Twitter is one of the most popular platforms for brands investing in social media. However, it’s also one of the toughest accounts to manage.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest followers, your fans on Twitter expect you to update your status multiple times each day with fresh and engaging content. It’s no wonder that countless companies look for ways to portray themselves as an active brand without spending all their time online.
With more than 328 million monthly active users, which approximately 36% are millennials, organizations are under serious pressure to perform. That’s why social media automation is such a tempting strategy.
Of course, like any other digital engagement method, the key to successful Twitter automation is knowing how to streamline your posts, enhance productivity and keep your customers hooked without sucking all the humanity out of your online presence.
So how do you get started? Let’s look at the different ways to adopt Twitter Automation without ruining your brand:
Why You Should Consider Twitter Automation
Automation is a quick and effective way to make sure that you’re always on track with your social media schedule even with the additional pressures of running a business. You can automate everything from Facebook status updates to Instagram posts.
The idea is that by handing some of the more repetitive tasks in your social strategy over to a bot, you have more time to strengthen and grow your business. For instance, if certain posts are scheduled throughout the week, you have more time to respond to customer queries or publish information that your customers really want see.
Sprout Social’s case study with Evernote is a great example of how powerful Twitter automation can be for businesses. As a highly social and active company, Evernote wanted to respond to customers instantly. They turned to Sprout’s automated Twitter messages features. This helped Evernote create a strategy to guide customers to the right people faster, all while automating responses to commonly asked questions.
The result was an 80% increase in people helped through Twitter each week–a perfect example of how some Twitter automation tools improve customer experience.
3 Twitter Automation Traps to Avoid
While Twitter automation is highly useful in some cases by reducing daily tasks for social media managers and by simplifying the process of online engagement, there are also dangers. The one thing you should avoid at all costs is trying to completely automate all of your engagement efforts. A human touch will always be necessary if you want to earn the respect and loyalty of your customers. Without it you could suffer from some of the following problems:
1. A Robotic Online Presence
People want to interact with other people online. It doesn’t matter whether they’re engaging through Facebook, Twitter or a website. Your customers want to feel your humanity in everything they do. Since personality is key to driving social engagement, too many automated messages and updates drain the life out of your brand.
In fact, 75% of Twitter users feel more connected to a brand that engages with the social platform. If you want to build trust and loyalty with those users, you can’t automate everything you do. While some Twitter automation should be helpful, make sure you bring a human touch to the conversation whenever possible.
2. Accidental PR Nightmares
Part of automating your Twitter experience may be scheduling tweets to post automatically at certain times throughout the day. Unfortunately it’s hard to know exactly which topics are going to be trending from one moment to the next.
Ultimately, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could lead to a PR disaster for your company, making you appear either insensitive or just plain out of touch. Ideally, whenever there’s a major catastrophe in the world, it might be worth pausing your automated tweets.
Whenever something you say might be misconstrued, you’ll need to devote extra time and real human effort to engaging with your customers in the right way.
3. Poor Customer Engagement
Posting tweets throughout the entire day is a great way to continuously engage with your followers. Actually, we have a full list of the best times to post to Twitter!
However, posting critical information or important details to your business without having a person to respond is dangerous. If someone responds to your tweet, asks a question or points out something you’ve missed, then you won’t be able to engage in the conversation.
Today’s social media crowd expects quick responses from their favorite brands. Additionally, users send around 100,000 questions and comments to companies each month. It’s your job as a growing brand to make sure you’re around to respond to your customers when they need you most.
If you can’t respond to a message instantly, try to spend time catching up with your followers when you’re back online. This will help to show people that you care about their concerns.
How to Use Twitter Automation the Right Way
Twitter automation is a powerful tool for busy companies and growing brands. After all, scheduling a few tweets can help to take a lot of the pressure that comes with social media off your shoulders.
What’s more, by automating your tweets, you give your customers more ways to help your business go viral. Around 79% of Twitter users have retweeted a post from a small business.
However, at the end of the day, automation should be one aspect of your path to online success, not your entire social media strategy. The goal of any social campaign is engagement and if you want your customers to connect with you, then you need to be available to build relationships with them.
So, how do you use twitter automation the right way?
Use the Right Tools
There are plenty of helpful tools online like Sprout Social, that easily set up your automation strategy without turning your brand into a lifeless robot. Remember, while you might get away with a few posts a week on Facebook, Twitter requires a lot more effort. That’s why you need to create a strategy that helps you to post multiple times each day.
Try to use your automation tools to post simple updates, while crafting the more in-depth messages yourself. Don’t forget to keep Twitter’s automation rules in mind too – you could be risking a ban if you violate any of their use policies.
Maintain Your Brand Personality
Up until now, you should have been working hard to create a powerful brand voice that’s consistent with everything you do. This means creating helpful blog posts to publish your daily tweets. The strategy you use for Twitter automation should allow you to maintain that unique personality by personalizing posts and giving social media chatbots the characteristics representing your brand identity.
With Sprout’s Chatbot Builder tools, you can easily create automated processes for your Twitter followers to answer FAQs or even drive sales. If your automated posts and your human posts sound completely different, your customers will notice when you’re using an automated system.
When you’re using automation to simplify your social strategy, it’s important to make sure that you’re not focusing all your effort on promotional posts for your brand. Instead, share a combination of branded content, personal information, and informative pieces from other brands in your industry.
The good news is that there are plenty of tools to help you curate content for your social media posts. All you need to do is keep your audience preferences in mind when you’re selecting the perfect pieces for them to consume. Tools like BuzzSumo should help you to keep on track of trending topics, so you don’t fall too far behind on the times.
Maintain a Strong Schedule
Twitter is one of the fastest-moving social networks out there, so it’s important to make sure that you know how to keep on top of this ever-evolving platform. One of the easiest ways to make the most out of your Twitter automation strategy is to set up a schedule. This will tell you when posts are automated and when you’ll need to invest in responding to your customers and creating personalized posts.
Remember, within this schedule you should also cut out blocks of time that you can use to monitor your Twitter account and find out how people are responding to certain messages and updates. If you find out that people are reacting poorly to your automated messages, then this could be a sign that you need to update your strategy.
Listen to Your Customers
Ultimately, Twitter automation can be a great way to take some extra stress off your shoulders, but it shouldn’t be a replacement for actively communicating with your customers. Social media is your brand’s opportunity to begin building lasting relationships with it’s most valuable customers. Make sure you don’t take the chance for granted.
Put plenty of time into your schedule for looking at your social analytics, so you can figure out which posts your customers like best. Respond to the people who direct message you as quickly as possible and make sure that you spend plenty of time retweeting relevant posts that relate back to your brand.
While automation can make your life easier, it’s not a substitute for a complete social strategy, you still need to engage regularly, and listen to your customers if you want to win. Try checking out trend reports and looking into which hashtags your audiences are using to help inform your upcoming posts.
Twitter Automation: Use Strategy If You Want to Succeed
Twitter is a complicated social media platform for budding businesses to use. That’s why there are so many different tools out there designed to make your campaign a little easier.
With so much temptation around it’s important to make sure that you don’t fall into a trap of constantly automating everything you do. While automation can help your business to become more efficient, and take some time-consuming tasks off your shoulders, you still need to make sure you engage authentically with your customers.
Thoughtless automated responses and updates hurt the human aspect of your brand. Instead, try to find the right balance between automation and true human activity. Want help automating your social strategy the right way? Check out our social media automation features!