Here are five reasons to rein in your social media automation:
Machines Make Mistakes
Let’s say you’re a restaurant owner. You set up an auto-responder that searches Tweets for the keyword “hungry” and send an @reply with the message “Hungry? Try Jimmy’s Big Pig BBQ on 5th Street.”
You’ll look like a buffoon when someone Tweets “The Panthers are hungry for a win.”
Scripts, bots and machines aren’t very good at deciphering context (Google Wave is, but that’s another story). Human language is subtle, and human beings are good at sniffing out a ghost.
Different Audiences Respond to Different Messages
RSS, Ping.fm and other tools let you push your blog to your outposts (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). But each of your audiences is unique. Being relevant requires nuance. Blasting the same message to every audience is like giving your entire family a Target gift card for Christmas: Tacky, unimpressive, and not very thoughtful.
Relationships Aren’t Built by Automation
The #1 reason not to automate: People like people, not scripts and bots. It’s about getting people to like and trust you, not playing whack-a-mole with your sales message.
Discretion is the Better Part of Valor
Not all blog posts are created equal. Some rock, and some are “Meh.” Pimping a dud post won’t make it better. Automation nixes your ability to rein in a crummy post.
Automation is One Step Away from Broadcasting
If you’re hell-bent on automating, you’re likely aiming for uber-efficiency. Wanna be even more efficient? Don’t talk to people at all. You’ll save time and energy by avoiding human interaction. Of course, it’s a bad idea, but it’s a slippery slope from automation to one-way broadcasting.