Every piece of a business system can be automated. However, with automation comes the possibility of computer generated errors, and this problem becomes even worse when the automation has to do with content driven material such as social networking. If there is a piece of communication that should not be managed by computers, it is the social media component of a business’s advertising strategy.
Newsletters are commonly one of the most automated pieces of social networking. These newsletters are great for generating top of the mind awareness that every business needs to generate revenue. However, when these tools make mistakes, they are usually grievous errors. For example, there are many systems that will allow a business owner to insert the first name of a prospect dynamically using code. There are times when this code is accidentally changed and the code itself is shown. There is nothing more challenging than recreating the goodwill that a person has built up when a customer realizes that the newsletter was not generated specifically for them. This look behind the curtain can cause the consumer to look elsewhere because they want to work with a company that appreciates them and does not try to have automated customer service systems.
Content created for social networking for platforms by computers also tends to be less than ideal. This is because the computer (as much as people have made advances in this field) does not understand language as well as a real live person does. Even when grammatically correct information is generated, it usually lacks the feeling that it was generated by a real human. Therefore, the content is ignored by search engines (if it does not pass the duplicate content filter) and humans alike. This equates to a loss of money because the advertising method is not effective at engaging the end user (in this case the reader of the material).
Another area where content is automated is the “friend” and “follower” requests. However, this is one of the worst places to automate your social networking system. These computer-generated programs are built to find people speaking on a certain topic or keyword and to automatically request them to be a “friend” or “follower.” In theory, this practice sounds like a good idea. However, what happens is that these programs find other programs doing the same thing. This inflates the friend and follower list to high levels but these networks contain nothing but programs that are talking to programs. There are no end users and if there are real users, they usually end up frustrated by the amount of link spam presented by those programs. In the end, these programs end up speaking to no one and generate no money on their own.
In closing, a business should not automate their social media campaigns because computers do a poor job of relating to humans socially. A real life person needs to run the social networking campaign (especially if it is social networking for business purposes) because people like to talk to real people and not programs developed to speak to humans. Having a real person run the social media program will allow the business to feel more human and show that they care about the ideas and needs of their consumer base.