Social Media Automation – Should You Do It?

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Social Media has become ingrained in society in recent years, providing individuals with a way to connect with friends, relatives, and co-workers quickly and easily.

It has also provided businesses with a unique opportunity to use social media to their advantage, connecting with potential customers and advertising products.

Since operating social media accounts can take a lot of time and effort, many companies have sought to automate their social media presence, which does provide a few benefits, but also can be detrimental at times.

If you are considering automating your social media account, you may want to take the following pros and cons into consideration before proceeding.

Pros:

1. More Time On Your Hands.

One of the obvious benefits of automating a social media account is the fact that you are going to have more time on your hands. Everything can be set up to run in advance, and then the process of maintaining the account is mostly hands off from that point forward.

If you are dedicating too much time to the management of your social media presence, automation might be something that you should look into to free up some time.

2. Hand Crafted, Pre-Approved Tweets, and Status Updates.

With so much controversy surrounding a recent onslaught of ill-advised tweets from interns and social media professionals on company accounts, it is then no surprise that many companies have chosen to go the automatic route, where management can approve the Tweets and status updates before they go live.

This verification process helps them to curb potential backlash and to look at the status updates before having them published, which has been very damaging to some different companies as of late.

3. Easy Management

Automation also simplifies the management process and makes it quite simple.

Instead of manually updating your account, everything can be set up and approved ahead of time, allowing the company to spend a minimal amount of time monitoring their account and managing what they want to say, and exactly when they would like to say it.

Keep in mind that many companies have everything broken down to a time of day in which it is most beneficial for them to share information with their followers, which is something that automation allows them to have complete control over.

Cons:

1. May Drive Customers Away

Typically, customers like to know that there is a real person behind a company account. Replying to customers, taking part in conversations, and sharing information that doesn’t sound like it has scanned via the PR department are all signs of a real person controlling a company profile.

On Twitter, the most successful company profiles often have a bit of personal flair, letting current and potential customers know that they are a real person and not an automated script.

2. Inability to Respond to Users

Part of the beauty of social networks for businesses is that it allows them to respond to users and engage in a conversation.

Automating your social media presence means that you are going to miss out on a lot of what makes companies successful through social media, interaction.

3. Lack of Attention

Often you will see that automated social media profiles end up getting neglected in the long run. Out of sight, out of mind.

If you are not actively connecting yourself with the information you are putting out there for your customers, you can fall into the dangerous trap of not paying attention to it at all, which ultimately can do more harm than good.

What if your website goes down unnoticed, and you fail to respond, while hundreds of people let you know about the problem through social media? You come out of the situation looking negligent or uncaring.

If you do choose to automate your social media presence, do not use that as an excuse to stop outright paying attention to it.

Social media is an excellent tool for small and large businesses alike.

Automation can also be very handy but does come with a wide array of pros and cons. So, strike a balance between automation and manual management and you will be golden.

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