Social Media Curation, Not Automation

What’s wrong with Social Media automation? In a word, everything.

I ran across this post from Danny Brown about Social Media automation. In short, I think it is a dangerous process. There isn’t a system in the world, with the possible exception of IBM’s Watson, smart enough to automate responses in social media channels.

If the goal of automation is to aggregate social media news and push it out to your followers then maybe that works. But if you are just broadcasting a feed that you never curate, how valuable is it to mention links that have already been shared by much larger and trusted sources?

Is there value there? Perhaps. But isn’t the goal of social media channels to foster conversation and avoid the broadcast mentality that has dominated the last 50+ years?

Furthermore, what does it say about your followers if they just want links? Then you are just becoming a news source, and one that is only as good as the algorithm you’ve setup. One bad day, or week, could lead to a loss of followers who have no other reason to come back.

Instead of automation I would suggest curation to really build thought leadership, conversation and a community worth having.

  1. It’s the same thing worded differently (as the post shows).

    It’s not on about automated responses, but still being able to update and educate when not there.

    Like you say, the people that want this kind of approach will stick around; those that don’t, won’t.

    That’s the great thing about different approaches – they’re suited to the markets that prefer them. 🙂

    Cheers for continuing the conversation.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I agree, the community will either agree or disagree with the approach. And hell, I commend you for even for tackling the subject. Like you said, most purists would condemn you.

    1. Anthony – Thanks for the comment. You do mostly see it on Twitter and I find that I am either seeing the same links from everyone, or a bunch or irrelevant links that no one took the time to review and add some context around them.

      Auto-DMs are horrible as well. And I must say, I’m not sure I’ve seen one of them that even came close to providing value.

      Thanks again!

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  3. You wrote: But isn’t the goal of social media channels to foster conversation and avoid the broadcast mentality that has dominated the last 50+ years? I think that there is this fallacy that you have to be everywhere these days and be visible 24/7, which is just too daunting if you keep more than two social networking accounts for your business. I’ve seen some folks with more than 100k followers, where they’re just tweeting like some RSS feed. Your insights make sense though and I’d say that automation tools should be used responsibly, where the end goal is to save you precious time so you can use it to converse with your peers online and get to know them. I am going for the 80/20 rule then: as in 80% conversation and 20% automation. I think that these tools are becoming indispensable these days..

    1. Aaron – Thanks for the comment.

      Even I use some automation, but only to push out content that I have already created or curated. In my opinion, you struck the nail on the head when you said that “I think that there is this fallacy that you have to be everywhere these days and be visible 24/7.” It appears so many “social media experts” believe they need to be always on to raise their visibility, Klout score or followers on Twitter.

      We are on the same page and the good old 80/20 rule works well here. I do have a level of fatigue from seeing people on Twitter with a lot of followers retweeting their old articles. In some cases, from a year ago. I don’t think that is valuable to anyone. Hopefully my post, and others like it, continue to make people think about how they actually publish and curate content vs. pushing out a endless stream of links.

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