How should businesses use automated tweet tools

Automatic posting on Twitter or Facebook is pure poison

The market for Twitter automation tools is growing steadily. Since Twitter has been around, we have been of the opinion that automatically publishing Twitter messages has more negative than positive consequences for a brand or website in the long run. This is actually nothing new, but almost every day we stumble upon Twitter accounts that have completely misunderstood the basic principle of social media.

Why? You miss the opportunity to add a personal touch with automated tweets. Sometimes the titles are so long that text is automatically cut off in the wrong place or you may not even want to post the latest blog post on Twitter. Automation carries many risks.

What is auto publishing

With the help of various tools, it is possible to have new blog posts or news posted automatically on Twitter. It could look like this, for example:

[New blog post] on sunlab.de by @andreaskraus: | URL to the post |

This one line still sounds relatively natural. The problem is that this line looks the same every time a blog post is published. In the meantime, there is already the possibility of defining several variations with some tools, but here too, sooner or later, repetition cannot be avoided. By far the worst is when you watch a Twitter stream and only see such messages. This scares off potential followers and it will be difficult to build an influential Twitter account.

Automatic replies

So-called auto-responders go one step further. Automatic direct messages to new followers or automated @ messages to people who mention a certain brand or product - absolute poison! Use the Twitter search manually and respond personally to interesting tweets. Do a search on Twitter for relevant keywords as a regular task in your calendar - this is a great way to attract the attention of potential new followers. However, try to help the respective person first and foremost, without pursuing purely commercial intentions.

Apart from that: In the official Twitter rules it is written in black and white that the automated sending of tweets can lead to an account closure.

No half things

Anyone who decides to set up a Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social account should consider that setting up this account is the beginning of a long journey - the time required should by no means be underestimated. Don't confuse a Twitter account with a personalized RSS feed. In order to sustainably promote a Twitter account, you have to invest several hours a week. Give this task to someone you trust within your company and who has a knack for social communication. Everything you publish there has the same value as the publication of a blog post on your website. Above all, give the respective employee enough time to be able to maintain such an account over the long term. For the first positive results and to generate a corresponding number of followers, you should plan at least 6 months.

Tweet in person

It depends on the personal component. Each tweet should include a personal note whenever possible. So we could make the example from above like this:

Our colleague @andreaskraus gives helpful tips on Twitter management: | URL to the post | - who has further tips?

Include colleagues in your Twitter messages and post a picture of the coffee break in the company kitchen or from the warehouse. Twitter followers love personal impressions and thus build a completely different relationship with your company. With an online shop, you often forget that real people are behind it. Sensitize your followers and offer them first-hand impressions.

Point out interesting articles on other blogs or portals that your readers and you might be interested in. Even if you do not receive any traffic as a result, you offer your Twitter followers added value and may reap retweets, which in the end will be rewarded with new followers.

Conclusion

The automation of tweets or Facebook posts speaks against the actual concept of social media. Trying to cram the social channels with automated messages will only hurt you in the long run. They lose trust with your followers and annoy you instead of providing them with useful information. People on Twitter and other social channels expect to be communicating with a real person. There are certainly a few exceptions such as news pages. If you follow someone like n-tv or N24, you kind of know what you're getting into. Since the focus here is on pure reporting without personal evaluations, nothing speaks against automation - but in this case too, the quality increases significantly when the news team teweeted impressions from the news center.

Social media is hard work for your company. Agencies can help you set up the accounts and make everything pretty - but only your colleagues and employees should tweet, because only they have direct insights and can write interesting messages.

You are welcome to use tools to simplify the management / monitoring of Twitter and other social channels, but as well-intentioned advice, refrain from any automation tools - otherwise you are just a social media robot for your users in the end.