What to Know About Using Twitter Automation
As one of the fastest-moving social platforms out there, Twitter is a great way to keep your business fresh, relevant, and on-track.
However, the pace required to keep a Twitter account alive can be overwhelming. Unlike sites such as Facebook or Pinterest, where you can get away with a few posts per week, Twitter users expect thoughtful content updates multiple times per day from the businesses they’re invested in. And with more than 328 million monthly active users, the level of outreach and engagement possible through Twitter is well worth the time spent updating. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to take some of the pressure off: social media automation.
As you start to explore the option of automating, it’s crucial to consider how you can keep your posts streamlined, productive, and engaging-- without reducing your brand to a lifeless bot.
Why should you use Twitter automation?
Automating your business’ social accounts is simple: the system allows you to craft posts and time their release, keeping you on track with your social media schedule without much direct involvement on your part. You can even employ chatbots to answer FAQ’s and direct customer concerns to the right place. When you automate your online presence, you free up time to respond directly to customer inquiries, manage your brand, and perform other daily tasks. It may be tempting to automate as much as possible-- however, handing over too much of the responsibility to a bot may lead you into the following pitfalls.
A Lack of Human Touch
Your followers will quickly pick up on an overly robotic presence. 75% of Twitter users feel more connected to brands when they can sense a person behind the keyboard; to keep their loyalty, real involvement on your part is necessary. A certain number of bot-tweets is acceptable, but too many lifeless posts, and your followers will drift away in search of a more personal interaction. When you do schedule bot-tweets, make sure they sound like you; a discrepancy between your automated voice and your real voice is also a dead giveaway to your followers that you’re not really engaged with them.
In the same vein, when you post via an automated system, you run the risk of missing opportunities for dialogue. Users send around 100,000 questions and comments to businesses each month; your followers may respond to your automated posts with important questions or comments, including things you may have overlooked or mismanaged. Without a human behind the keyboard to establish a dialogue, a business may accidentally gain a reputation as dismissive, ignorant, or downright neglectful. Try to check in with your accounts as often as possible to catch up with your followers and demonstrate that you hear them.
Businesses using automated update systems must be extremely wary in the wake of real-world events. Many a business has suffered the blowback of an ill-timed tweet following a breaking news story. When there’s a major news development, pausing automated tweets could be in your best interests. If a scheduled tweet is misconstrued, badly worded, or otherwise offensive, you will need to be there to run personalized damage control or risk losing the trust of your followers forever.
Doing Automation Right
In order to use automated social media to your advantage while avoiding the pitfalls, it’s important to always bear in mind that the point of your social media presence is engagement. Automation can help keep your brand active while you work on other tasks, but you still need to demonstrate your humanity as often as possible. There are several apps that can help you achieve this. Apps like Sproutsocial will allow you to set up both automated tweet schedules and chatbots, which you can personalize. You can also stay ahead of PR disasters using an app like BuzzSumo, which keeps track of trending topics so you don’t fall into an information gap.
Curating your content is also integral to the process of building your brand. Your business should have a strong and consistent voice that pervades all of your posts; this is why your followers were drawn to you in the first place, and it is what will keep them around. The content of your posts should be a healthy mixture of personal, branded, and general-industry-related. The industry-related posts, as well as the simpler of the branded content, can be automated without much risk. The personal updates, however, should definitely be handled by a human being in order to maintain your brand’s unique voice.
Once you’ve implemented your automated social media strategy, it’s important to monitor your social analytics. Nearly all social media platforms offer tools to track engagement and response, allowing you to check out what has gone over best with your audience and tailor ensuing content accordingly. This will also allow you to consider cutting your worst-performing content out of your engagement strategy. An app like Sproutsocial will compile this information for you across your platforms so everything is easily visible.
Ultimately, while automation can take some of the burden off your hands in navigating a social media-driven marketplace, it’s no substitute for real human interaction with your customers. Integrate it mindfully into your overall strategy, however, and it can help you transform your business into something both efficient and authentic.
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