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  • 003 - "Nik Sharma said there's a lot of bot traffic on 𝕏"

003 - "Nik Sharma said there's a lot of bot traffic on 𝕏"

how to reduce (and elminate) bot traffic for 𝕏 ads

Last week, a couple of my friends forwarded me a video from Nik Sharma about the “bot problem” on 𝕏.

Obviously, this email newsletter is about how to find success with 𝕏 ads. And while I want to continue to unpack strategies, campaigns, and ad frameworks… I felt like before we go any further I should address this topic, since it seems to be on everyone’s mind. By far, the #1 question I get from potential clients is “What do you do about bots?”

Firstly, let’s take a look at the video Nik posted…

@mrsharma212

How to avoid Twitter ad bots

Now, Nik is a genius marketer. The dude’s track record speaks for himself. He’s one of my favorite DTC people that I follow. I’m not disagreeing with him here, either. He’s absolutely right.

There are bots on 𝕏.

And depending on how you set up your campaigns, there is a chance you might encounter some bot traffic of your own.

However…

I have not encountered a big bot problem with my own campaigns. I’m going to explain why in a moment.

“Bots could be here” he thought. I hate bots.

Is it even worth advertising on 𝕏 given this problem?

Well…

Yes.

It is.

As Nik said it himself, once he changed his targeting parameters, his ads started performing again. Sure, his conversion rate dropped on the page he was sending traffic to… but at the end of the day, CPMs, CPCs, and even conversion rate doesn’t really determine the success of any ad campaign.

The ONLY thing that matters is: if you put a dollar in, do you get your dollar back? And how many friends does this dollar bring back with him?

Your conversion rate will likely differ for each platform, for any number of reasons.

Sure, bots could be part of the equation. But different traffic sources tend to include different pocket of people who have their own distinct behaviors and buying patterns, as well.

Is 𝕏 the only platform with a bot problem?

Probably not.

Elon is the most vocal about bots, out of all of the Big Tech overlords. But does this mean bots don’t exist elsewhere? Or is he simply the only one who is talking about it publicly?

I’d like to direct the court’s attention to Exhibit A and Exhibit B:

ClickCease and Cheq are two (of the many) softwares out there that exist to reduce bot traffic on your ad campaigns. They are currently only available for FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, MICROSOFT, and GOOGLE.

Now…

Why on EARTH would these platforms exist if there was no bot problem on THESE platforms?

Interesting question, right?

The very fact that there are dozens of software companies that exist for the expressed purpose of blocking/reducing bot traffic on these other platforms would imply that there is, in fact, a bot problem on every major social media advertising platform. Despite this… ads still work on ALL of these platforms.

So, sure.

Maybe the bot problem is real. But maybe it’s real everywhere. And maybe there’s a few ways around this problem.

How Nik dealt with his bot problem.

I only watched that short clip from Nik’s interview, so I could be missing some context. What I could glean from that clip was that Nik changed his targeting parameters and the problem was solved.

From what I could tell, it looked like he was using “follower look alike” audiences… and that’s where a lot of bot traffic was coming from.

From where I’m sitting, this makes perfect sense, actually.

Believe it or not, a lot of your favorite 𝕏fluencers built their massive followings with bots.

Not all of them, of course. But I am sure you’re currently following a few dozen “big names” who have done this. For further evidence, take a look at your favorite 2024 political candidate. They’ll have 2.5 million followers and get a whopping 195 likes on a post. Um… hello!!!

This doesn’t mean that follower lookalikes won’t work.

It just means you have to be very methodical in your testing.

You need to launch campaigns targeting specific profiles and then ruthlessly prune the losers from your ad sets. You will find gold targeting some follower lookalikes… but it is very much a game of cutting and pruning the losers so you can double down on the winners.

Interest targeting makes sense, as well.

Bots typically exist for a purpose. Someone is purchasing these profiles to boost some kind of agenda.

However…

The best, most active people are tweeting and interacting on the basis of specific topics that are important to them.

I’ve found that by using keywords, you’re able to get in front of people who sometimes have higher intent. Kind of like how Google PPC captures a higher intent audience than Meta.

This is my understanding, maybe you agree.

Perhaps Nik would agree as well?

I still see Nik’s ads every single time I log onto 𝕏.

I would be very shocked if a guy as smart as Nik would leave on “losing ads” for this long. From what I can tell, he’s been running a variety of ads continuously for months now, perhaps longer.

The dude is smart, I don’t think he became successful by “lighting money on fire.” I would be very surprised.

I’ve got 99 problems, but bots ain’t one.

I’ve got my own “system” for preventing bot traffic on 𝕏.

Here’s what I do:

  1. Target Premium subscribers (blue checks)

  2. iOS-only

  3. United States

I always include these three targeting parameters with my campaigns.

You might think this is a bit “tight”… but is it?

I don’t think so. There are millions and millions of people who fit into this bucket.

What do we know about them?

  • They’re serious about 𝕏. So much so that they’re willing to pay $11.99/month for a free social media site.

  • They have enough disposal income to afford a $1,000+ cellular phone.

  • They DON’T live in an underground bot farm in Uzbekistan, or whereverthefuck.

“Won’t that cut off part of my audience?”

Yeah, probably.

But (A) does it matter? And (B) can you launch campaigns to this audience FIRST and establish profitability… and THEN go broader with your targeting to see if you can make the numbers work with looser parameters?

Go after the low hanging fruit first, then expand to harder to convert audiences. This is media planning 101, people.

Not rocket surgery here, we’re just trying to sell stuff on the internet. Keep it simple.

My best performing campaign (so far) has a $0.50 lifetime CPM, as of this morning.

By nature, the offer itself (subscribing to this newsletter) is not a mass-market offer. Not everyone in the business community will be interested in running ads on 𝕏… but that’s OK.

People are asking about my results, and I’m more than happy to share. But with the caveat that it’s always going to be an apples to oranges comparison, being that what I’m selling is radically different than what YOU might be selling.

I’m getting high level client leads that fit my ICP for a few dollars each.

I’m never going to get $0.05 newsletter subs like you might see for a mass-market newsletter like a Morning Brew or The Hustle.

I’m OK with this.

Because if I can buy a lead for a few dollars and each client could be worth five or six-figures over their lifetime… than the math makes sense.

Bots or not.