5 Ridiculous Myths About Social Media Automation blog title overlay

5 Ridiculous Myths about Social Media Automation

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Imagine you're invited to your friend's house. But when you get there, instead of getting to spend time with your friend, you end up spending time with her cloned robot. Not quite the fun time you had in mind, right?

Now imagine you're out and about, running your errands and basically just adulting your way through the day, when you come across someone who seems interesting. Maybe you have a couple things in common. So you introduce yourself and a few minutes later, you've made a new friend! Except that a few minutes after that your new friend has shown up at your house wearing a sandwich board about how much he or she appreciates you and, hey — while you're stuck and captive, how about buying that new book he or she just wrote?

Think back to a time when you had to call a company to complain about something: bad service, faulty product, weird bill. Whatever it was, think about how you felt when you heard the person on the other end of the phone repeating the same, cookie-cutter scripted responses over and over again.

Or how frustrated you get when you call someplace only to get lost in their “Interactive Voice Response” system because the computer on the other end couldn't understand you when you said “Billing.”

Automation can suck. For the most part, people hate it. But only when they have to physically interact with it. Automation is wonderful when it comes to things like direct deposit, DVR, or central air conditioning.

Automation Doesn't Have to Suck

Maybe that's why so many people tend to cringe when they think of social media automation. They don't mind, so much, that your email is set to automatically send them a receipt when they've made a purchase, but they wince if you send an automatic thank you note. So let's take a few minutes to look at some of the myths surrounding social media automation.

Myth 1: Social Media Automation is Lazy and it Kills Authenticity

“It's a lazy way of marketing.” I'm not even sure where this myth comes from, but I've heard it and it bothers me every time I hear it… so it gets a spot on my list.

For some reason, people cringe at the idea that you are sitting and relaxing at home while your sales group on Facebook just announced a major sale. Or if you're holding a direct sales party and actually getting to sit and enjoy it rather than running around and working at it. The truth is, there is no difference in the amount of effort that goes into automation versus real time posts.

Whether you spend an hour writing, searching, and scheduling your posts ahead for the week, or spend 10 minutes several times a week posting the exact same thing.

Social media automation is a way to work more efficiently, and therefore saves you time and allows you to get more done faster. What is it called when you're working faster and more efficiently? Oh, right, the exact opposite of lazy.

And here's the thing, most of us are already struggling to find the time to do everything. Our days are packed and we are stressed. And if automating parts of our social media process can help us get through parts of our list without pulling out our hair or crying at the end of the day, then I say (in my best Dalek voice) “Automate“.

Enhancing Authenticity through Automation

When it comes to social media automation, one of the most common misconceptions is that it kills authenticity. People often worry that automated posts lack the personal touch and genuine connection needed to engage with their audience. However, this myth couldn't be further from the truth.

In fact, when used correctly, automation can actually enhance authenticity and strengthen your brand's voice. Authenticity is not solely dependent on manual input; it is about consistently delivering valuable content that aligns with your brand's values and resonates with your target audience.

Automation plays a crucial role here by allowing you to plan and schedule content in advance, ensuring a consistent flow of relevant posts without compromising on quality or personalization. By using automation tools, you can carefully curate content that reflects your brand's unique tone and style.

You have the freedom to craft compelling messages that genuinely connect with your audience on a deeper level. This process allows you to maintain consistency in your messaging while still infusing each post with an authentic touch.

Examples of Successful Brands Maintaining Authenticity through Automation

Many successful brands have demonstrated how social media automation can actually enhance their authenticity. Take Red Bull as an example.

They use automated scheduling tools to share exhilarating videos and captivating photos related to extreme sports and adventure. By consistently posting thrilling content in line with their brand identity, they've created an authentic image that resonates strongly with their target audience.

Another great example is Buffer, a social media management platform known for its transparency and dedication to helping businesses succeed online. Buffer uses automation effectively by sharing valuable industry insights, tips, and tricks across various social channels at regular intervals throughout the day.

Their proactive approach showcases expertise while maintaining a genuine connection with their followers. These examples demonstrate how well-planned automation can amplify authenticity rather than diminish it.

By leveraging automation tools to carefully select and schedule content that aligns with your brand's values, you can establish a consistent and authentic voice that resonates with your audience. So, instead of shying away from automation, consider embracing it as a valuable tool in enhancing your brand's authenticity.

Myth 2: Automation leads to robotic interactions

You can't be in the moment if you automate, so your updates will be obsolete. This myth perplexes me, mainly because I can't wrap my head around why a scheduled facebook post would be obsolete. I mean, just how far in advance do people think we are automating things? Months? Years?

At most, people automate social media updates about a week out, but usually closer to 2-3 days out. So I'm pretty sure my funny cat videos will be just as relevant on Thursday as they would have been on Monday. And if you are posting updates that are useful and interesting to your audience, they are always relevant.

The Importance of Personalized and Relevant Messaging

Picture this: you're scrolling through your Instagram feed, and suddenly, a rather generic comment pops up under a post. It's an automated message from a brand that just doesn't feel right.

