Commexis Cast – July 27, 2018: Why Twitter’s Bot Purge Is Great For Marketers

Twitter’s latest bot purge has dropped follower counts in the 6 digits for some, but marketers say they love that drop. On today’s Commexis Cast we explain why engagement is the number one metric for social media measurement, not follower count.

Kerry Flynn on Digiday spoke with many media execs who are happy to see Twitter making additional efforts to quell bot accounts on the platform. Twitter initially began looking into their bot problem following a New York Times investigation that found many celebrities and influencers on the platform paying to have bots follow, like, and retweet their accounts and posts. In addition, questions of Russian use of Twitter in an effort to influence the election, much like on Facebook and other platforms, began to surface.

So, Twitter began banning bots. The platform also made significant changes to their terms of service, disallowing bot use for mass liking, retweeting, and following.

In the newest wave of bot bannings, popular accounts lost hundreds of thousands of followers or more. Katy Perry lost about 2 million. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey proudly lost 200,000.

Many influencers and brands expressed frustration at the loss of followers, but Josh and I explain that follower count isn’t the most important metric for social media. Certainly, having a big number looks great and can be a fantastic showing of growth overtime, but engagement it does not create. Not to mention, many marketers had to scrape away data in their reports to accommodate bot followers. Now? Not so much.

Flynn spoke to Darnell Brisco, vp of accounts in entertainment at Fullscreen, who said, “This is the outcome I was hoping for for a lot of reasons. Do people lose a large number of followings, a big flashy number? Sure. But it makes the job for us as marketers easier because we are already having such a tough time trying to clean that data.”

“Marketing should focus on real results,” Bobby Palmieri, CEO of Lilo Social,  told Flynn, “and this purge will help that. I think there’s a huge gap between perceived audience and true influence, and this purge is the first step in bridging that gap.”

Ultimately, even if your follower number (or your “audience number”) decreased during the purge, your engagement should stay the same. If you’re not creating quality content for them to enjoy, share, and engage with then your follower number is nothing more than a vanity.

Today’s cast: Josh Lyons (Commexis Social Media Intern) and Matthew McGrorty (Commexis Videographer/Podcaster).

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