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Why Twitter Automation is not your BFF

What is automation? Speaking in #SocialBusiness terms, ‘automation’ refers to automatic posts, responses, and messages usually triggered by an action of a fellow social media user. For example: you may have an automatic Direct Message (DM) on Twitter that automatically is sent to new followers. Or, every time someone uses a certain hashtag your Twitter account automatically retweets. Or, you may have a certain email marketing message sent specifically to people who clicked a certain link in a previous email marketing message.

Innovative brands and busy people use automation to have a consistent online and social presence. This is a great idea.  However, automation is not a standalone method of social media management. It’s a good idea to never allow automation to exceed 50% of your social efforts.

As social media blossoms and more and more people adapt and use it, these users are becoming savvy and know a robot when they see it.  When savvy users see a non-genuine presence they may stop engaging or unfollow you altogether.

If you choose to be over 50% automated you may lose out on some valuable connections.

A genuine presence is a great idea for every sized company and brand.  Take a look at Nordstrom, Delta or Zappos.  These huge brands engage with their audience in a big way.  I’m sure they have some automation, and of course they don’t respond to every tweet.  However, their overall presence is genuine and alive.

The best social media automation is when people don’t know it’s automated.

Social Media is ‘Social’ Media – be Social.  This is about community and building relationships.  If you are under the assumption that your 10 scheduled daily posts, or the blog content you have auto-tweeted – is sufficient for your online presence, you need to reevaluate.

You may need to go back to the basics:

  • What is your online goal and mission?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • On which platforms should I maintain a presence?
  • How will you use email marketing to reach your goal?

Having a basic social media strategy is important and will help you understand where you can afford to automate and where you can’t.

We have all heard the saying, “People do business with those they Like, Know, and Trust.”  Online does not change that principle.  As the matter of fact by a simple Google Search people can figure out who you are and on the spot can see if they Like or Trust you.

The bottom line is social media should be a genuine method of communication.

Here are 5 Ways to automate and still be genuine:

Automate the basics

  • Motivational Quotes
  • Links to your web pages
  • Blog posts
  • Registration links

Make time at least 3x’s per week (20 min sessions) to be live

Stay Current

  • If something is happening in your industry or in the world, talk about it.

Clever DM’s

  • If you are going to use an autoDM to new followers make sure it doesn’t say “Thanks for the follow you can also find me on Facebook.” This is boring and annoying (I can say that because I was a culprit for at least a year)

Find your online voice

  • Don’t be afraid to show personality in your messages.
  • Be sincere, funny, and genuine.

Author Bio: Margaret Brown instructs business owners and marketing teams on the best ways to network, online & offline. She is the founder of The ANROMA Group and SocializeLA.com, where her team offers a variety of business communication services.  Specifically helping businesses with their social business strategy.  Her purpose is to help small and medium sized businesses step up their game in building relationships.  The ANROMA Group firmly believes Corporate America shouldn’t be the only one with killer communication practices. You can  join the ‘Socialize Your Brand’ movement by joining Margaret via twitter (@csrsocialite) or at socializela.com.

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