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5 min read

Spot Social Media Bots: A Quick Guide

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From October 31, 2021, to December 31, 2021, Tik Tok removed nearly 441 million fake followers. Such a massive quantity indicates that social media numbers don't always tell the truth. 

When you want clients to take your company seriously, you need both great quality reviews and a great number of followers. 

But sometimes, the data you see on your business's social media isn't accurate. How do you know, for example, that your business's 1,500 followers are really people? Is there a way to determine if your company's hard work has really reached thousands of people or thousands of Tik Tok bots? 

While Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, and other affiliates are working hard to kick out fake followers, your marketing department can also do its part. By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand how to spot fake followers. 

Put your ads in front of real people, not bots, click farms, or bad actors

What are Fake Followers?

When an influencer needs more followers, they do desperate things. Some will even create several social media accounts for the single reason of boosting their own following account. These social media accounts are fake followers. 

Such activity has made the world of social media murkier for businesses seeking legitimate followers. Such fake profiles steal personal information from legitimate social media accounts. 

Real people create these accounts, but fake followers are still not real people. When you have several fake followers following your business's social media page, you have a problem. 

You cannot maintain good brand relationships with the bots that run fake social media accounts. So while your business numbers may look good with thousands of social media followers, your actual business will suffer because of the lack of engagement. 

How to Spot Fake Followers

TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook constantly work to spot fake followers. With the right techniques, you can spot them as well. 

Visit Their Page

Start with the tedious task of visiting a follower's page. A fake follower will not have many posts if any at all. They will look inactive. 

Look For Fake Images

They also do not have genuine images. If you suspect you're looking at a stock photo from Google, conduct a Google image search to see if you can find the picture somewhere else. Know the signs of a fake image

Identify Shallow Comments

Fake followers will also typically post shallow comments on your business's website. They may say things like "I like that" or "Awesome" with no follow-up on what they're talking about. They also can have obvious grammar and spelling errors. 

Beware of Inconsistency

Fake followers have inconsistencies. They will interact with a post on your business's account several times in a short period and then stop completely. Real followers will comment consistently. 

Damaging Effects of Bots

Smaller businesses and influencers who want to grow faster do unscrupulous things. C-level marketing executives know that such dishonest activities will ultimately hurt your business down the road. 

You can take steps to protect your business from fraud by avoiding interaction with TikTok bots, Facebook bots, Instagram bots, and general fake followers. Once social media companies detect such bots, they will remove them, and your follower numbers will go down drastically. 

You cannot market your company effectively if you're marketing to a world of bots. They will ultimately ruin your company's reputation as well.

When you minimize the number of fake accounts on your business's platform, your marketing team can shift their focus from numbers and instead focus on a subscription that customers know for your business's engagement rate and authenticity. 

With the right help, marketers can make calls that lead to real lead generation instead of wasting their time on bots.  

How to Block Fake Followers

While TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram do not have a specific auditing tool on its app, you can use a third-party tool to check accounts. Some third-party accounts offer a free tool that you can plug into account names and receive a report that indicates the quality of the account. Such a report will help you quickly determine if the account is real or a fake follower. 

Checking accounts manually is a massive task, even for bigger marketing teams. Thus, you can spend your budget most wisely when you hire a team of experts to examine your followers for you. 

To get started, you need to conduct an audit to determine if you have an actual problem. 

Avoiding Bots: Conduct an Audit 

Before you hire a professional company or service to audit your TikTok account, you can carry out your initial audit. Such action will determine the severity of your bot problem. Here's what you're looking for as your marketing team is looking for as they audit your company's account: 

  1. Is the account set up correctly? 
  2. Does the account release content that interests your company's target audience? 
  3. Does your marketing team regularly engage with those followers? 
  4. Do you have an authentic follower base? 
  5. Does the follower base represent your company's target audience? 

Here's how to answer these questions. 

Establish Goals and Target Audience

Marketing with social media marketing works like any other type of marketing. You must have goals for your company's TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram accounts just like you're using them as a business.

Look at your company's business and marketing goals. Make your account work toward meeting those same goals. 

If you outsource the social media account to a junior staff member, read them in on these goals. They should not use business social media accounts as their personal account. Rather, each post should reflect the company's business and marketing goals. 

The social media account should aim for a specific target audience. All videos and posts should appeal to that demographic. 

Check your current followers. If their demographic does not align with your target audience, then you are not reaching the right people. You need to either change your target audience or change your content. 

Make Sure the Company Bio Meets Company Needs 

Your social media bio is a key piece of your marketing plan. Ensure every word in the bio counts. The bio content should match what your other social media accounts say about your company. 

Make sure the picture adequately represents your company. Do not use an individual's picture as the profile pic for a large company. Instead, use a high-quality logo that adequately represents your company brand. 

Audit the Look of Your Account 

A company bio is a small part of its account's overall look and feel. The entire TikTok, Facebook, or Instagram account should convey your company image to your followers. Think hard about this: do you want your company to look young and relevant or focused and professional? 

Have your entire marketing team look at the company's account. Look at the color scheme, the language used, the profile, the types of videos shared, hashtags, captions, and even the way your team interacts with followers. All of these elements should consistently exude the tone that your want your brand to represent. 

Make Videos Consistent with Your Company Goals

Use TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram effectively as marketing tools by aligning each video and post your team makes with the company goals. This is not a personal account or an influencer account. Each video should point back to the brand goals in some way. 

The comments and videos will ultimately reflect your company's culture. Professional, focused, wholesome videos reflect a professional and wholesome culture. Wild, crazy, and quirky videos represent a younger, racier company culture. 

Use Relevant Hashtags 

Hashtags allow people to find your company. To take full advantage of the features of social media, you need hashtags. 

A hashtag will have elements that are important to a given video and to your company. When individuals search for that hashtag, they will find your company. 

You can also customize hashtags on your company's TikTok posts. This allows you to group your company posts and create a cohesive marketing campaign. 

Thus, use hashtags that relate well to your content. Keep them consistent and relevant so genuine followers can find you. 

Check Levels of Engagement 

In your audit, check the level of engagement. Use the provided social media analytics to help you determine how much engagement your account has. 

For TikTok, if your company hasn't invested in paying for a TikTok Pro account, do this. Your marketing team will now have access to the account's analytical dashboard. 

On this dashboard, you can see the data for your company's most recent videos. Make sure your marketing team has been responding to comments and creating conversations with followers. 

You can best engage followers by liking and sharing their videos as well, as long as they align with your brand values and goals. Also, make sure your team has responded to direct messages. 

Assess Follower Quality

To determine follower quality, visit your followers' pages. You can do this easily when your company first opens its TikTok, Facebook, or Instagram account. But as your following grows, you will need more than just a marketing team to check for fake accounts. 

Kick Out the Tik Tok Bots, Facebook Bots, and Instagram Bots

TikTok bots, Instagram bots, Facebook bots, and fake followers can pollute your social media account. You can curate a genuine set of followers by culling out the fakes. 

Does your company marketing department need help kicking out the bots? If so, contact us. We can help you weed out the fake followers so you can begin engaging and building your business through your social media accounts. 

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