top shape before sharing them with the world with this awesomely simple photo editing mobile app. #VSCOcam

Post with ScheduGram

Ah, automation. Though ScheduGram schedules your posts, it maintains authenticity because you are the one creating and writing these posts. You aren't employing an algorithm to do it for you like in the cases of the spammy tools above. 

Engage with Iconosquare

I adore Iconosquare. I got started with it before Instagram acknowledged hashtags as links on the desktop version. So, it started as a way for me to be able to successfully explore hashtags. However, the functionality of Iconosquare extends far past hashtag exploration. You can use this desktop tool as a way to post and like images and expand your audience. Because let's be honest  - you still feel a little awkward when you're doing work on your phone and your boss walks by. Introducing your desktop solution.

Do you feel equally frustrated by Instagram spam? How do you handle spammy comments? Do you ignore them? Report them? Let us know in the comments below. 

And please, leave your Instaspam at the door. 

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