“It was the worst business decision I’ve ever made”
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on her face and the tone of her voice when she said that
“My Instagram account has been locked for 2 weeks and the person I trusted said it’s the 1st time it’s happened to one of his clients … but I don’t believe him”
She was talking about how she’d outsourced her social media marketing in terms of Instagram automation. I could immediately see why she considered it the worst business decision she’s ever made. Increasingly I’m hearing more stories of social media automation going wrong, it often starts with a cold call phone call or a knock on the door and suddenly a high pressured salesperson is convincing you to part with your money. And then it all goes wrong…
Social Media Automation is not to be confused with the other bad practice of buying followers
In this case it was Instagram automation. What this often means is that it is the automated following and unfollowing of “potential customers “and the automated liking and commenting on photos
LinkedIn is another platform where automation is rife damaging both your business and the two platforms. On LinkedIn it is the automation of connecting with people at scale and the automated sales messages thereafter
Now that you’ve read this you’re probably thinking about the numerous times that this has happened to yourself and how you felt cheap and dirty with the whole experience
4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Social Media Automation
This blog is a warning to anyone reading. It’s easy to be seduced with the promise of 100’s or 1000’s of connections, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Here are the core reasons you shouldn’t consider social media automation as a shortcut to your social media marketing
1. It is against the platforms terms and conditions
When you signed up to social media you probably didn’t even glance at the terms and conditions.
No one ever does.
But if you delve into any social media platforms terms and conditions they will highlight how the use of automated software is against the terms and conditions and therefore they can block you at any time.
Now imagine just for a second if you lost the ability to use social media to market your business.
Imagine if your followers disappeared overnight.
Your entire business and livelihood could be at risk.
2. It leaves you with a useless feed
Just imagine for a second that you’ve used automation services and you’ve chosen to follow or connect with entirely random people you have not vetted, you have no affiliation or connection with, and you know little or nothing about them
All this does is render your entire social media feed a wall of useless noise
I know social media at times, even when it’s carefully curated, can feel a little noisy at times. now imagine if you’d followed 1000 or 2000 entirely people random with vague notion that one day they may buy from you
I literally couldn’t think of anything worse
3. It’s inauthentic
Authenticity is the foundation of your social media marketing. We want to buy from people who are likeable and we feel are genuine, honest and totally transparent.
What does Social Media automation say about you?
It simply says that you don’t really care about the person you’re following or engaging with. It says you don’t give a damn. Automation is the least authentic thing you could do on social media and entirely ruins your personal brand
Social media is just like face-to-face networking. There is an element of Meet Like Know Trust. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean Meet Like Know Trust is any less relevant or important. In fact because you spend so much time on social media marketing for your business, if anything it’s even more important
4. It makes you look like you cut corners in your business
Just think for a while. What does automation look like you do in all aspects of your business. It makes you look like you’re prepared to cut corners and take shortcuts
Whichever area of business you’re in you do not want to look like you’re taking shortcuts or cutting corners. Who for instance is going to buy from an electrician, a cosmetic dentist, a personal trainer or any single business that is prepared to cut corners. I certainly wouldn’t and it probably goes against everything that you talk about in relation to your own business
So with that in mind automation is off-brand, off message & against every single belief that in business you hold dear
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Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 350+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.