Should you outsource your social media to a “bot”

When looking to improve your social media presence, the term “bot” often comes up, along with promises to send your followers skyrocketing. So what are “bots” and are they worth paying for to increase your social media following?

A “bot” is basically software such as FollowAdder and SocialOomph that will automatically follow people, like and comment on posts on behalf of your company. You pay a fee and set the settings to follow, like and comment on posts based on criteria you can set, i.e people that follow your competitors, people who use hashtags relevant to your business etc.

The idea is that some of the people you like, comment on or follow will follow you back and increase your followers. The reason this software is available is due to the sheer time it can take to manually like posts, follow people etc yourself. 

Now this all sounds well and good, but in our opinion having a “bot” look after your account diminishes the credibility of your account. You cannot personalise the comments made and it’s quite obvious with accounts run by “bots” that they are run by them. With Instagram you can look at an account and see that they have liked content round the clock and often that the comments they are making are the same.

If you have only made a few posts on your Twitter account and you have hundreds or thousands of followers, genuine people will work out that you have used a “bot” and not trust you – not a good business plan! There is also the fact, that using a “bot” makes you lazy.

If you want a genuine, good social media account with followers who are actually interested in your product,  you need to provide them with engaging content that they want to see. Using a “bot” can make users put out the same boring content as they use the “bot” to schedule this. As they aren’t getting any genuine feedback, it’s not obvious what people are liking and not liking.

Not only does using a “bot” diminish your credibility, but social media platforms are against “botting” and have implemented anti-spam/anti-bot restriction and can ban accounts when they like too many photos in a short amount of time or commenting the same thing again and again. Therefore by using a “bot” you are putting yourself at risk of losing your account, which could be detrimental to your brand and obviously undo any work you have put into building up your social media account. Starting over again, would mean you would lose your user name and any genuine followers that you have built. A number of high profile "bots" such as Instagress and Mass Planner have been shut don't, signifying that the social media companies are clamping down on automated interaction on their platforms.

If you want a truly honest social media account with genuine followers who are interested in your brand, it is much more productive to gain likes and followers organically and keep a human aspect when interacting with other users. Although this can be time consuming, the return on investment is much more substantial. Using a specialist social media company who can manage your accounts is often an option for many, as they can get a lot more done in the allocated time due to their specialist skills.

The goal with social media is to build meaningful connections with people so that they’ll remember you. A “bot” cannot do this as it involves engaging with people on a one-to-one level, personalising comments, following  people who produce content you can legitimately redistribute to your customers.

If you want quicker results, you can experiment with social media adverts. You’ll be able to get in front of a larger audience that’s targeted to your demographic. If you have the budget, mix in ads with your organic strategy to get the best of both worlds.

If you are looking for a Hampshire based outsourced marketing agency to manage your social media please get in touch at info@waypointdigitalmarketing.com or call 01962 862760.