I’m a huge proponent of automation. In fact, our CRM has a beautiful system for setting up and delivering amazing automated campaigns. But plain and boring social media updates kinda ruin automation for me.
Certain “social media ninjas” use that “ninja trick” of connecting Facebook to Twitter so that their audiences are getting one or two “updates” each day; regurgitation of strung together sentences.
Where’s the social in that?
Hello? Is It Social You’re Looking For?
How can you humanize your brand with only a few updates and no conversation? Without discussion, how do you build brand loyalty, credibility, authority … and how do you show off your personality?
I find myself getting crazed over this one social point.
I also find EVERYONE talking about how EVERYONE ELSE is missing this one social point. How is that?! How have people not gotten the SOCIAL in social media?
How have producing scheduled updates replaced conversation?
When used wisely, automation can help with a laundry list of things. You probably use automation — if you’re highly organized, like me — to help you with all sorts of daily, weekly, monthly or life tasks, like:
- Automatic bill pay
- Automatic savings (I have this set up and LOVE it … the 1st of each month I have a predetermined amount placed in savings)
- Watching TV (thank goodness for DVR – no commercials!)
- Email rules and segmenting
- Social media updates
- Cooking (in a crockpot or slow cooker)
- Roomba vacuums on your behalf
- Heck, you may even have your coffee pot automated so that when you’re up at 6AM your coffee is waiting for you!
And we can’t forget about the tools that make automation a breeze, like:
- IFTTT – allowing to to set up “rules” for all sorts of online channels
- Dropbox (can be even more powerful if synced with IFTTT)
- Boomerang for Gmail
- Infusionsoft for automated marketing campaigns (of course there are so many others – but this is what we use!)
One (SUPER IMPORTANT) Thing Automation CAN’T Do
The one thing automation can’t do? Help you build connections and relationships.
Some of you may think using a follow or follow-back program counts as adding connections. But it doesn’t. That “connection” is just a number; a vanity metric. They can’t truly be considered a connection or valued relationship until you start having conversations.
And no tool can do that for you.
This is the critical to understanding that social media IS NOT about updates. It’s about social media. Which means being social. Which means connecting your Twitter account to Facebook and scheduling a few automated tweets and posts isn’t going to cut it.
While automation can be a HUGE benefit to social media marketing, it’s only a tool, not the entire premise.
How do you feel about social media automation? Do you despise it? Use it sparingly? Or rely on it completely? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments section below!
See you in the social sphere!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media management & advertising agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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