Are you wasting your time on Instagram?

There’s a thing called data—I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Successful companies use it to track every facet of their business from traffic, subscribers, customer satisfaction, customer retention, sales, NPS, page views, bounce rates, open rates, click rates, referrals, and lord knows what else to ensure everything is built on a solid as fuck foundation, so whenever the legs get a little wobbly, they’ll be able to identify the source and fix it immediately. Data is everything. If you track the right data and gear your initiatives towards improving that, things can start looking up pretty quickly. Obsess over the wrong data — social media fans — and you’ll soon realize there is little to no correlation between the number of followers you have and the success of your business.

I’m not saying a good social following can’t help your cause. I’m saying a large portion of people are so fixated on “ego” numbers that they neglect to track the data that matters. Opinions here will split the sea like Moses, but as far as I can see, there is little to no data to say using a robot to build an Instagram following will help your business, so why the fuck would you do it?

The arousal of the ego becomes too great to ignore

A lot of digital nomads are energized and excited to do whatever it is they want to do. And when they see and meet people with thousands of followers — real or fake — they believe therein lies the answer. Thousands of followers equal thousands of dollars. So, when they hear a robot can bring in 100 plus “real” followers while they sleep—the arousal of the ego becomes too great to ignore. And when you start getting 100 plus followers a day, it’s very easy to lose focus on the data that matters, and think to yourself, “Holy shit, this is actually happening. I’m popular. Does this mean I’m a public figure now?”

Next time you post on Instagram, use the hashtag #digitalnomad, and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll have some Willy Wonka prick follow you and comment how awesome your page is, and, of course, suggest you should check out theirs. All in the hope that you follow them back. But Willy Wonka hasn’t looked at your page. An algorithm has. And what’s weird is—A LOT of people do follow back—only to be unfollowed by the robot on a mission to build “social proof.”

I’m ashamed to say I was guilty of this until, A) I realized what a dickhead I was, and B) I realized it doesn’t work. Now, I’m only going on my opinion and experience. My articles on Medium had 6,510 reads in the past 30 days. Pretty modest. Of course, I could sprinkle cherries on top and make ridiculous claims by changing the wording and leaning on the number of followers the publications I write for have, but the only person I’d be kidding is myself. And that’s what you’ll be doing if you have a robot go to work for you.

I tell you this because when I was obsessing over likes and follows, my email list was hardly growing and I might have had a few hundred people read my articles in any given month. I’m not even going to tell you how many people clicked the links in my Instagram last month it’s so fucking embarrassing. Suffice to say, while Instagram takes up a whole lot of time, energy and focus, the ROI is miniscule to what you could get by focusing your energy elsewhere.

But don’t take my word for it. There was a dude giving a talk the other day on how to earn seven figures through eCommerce with all the credentials to back it up. This is not verbatim, but I believe he said,

“I don’t give a fuck about social media followers. They are worthless. One email equates to 1,000 followers on social media.”

Or something to that effect.

My personal belief is that a combination of social media addiction, and the perceived stress of what has to be done to succeed — whatever that means for you — ensures too many procrastinate on the stuff that matters while placing too much energy on the other stuff because it’s easier to get a hit of dopamine that way.

Some people don’t give a fuck, many will argue it works. Others are straight up kidding themselves, and in doing so, are increasing the likelihood of failure. Others make thousands of dollars from Instagram alone, but I don’t know any of these people who have done so using a bot. And this is why I think using a bot is a massive mistake. Especially if you are building a personal brand…

They are vindication that our society is messed up.

It’s fake. People only like your account because you follow them or like a photo of theirs. They hope you’ll reciprocate because like everyone, they want peering eyes to think they’re popular, or to feel more popular. They won’t engage once you stop. Some might. I’ve seen people freak out when their bot stops working and their likes fall off a cliff. If the likes and followers weren’t visible, nobody would use the bots. But you would still use marketing methods to increase traffic, sales, conversions, etc. Because that’s what matters. Reciprocation likes aren’t likes. They are vindication that our society is messed up. Also, a lot of those people who reciprocate a follow for a follow have very few followers. They’ll know when you stop following them, and that will leave a bad taste in their mouth.

The only people I know that have blown up on social media have started their endeavor with blowing up on social media the last thing on their mind. They focused on that one thing they had to offer that made them fucking great. And they kept working to get better at it. And because of that, their business exploded.

The day has come where everybody is savvy to the fact that getting several thousand followers on Instagram is as easy as scoring in a brothel. Save your time and energy, and stop obsessing over “ego” numbers. Instead, obsess over the numbers that matter.

I’m not saying all social data is irrelevant. Of course, social media is major. Only you know if it’s working for you or not. And if you think a robot can save the day, I think your nuts. But that’s just my opinion. If you’re spending all your energy there in the hope it will convert to cash, I think you’ll be doing yourself a massive favor by shifting your focus to the stuff that matters.

Would anyone recommend using bots? Any case studies to suggest it actually works? I’m sure it has for some people. How does Instagram for you? Please comment below. I’m sure there are lots of people reading who are wondering if this could work for them!

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