What happens when you are invaded by an Instagram bot

What happens when you are invaded by an Instagram bot
Vamp Instagram bot

Yesterday evening it happened to us. Our @vampbrands account was invaded by an Instagram bot and our following increased by 500 “bots” in the space of seconds.

We are still investigating the cause. This is what we suspect happened.

We posted a photo that included a hashtag which, unbeknownst to us, triggered a bot company to latch 500 unwanted fake followers onto our account. We acted quickly, setting our account to private for a short time to ensure that we could stop the sudden influx.

We just want to get one thing on the record. We have never purchased a single follower, like, comment. We have never used a dubious community engagement service to give ourselves a phoney following.

For us it has never been about the number. We are proud of building our community one person at a time. We have genuinely enjoyed cultivating the engagement of our account.

Sure, we’d love to reach 10,000 followers or even 50,000 one day. But there is absolutely no point in having a fake number up there.

If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

Just like the influencers on our platform, we spend time and effort carefully planning each post on our feed. What is the point of speaking to a load of robots when you can have a platform which allows you to speak to an engaged audience?

Internally we set goals for ourselves on how many genuine followers we have joining the party. We celebrate our wins as a team.

Our account has always been dedicated to showcasing the incredible work our influencers create for our campaigns. We enjoy using Instagram to share inspirational and educational content to help brands and influencers.

Why? Because we live and breathe authenticity. Authenticity is the bread and butter of Instagram. The best asset you can have alongside high quality creative content. This is why we always prioritise high quality over high reach.

We find the most effective approach to influencer marketing is to work with a collective of engaging micro-influencers rather than macro-influencers. Micro-influencers are high quality content creators with an average of 20,000 followers. Macro-influencers usually have a higher reach but a much lower engagement rate. (Read more about the Do’s and Don’ts of influencer marketing)

Our golden rule with all influencers on our platform is to be fearlessly authentic. It is what will make our content creators stand out from the competition as the market grows.

Last year, a similar incident happened to one of our influencers @glassfauna during our Vamp Creative Bucket list competition.

She and four other influencers were competing for a prize of $2000 to go towards fulfilling their dream photoshoot.

All 5 photos were posted on our Instagram account. The challenge was that the winning photo would be the one with the highest number of likes.

She and another influencer were neck and neck at one point but then it happened. Someone purchased likes on her competition image.

@glassfauna acted immediately according to her stellar ethical code. She withdrew her entry from the competition, posting on her Instagram feed to alert her followers about what had happened.

We can always count on our Vamp influencers to uphold the highest standards of authenticity. Their transparency is what makes them the torchbearers of the Instagram community.

Download this free Vamp guide and learn how to succeed on the world’s most viral platform.