I have very few inflexible rules when it comes to marketing, but one in particular tops the list of Must-Don’ts. I don’t automate social media posts. I am anti-automation. That’s not to say that I don’t schedule posts or organize campaigns ahead of time. I even keep a posting calendar, editorial content concept files, and an extensive set of swipe files with an ongoing list of my highest performing strategies, tweets, posts and other tag lines.
But I never, ever automate.
Why? Why not save time and push out a blog post that automatically sends out a tweet and a Facebook message? In one click I can share my latest ingenuity with all of my fans and followers. Sounds perfect, right? Wrong.
First of all, I’m not a robot and neither is my audience. I don’t automate because automation doesn’t generate a conversation. That’s the whole point of social media marketing, right? We’re trying to talk with our target audience, not at them. If I automate the messaging then I lose that genuine human element. I lose the ability to ask a question, to prompt a conversation, to tag a popular follower, or to encourage likes. Automation, in my opinion, can make you lose the connection we need with our audience, certain doom in the marketing world.
For example, if you’re promoting a new program at an institution of higher education, you might use Twitter to attract media attention, Facebook to get the current and prospective students chatting and LinkedIn to let the alums weigh in. You’ll run YouTube videos of professors describing new curriculum and an e-blast or two letting targeted prospective students learn the details about this new opportunity. Since the audience on each one of these platforms is different, why would you automate the message? What is the benefit of pushing out the exact same vernacular to different audiences?
This is why I am a fan of content-driven social media marketing. Being content-centered not only engages your audience in more meaningful ways, but it also enhances brand awareness, deepens customer loyalty and builds relationships. This is the best way to encourage interaction and make sure your company’s story stands out from the crowd.