3 Reasons to NOT Automate Social Media

Marketers may claim efficiency as the best reason to automate parts of their social media communications.There are, however, also good reasons to not automate social media.

Here are 3 reasons not to automate social media


3. Machines Make Mistakes

Let’s say you are a restaurant owner. You set up an auto-responder that searches Tweets for the keyword “hungry” and send an @reply with the message “Hungry? Try Jimmy’s Big Pig BBQ on 5th Street.”

You’ll look like a buffoon when someone Tweets “The Panthers are hungry for a win.”

Scripts, bots and machines are not very good at deciphering context (Google Wave is, but that’s another story). Human language is subtle, and human beings are good at sniffing out a ghost.


 2. Different Audiences Respond to Different Messages

RSS, Ping.fm and other tools let you push your blog to your outposts (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). But each audience is unique. Being relevant requires nuance. Blasting the same message to every audience is like giving your entire family a Target gift card for Christmas: Tacky, unimpressive, and not very thoughtful.


 1. Relationships Are Not Built by Automation

The #1 reason not to automate: People like people, not scripts and bots. It’s about getting people to like and trust you, not playing whack-a-mole with your sales message. If you insist on automating, you are likely aiming for uber-efficiency. Try not talking to people at all if you want to be more efficient. You will save time and energy by avoiding human interaction. Of course, it’s a bad idea, but there’s a thin line between automation and one-way broadcasting.

Can you think of other reasons not to automate social communications?