For the past two or three years, automation has been used in all forms for the sole purpose of selling a product or service on social media. Whether it be automated posts, tweets, or direct messages, companies both big and small, and individuals who are trying to influence a market, will stop at nothing to get you to buy their product(s) or view their content in some capacity. It’s these very actions that pose a threat to small business owners who are trying to do the right thing and build up a following and consumer base the right way, and will ultimately face having their voice drowned out because consumers won’t want to hear another sales pitch.
After doing some reading from employees who work at companies that specialize in the automation of content, it’s all beginning to make sense as to why many on Twitter have resorted to impersonal messages instead of going deep and connecting with people as humans. Large companies were first to implement automation because they had the resources and money to target large amounts of people who were in the market for their products or services. Corporations could get away with automated messages because their brands were household names, but ironically, with each passing year it appears they’re starting to respond to consumers on a personal level and ditching copy and paste responses.
Today, there are many small businesses and smalltime influencers who are getting in on the automation action. As a result they’re suffering because their brand isn’t well known, and people are getting quite tired of impersonal messages, as social media has matured to a point where users want to be treated as humans. Automated messages sometime result from simply following someone who is either offering valuable information through blog posts, producing podcasts, or have a small online store. As a business owner myself, there is no place for automation as click through rates from links posted on my business’ accounts are rather high even without asking followers to visit my website.
With social media aging, there is a growing trust between the consumer and business owner. People are much more apt than in years previous to click on links, especially if the account they’re following is engaging with their followers or are constantly posting fresh content that doesn’t imply hard selling. This is why automation tools are rather unnecessary, especially considering the fact that many people don’t follow accounts just for the fun of it. Your business, blog, or podcast already attracted them, so there’s no need to then send potential buyers, listeners, or readers a message stating that they should click on the link you sent them so you can sell them something they were already interested in.
Hard selling along with automation of content will be social media’s downfall. When small businesses and people you never heard of or knew existed are sending you automated messages, that’s when social media marketing loses its effectiveness. Content is what drives sales, grows followings, and attracts readers. Large corporations are moving on from what really is outdated marketing tools. Until you start treating people as humans, you will not benefit from having social media accounts for you, or your business. Automation, much like Twitter and Instagram advertisement campaigns, are the biggest waste of money for small businesses, as the limited funds they put towards these tools won’t yield a high return on investment. You cannot win a game if your strategy is destined to fail.
The point of automation and ad campaigns on Twitter and Instagram is to save time. While those tools are convenient for the small business owner, hiring a dedicated social media manager who will put in the time and effort on Twitter and Instagram, and will properly use Facebook ads to generate traffic and potential customers will be much more worth your hard earned money. Remember, you’re not a conglomerate and shouldn’t think like one. To win at social media, you can’t do what social media gurus who pitch marketing ideas to large companies in New York or Los Angeles are telling you. They think Wall Street while you really should be concerned with Main Street.
Until you find what works for your market and clientele, automation and the spending of money on marketing tools that the big leagues use, will not generate results. Go deep and put forth the work and effort to build real business relationships with consumers in your area or market. Social media is at a point where personalization and customer equity completely outweighs the quick sale. Consumers want to be treated as individuals and humans, and that’s why as small business owners automation is not the right form of marketing for you or your business.