Why I Hate The Automate

This post from Aaron Lee pretty much drives home something I’ve come to believe – automation is to be used very carefully, if at all – especially if you’re a smallish company that can still manage all its social media without major outsourcing.

I not only don’t believe “personal” seeming tweets from a major company – because I assume it came from a machine. (Highly vetted and very professionally planned, no doubt, but it’s long since lost any real connection with a human at origin point.) I also live in fear of automating a tweet that:

Tick Tock Tick Tock ... Real Life Optional

a) gets mugged by real life events – a happy tweet that looks horribly tone-deaf and out of place because something truly tragic happened in real life, making you and your product look not only trivial but completely oblivious.

b) repeats the same message over and over with no regard for context – a sure way to annoy your core followers who may subscribed to all your communication channels

I realize this very hands-on approach doesn’t scale up for a major company like Acura. I have no idea what one does at that level – although, if you have the budget, doesn’t that also assume you have the people to stay on top of things so that your message doesn’t look like spam on the other end? But if you’re a small to medium-sized business? Take the extra time, customize your information, and convince your customers that a real person’s on the other end. It’s what’ll keep them coming back to you rather than going to the competitor. And I say that not as a communications professional, but a customer on the receiving end of pitches from people like me. 24/7.