Photo of paper robots on a window

Automation is the Enemy of Social Media

Automation and social media rarely make good bedfellows. Try automating a “thank you for following me” message on Twitter. And then try automating another response but which contains a link to a free download. For a third experiment, try setting up an RSS feed to inject itself directly into a Twitter feed and then leaving it alone forever. In the first case no one will really care to respond one way or another. They know when it’s canned, my friend. In the second, you’ll get a quick number of unfollows. They don’t want to be sold to, my friend. In the third, you’ll never get any followers. They want to interact with humans, my friend.

I’ve seen from personal trial and error that the people on social media who resort to automation are the ones who have no time or inclination to do the hard work of building up a community and actually conversing with people. They’re either spammers or robots. And they’re not even the cool robots that go around wrecking Japan while battling giant alien bug monsters. No surprise then that in general, automation is shunned in the social media arena.

Why is it then, that we engage in social media without doing enough to differentiate ourselves from spammers and bots? Why aren’t we uploading profile photos of ourselves as avatars? Why aren’t we completing our profiles with pertinent info and a link back to the corporate website? Why aren’t we doing all we can to establish that we are interesting humans who have something worthwhile to say?

Probably because we’re lazy. Or we don’t have much to share with the world.

“Boo” to both.

What’s your opinion on automating your social media updates?

IMAGE CREDITS: “Here Come The Robots.” Photo by Max Kiesler on Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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