A couple of weeks ago I created a Twitter bot.
Well that’s a good question as I really don’t like bots. At least I didn’t until I started seeing the feedback I got on the bot.
What makes your bot tick?
The bot is called @bracitat and it monitors the Swedish word “citat” which would translate to “quote” in English. We also monitor the same word in Norwegian. When the bot sees this word we pull a quote from a database and sends it to the person mentioning the word “quote”.
What makes this so great?
Since we started it we have sent 800 tweets and received over 80 real followers. I try to block spam followers once a day (if I block them they wont show up in my followers list). This would mean that we get around 10% followers i relation to tweets sent. Less then half of these seems to be people from outside Scandinavia (especially Romania which seems to have the word “citat” in their language as well) the rest I set @bracitat to follow. This means that from 800 tweets we get 5% valid followers who enjoy the service.
The feedback is wonderfull! On a daily basis we get tweets from people who loved the quote.
The reason I made the bot was to create a automatic brand listener. If someone writes “Volvo” (this is just an example, I am in no way affiliated with Volvo) in a tweet your bot can reply with relevant contact information on how to reach a Volvo dealer. This might not be relevant at all. But if the bot can help to direct a customer through to the right contact channels you will get one happy customer.
Soon Twitter will store Geo data and with this information the bot will give you the phone number to the local Volvo dealer.
People react on a obvious bot messages. For this reason the bot will and should reply with different messages as often as possible.
Enhancing our simple bot will make it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and send back relevant information.
I still don’t like bots, do we need this on Twitter?
You can always block bots and you should if you feel that they bug you. But bots are part of the future. Google Wave will rock the communication world and one of its main features is the robot interface. The robot interface will interact in your daily communication soon, so whether you like it or not you will talk to a bot within the near future ;-).