It's easy to fall into the trap of automation.
After all, there is a lot to get done when growing a business—and posting on social media may not seem like a priority.
In reality, it’s important to have an actual presence on social media—and not a (completely) automated one!
People want to know that there is a real person on the other end. This helps to build trust and relationships with your audience.
Plus, many social media companies aren’t huge fans of the use of bots.
If you have an Instagram account and are trying to grow your business, you SHOULDN’T completely automate your account despite what some people might tell you.
Social Media Is Increasingly Cracking Down on Bots
For anyone that wants to have a business account on Instagram and other social media platforms, it’s important to actually read the Terms of Service.
I know it’s boring, but there is a lot that can be learned by doing so.
One of the things that I’ve noticed when reading the Terms of Service for Instagram is that they aren’t very friendly with bots.
This makes sense—social media is built around interaction with other human beings. It’s not supposed to be strictly a tool for advertising.
Using bots can be a quick and easy way to get suspended or even banned from a platform. It’s simply not worth the risk.
Your Bot Comments Will Lack Context (And Authenticity)
It’s easy to tell when someone is using a bot…and one of the quickest ways to spot a bot is by checking for a lack of context.
Many companies use bots in their comments section—which leads to a lot of anger and frustration on the part of the customers.
The problem with bots is that they don’t understand context at all. Instead, they spit out a canned response when it seems appropriate.
They are not able to provide the same finesse that a real person can…and this tends to make customers even more angry than they were.
When customers deal with bots that can’t grasp the context of a specific situation, they get the feeling that the company doesn’t care enough to hire someone that can be authentic and caring.
This turns a LOT of people off.
Make sure that your customers are getting the right answers to questions and are having a positive experience when interacting with your company on social media.
People Don’t Want To Work With People That Use Bots
The use of bots is a bit tacky—and people don’t really want to work with people that use them.
The use of bots is a sign that a business owner doesn’t want to put in the extra effort and—trust me—that lack of extra effort shows.
Think about it this way…if you wanted to work with someone and then you checked out their social media only to see a bunch of angry customers arguing with bots, what would you think?
There's actually a lot of talk going on right now about how to find and deal with fake influencers that are using bots.
Personally, when I see this, I take it as a sign that this person doesn’t care about customer service—and I don’t want to work with people that don’t care about their customers.
To attract the right distributors, influencers, business partners, customers and more, you’ll want to steer clear of the use of bots.
You End Up With Fake Followers (That Don’t Buy)
Bots attract bots.
As silly as this may sound, if a business owner has a bunch of bots doing their outreach, they're going to reach out to a bunch of inactive and bot-run accounts.
This is because bots aren’t really smart enough to distinguish between real people and other bots. Instead, all they see are other accounts that they can interact with.
This leads to a bunch of fake followers, as well as following other bot-run pages.
And here’s the thing about bots—they don’t buy anything! They're BOTS.
This means ending up with a bunch of followers that contribute nothing and don’t spend any money.
What a waste.
Bots connect with bots because they're too dumb to know the difference.
With a person behind the helm actually steering the social media efforts, it’s much less likely that a company will be following a bunch of bots—and that they’ll have a bunch of bots following them!
Your Brand Loses Authenticity
One of the worst things an entrepreneur can do is lose authenticity in the eyes of their customers.
People like to purchase from companies that they know and trust. By using bots, entrepreneurs are essentially telling their customers that they aren’t worth their time.
Bots also don’t have feelings or understand context, leading to many customers getting more and more angry as the conversation goes on.
I know that I’ve had conversations with bots in the comment sections of certain companies, and getting the same canned responses over and over made me angry.
I knew I wasn’t the only one, too, as other people in the comment sections were also raging against the bots.
With a human touch, people feel like they are actually being heard. They also feel like the company they are interacting with cares enough to put some effort into their social media accounts.
Why You Shouldn't Automate Your Instagram Account
While I understand the urge to use bots, they are generally more trouble than they are worth.
Sure, certain posts, interactions and so on can be automated and that’s perfectly fine—but when comments and other interactions become automated, people tend to get annoyed.
If you're able to, spend a little time on your social media each couple of days or so to actively communicate with customers and address any concerns.
If you're so busy that you're unable to dedicate this time, consider working with a social media manager that can properly represent your company and your brand.
By avoiding bots and giving online interactions a personal touch, you will build up trust with your customers, and in doing so increase your retention.