Is it beneficial to your brand?
Social media campaign automation is a controversial topic. For people like small business owners, it is beneficial as it can promote efficiency and scalability. But for digital marketers, it can be detrimental to the success of a social media campaign because it is the complete opposite of what social media should be.
Defining social media automation
As the name suggests, social media automation is simply automating a part of or the entire social media marketing campaign. It can cover automation of content sharing up to queuing of tweets. It is done through software like Buffer and CoSchedule.
For small business owners, social media automation is heaven sent. It can minimize time spent on marketing as it can take care of repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
The advantages of social media campaign automation
The advantages of social media campaign automation are hard to ignore especially for smaller firms. It’s not surprising that many businesses adopt it as part of their marketing strategy. And the stats prove it. According to the 2015 Marketing Automation Benchmarking Support,
It’s around 32 percent of businesses were able to increase their revenue after using automation tools for 12 months. Moreover, automation tools were able to boost an average of 77 percent in conversion rates.
In short, marketing automation saves time and money while still enabling companies to get the most out of their social media campaigns.
Disadvantages of social media automation
However, social media automation is generally considered a marketer’s nightmare. It can affect brand equity, or the value of a brand as perceived by customers and which has a direct impact on profit margins. Social media marketers argue that automatic posting on social media as well as other activities like liking or following can make a brand look like a spam and thus affect its trustworthiness.
Many social media users hate brands who perform activities like automatically messaging new followers or post streams of content on Twitter or Facebook. The idea is that social media should be authentic and social, and brands which resort to automation can be perceived as the complete opposite of being ‘social’.
Moreover, certain social media networks have banned automation. Instagram is a prime example as it forbids the use of bots or tools for automatically liking or following people. These actions represent violations of the network’s terms and conditions.
Is social media automation worth risking?
There’s no denying that social media campaign automation has its pros and cons. Business owners will find it hard to ignore its benefits like optimizing and scaling their marketing activities, leaving them with more time to work on other essential tasks like managing the operations of their businesses.
For online merchants and marketers who decide to automate aspects of their social media campaign, the key is to humanise the automation. With the right strategy and following social media best practices, automation can work. Below are some tips:
- Avoid automating interactions. Responses to messages and comments should never be automated. Automated and bot-generated engagement not only looks weirds but also feels spammy. It can force social media users to unfollow a brand. At the very least, use only automation tools in tracking hashtags, trending topics, influencers, and events that are related to the brand.
- Automate the editorial calendar. Using a social media scheduler can be very useful for business owners and digital marketers who have to attend to too many tasks. Automating the editorial calendar will not only help them better manage their time but also push out content to all social media platforms at optimal times, amplifying the reach of the content and engaging the social media followers in the process.