We all know how inhuman social media automation is… Well. Automation is automated so obviously it’s not human! But there is a big difference between hands off automation and assisted automation (As I like to call it) like scheduling social media posts.

Now I’m all for connection, human interactivity, communication and the such, it’s the most important thing one can do on social media because building relationships matter, at the end of the day that’s how we get clients! But scheduling important messages or your relevant blog posts out on social media is hardly automation. It’s simply good organisation and a very practical process in order to save time whilst providing your audience with targeted information. Having said that, when it comes to doing a top job on social media there is no easy way out, you can’t automate being sociable and thus far i’ve not found an app that replaces me or any other human being for that matter.

So what processes are classed as bad automation? and what processes are scheduled and good automation? And what’s wrong with automation anyway? What’s right with it? And if it works why does it even matter? And lastly there are some really ugly examples of social media automation, lets take a look. (Most automation seems to take place on Twitter)

Good Automation =

Scheduling tweets in order to curate interesting content for your followers on a platform such as Hootsuite of Buffer.

Why is this type of social media automation good?

This is a great way to make sure you have good information going out on your Twitter feed regularly! These days we all have followers we just need to keep them following and provide them with value. Hence scheduling carefully selected tweets, that you or your social media manager has chosen specifically for your audience is in no way automation. Why not? Because you are a human and you went out and curated this information specifically for your audience, no algorithm required.

The Facebook business page autoresponder

This is a great strategy for those away from your facebook page when someone sends a message or makes an enquiry. This way you have less risk of losing the sale. For example, when someone sends you a message your autoresponder says thanks fir the message i’m away from facebook right now, you can call me on…

Sharing content automatically from trusted RSS feeds

This is good because it’s a process that saves time. If you know that a certain blog or news source only creates content your audience will love then making sure your audience don’t miss this content is a no brainer! To do this you simply upload the feed to your chosen scheduling tool and when new content is posted it will get shared to your chosen social media feeds.

Bad Automation =

Tweeting out unfollower numbers

Who cares how many followers you lost or gained this week? Your potential buyers or clients don’t. If you want to know this information you can use twitter analytics.

Auto Direct Messages

Hey Jon, thanks for following me, you can also follow me on facebook here… Message sent via @Crowdfire

It’s too obviously automated and so many people are sending this generic message out everyday.

..Now there are some good(ish) auto direct message examples. Such as when someone follows you you send a message that is targeted to your campaign, you can make it look genuine and not automated, the only people who will know are marketers!

Ugly Automation

Now this is where it gets ugly. and I mean ugly…

I once used a tool where when someone followed you auto reply with your automated reply. Thanks for following me, I do this blah blah… Then they reply and your automated reply is thanks for the mention @Twitteruser, the user replies no worries and the automated message replies again thanks for the mention @Twitter user. Thats okay… Thanks for the mention.. and so on. Good times! Never do this!

Auto Retweets

There is a tool where you can automatically retweet tweets based on a keyword or user, yes it saves time but it also cuts corners. Say that account was chasing as ASOS order or swearing about their terrible day?

Why does it matter anyway?

It should be obvious by now! Automation has benefits when it comes to you assisting the process, because you’ve chosen the content and there has been some human interference. Automation is bad when it seems really automated and you have no intention of responding as a human or being involved in anyway, it’s just pointless.

What automation do you use and why?