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For the hospitality sector, Instagram has become an essential platform. Restaurants know this and so do Instagram influencers and this is why giant photo sharing platform is full of them. The influencer marketing on Instagram is a competitive one – people buy fake followers and fake engagements(likes and comments) just to score deals with restaurants to get paid or offered free meals or hotel rooms.

Influencer marketing is HARRRD!!!!!! and now a new trend is emerging. Instagram bots that do the heavy lifting.

Unlike the rest of Instagram influencers, Chris Buetti, a data scientist from New York, he used his bot to get himself free meals.


New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world making eating out is an even costlier affair. This is why Chris saw becoming an influencer would score him free meals but that’s a lot of work for someone who already employed. Besides, you have to take quality food pictures, especially ones that will get enough engagement to attract Restaurants seeking publicity within the Facebook-owned company.

Chris used his data science skills by writing a script that mass followed real accounts that would hopefully follow back. Meanwhile, his reposted photos from other photographers(with credit) were getting attention seen by the number of likes the posts got. The script even sent DMs to New York restaurants alluring them with new followers and in return get him free meals. His clients don’t mind that the account is run by a bot.

“I spent a lot of time and effort writing this script and I’m offering them a service and they’re offering me a free meal”

~ Chris Buetti

Chris doesn’t even have to interact with the account.

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If you’re looking for some incredible Italian food with lots of variety, you should check out Olio e Piú! The outstanding chefs and staff bring the heart of Tuscany right here to the West Village. I shared a pizza 🍕 and seafood pasta🍝 with a guest while we enjoyed some wine🍷 and everything was absolutely amazing! Definitely a must-try! Take a look at my story and swipe up to see the menu! @olioepiu #ad . . . . . . #newyork #America #ny #nyc #newyorkcity #bigcity #street #usa #UnitedStates #city #citylife #urbanism #photo #megapolis #urban #urbanporn #architectureporn #skyscraper #american #vsco #vscocam #photoftheday #photogrid #cityscape #travel #architecture #landscape #earth

A post shared by Beautiful NYC (@beautiful.newyorkcity) on

So far, it’s been working even though it’s against Instagram policies. Chris has found the exposure lucrative that he now wants more than the free meals, he wants to enrich his bank account too. He has now cofounded Social Rise Consulting, a company that uses the same method to gain followers for clients – the firm currently has 32.


Chris has even given the account to a friend and is thinking of becoming a real influencer with photos he’s taken.

With bot influencing on the rise, it’s now left to brands to thoroughly vet influencer accounts before partnering with them but it can be tempting not to consider this approach especially with how successful these automated accounts have exhibited.

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