Ever notice a huge inflation on your Twitter engagements and interactions that just don’t seem to add up? This is most likely the result of Twitter bots.
In this article, we will go over Twitter bots, what they are, how they impact analytics, how you can identify a bot - and most importantly - how to flag Twitter bots to PostBeyond.
What are Twitter bots?
Bot traffic is essentially non-human traffic to a website. This is the result of software applications running automated tasks. Bots can perform repetitive tasks very quickly, at a rate that human beings simply can’t manage. On Twitter, they will and can mimic all human user behavior.
How do they impact analytics?
As mentioned, “these bots can be programmed to perform tasks normally associated with human interaction, including follow users, favor tweets, direct message (DM) other users and, most importantly, they can tweet content, and retweet anything posted by a specific set of users or featuring a specific hashtag.” -- Symantec.
Therefore, your analytics can contain these 'bots' and not true data from real human interaction.
There are good and bad bots. The bad ones are hard to catch because they change and new ones are developed frequently. That said, there are some good bots, like Google, Apple, AWS, tools that scrape Twitter, etc. and add value.
Therefore, at PostBeyond we will not release a mass bot blocker because this would impact the good bots that are valuable (for example: https://flipboard.com/).
How to identify if it's a bot?
If there are an excessive amount of interactions/engagements that do not add up or look wrong. It could be the result of bots.
If you ever notice a discrepancy or even have a feeling there might be a slight issue, please contact PostBeyond immediately - we would love to get this resolved ASAP. You can contact email@example.com or your CSM.
Please note, that we will never be able to capture ALL bots (as mentioned above, they are always changing), but we will be able to reduce bot interaction significantly.