Social Media Automation

What Do Social Media Consultants Think About Automation?

The social media experts that I speak with are generally happy with the idea of automating posting to the various platforms they are on, but seem to have a problem with other automation and admitting they automate at all to their peers.

I have used all sorts of automation tools for Twitter in particular and found that providing you monitor your Twitter accounts very carefully you can actually mask the automation very effectively. However you do run into specific problems when you automate replys in particular, I have tried out this for live events and found that it can create all sorts of problems especially if you automatically retweet tweets.

Thanking people for retweets and favourites is something that I do believe in but have found that most of the software out there isn’t sophisticated enough to give the level of flexibility that is needed to mask the automated thank you messages, especially when people retweet and favourite multiple tweets, if a feature is enabled to switch off the thanks after the first thanks then this would potentially be another time saving tool.

So yes we agree social media is about engagement and interaction and not automated direct messages; but automated thank you for following replys can be used effectively to funnel people into your Facebook page or to drive any kind of behavior your social media plan desires.

To all the skeptics out there automation is coming and whether you like it or not with in a few years we will have virtual assistants; who will make decisions for us based on the processes we follow ourselves when deciding on how to react to incoming enquiries and requests from customers and our colleagues.

Yes there will initially be some bad decisions made, but after beta testing these kind of computer programmes will deliver a rather human like experience; generating the good will that is desired by making the right business decisions and freeing up valuable time, enabling the users to have more time to spend with friends or family and/or whatever hobbies they enjoy most.

The only real problems I see with computer generated virtual assistants are with the lack of beta testing and the corporations who will use them to squeeze more productivity out of their workforces. Unfortunately we are always striving to bring costs down to lower our margins and put our competitors out of business.


Here is a great vid from Chris Pirollo summing up best practices.

9 thoughts on “Social Media Automation”

  1. Nat: Great information. Automation is almost a requirement to scale up any engagement program. But nothing replaces the one-on-one conversation. People expect form emails and deal with it; but it hasn’t gotten to that stage with social media yet. Mainly because some bots are so bad at it. Keep up the good work!

    • An important point to remember though is that Twitter
      is actually a social media site, so don’t go overboard with self promotion. One of your goals is to
      keep people retweeting your message. However the fashion has drastically evolved these days; bumper stickers are widely used in a number of locations like binders, files, walls and desks.
      One of the most popular applications and services for Twitter is Twit – Pic.

  2. Hi Nat,

    Very interesting topic. I think customers/followers would be turned off knowing that they had received an automated response. I think a business is either ‘doing’ social media, and sharing and exchanging with followers, or they’re not. If they can’t do social media properly, with the human touch, then they’re probably better off to stay out of social media.

    • Hi Eric,
      Couldn’t agree more very interesting subject, it’s a topic I have begun writing more about and will be sharing lots more articles about this subject, it has become so advanced already that unless you were a social media manager you would not notice if a response or a tweet was automated…it has already gone so far even as sentiment analysis changes the responses based upon the reply received. I sit somewhere in the middle and believe strongly that if monitored correctly and tweaked accordingly it brings in more sales leads than it destroys, for us here anyways…educating the potential clients that your business is the only solution to their problem.

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