We've all been there, and it's easy to think that automation is to blame for these lackluster interactions. However, it's crucial to understand that personalization is key when it comes to social media engagement.

People want to feel seen and valued by brands they follow. This is where smart marketers step in and make use of automation tools not as a substitute for human interaction but rather as an aid in delivering tailored content.

How automation can be used to deliver personalized content

Automation doesn't have to mean sacrificing personalization; instead, it can enhance it if used wisely. One way marketers achieve this is through detailed audience segmentation.

By leveraging customer data such as demographics, interests, or past behavior, they can create more targeted content tailored explicitly for different segments of their audience. Furthermore, automation tools offer features like dynamic content insertion or merge tags that allow for customization within automated messages or posts.

These features enable marketers to include personal details like names or specific user preferences seamlessly. Moreover, social media platforms themselves provide options for personalized messaging through automation.

For instance, Facebook Messenger offers chatbots that can be programmed with pre-determined responses but also have the ability to adapt based on individual queries or preferences. By embracing these strategies and combining them with thoughtful planning and creative execution, brands can ensure their automated interactions don't come off as robotic but rather as engaging conversations tailored specifically for each individual.

It's like I said earlier: no one actually hates automation until they have to interact with it. Once they have to interact with that automation, they (rightfully) expect a human-like interaction.

We don't want to have to scream “customer service” into the phone trying to get a hold of something because the company's interactive voice response system can't understand what we're saying.

Taking the time to set up your automation so that it is relevant, personalized, and responds appropriately to human interaction can help save you loads of time in the long run while still delivering on that high-quality your readers have come to expect from you.

Myth 3: Automated posts lack engagement

You can't engage with your audience if you use automation.” This has to be one of the most common opinions I hear about social media automation, and it's simply not true. When I look around my social media platforms, do you know what I see? Updates. Tips, hints, check out my blog, check out this article I found, top ten lists, funny cat videos, stupid people videos, and look at what we ate for supper tonight. So let me ask you, if any of those had been posted by a person sitting at a computer rather than scheduled using an automation tool… would you have noticed?

No. The answer is no. Would you have ignored it?

No. Again, the answer is no.

People have a tendency to frown at the thought of automating social media, but the truth is automating certain aspects of social media can actually increase engagement because it allows you to post more regularly during the times your audience is likely to be online.

When it comes to social media automation, one of the most common misconceptions is that automated posts lack engagement. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, automation tools can actually help increase engagement rates and foster meaningful interactions with your audience.

Automation Tools Can Actually Increase Engagement Rates

Automation tools offer a range of features that allow you to optimize your social media strategy and boost engagement. For instance, these tools enable you to schedule posts at optimal times when your target audience is most active online.

By consistently sharing relevant content at the right moments, you increase the likelihood of capturing their attention and encouraging them to engage with your posts. Besides scheduling capabilities, automation tools also provide analytics and insights that help you understand your audience better.

These insights allow you to tailor your content according to their preferences and interests, resulting in more engaging posts. By knowing what resonates with your audience, you can create content that sparks discussions or prompts followers to share their thoughts.

Not only that, but if you're scheduling your content, that frees up some of your time, which you can use to engage with your audience. Respond to their comments, reply to their questions, and like their interactions with your stuff. This is especially true during times when there might be heavy posting or the expectation of a large presence, such as an online book launch party or something like that.

Strategies for creating engaging automated content

To ensure that your automated posts are engaging and resonate with your audience, here are some strategies you can implement:

  1. Create compelling visuals: Images and videos catch people's attention on social media platforms. Invest time in designing eye-catching visuals or using high-quality images related to your industry or niche.
  1. Add value through informative content: Your automated posts should provide value to your followers by sharing useful information or tips related to their interests. This positions you as an authority in your field while keeping them engaged.
  1. Pose questions: Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions in your automated posts. By inviting your audience to share their opinions or experiences, you create opportunities for meaningful engagement.
  1. Respond promptly: While automation tools can handle the scheduling and publishing of content, it's crucial to actively monitor your social media platforms for any comments or messages. Responding promptly shows that you value your audience's engagement and fosters a sense of community.

Remember, automation should enhance your social media efforts, not replace human interaction. By implementing these strategies and maintaining an active presence on your platforms, you can debunk the myth that automated posts lack engagement.

Myth 4: Automation is Expensive and Only for Large Businesses

The fact of the matter is, automation is much more affordable than people think. Almost every social media site has built in schedulers to help you automate your posts for free…no additional app needed at all. Not to mention, there are several services out there who offer social media automation — most of whom have free account options or cost as little as $9-$15 per month.

When it comes to social media automation, many people have the misconception that it is only accessible and beneficial for large corporations with hefty budgets. Well, let me debunk this myth right away!

There are a plethora of affordable automation tools available that cater specifically to small businesses and individuals looking to streamline their social media efforts. One popular and budget-friendly option is Hootsuite.

