Beware of Twitter services that are TOO automated

twitter-automation-is-badOne of our clients is located in South Florida. As part of our social media management, we like to connect with others in our clients’ locales. So, one day, not too long ago, I found myself searching the hashtag #SouthFlorida.

It’s a hashtag I’ve searched before and have used to connect with local residents and businesses. I can also find a fair bit of regional news this way as well. So, imagine my surprise to find nearly 40+ tweets using this hashtag that were exactly the same.

What’s that?

How can it be?

Twitter doesn’t let a user tweet the same thing twice!

You’ve got me there. It does, however, let automated services use the exact same message for all of their clients.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen something like this. In fact, when I first moved here, a local realtor told me about a service he’d signed up for. For $100 a month, he’d get one blog post a week. The company was open about the fact that they sold this same package to realtors around the country and simple changed the city they were referencing. So, for one realtor the blog post might read “Why you should buy a home in Orlando” and for another it would read “Why you should buy a home in Denver”.

Other than that, the text would be exactly the same.

It may come as no surprise to you that I don’t think this is the best use of your money. For one thing, if anyone were to notice that you were simply swapping out the names, they might start to think you’re a little spammy and stop paying attention to your materials. For another, they may notice inaccuracies if things are not tailored to their area. Sure, people in both Orlando and Denver may think their local weather is great but they sure might describe it differently. Little details like that can give you away when things are automated to the point that you’re selling the exact same thing to people in locales across the country.

I’m not against automation. I’m really not. I’m not even against leveraging content for multiple companies. I’m just saying, when a company approaches you to offer you a bargain basement price for automation, be sure to know what you’re getting. If you’re good with what they’re offering for the price, by all means go for it. Just don’t unknowingly be one of 40+ realtors nationwide sending out the same content, with the same hashtag, in a way that could easily expose you.

It’s the not knowing I’m against. I’m willing to bet that the majority of these people do not know this type of automation can be detected this easily and even on accident. If they’re aware of it, more power to them. I’m a fan of delegation.

What are your thoughts on this? Good use of time and money or something else?


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