Battling the Bots

Battling the Bots

Internet robots or bots are used to perform repetitive jobs or send automatic interactions online. Recent studies have shown that bots now account for more activity on Twitter than humans. The majority of all tweets that share links to popular websites and articles, about 66 percent, are actually shared by bots.

The most active bots on Twitter are responsible for 22 percent of all tweeted links which means that they produce four times as many tweets as the average human user. The findings suggest that bots have taken over Twitter with the amount of link sharing tweets that they are posting online. Even more alarming is that bots account for 89 percent of the links shared to news sites like Google news.

Bots can be used to manipulate the algorithms that news sites use to determine the links to articles that people see in their newsfeed. News stories then can quickly go viral and be significantly affected by link-sharing bots that are manipulating what people see online. If the goal of certain bots is political propaganda they may be able to influence what people read and what their opinions are on certain subjects.

Studies of the 2016 elections suggested that bots generated tweets promoting certain candidates. Although most bots tend to be ideologically mixed, they can have specific political agendas and a goal in mind as far the news stories and articles they are sharing. It is even possible for foreign governments to use bots as online propaganda tools in order to cause problems within the United States.

Bots can be a serious issue of integrity on the internet if they have the power of making certain stories seem more popular than others. They may have the ability to sway people’s opinion by dictating what information is exposed to them. It is something to consider for those who are concerned about the possible negative influence of bots online.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Leveraging Social Media Polls

One of the key strategies that businesses online usually focus on is getting more engagement from their audience on social media. Interacting and getting people to respond to posts can help you build a more engaged fanbase that is likely to stay loyal to your brand and spread the word about what you do. One of the most effective ways to get people to engage with your posts is to create a social media poll to get feedback from your audience.

Getting consumer feedback not only gets people to react to your post, it can also provide you with valuable information that can help you improve what you do. Voting for something can drive excitement for certain products or your brand in general and it can help you understand what your audience really wants. Polls can make user interactions more immediate and intimate in a way that a normal post can’t quite accomplish.

Social media polls can often take the form of allowing followers to decide the best options for products that a company offers. They can also simply be for fun so that the audience can share their opinion on something. Polls can incorporate humor to get people to react in a way that makes them more interested in your brand.

Lettings be involved in business decisions helps them feel more involved in what you do and persuades them to care more about the outcome. Polls can be used on almost any social media site including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Even though polls can be useful they should be only posted occasionally so fans don’t bored or lose interest in them.

Mixing in some social media polls with your regular posts can boost engagement and help you build a closer relationship with your audience.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

5 Twitter Tactics We Can Learn From Trump

5 Twitter Tactics We Can Learn From Trump

President Trump has thrown “social media rules” out the window. No other president has been as active on Twitter, or any social media platform for that matter and has even called himself “the Ernest Hemmingway of 140 characters”.

From attacking celebrities to what some call threatening a world war here are 5 things Donald Trump has taught us not to do when it comes to our Twitter strategy.

1. Avoid Typos

Covfefe anyone? Whether you have millions of followers or not, taking a little extra time to check that your published content is correct is essential. Not only do you want to make sure there are no spelling errors, double check for basic grammatical mistakes and that your links are working. Quotes should be properly cited, articles should come from reputable sources and stats should be factual. These things only take a few moments and can make or break how audiences view your brand. The last thing you want from your followers are comments that say your link is broken or that you used the wrong form of “there”.

“Unpresidented” “No challenge is to great” “Hearby” “Our deepest apologizes” “honered to serve” are just some of the embarrassing typos from President Trump that Twitter has a field day with. These mistakes can make your company seem careless, unprofessional and put a dent in your credibility, some may even say incompetent.

2. Brand Consistency

Whichever industry you are in, it can sometimes be beneficial to join in on the cultural conversation and leverage certain trending topics, albeit they pertain to your business. For example, if you sell sporting goods, keeping up with trending hashtags during the Olympics makes sense and can be valuable to both you and your followers. However, when you are the President of The United States, it might be best not to take multiple jabs at Meryl Streep at the Oscars. If something seems off-topic for your brand and you’re reaching for it to make sense for you, leave it alone.

