I saw a great tweet this morning…

“Automating your social media is like sending a mannequin to a networking event.”

display_fashion_female_mannequin_79There are a lot of services out there that will automate your social media.   Some post a bunch of links that should reflect your industry.  Some give you content written for other people in other markets in your industry.  Some allow you to plan posts out in the future.

Lets look at a service that puts up links for you first.  There’s a couple of things wrong with that.  If your social media is all links with no original content, you will stop getting viewed.  Are the links they are selecting the same ones you would select?  Are they too trendy?  Too broad? Too narrow?

When you do change your strategy, you’re pretty much starting from scratch.  Anyone can find some links and put them up.    Putting up links that you feel your audience should read, is a good move.  But it shouldn’t be the only move.  Or a prolific move.  Double check that the links provided reflect your business, and are ones you personally would use for reference.

What’s wrong with putting up an article that a service wrote for several people in your industry?  Well for one, it can cause Google to ignore your website if you’ve put it up on your blog or site.  Google doesn’t like to see duplicated content.  To put it up on Social Media may be less risky but with everything being so easily accessed, you run the risk of someone knowing it’s not original.  Not original equals not real, and therefore, not worth my time, my effort, and ultimately, my consumer dollars.

And finally automating postings.  Usually this isn’t a problem.  If you know you’re going away on vacation and want a couple posts to go up, timed on a service, (or now you can do that on Facebook without a service), that’s fine.  One thing you miss out on, is the ability to be sensitive to current events.

The holy grail of marketing right now is Real Time Marketing.  Being able to relate something that happened today to your brand.  If you had scheduled posts during the Super Game, you might have missed a chance to talk about the lights going out.

On the reverse, you run the risk of posting something inappropriate when there is a tragic story on the news.  You wouldn’t want to be discounting airline tickets when the planes crashed into the twin towers.

So, while automating can help with the time and attention you need to devote to your Social Media, blog , website and the like, it’s best to have a real live person paying attention.

To ensure a great image, relevant material, and to take advantage of the day’s events…Don’t be a mannequin… Breathe life into your content.

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