What are social media bots and how to identify them?


If you're also in doubt about what bots are, you've come to the right place. The bots consist of automated systems, that is, they are programmed to perform certain (user-defined) functions. BOTS are treated as virtual assistants who are able to generate responses and automated content for users or customers.

At a general level, they are very used and great allies in customer service and brands are integrating bots for social media because of their great benefits in terms of efficiency for this function. On the internet, bots were deployed as software capable of simulating user reactions to different situations. And how is that possible? Through artificial intelligence strategies.

Do you know when you enter a website and then a window appears with a possible virtual seller asking if you have any questions? So: this answers your question about what bots are.

Bots, by simulating human behavior, are able to capture a range of information from their users: such as geographical location, age, main interests, and others.

How to identify social media bots

The bots are automatic publishing tools that perform repetitive tasks through the Internet, however, in some cases, it is difficult to differentiate when a real person is behind the screen or on the contrary, it is a bot. To discover the forensic computer expert and specialized in the use of digital techniques to analyze data on the web, Ben Nimmo, gave the BBC some keys to identify these robots in a simple way.

According to the specialist, the first thing is to identify the activity of the account. With this, it refers to the observation of how many times the user publishes. "If you see that you share hundreds of publications a day (but none is your own), then it's probably a bot."

For Nimmo, it is because an account managed by a bot is managed by an autopilot and therefore does not have the ability to write its own publications.

Another key to identifying a bot is to verify the user's anonymity. If you can not find personal information (such as profile picture or name), "it probably does not belong to a person," the expert explained.

Another option is to observe the scope of the alleged bot's account, since "a bot's job is to make other people look more popular than they really are," Nimmo said.

One way to determine this, according to the expert, is to notice the times when the user shares several third-party publications and also the interaction he has with other accounts through likes (I like it). "A bot is created to give diffusion to other people's accounts and usually has a very high percentage of activity," said the specialist.

The expansion of the bots is considerable, and this could be seen in a study by the Pew Research Center, which revealed that two thirds of the most successful accounts on Twitter are through bots. The researchers came to that conclusion after analyzing more than 2,000 popular sites and a million trills of social media.

The advantages of using bots

Now that you know what bots are and how to identify them, let's see what its advantages are? The main advantage in the deployment of bots is the analysis of the public behavior of the company in question. With a bot, it becomes possible to understand what are the main goals and interests of your target audience, and then have an efficient and attractive response to that group of individuals.
No wonder, it can become a great ally in digital marketing strategies, mainly to intensify the virtual relationship between the company in question and the public interested in its products and/or services.

Do you understand what bots are? How about including them in your digital strategy for even better results with sales? To learn more about social networks visit

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