One of the greatest parts about posting an Instagram story is being able to see which users have viewed the content. Instagram even allows you to block certain users from seeing the content you post. This, in essence, gives you some control over who can see your content, which enables you to shape your audience.
If you’ve ever taken the time to look at the stats to see who has watched your stories, you’ve likely seen the accounts of some of your most recognizable Instagram followers. These days you’ve probably also seen an uptick in the number of random people that have viewed your stories.
This begs the question of how do these mysterious lurkers find your content? And why do they view your content but choose not to follow you? Welcome to the world of fake social media profiles and bots!
Instagram Bots Are Real
You aren’t alone if you too are experiencing an increase in the number of strangers who are viewing your Instagram stories. While bots and fake accounts aren’t a new phenomenon, the issue seems to be more prevalent than ever. Though Instagram has greatly improved its ability to block auto-like bots and follow-unfollow tools, there are now new ways for these bot accounts to interact with real ones.
Today’s bots are designed to view thousands of stories each hour. The hope is that by watching so much content, the real account owners will get curious, click the stranger’s unknown account, and then choose to follow them.
But what’s the point of this mass content viewing tactic? We’re all much smarter when it comes to being able to spot fake interactions, so one would assume that these accounts don’t generate a high return on investment.
The idea behind the tactic is that because these fake accounts are able to view such a large amount of content in a short amount of time, they’re more likely to experience measurable growth in followers simply because of the number of interactions.
It’s also worth noting that most people don’t check their Instagram story stats. You don’t know what you don’t know, and if you don’t notice a strange profile watching your stories, you never know to take action against them.
Why Bots Are Used
Simply put, bots get work done fast. As a legitimate user of Instagram or any social media network, you know just how difficult it is to organically grow your followers. For those accounts that are struggling, it’s much easier to use a tool, such as a bot, as a way to more quickly get followers.
Using bots or a follow-unfollow tool allows an account owner to get subscribers without any effort on their part. The good news is that mass-following is a dying trend, especially as Instagram continues to improve its ability to spot fake accounts and bots.
So if you’re tempted to use a mass-follow tool or a bot in order to gain a large volume of followers, avoid the temptation! It’s best to use traditional methods to build an audience and to grow your fanbase.
Protecting Your IG Content
If you want to minimize the number of strangers that can view your IG stories, the best thing you can do is to make your account private. The biggest drawback of running a private account is that you greatly limit who you’re able to reach on Instagram as well as who is able to reach you.
While this may not be a huge deal if you’re running a personal Instagram account, if you’re a business that uses the platform to engage, changing your account to private isn’t an option. In this scenario, your best option is to routinely check who is viewing your stories and to block accounts that appear to be fraudulent.
Best Ways to Get Followers
While there are tons of shady ways to get followers on Instagram, the bottom line is that quality is better than quantity. You’re more likely to get more engagement and interest from 200 followers that actually want to learn more about your brand, versus 2,000 followers that are made up of bots, fake accounts, and forced followers.
The key to successful social media marketing is to know the ins and outs of interacting with followers. To build your audience on Instagram, you’ll want to:
- Post unique content
- Use captions and hashtags
- Create a recognizable brand
- Be consistent
Though you won’t build a huge following overnight, slow and steady always wins the race. You’ll experience much more success with legitimate followers than you’d ever get with hundreds of fake accounts and bots.
While it’s nice to know that people are viewing your IG stories, strangers who aren’t interested in engaging or learning about your brand aren’t exactly helpful. While bots and fake accounts will always exist, Instagram and other social media platforms are working to make networks a place for true and meaningful interaction.