Automated updates – a timely reminder

 photo TescoTweet_zps541930dc.png

With all the furore around the Tesco HorseBurgers over the past week, maybe the infamous ‘automated’ Tweet that went out at 11pm last Thursday wasn’t such a good idea. And we’ve all seen the ‘outraged of Tunbridge Wells’ reaction to this untimely message. (Although it does beg the question of ‘why automate your opening/closing tweets when you’re obviously there responding to customers from/until those times’?) But we digress.

The situation it does highlight is that of the growing use of automation across social media platforms. Aided and abetted by the plethora of more and more tools to enable it. Now why do it? Oh yes, it’s a time management thing. You can update when you’re not there. Fine. But you expect your audience to be there. Seeing your updates. Responding to your tweets. Even retweeting them for you. So why can’t you be there? You should be. Good community management means you are there. Responding. Chatting. Encouraging. Thanking. Isn’t that how it should be? It’s not just updating at all hours of the day for the sake of it. It’s engaging at all hours of the day for the right reasons.

Take that ubiquitous social recruiting analogy of fishing where the fish are. You cast your line with an automated update. The candidate fish start to nibble. You’re not there. By the time you get back to your ‘line’ their interest can have waned. The candidate engagement broken. All for the sake of not being there in real time.

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