Spotting BS accounts on Instagram.
This post is an extract from our Free Facebook group – Facebook Ads Made Easy. Feel free to join – It is mostly Facebook ads advice (what I do, yo!), social media support, tips and a bit of fun in there, too!
Do you know how to spot BS on the ‘gram?
I’m talking fake accounts, bot accounts, spam accounts… those accounts that invite you to “reach out if you need help getting followers!” and the like.
There’s a theory that if you engage with these posts, Instagram plugs you into the same category of them (unverified).
It’s a fact that if you use bots, auto commenters “growth tools” that use the follow-unfollow method and tools that allow you to buy likes and engagement Instagram will punish you when they find out (when, not *if*, my loves).
Here’s a couple of red flags. Let me know if I missed any!
🚩 Generic comments that are totally irrelevant to your post.
My favourite is the one where my beloved dog (my best friend for over 13 years) passed away and some comments on my post were “love it! keep it up! More content like this!” Needless to say, I hope to have much LESS content like that. Interesting side note, the account claimed to be a makeup artist and “influencer” with several thousand followers and engagements. I replied to the comment stating how gross what they do is, they blocked me and I reported them. Watch for “influencers” who actually, *ain’t got sheet*.
🚩 Thousands and thousands of followers, but no posts.
What the flippity flop are all those followers digging so much?
Nada. They are BS.
🚩 Screenshot visual posts with crap captions, and hundreds or thousands of comments beneath.
And usually, those comments look like this:
“love it. keep it up!”
“wow great content”
“excellent capture. I really like your photo a lot”
“follow us for motivation!”
🚩 Asking a question that is directly answered within your caption/video/post
This happened today. The end of my caption was “Senator, We run ads” (an absolute classic line from Zuck himself used a lot between advertisers) and the very first comment was “hey enriches, get in touch if you’d like to make money with Facebook ads!”
No. Go away. (side note… I visited their profile and the brag posts were showing sales of around $30. Thank you, next.)
🚩 Using their own hashtags as part of an almost-seemingly-genuine comment.
This one is hard to spot, but I find anyone who is genuinely interacting with a post because they *want* to will not ever do this. It’s gross.
How about a pic of an eyebrow wax from a beautician with a hashtag like #browgoals
You may get comments such as “so much goals! #sydneybrowbar*”
Ewww. No. Get off my lawn.
Sometimes, accounts are being genuine and may accidentally post comments that seem spammy or fake. in the age of the bot, for some this can be tricky, so I am not saying ALL of these red flags means that they are 100% fake and you should shame them or report them. I am simply saying, be vigilant. And do not, under any circumstances, buy followers, engagements or use bots to leave rubbish comments all over the place. It is to your detriment (and theirs, suckers!) if you do.
This morning I had a “growth tool” try and troll me back when I told them working with them would be a ‘hard pass’ after looking at their profile. They put down our engagement rate and “hard passed” me too. Yeah, our engagement needs work – it is a direct reflection of how much work I give Insta, to be honest. But if you’ve read the post for this morning on our page (Enriches Business) you’d know I don’t give it too much weight, or let it affect me at all.
Some quick notes regarding the account leaving bot comments on my post this morning (followed by a real comment, which blew me away!):
🤨 They use auto-commenting – this violates IG terms of service (TOS)
🤨 They had 3 posts at the time. They now have about 6
🤨 They have 18K followers and barely a week of posts – starting in October. 🤨🤨🤨
🤨 They have the word “Gram” in their name. This is a violation of IG TOS
🤨 They lack genuine reviews and use a bot that tells website visitors “in real time” how many people are signing up to the service. These are often BS.
🤨They are back to 3 posts again.
Did I miss anything? Do you have any fun or horror stories to share with us, related to bot accounts? Share them in the Facebook Ads Made Easy Group! We are always down for a laff!
While you’re here – Do you need help with Facebook Ads for your Aussie business? Maybe some SEO, Display Ads (Google Ads) or general advertising advice and help? Say no more – we gotchu. Hit us up at email@example.com or phone Ben on 0450 603 836. A general chit-chat with an expert may be all you need!