Thanks to technology, there are thousands of ways to automate our lives to become more productive and experience less stress. There are also plenty of ways to over automate our lives and strip out important factors like human guidance or interaction. This is especially true with social media automation.
When social networks were first created, we originally used them to connect with people and experience real interaction. Then marketers jumped on board, called it social media, and lost sight of what made social networks valuable.
Automation can be an amazing thing (we use it to schedule some posts). It can also be something that is abused. The most obvious example of automation reliance and abuse is on social media by marketers and businesses.
Why Do People Use Marketing Automation?
Businesses use marketing automation for the same reason that you use it in your every day life; it saves time. There are some great automation tools that will help salespeople discover potential leads, email addresses, social media profiles, and much more that save them a significant amount of time.These tools help build relevant connections with sales prospects (potential customers) and add value when used correctly.
Marketers are also heavily relying on automation to build their social media audiences, and this is where things can get a little sticky.
The idea behind building your audience goes back to when marketers first started using social media. Back then, everyone was obsessed with vanity metrics (followers, Likes, etc) and not the actual influence or attention that they could gain. It’s simply a matter of not understanding what adds value to themselves or to their audience. Unfortunately, there are still a significant amount of businesses and “gurus” that are still using tactics like this to build their social media following.
While the numbers might look impressive at first, they don’t translate into sales. That’s why we’re here, right?
Why Automation Abuse Kills Your Social Media Opportunity
The reason why all of us in business are interested in using social media is because we want to use it to make money. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it has become widely accepted as a form for businesses to connect with customers. In fact, most customers expect for businesses to be accessible via social media.
Here’s the problem: When we let automation do the talking for us (sending auto messages, sharing content on behalf of us, or sending inauthentic “thank you” messages) we lose our ability to build influence and leverage any exposure. We’re no longer engaging with people. It’s just about numbers at that point, and no one wants to feel like a number. We want customer service, servers, business owners, and managers to connect with us using real human emotion. We want someone to empathize with us.
While automation can certainly help, marketing today requires an empathetic person. Remember, it was called social networking before we dubbed it social media. The human to human connection is the most valuable piece, and you can’t fake the one on one relationships that you can build through social networking. Getting this right will help you build influence and generate sales through the attention that you have earned.
Yes, it’s going to take effort, but it will be worth it!
Automation shouldn’t replace your actual presence. It should supplement it & lead to a real human 2 human interaction. #effort
— Kevin Ekmark (@KevinEkmark) April 17, 2016