post by Stephanie Nelson
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk in my social media circles and amongst my clients about the pros and cons of bots in the management of social media outlets. Let’s take a look at what’s been discussed…
The overall pro of all bots out there is that they take work off your plate via automation. Overall, that sounds like a pretty good pro! But in general, I’ve found that the cons totally outweigh that one pro.
Since bots are based on automation, they take away your control of the messages being pushed out in your name or your business’ name. Most bots do give you the ability to edit the messages prior to publishing, but that kind of defeats the purpose of the bot.
Most bots are also based on pushing out a limited number of canned posts and/or responses. If your competitor signs up for the same bot, you could end up pushing out the same messaging. If they go out at the same time, it’s obvious you’re using a bot. If your message goes out later, it looks like you have nothing better to do than copy your competitor.
Some bots push out likes and comments based on keywords or hashtags found in posts. Again, you run the risk of (a) the same comment being pushed out for you and a competitor or (b) the same comment being pushed out in your name on multiple posts. I’ve seen this happen on several of my clients’ posts. I’ve taken to blocking these accounts from each of my clients’ accounts as well as marking them as spam from each of my clients’ accounts. This resulted in at least one account with over 6000 followers being shut down – all because they chose to let a bot comment multiple times on multiple posts for multiple SBN Marketing clients rather than manage their comments themselves.
As you can probably tell by now, I’m generally not a fan of bots, but they do sometimes have their place. If you are considering a bot, give me a shout! Let’s talk about what you need, whether a bot is a good option for you, the costs, and how we can make social media work for you!