If you’re getting started on social media or if you’ve been active for a while and want to increase your following, you have a few options:
- Become more active, engage with your users and watch your organic growth slowly but surely improve over time (this is a slow burn, but the quality of your followers is great)
- Invest in social media advertising which promotes your brand to users who do not follow you yet, in hope that they will like what they see, click your profile and follow you immediately.
- Use bots to engage in user accounts, follow/unfollow potential new clients to help your organic growth increase at a faster rate without you having to lift a finger.
Number three sounds pretty good in theory, right? Let’s dive a little deeper and explore this option! Before we do, it’s important to understand what a ‘bot’ actually is!
What are ‘bots’?
‘Bots’ is a slang term for robots – and when it comes to social media bots, there are two main varieties:
1. Bots you employ (usually paid, though some are free) to engage with users on your business’ behalf. Their generally designed to mimic human behaviour, using terms like “I love this post!” etc. to engage with users and make them feel like your business is interested in their content.
- Dishonest bots – run by third parties who are the main drivers of scam accounts, or have hidden agendas. They’re aimed to steer public conversations a particular way, troll accounts or post specific messages in bulk.
Now that we know what bots are… should I use them or not?
Here at Marketing Movement, we love a pros and cons list, so to really break down the use of social media bots, let’s do exactly that!
- Takes the task of user engagement off your hands – and any extra time in your day is a win!
- May lead to an increase of followers over time.
- You are placing your brand, a business you have built and worked hard at – in the hands of a robot, who doesn’t have the same intellect or discretion as you. Therefore, there is a high likelihood that your brand may be represented in the public space in a negative light.
- Since the bot operates on mass, it may engage incorrectly (i.e. “Nice photo, we love this!” on a post about a deceased pet.). Or it may engage with an incorrect user (i.e. someone with strong opposing political views to yourself and your business).
- The juice may not be worth the squeeze. The risks and potential costs of the bot may not result in a surge of followers overnight. When you notice social media accounts with 10k followers, the likelihood is that they have bought their followers (i.e. they aren’t quality followers). They are a mix of spam and fake accounts that are just there to make the account in question look attractive)
- The new followers that the bot may attract to your page may not live in your locality or be interested in your products/services. So, although it may help to increase your following, these followers may not become customers.
Are bots worth the risk?
So… long story short, we recommend avoiding bots like the plague. Because when it comes to your business, which you’ve worked hard to grow and develop, some risks aren’t worth it. It’s important that you feel confident that whoever is speaking on behalf of your brand is representing it well. Bots are a gamble that rarely pay off and it’s always best to deal with real people who you can answer your questions and assist when you need them. Oh, like us!
If you’ve got a marketing question on the tip of your tongue, shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’re a Full Monty subscriber, post it on our VIP Facebook group to have your questions answered by our knowledgeable team. Because when it comes to making marketing decisions for your business, we’ve got your back!