I’m a social media manager, so I understand the need to automate some things in social. Maybe you have a great post idea at midnight but you want to post it when people are actually awake, so you schedule it. Maybe you manage 5 different channels on a daily basis, so you use a tool to push out your calendar.
All that is fine, as long as your posts are authentic, written by you, and convey that a person is behind them.
However, we need to start a campaign to #StopTheBots. This movement could be as big as Occupy Wall Street if we just all band together.
By Stop the Bots, I mean those automated programs that write tweets on your behalf and spam your followers with unauthentic information. Things that look like this:
“My most engaged followers this week were @SOMEBODY and @SOMEBODY. Thank you. Via @WhateverBotYouUse”
“There are 200 people who don’t follow me back. Via @WhateverBotYouUse”
“I got 3 new followers this week. Via @WhateverBotYouUse”
“Curated Tweets by @WhateverBotYouUse.”
Are these things that YOU should care about when you look at your Twitter follower analytics? Yes. Are these things that your followers care about at all? NO! Are these things that you should spam your followers with? NO! Stop it!
Some of you will say about one of the bots above, “But I want to thank my engaged followers!”
“As you should,” I’ll say back. BUT you should do it in a unique way each time and in a way that seems like it’s more about thanking them than bragging about yourself.
Then there’s the most dreaded bot of all. The “thank you for your follow” Direct Message Bot. When you follow an account, you get an automated thank you. When it happens to me, you also get a non-automated “unfollow” and a very human “delete.” There are people all over social complaining about this, yet it seems like more and more people are doing it.
That’s the whole problem with bots. They’re sucking the humanity out of your accounts. They’re showing your followers that maybe there’s not a real person behind that account. Maybe they shouldn’t pay attention to your important posts, either.
Stop the bots! Long live the humans!