When researching Social Envy, the first result I found was it’s Trust Pilot review page, with an impressive rating of one out of five stars.

I found so many complaints about this company, I don’t even know where to begin. People claim Social Envy not only stole their money, but also their Instagram account and passwords!

Was it really that bad? Is Social Envy a scam? Are there any better alternatives out there? What are some practical and risk-free ways to grow your Instagram account?

I’ll cut to the chase. Social Envy was not a great Instagram tool. Most of the people who used it weren’t happy with the service. For instance, 95% of reviews on Trust Pilot were negative.

But if you were looking for a Social Envy alternative, I’v got you.

Recommended Products:

Here are the Instagram tools I recommend, for a full list, visit this link.

1. Upleap

Upleap is unique because they hire real people to manage your account. They don’t use bots or scripts for any of the activity, it’s all done by hand.

As we know, humans are limited to the number of actions they can perform, and Instagram knows this. With Upleap you can rest easy knowing that your Instagram account is in good hands. No bots whatsoever.

The best part is you can get started with a free trial.

2. KENJI

KENJI calls itself “The Best Instagram Bot” and there may be good reasons for that. The company uses a unique AI system that basically copies the way that you interact with your Instagram account, and does the same on your behalf.

I thought the idea was really cool, but you do need to know it is a bot, so there’s always some level of risk. Nevertheless, it’s cheap, and a lot of people have used it to grow their accounts.

Did I mention it has a free trial too?

You can’t go wrong with either of the above Instagram tools. But let’s get back on subject, Social Envy.

What Was Social Envy?

Since the website has been taken down, we’ll have to take a trip down memory lane with the internet’s time machine, Archive.org.

Luckily for us, a version of Social Envy still exists in the archive, so we can still take a look.

(If you’re curious to see for yourself, check out this link).

On the surface, the homepage looks much like any other marketing agency. Social Envy claimed to have worked with companies like Hyundai, LimeBike, and others.

As it turns out, all of these companies denied every working with Social Envy, so their logos were used without permission. Sketchy!

So what got them in trouble? I’ll get to that in a moment.

According to their website, they describe themselves as some sort of marketing agency with services in various areas, such as search engine optimization, social media, web and mobile applications, and email marketing campaigns.

So, it seems like they branched out into various services, social media marketing (Instagram) is one of them. We’ll focus on their social media services, specifically Instagram, for this review.

Social Envy offered to organically grow members Instagram accounts by automating tasks and building a target audience.

Here’s how it worked:

You use their free consultation form to get in touch with their social media manager. From there, the manager will ask a series of questions, such as what hashtags you want to target, the users, locations, and what not.

Once they have the necessary information, the manager will get to work on your Instagram account for you, similar to hiring a social media marketer.

On the surface, the description of the services looked much like any other social media marketing agency. But how they executed those services is the problem. As I mentioned before, the company has a very bad reputation online.

What Went Wrong?

As it turns out, Social Envy was one of several websites operated by three marketers; Arend Alexander Hubert Nollen, Leon Francis Hedges, and David James Pekka Pasanen.

They created a New Zealand based company called Social Media Series that all of their websites were listed under, Social Envy is one of them. Social Steeze was another Instagram specific service that belonged to them and was shut down.

Allegedly, Social Media Series was using bots to create artificial activity on the website, marketed as real. It seemed like the company was linking their websites to create a network of bots.

Long story short, Facebook decided to sue the company for US $9.4 million in damages.

Besides the unethical use of a network of bots, it seemed like the company was just offering a bad service.

There are numerous complaints online about Social Envy charging credit cards more than what was agreed to, customer support not replying to inquiries, and other issues.

Here’s an article where you can learn more about the case.

Let’s take a look at their services:

Social Envy Services:

Finding an exact list of their services is hard, as it seems like most of the clients would order custom services through the consultation form.

For example, they would use targeting features to interact with certain users, target hashtags, and automate activity (such as Like, Follow, Comment, etc).

Most of this was done behind the scenes, so you there’s no way to really see what they’re doing on your account.

