What’s more annoying than talking to a robot on the phone? Sifting through robo-posts on your social media accounts. Since you probably don’t want your audience to block you, it’s a good idea to learn why robo-posting is offensive and how you can avoid mistakes that will drive off your followers.
Something Smells Awfully Spammy
Automatic social media posts often come across as spam – and in some cases, that is exactly what they are. According to this infographic from Media Bistro, things like “unauthorized commercial communications” and “unwanted or mass solicitation” are considered spam on some of the biggest social media networks.
Even if you’re not intentionally spamming your audience, the average online consumer is well-trained to ignore anything that seems like spam. Recycling the same old posts day in and day out or rapid-firing posts all day long is a great way to be ignored or added to a “blocked” list. Research from EdgeRank Checker supports this; in some instances, automatic Facebook posts lowered reader engagement by up to 70-percent.
But Mom Said No Back Talk
If we were robots, our mothers would love us because we’d never talk back. On social media, though, no one likes to be ignored.
Remember that at its heart, social media exists to start a conversation. That doesn’t mean that you should spend the foreseeable future responding to hundreds of comments. However, you should take the time to reply to some comments, like or +1 a few things and share content from interesting sources outside your brand.
People like to know that somewhere behind the corporate veil, there are living, breathing human beings. Good social media interaction proves that your business is relatable and that relatability translates into a loyal following.
Robots Don’t Have Tact
Guy Kawasaki proved that one of the biggest dangers of robo-posting is continuing to fire off posts while more important world events are happening. During the Boston Marathon Bombing, Kawasaki allowed his Twitter-bots to continuously post promotional tweets, which sparked a major backlash from his followers.
Above all else, social media networks are communication platforms. That means that during major events, people will be trying to keep up with breaking news or contacting loved ones. At best, your robo-posts will annoy people. If you’re anything like Kawasaki, you’ll be branded as an insensitive jerk and lose a large part of your following.
Aren’t Robots Supposed to Make Life Easier?
Robo-posting isn’t all bad, but it is easy “set it and forget it.” You can auto-post successfully as long as you make time to do all of the following:
- Make a posting schedule that doesn’t recycle old content endlessly.
- Learn how to hire a writer that can create great content and original social media posts.
- Connect with your audience by responding to questions and comments.
- Send the message that it’s not all about you by sharing relevant news or interesting industry content.
- Keep an eye on current events so you don’t commit a cardinal sin.
Maybe someday bots will become social creatures but, for now, these bits of software are often as annoying as they are helpful. If you want your social media campaign to stand out from the pack, act like a real, live human. Your human followers will appreciate it.
Amber K enjoys writing about home improvement, gardening, and the great outdoors. When she’s not sitting in front of a computer, she can be found developing strategies to conquer the world -– or at least her own little piece of it!