The Instagram Bot Problem (In Relation To EDM)
Why does it matter?
If you're a musician or DJ then you probably know a few things about the various famous artists within your scene and if you use Instagram you're probably following them. It can be a huge boost of confidence when you get to interact with these bigger artists, but what if I told you that a good portion of these big artists that have liked or commented on your posts really have no idea that you exist? It kind of kills that excitement a bit and begs the question of why these artists would be willing to give their fans and aspiring artists that false sense of interaction. As someone that has been in the electronic music scene for years, most of my friends on Facebook are also in the music scene and I constantly see screencaps of my friend's Instagram posts liked by famous artists. It kills their excitement when someone comments telling them that the account uses a bot and "insert famous artist here" really didn't like their new single they posted a preview of.
How Do The Bots Work?
The idea behind the Instagram bots is that they search through set hashtags and periodically like content that is posted with those hashtags. If "insert famous dubstep artist here" uses a bot that searches through the "#dubstep" hashtag, their account could end up liking or even commenting on your post with specified comments, when in reality the actual artist never saw your post.
Why Do Artists Use Bots?
The bots are a way for artists to get their name in your mind and essentially use you to get free promotion without them having to do anything. You see that the artist liked your post, the artist's name gets put in your head making you more likely to talk about them with other people or go listen to their stuff. It also makes you more likely to follow their account if you think they like your content and interact with fans, when in reality they aren't doing either of those things.
I created a little test that I did with my own Instagram account. Before I tell you the results, let's talk about some of my Instagram statistics. I have a very low following, only around 180 follows, I do not post content daily, my average post interaction is 0-5 likes and every once in a while a few comments, and I don't interact with other accounts as much as I should. There is very little about my account that would make anyone want to follow me, not to mention famous artists. For the test I took a completely 100% solid black image and uploaded it with a bunch of hashtags relating to music, including #dubstep, #bass, #firepowerrecords, #deathstep, #datsik, #excision, #skrillex, and some others. Within two days the post was liked by 43 accounts, of which included multiple famous/popular artists/groups/labels including Diesel Boy, Excision, Downlink, Destroid, Buygore, KJ Sawka, Butch Clancy, and Bear Grillz. None of these accounts are following me and none of them have interacted with me in the past. This is the most liked post I have ever gotten on my Instagram account. I'm not saying that any of these people are bad people, in fact I enjoy a lot of their music. I'm just pointing out the fact that there are a lot of artists out there using bots. You can take this information and form your own opinions about the situation, but I believe I could repeat this test using different hashtags relating to different genres of music and acheive similar results.
I'm not writting this to tell you to hate people that use Instagram bots, that will be your decision to make, I'm simply pointing out that it's commonplace amongst EDM artists and that you should ask questions when your posts get liked by famous artists before you go bragging about it on Facebook. If you have famous artists following you or liking/commenting on your posts when you don't use hashtags then there is a higher chance that it's really the artist sitting down on their phone looking at your content. If you make a post with a bunch of hashtags and get tons of interaction from famous accounts, they're probably bots.