AUTOMATED SOCIAL MEDIA? A TOTAL #FAIL
Many companies have jumped on the social media bandwagon. Trouble is, when you think of it as a bandwagon, then you are likely to fail right from the start. Going social means marketing with a human face.
Any business or public sector department which deals with the public should be using social media, but it differs from old fashioned company media. The crowd are talking back and you had better have a plan to deal with that, or your brand will end up looking like it’s being managed by idiots.
AUTOMATION IS FOR ROBOTS, HUMANS COMMUNICATE
Many social media `gurus’ will explain to marketing managers or managing directors of SMEs that using Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or many other fashionable social media tools can save `wasted man-hours’ and amplify their brand values online.
Well, up to a point.
It’s true that Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Rippla, Monitter and many more can keep tabs on your chosen topics, what’s being said about your brand online etc. All good. But where they fall down is encouraging `scheduled’ tweets or posts.
Imagine for a moment you run a shop on a High Street, then try and picture your sales staff uttering exactly the same banal questions, marketing-speak updates or cheesy polls in the shop doorway at 12 noon every day. Pretty soon, your customers would start punching the staff in the face.
NEVER USE FAKE PEOPLE
Some companies even employ outsourcers who plant tweets on your pages, in a pathetic attempt to spark conversations with real people. Real cheapskates will employ semi-literate people who pepper your Facebook and Twitter feed with spelling and grammar errors too.
Thing is, once people twig who your fake followers are, your social media channel is finished – nobody will believe anything they see in your company feed.
Here’s some basic stuff you should avoid:
Scheduled tweets, Facebook or blog posts
Buying `off the shelf’ polls instead of properly researching your sector
Using third party social media staff who have no understanding or affinity with your brand – and paying them peanuts
Spamming LinkedIn with the same marketing messages in three or four groups
Lying. A typical case was a recruitment consultancy which tweeted the same `We’ve just filled two vacancies in Liverpool today’ at 8.30am every single day
Give your social media a human voice and never think that automating it is making the entire operation super-slick and groovy.
Automating your social media is far more likely to kill your brand reputation. Employ skilled, trained, staff to manage your channels. Work out a strategy and stick with it, build a loyal following.