In our Viral Marketing series, we talked about bots. But a few people have asked what is a bot?

Quite simply a bot is a program that automatically does a set of actions for it’s user. It’s named such as in “Robot” -> “bot” for short.

A lot of times with social media accounts, the actions one take are always the same. Sometimes people might want to retweet everything that is tagged with #freakyfriday. Or when someone follows them, they will automatically send a thank you message. These types of actions can be handled by a bot. Bots are useful when one has a lot of followers.

Where can I get my own Twitter bot?

Well there are a number of websites selling programs for twitter bots and such. These are generally frowned upon by Twitter since they want people behind accounts, not bots. But depending on your needs a bot can be pretty useful.

Many social media account managers now include autoresponders. These you can set up to automatically respond with a thank you or some message each time a users follows you.

Other advanced features include list curation, adding members and other functions.

Google “twitter bot” to find a list.

More on this topic later.