Bot Comments are an Embarrassment: The Inanity of Strategic Likes, Follows, & Comments


I want to talk about strategic likes, comments, and follows and bot comments on Instagram. I’m sure most of you have been on the receiving end of this, or maybe you’ve gotten bad advice to use these tactics or sign up for a bot program for Instagram.

If you have, don't. People know what's up, and no one is having it.


For those of you unfamiliar with this, here’s what I’m talking about:

A. When someone chronically likes or leaves comments on photos of people they're not following in the hopes that account will follow them back. I’m not talking about liking images here and there in a hashtag pool. I’m talking about strategically liking images in the hopes those people will follow you back.

B. Purposely following a slew of people anticipating they’ll follow back, then in a few days unfollowing them but still retaining them as followers.

C. Signing up for a bot program (not naming them!) that leaves insipid, empty comments from your account in the hopes of gaining followers (yet not reciprocating) and/or follows tons of accounts to automatically follow in a few days.

I see this behavior all of the time on Instagram. It's perpetuated because people believe (and quite honestly are told this) that it’s an easy way to gain followers and grow a following. It’s a growth hack basically, albeit a terrible one.

(This is how bad this trend is: I get comments all the time from social media marketers telling me they can help me. Here's one. Talk about bad publicity. Ugh)

Do not follow this advice, or succumb to the inanity.

Not only are these bullshit actions that have no vested interest in building real and meaningful relationships — not to mention most people can spot this garbage from a mile away. It's such a waste of your time, time that you could be dedicated to actions that will actually make a difference in your business.

There's no magic formula for social media. Yes, you can learn techniques and tips that will help you strategically make your presence online stronger, but there is no magic potion that is going to make all of the hard work dissipate and millions of followers and sales appear. The only way that happens is through consistently posting, planning, and building out your strategy.

I have said this for years, and I will continue to say it: there is no quick fix to building an active, valuable, engaged following other than hard work.

Don’t fall for cheap tactics to build your following. Don’t perpetuate crappy hacks that people can see right through.

If this is happening to you? Don't let it get to you. Report the comments as spam (the image below will show you how). This will also remove the comment and block the account from commenting on your posts in the future. Hopefully, if we all report them, Instagram will block these bot 3rd party apps from the platform.


Like all trends, this will dissipate and something else annoying will take its place. Keep your nose to the grind stone and continue to build your community online.

Be true to your goals, your ethics, and your gut within your business. The only way to build a strong, successful business is by doing the work. And it sure as hell isn't running around liking people's images hoping someone will follow you.

Meighan O'Toole

Always all in.