Social Media Automation Isn’t About “Updates”

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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?


Awesome Automation

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!)

connection building


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, advertising, and social media customer care agency. She's also the author of Conversations That Connect -- a book all about social listening and social media customer care. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on the socials!
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10 Comments. Leave new

  • I’m not a big fan of automation, although I’m trying to embrace it more so I can better allocate my time.

    My thing is that you can’t just post; you have to stick around for the follow-up. And to me, that’s much easier to do if you just post it in real-time and hang around for a bit.

    And I passionately detest updates that are simply regurgitated from another social media account, like when you post to Twitter and it automatically posts to Facebook.

    Every social media audience is different. You can’t post the same thing the same way on Instagram as you do on Twitter, and a tweet doesn’t have the same impact on Facebook without a little tweaking.

    I understand how it can be useful but, like you, I believe many have forgotten about the social i social media. It’s a two-way street.

    BTW, I found you through a tweet from @RalphMRivera. Nice site.
    Kay recently posted…The Pomade Shop Facebook GiveawayMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for weighing in with your insights, Kay! I absolutely agree – if you’re going to automate, you have to ensure you’re able to follow up. You can’t just cut and run … You can’t just “do” social, it doesn’t work that way.

      I also really dislike when people connect FB to automatically connect to Twitter. Seems so lazy to me!

      Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by! Glad you found us. 🙂

  • Hey Brook,

    It is my first time here, and I LOVE your style.

    To me, automation is necessary, where you manage multiple websites and brands…

    …the trouble is, many big brands forget that automation is not the way to engage your following. The way to achieve this is through a personable approach.

    IFTTT and other tools help to fill in the gaps left by being personal. It should be used for nothing more.


    Jakk Ogden recently posted…Thought for the Day: Are you Producing Enough Engaging Content?My Profile

    • Hi, Jakk! So very happy to have you here. I completely understand your POV with automation. I feel them same way, and we certainly could not handle all of the accounts we manage without it. But, we strive to make all interaction as real time as possible. That’s the foundation of our success!

      Thanks so much for stopping in. I hope we see you again soon! 🙂

  • Reply
  • Great article, Brooke. I’m not a big fan of automation, but it is a necessity. Trying to maintain various business SM profiles and remain productive is just not feasible. I do make a point to log in everyday to make contact with my base and add the much needed human touch.

    Thank you for the recommendation. Those tools are very helpful.

    • Thanks so much, Sam! You’re right, it’s just not feasible to handle all of my accounts (and our clients) without automation. There’s a fine line … And unfortunately we have to sleep! 😉

      I’m hopeful one or more go the tools will be useful for you. Have a super week!

  • Social Media Automation Isn’t About “Updates”
    November 14, 2013 2:35 AM

    […] post Social Media Automation Isn’t About “Updates” appeared first on B Squared Media // B² […]

  • Superb commentary on automation. It must be used sparingly or it will simply build your brand as a spammy, lazy chest beater.
    Good social requires a good writer who can craft stories; a good analyzer who can monitor analytics; a good creative mind who can pounce on opportunity and a good online and offline personality to help build your brand.
    Mike Kirner recently posted…New South Florida Software Companies Attract CapitalMy Profile

    • Thank you very much, Mike! Haha … “spammy, lazy chest beater” … why yes, I think I’ve come across my fair share of those peeps in the social sphere. I couldn’t have say it better myself: “Good social requires a good writer who can craft stories; a good analyzer who can monitor analytics; a good creative mind who can pounce on opportunity and a good online and offline personality to help build your brand.”

      Amen to that!


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