This platform allows you to schedule posts in advance, monitor your social media accounts, and engage with your audience all in one place. With its user-friendly interface and reasonable pricing plans, Hootsuite has become a top choice for startups and entrepreneurs on a tight budget.

Another great tool worth mentioning is Buffer. It offers similar functionalities as Hootsuite but at an even more affordable price point.

Buffer allows you to schedule posts across multiple platforms simultaneously, analyze post performance, and even provides content suggestions tailored to your niche. It's a fantastic option for those just starting out or looking for a cost-effective solution.

If you're seeking a more comprehensive automation tool with advanced features like analytics, reporting, and CRM integration, Sprout Social might be the perfect fit. While relatively higher priced than the previous options mentioned, Sprout Social offers immense value by providing deep insights into your social media strategy while still being accessible to smaller businesses.

Of course, that low dollar amount can still add up, even if you don't go for one of the expensive social media automation tools, so you want to be discerning about the tool(s) you use for automating your social media. Don't pay for 4 different tools if they have overlapping services.

Myth 5: Social media automation eliminates the need for human involvement

In the realm of social media, where algorithms rule and content is king, it's easy to get caught up in the allure of automation. However, it's crucial to recognize that while automation can streamline processes and save time, it should never replace the invaluable human touch. Social media management requires a level of authenticity and personalization that only humans can provide.

The role of humans in social media management goes beyond simply scheduling posts or replying to comments. It involves strategic thinking, creativity, and the ability to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Humans possess intuition and emotional intelligence that machines simply cannot replicate. They understand nuances, adapt to trends, and create content that resonates with individuals – all key elements for building strong relationships with your followers.

How to strike a balance between automated and manual interactions

Finding the right balance between automated and manual interactions is crucial for effective social media management. While automation can help streamline routine tasks like scheduling posts or monitoring certain keywords or hashtags, there are areas where a personal touch is irreplaceable. Firstly, engagement with your audience should always have a human element.

Responding promptly to comments or messages shows that you care about your followers' opinions and concerns. Generic automated responses can come across as impersonal or dismissive, leaving a negative impression on your brand.

Secondly, stay alert for real-time opportunities that call for manual intervention. Newsjacking – capitalizing on relevant breaking news or viral trends – can help increase visibility and resonate with your target audience on an emotional level.

A machine doesn't possess real-time decision-making abilities like identifying these opportunities swiftly. Focus on crafting compelling content.

Automated tools may be great at sharing existing blog posts or curated content, but it's the human creativity that produces captivating original content. From brainstorming ideas to telling stories that connect with your audience, humans are best equipped to create engaging and share-worthy posts.

While social media automation offers undeniable benefits, it should never eliminate the need for human involvement. Humans bring authenticity, creativity, and emotional intelligence to the table – elements that machines cannot replicate.

Striking a balance between automated and manual interactions is key to successful social media management. By prioritizing personal engagement, seizing real-time opportunities, and creating compelling content manually, you can leverage the power of automation while retaining the human touch that sets your brand apart.

Automate Your Processes, Not Your Relationships!

So, now that these five ridiculous myths have been debunked, you're going to go out there, find a social media automator, and never worry about spending time posting on social media again… right?

No! How do you think these myths evolved? Because people did them wrong They tried automating everything on social media, and they failed miserably. Remember the doorbell in Ferris Bueller? Worked wonderfully until Principal Rooney pressed the doorbell again. Automated social media has the same risk if left unchecked. Here are a couple ideas for how to use it well:

  • Use automation to take care of some of your processes, not you. In other words, schedule some of your status updates, blog articles, and funny cat videos. Don't schedule conversations, likes, retweets, or comments.
  • Watch your automation and adjust for any hiccups. Unforeseen events pop up all the time, which could change the meaning of that scheduled tweet or scheduled Facebook post (remember the whole “people reap what they sow” fiasco after the Orlando Shooting? Yea — that was a scheduled tweet that should have been pulled). Automation should make your life easier, but it is not something you can “set and forget.”
  • Don't automate private messages with people you don't know. Have I mentioned how much I hate hitting that follow button on Twitter, only to receive an automated Direct Message. Hate it. 90% of the time I delete the message without looking and then unfollow the person who sent it. I don't even care so much if it was automated or if that person is sitting on a phone waiting for a new follower to write to. I. Hate. It. Ad it's funny, because if you ask around, reactions to the automated tweet vary from “It doesn't bother me too much” to “hate it” but I have not yet found a single person who has told me they found it to be a kind or helpful gesture. So just don't. Direct messages should be used to carry on private messages between friends, not carry automated junk mail.
  • Don't fill your new-found spare time with even more posts. The point of scheduling posts and using automation is to help you make things easier on yourself, to help you post when your audience is online, and to help stop you from overposting. Don't go posting more just because you have free time. Use the extra time to engage more with your audience, instead.

Did you enjoy this article? Here are some more posts about social media automation you might like:

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