Ironically, their introduction video promised no fake followers and totally genuine organic growth. When in reality, the truth was the exact opposite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FyixSjjRYs

Even though the company promised new followers, the reality is only a few new followers would be added to your account.

The problem here is that most of the followers were from foreign countries, such as China or India, and were suspiciously inactive.

As we know, fake accounts do nothing useful for your Instagram business. They won’t interact with your account, click any of your links, or buy your products – so they’re useless.

Still, that doesn’t stop people from buying fake followers because they like to see bigger numbers, even if that means fewer conversions or sales.

My guess is Social Envy would create fake followers and send them to their clients, making it look like their account was growing when it really was not. Or they would use services from other tools, like Social Steeze, to send waves of likes to their clients on Social Envy.

Either way, they were breaking Instagram’s terms of use.

Social Envy Complaints:

Social Envy rating on Trust Pilot.

One of the most common complaints found online regarding Social Envy are billing issues.

Users mention the company charged their PayPal or credit cards much more than what was agreed to, and even some unauthorized transactions. This has lead to many people labeling Social Envy as a downright scam.

Take a look at this screenshot:

That is one of many similar complaints found online. Other users mention paying for the service but not getting any results.

Another alarming case mentioned Social Envy stole the user’s Instagram password and account details, refusing to give it back. It’s not hard to find bad reviews about this company online, even though they’re no longer active.

It seems like the poor service was not limited to the Instagram marketing department, as people who bought their other services also complain about not getting any results.

The worst part:

When someone complains, the customer support flat out stops replying to their requests. Very unprofessional.

So, even when this company was in operation, it had a really bad reputation, and it wasn’t delivering nearly what was promised.

Word of Advice:

Can you list the red-flags mentioned in this review? One of the obvious red-flags is the use of fake testimonials from well-known companies.

1. Watch for Fake Testimonials

If a company has to resort to using fake testimonials to build trust, that’s when things are going downhill. Unfortunately, a lot of companies still do it, and it’s a common practice online.

Nevertheless, if you feel like the testimonials are a bit suspicious and sound a little too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid at all costs.

On the subject of social media management, using bots can help increase the numbers on display, but it rarely helps improve conversions.

2. Avoid Using Bots

I know I’ve said this before; the best way to grow a brand on social media is through good old genuine content creation. Create and upload content that is interesting and fun. Like other users posts and leave real comments with real opinions.

I know it sounds like work, but that’s the best way to build a following because nobody wants more spam in their lives. Better yet, hire someone to do this for you. I don’t recommend using bots to automate activity on your main Instagram account.

Speaking of hiring someone to manage your profile, that is the exact service Upleap offers. With their service, a real person will be in charge of generating activity on your account. And, unlike Social Envy, most of the Upleap reviews online are positive.

Go ahead and check out Upleap.

3. If Using Bots, Take it Very Slow

And if you’re going to use bots, make sure the setting is on the lowest possible. The last thing that you want is to blast your Instagram with a human-impossible activity, such as liking thousands of posts in minutes. Make sure to always set the speed to slow, at least while your account grows.

We know Instagram monitors activity over time on users, and if suddenly a user that doesn’t post much is posting 10 times as often, that is a little suspicious.

Conclusion: The Bottom Line

To summarize this Social Envy review, make sure to keep an eye out for programs like Social Envy because it shares a lot of red-flags with known scams. Watch for those fake testimonials.

At a glance, Social Envy looked like a decent and professional marketing agency but things are not always what they seem. It looks like the company was flat-out lying about their testimonials and how the service works.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when a company is telling the truth, but you can usually tell if the services sound a bit too good.

Long story short, Social Envy was bad enough to be sued by Facebook, so that should tell you enough about their business practices.

I know managing an Instagram account requires a lot of work, and most of that work is rather tedious.

Using Instagram management tools is one way to automate that activity and lighten the load on your shoulders, hence why there are so many social media management tools. Some work, meanwhile others are downright scams.

Luckily for you, we put together this frequently updated list of recommended Instagram management tools. Take a look, and pick the one that suits you the best.

Thanks for taking the time to read this Social Envy review!

If you’re looking for a Social Envy alternative, Upleap is the company for you.