What Creating Silly Twitter Bots Taught Me About Brand Personalities

Hillary Black
4 min readMar 19, 2018

While I spend most of my time creating the story and flow of a chatbot, sometimes I like to do little experiments to inspire personality building. With the help of MATTHEW BLACK, we created 5 Twitter bots. These aren’t like our usual chatbots that are conversational interfaces with goals and scripts. Instead, they automatically publish random content based on sources we’ve input (which will remain a secret 🤫) and reply automatically when mentioned. When creating them, I chose a combination of Twitter personalities that I love, random ones, and sources with content aligned with the account “personality goal.” These are:

  • Kardashbot: Imagine if you combined all of the Kardashians together into one Super Kardashian.
  • RapGodBot: Your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Tweets from beyond.
  • RealHouseBot: Trying to whoop it up, make it ~nice~ and earn that 🍑.
  • NeedCoffeeBot: Lover of coffee, often over caffeinated.
  • Failed Dot Com: Has a lot of great ideas for startups. Never does any of them.

Through this experiment, I’ve laughed A LOT. I’ve also learned a few valuable things about creating brand personalities, that have revealed themselves on their own over the year or so that we’ve had the accounts live.

Always throw in a wild card.

This one is my favorite. Of course, most of @needcoffeebot’s tweets are about coffee, however there are a few personality traits in its bot brain that makes it say the unexpected, VERY EXCITEDLY sometimes. When thinking of your brand, go with what you know, but don’t be afraid to add your hint of Kanye — (or insert your wildcard).

It IS possible to create a really cool personality for your brand that isn’t exactly like everything else.

Do you ever look at a brand’s feed (Instagram is the stand out in this for brands), and you can’t remember who it is you’re looking at? Something I’ve noticed over time, with brands and with influencers, is that once something works once (like the Taco Bell method), EVERYONE does it. But you know what, just because it’s funny, doesn’t mean it isn’t boring. Doesn’t mean it’s appropriate. Doesn’t mean it’s you. The best thing your brand can be is — YOU! Many of these Twitter bots contain some of the same sources, like your brand can contain inspiration from other brands, but they ALL have unique traits that make them unlike anything else.

Test yourself often.

When creating your personality, something I’ve talked about a lot before is that it’s living and breathing. It can evolve. Just like humans, our personalities adapt and change over time.

Brands still have a lot of work to do when it comes to customer service online.

If you’re a brand using outbound automatic responders (not a conversational interface aka chatbot) and trying to say anything other than “we got your message and we’ll get back to you soon” …don’t. While users thrive off of fast replies, and clearly brands want to get their 2 cents in, if your tech doesn’t know the difference between a bot and a person, it’s a problem. Nothing makes a user eye-roll or write off a brand faster than out of context spam.

A way to do it right is to set up a conversational interface in your DMs or on your Facebook page with FAQs, or information for users to connect quickly with customer support, even better, to chat with a human.

Want your very own customer support or acquisition bot? Contact us. Want your very own funny twitter bot based on your twitter? Tweet a bribe at @madebyblack 😉

Need a chatbot for your brand ASAP? Want to talk bots, conversation design, or social media? Hit me up on Twitter, and join my Facebook Group.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 307,871+ people.

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Hillary Black

✨🎀 Conversation Designer, Founder of ConversationDesignerJobs.com, Host of Conversation Designers Internet Club. More Resources: www.hillary.black