As with any marketing, it needs to be constantly reviewed, tried and tested and I tried to do that with my newsletter.  And what a mistake I made!  I tried to set up an RSS feed so that blog posts went out automatically to my subscribers and it failed miserably.  It was a mess.

Social media automation can do more harm than good

And it taught me a valuable lesson in trying to automate too much.  This lesson reminded me of the article I wrote on ‘The pitfalls of social media automation and the damaging effect it can have on your audience.

This brings me on to another area of automation that many small businesses do.  The setting up of automated responses when you follow someone on Twitter.  Do you hate these?  I most certainly do.  It is so obvious that they are automated and are so impersonal and sometimes can border on being offensive.  Take the instance of a restaurant that I visit on a regular basis.  I followed them and was chatting with the owner on Twitter when suddenly I received a direct message asking me if I ever visited North Devon and if I had ever visited the restaurant!

This had such a negative impact.  For a start, just a simple bit of investigation would reveal I was from North Devon.  But for a regular client who spends a lot of money with that business, if I wasn’t online with the owner and could tell him what had just happened, I would have been insulted to be messaged in such a way that made my custom feel wholly insignificant.

This is also the danger when outsourcing your social media to companies who don’t know your clientèle and don’t bother to do a few checks and balances before posting.  So beware of too much social media automation or using a marketing company to do everything for you.  There are some organisations that do get it right and do a great job for their clients.  But there are also those that send out a bog-standard message on behalf of all their clients and therefore if you follow more than one of their clients you get the same mundane message over and over again.

A refreshing moment in marketing

So it was very refreshing today that after I had tweeted about a certain subject, I received an email. The business who had read my tweet had taken the time to look at my bio, get my email address and then send me some really good and useful information. They didn’t try to sell to me but just started to build a relationship.

I replied and said thank you and then we got chatting. Yes, this personal approach takes far more time but I can guarantee you it will be far more effective in getting you loyal clients in the long term.

So beware before you think about social media automation for your business.  Make sure you know what you are doing and still retain the personal touch.

Anyway, back to the drawing board for me and more manual labour!!

What are your thoughts on social media automation?  Leave your comments in the box below.