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How to use social media automation without turning it into a #fail

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Last week we showed you how easy it is to elevate your LinkedIn company page from wallflower to diva status. In an ideal world you would now be posting articles relevant to your business prospects about three times a day. But who are we kidding? Things don’t always go to plan, meetings rarely finish on time and you’re probably much more focused on hitting your targets than remembering to update your social media profiles. Enter the world social media automation tools. 

How does it work?

Social media automation tools such as Hootsuite, Social Oomph or Bundle Post allow you to schedule your updates in advance and can help you with your social media analytics and monitoring. These tools allow you to plan, source and write your social media updates a week in advance which can be a real time saver and a productive way to spend an hour on a Friday afternoon.

Robots can be helpful with some tasks

Social media automation can be really useful if you’re posting a lot of evergreen content – that means content that isn’t bound to a particular time. You know, timeless classics: just like the Godfather trilogy. Using automation for this type of posting is a great way to feed your social channels with regular updates and relevant owned and 3rd party content. It is a bit of a different story with direct customer interactions though…

Yet, real engagement requires the human touch

The day that you set up social media channels for your brand, you made a promise to your customers to engage in two-way conversations. While it’s entirely possibly to have a meaningful dialogue with Siri, the intelligent personal assistance app on your iPhone, social media automation is not quite there yet.

People will be mentioning you in their updates and they expect responses that make sense. A case in point: Domino’s Pizza. Their social media bot recently responded to a customer photo with the praise “Best pizza ever” with an automated reply “So sorry about that. Please share some additional information…”

Whoops. The idea behind this kind of automation might be well-intentioned and aimed at preventing a social media crisis, but in this case it managed to do the exact opposite.

Our tip

We here at Bc definitely think that social media automation can help you boost engagement on your social channels, but it is not a silver bullet solution. Ideally, all customer posts and complaints will be handled by your community manager. If you don’t have the resources to employ a person full-time to manage your social channels, make sure the task is assigned to a team that has been trained to handle difficult situations. Either way, you will need to have a solid social media crisis policy in place to protect your brand.

Want how automation software can improve other areas of your b2b marketing? Download The quick-start guide to inbound marketing for technology companies today!

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Brand chemistry is a digital marketing agency focused on delivering quality leads and measurable results for our b2b clients. Take a look at our client case studies to find out more.

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