Bots are more effective on Twitter than ever. Beyond responding to keywords, they now affect communication between human users.
Automated Twitter accounts - often referred to as social bots - could soon drastically alter the landscape of social media marketing. Many users of the microblogging network have already experienced social bots that respond to keywords in their tweets. The practice is efficient in fostering bot-human interaction in the form of topic-recognizing code and relaying relevant and useful information. But now social engineers are hoping to measure the efficacy of mobilizing bots to connect users to each other - influencing and increasing connections between actual humans.In a studyconducted from September through November 2011 by The Pacific Social Architecting Corporation (PacSocial), bots were programmed to foster connections between users in target groups and were assessed on their success in increasing follows, mentions, tweets and retweets between humans.
Community building bots could create a shift in digital strategies and staffing choices
These findings can do much for marketing brands, services that claim to grow client Twitter networks and online interaction, and will affect customer interaction and community manager roles within a company. The developments could create a shift in enterprise social media strategy as a way to automate much community building that is critical to an online presence. Many people are available for hire who claim to be good at community engagement, and as one author of the research paper asks inTech Review, "Can we measure those claims?"
Bot-influenced interactions are rising and becoming more effective
Bot-user interaction has been consistently increasing - on average, bots were able to attract 62 followers total each and 16 users in their respective target groups - about 5 percent of each group. As for effect on human connections, the social bots triggered an increase of 43 percent of new followers between target groups. One tactic used was to suggest one user to another, where a bot tweeted, “User A, check out my friend User B.” This was effective due to bots’ nascent ability to determine general interests of other users. To be able to eventually automate community growth and maintenance could streamline a brand’s marketing team and boost efficiency and efficacy.