Automation Killed the Social Media Star

Judy Dench looking over coffins in a scene from Skyfall, image by Sony

Has automation killed the social media star?

I think so.

The social media conversation paradigms of 2006 form a foundation for today’s online world. But Cluetrain Manifesto dreams have been bludgeoned and destroyed by the unrelenting advance of technology and corporate demands for better financial results.

The resulting technological imperative forces success-driven individuals and companies to use automation tools to drive online engagement.

If someone wants to engage as an “authentic” human across all channels without automation they quickly face the burnout scenario. Or they neglect other business duties. That’s true of the professional or the individual voice, in my opinion.

Meanwhile almost every worthwhile online competitor leverages automation — from scheduled tweets and monitoring to inbound lead nurturing systems and segmented dynamic content — for a competitive advantage.

Many of us face the marketing automation challenge: How much human judgment can it exercise? Or is it all machine?

Automation cannot replace the emotional creative brain, but it can use algorithms to help market more effectively and with speed. How does one find the balance?

Without automation, it’s almost impossible for a brand or individual voice to succeed and stay relevant in today’s marketing world.

Selling Out?

One could say that using automation is selling out, abandoning the ways of the social media purist.

While I understand how automation hurts pure human interaction. I can’t ignore the evolutions facing my marketing clients as well as myself as a blogger.

For me, it’s a matter of insisting on a level of mindfulness to automated marketing efforts that many would not, evolving business communications to become more trustworthy. Better business formed the spirit of my first book Now Is Gone.

Last year I decided to drop the social media pioneer rock, and throw out the rulebook. Instead of ideological finger-wagging, I changed and adapted tools of the day, including automated tweets via Buffer, niche community cultivation through Triberr, algorithmic shortcuts via IFTT, monitoring dashboards for response and measurement, and more.

We all must choose our roads, and sometimes they converge. Other times they diverge.

If we have reached that point, I can only wish you well. Automation killed the social media purist.


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