According to a 2013 study by the Internet security firm Incapsula 61.5% of Internet traffic is non-human. In terms of social media and Twitter in particular it means that quite a lot of the platform users are bots or robots, algorithms created for various reasons, usually for data gathering.
If you have been using Twitter for a while you will learn to spot bots; they usually have machine-generated names like ‘daira andradoz’ or ‘yehoadan frant’ and not many followers (their follower to followed ratio is usually skewered – having a handful of followers while at the same time following thousands of accounts is a sure sign of a bot). Their tweets are random and do not read well (because they were not written by a human being), they never have real conversations on Twitter and most of their followers are other bots (by the way it is always a good idea to check the followers’ list when you are considering following someone)
These days the bots’ job is mostly offering you thousands of followers for a fiver. Although it is important to be able to spot robots, it’s even more important not to act like one if you want to gain a genuine and engaged following for your brand.
- Make sure your activity on Twitter is varied.
Do not post the same link over and over again hoping toget more people to click on it; do not use the same hashtag, do not post too often, take weekend breaks (I’m sure a bot can be programmed to take breaks too) by tweeting about something not related to your business (not too personal but showing your human side, like sports or hobbies)
- Create an engaging personality for your brand.
Have genuine conversations, listen to your audience and respond in a meaningful way, only humans can do that, retweet other people’s tweets (don’t do that too often though) and mention others by using their Twitter handle @. Twitter is a great customer engagement tool, respond quickly especially to disgruntled followers, so that minor issues do not turn into serious problems for your brand.
- Use humour.
Bots have no sense of humour. We don’t need to tell you that inappropriate jokes are not going to help you gain followers, but do use humour to enhance your branding.
- Do not buy followers.
No matter how cheap or tempting it may be, avoid paying for followers, that is not the way to grow a responsive engaged audience on Twitter.
Have you got any other comments about ‘Robots”? Please leave your comments below and let’s get a conversation going.