Twitter has been around for over 10 years, it may be a good idea to take some time and go back and scrub old tweets that are inconsistent with your company’s current philosophy. You don’t want any new tweets to be incongruous with older tweets. Many Twitter users are retweeting Trumps cringeworthy older tweets that simply didn’t age well. Users have been digging up tweets that are direct contradictions of his current policies. Now not everyone has archives of hypocritical tweets waiting to be uncovered, however cleansing your account for things that are simply off brand is constructive.

3. Too Much Self-Promotion

Some people have social media strategy down to a science. There is Gary Vee’s, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” method, which is basically engage, engage, engage self promote. There is also the 5:3:2 method that’s about balancing your content and focusing on your audience, not yourself. If your entire Twitter presence is just self-promotion you’re not addingToo Much Self-Promotion anything of value for your followers. Constant self-promo will get you unfollowed or even blocked.

Trump is infamous for being self-congratulatory and constantly tooting his own horn, often referring to himself as a genius and tweeting exaggerated approval ratings. He does this so often that when he does tweet about others it seems disingenuous.

4. Listen and Express Empathy

No, you don’t have to jump on to every #prayfor_____ trending topic you see for the sake of retweets. However, you do want your company to be able to show that they care. In the case of a natural disaster or national tragedy sharing your opinion or “hot take” or placing blame on somebody is the wrong thing to do.

After a hurricane hit Puerto Rico, Trump condemned the San Juan Mayor on her poor leadership abilities. Perhaps tweeting words of reassurance for the Puerto Rican people or providing a link where people can donate would have been more productive. Capitalizing on a tragedy is also a big no-no and may brands have learned this the hard way.

Donald Trump Puerto Rico

Using your Twitter account to listen is severely overlooked. If a customer uses Twitter to complain, address them and offer to speak to them via DM or provide them a customer service number to get their issue resolved. Having an all out Twitter feud with a customer in front of other followers will hurt you in the end.

5. Being Creative Doesn’t Mean Being Controversial

Being consistent doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, and being creative doesn’t mean you have to be controversial. Trying something new in your social media strategy is a good thing. How will you know something works if you’re not constantly experimenting?

However, a lot of brands can land themselves in hot water when they try to be funny or they try to be risqué. Getting a second, third or 4th opinion on your tweet before you click send can save you from irreparable damage if that tweet goes awfully south. Going viral for a tone-deaf tweet can label your brand ignorant for years.Nike

Although it was once advised to keep politics hush, some brands are going full steam ahead. If your brand is against racism, sexism and homophobia and passionate about certain social issues then speaking out on a matter might be important to you. These days more consumers want to know what companies stand for or if you stand for anything at all.

Culture is changing and brands removing themselves from anything remotely controversial are actually alienating a lot of their audience. Some brands that have spoken out against the president have seen overwhelming support while other brands that have expressed their political stances have been hit with the dreaded b word- boycott.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Showing Twitter Love this Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day. While you’re off being romantic today, don’t forget about showing some Twitter love! Here’s some inspiration for all you lovers out there:

Photo apps: Instagram is all the rage, but it’s not exactly Twitter-friendly… seeing that they’re owned by Facebook! Take a look at some alternatives including: Snapseed and Hipster.

Get visual: Looking to add some spice to your header image? Take a look at this gallery of creative photos to get some inspiration for your own profile.

Mind your manners: It’s not polite to spam your followers, constantly ask for new followers or ignore others who communicate with you. Apply the “Golden Rule and Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

Take it off Twitter: Have you ever thought of embedded Tweets? This is a great way to continue the conversation, cultivate relationships and build credibility. The best part is that you’re directing followers to your website and developing relevant content.

See the bigger picture: Twitter isn’t just for fun and you should think of it as another element in your overall marketing plan. This also means not just relying on Twitter (or social media for that matter) to grow your business but to use it for its strengths.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.