Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Dangers of Social Automation

The Dangers of Social Automation

There is no denying that managing a company's social media accounts is very time consuming. Unfortunately the more social media accounts your company has the more time, planning and strategy needs to be dedicated to this task. As a result many people are turning to social media automation tools to help them manage their social media accounts and engagements. These sort of tools can offer a range of benefits to a company; however, automation in its simplest form goes against everything that social media stands for, especially for channels such as Twitter. In this blog we are going to discuss the pros and cons of social media automation and highlight the dangers which automation can pose to a company's brand reputation.

So Why Is Automation Not Always Appropriate?

It is always wise to only open as many social media accounts as you can successfully manage. However, you must also decide whether engaging with people via that social media account will be beneficial to your company and its products and/or services. The central philosophy behind social media is to target ‘the right people, at the right time, in the right way (channel) with the right content or offer’. This philosophy demands, and always will demand, a certain element of human management and interaction, whether it is refining who you contact, tailoring your content to reflect current social economic trends or topics or through the simple process of engaging with potential or existing clients through conversations and comments on social media posts this is simply something which cannot (and should not) be automated.

So Why Is Automation Useful and How Should You Use It?

Automation can be great for a range of applications and social interactions such as blogs and newsletters. To an extent it can also be used effectively to publicise other forms of communication/content across other social channels. It is a well known fact that the more data you can gain on your potential and existing clients, the better. Most automation tools allow for data collection and collation as well as standard social content post automation. This is fast becoming an essential feature every marketer is looking for when it comes to deciding what software and tools they use. Marketers must be able to refine the client data they have to ensure that they can effectively target their desired market using a variety of criteria. The more refined a target group and tailored your message or promotion the higher likelihood of this converting into a effective communication. Social automation tools are great to ensure that you maintain consistency throughout your communications, it allows multiple people to manage the social media accounts from one place so everyone knows what has been done and what needs to be done. It also ensures that if you promise to send out a newsletter every Friday that you meet this target regardless of how busy you get.

What Are The Dangers Of Social Media Automation?

Social automation is a great tool for marketers but the biggest mistake that many companies fall into is using these tools as a crutch and an ‘easy get out’. A perfect example of this is a company which creates one form of content and then uses these tools to ‘farm it out’ to every social media channel they use regardless of whether it is suitable for that target market or channel format. Put simply content that works on Twitter will not nessicarily fit with Facebook and is even more unlikely to fit a blog.

So What Should I Do?

There is nothing wrong with utilising social content automation tools such as Hubspot or Marketo as long as you remember that social media should be just that; SOCIAL and you can only ever truly be social through human interaction. So yes, make use of the tools and resources available to you but remember that just because you have these automation tools this does not mean that you can take the easy route when it comes to social and content marketing. You must be prepared to invest the time and effort to create tailored, unique content suitable for the channel it is intended for, whether this is Facebook, Instagram or your newsletter alongside a content plan so you can ensure consistency throughout your content marketing campaign. If you do this and ensure that you allow for ‘interaction time’ where you need to monitor the content you have posted and respond and continue to engage with others through that platform you are well on your way to a successful content marketing campaign.

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