Automation: Faking It the Twitter Way

I’m as sick of some of the so-called “rules of engagement” when it comes to social media tools like Twitter as the next person, but let’s get real. You call tech support, customer service, hell anyone.. what do you want more, the automated unhelpful phone crap or a real person?

I think we can all agree that Auto DMs and follow backs are bad robots. IMHO automated tweeting is the unholy stepchild of real-time work pressures, ADD, narcissism and Al Gore’s Internet.

Here’s looking at YOU fakers:

Tweeters who automate.. virtually every last tweet. Why bother? Twitter is real-time. If you’re not doing it LIVE, it’s drive-by tweeting. You’re fraking broadcasting, not embracing “the great conversation.”

Sync your Facebook, LinkedIn, blog and Twitter. Fine. But scheduling 20-50 tweets a day, when you’re only around 5 minutes for real conversations is lame.

A little automation may be okay, but if anything more than 20% of your tweets are preprogrammed, that’s bullshit.

Tweeters who RT crap at super (automated) speed:

  • Dead links, so I know you aren’t really reading. DOH, busted!
  • The same crap already retweeted by everyone else. You follow @Mashable. Joy, now find something else worth sharing.
  • The next post by @BigName. Within 2 minutes of the initial tweet. Sure Brian Solis may know his stuff, but his posts are like graduate symposiums, don’t think you read it that fast. Enjoy your Kool-Aid.

Tweeters who just hype their own crap. If you’re scheduling half your tweets, odds are they’re mostly about you. Stick to an 80/20 rule: if more than 20% of your tweets are all about you, get over yourself.

Tweeters who are fakers. Unless you’re POTUS, you are NOT so important that you can’t type the occasional 140-character post. I cackle at the irony that @AndersonCooper is a verified account but at least there’s disclosure of the group effort.

Not saying he’s the devil but I don’t follow Guy Kawasaki. He doesn’t tweet himself, automates most of it, rarely replies. “His” stream shares the work of many others without the credit of a retweet, and even after coming out as not tweeting himself, the tweets and replied are not labeled by ghost writers via initials.

Not saying he’s doing it “wrong” either. He’s upfront that he’s all business and AllTop, gotta give him that. I just don’t care for his style, but then he has the bigger bank account so what the hell do I know?

Those Pesky Exceptions

You can’t watch or feed your Twitter stream all day long, you’ve got actual work to do. Automation is not a crime, but a little goes a long way.

A great example is Gini Dietrich, who does automate some of her tweets. She also makes the effort to follow in real-time, reply to her stream, retweet others and reply to comments on her blog. She engages, she participates, she “gets” it.

Then there are exceptions like @ShitMyDadSays and @ThisIsSethsBlog. The catch is that I know these “tweeters” are not out here pretending to be anything more than automated feeds.

Do you like automated DMs and RSS feed links, the “set it and forget it” style of Twitter? Fine, embrace your way of faking it.

You’ll just have one less follower.

Photo Credit: HubSpot via CC license.

Atlanta Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media

Comments (8) | Trackback

8 Responses to “Automation: Faking It the Twitter Way”

  1. the one thing i find ridiculous about twitter is the amount of automates spam you get from programs like tweet deck & tweet adder. People just spam you every 3 hours or at least 15 times through out the day with messages. THey need to control that spam.

    [Reply]

    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Disagree. I think tools like Tweetdeck, which I use regularly, are setup by the person, the humans using them. It’s not up to the maker of the car how it’s driven; Tweetdeck isn’t responsible when someone schedules 50 programmed tweets a day to blast out. IMO that’s on the spammer, not the software. Thanks for the comment.

    [Reply]

  2. Rose says:

    Davina, thanks for your post. I like your approach and look out. I personally find auto Dm’s annoying so don’t use one.
    Rose recently posted..Shih Tzu Pups Delivered

    [Reply]

    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Rose, I hardly use auto-DMs either. I’m not hyping my free e-crap or selling something. *eyeroll* It’s a useful feature if you don’t have someone’s email, but that’s about it for me. Glad you liked the post, thanks for the comment.

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Davina,

    This is something I’m guilty of with my blog posts. I have it set to automatically tweet my latest post, however due to time constraints, I haven’t been on Twitter for months. I thought of discontinuing the practice, however some of my readers have said they watch for the “tweet” when I publish.

    That said, I need to revisit the usefulness of Twitter now that I’m planning to start another site. I’m thinking Twitter may have a better ROI than Facebook, or I may have to consider splitting my time between the two. Decisions…..
    Barbara Swafford recently posted..Help Me Help You

    [Reply]

    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Barbara, It’s one thing to sync across platforms; when I publish a post it automatically hits my LI profile; when I update LinkedIn status, it goes to Twitter, which also syncs to FriendFeed.

    Many blog readers, myself included, use Twitter as a replacement or companion to an RSS reader. So a one time tweet when the post goes live makes sense. As I mentioned plenty of people schedule a handful of tweets along with others they do throughout the day.

    It just irks me when it’s clear that 100s of tweets from “expert so-and-sos” are ALL preprogrammed, automated broadcasts; everyone has their own Twitter style, it’s just not mine.

    I’ve been trying to think of ways other than Twitter to promote blog (and website) traffic thanks to a post by Gini Dietrich. Trying more LI, maybe Amplify, better SEO. But I still consider Facebook my “personal” space, just don’t want to mix it with business.

    Good luck with your new website, thanks for sharing your comments.

    [Reply]

  4. Jenn Whinnem says:

    Davina, thanks for a no-BS approach to this topic. I read Jeff’s post about automating tweets, and I have to say, those “thanks for the follow” auto-DMs irritate the bejesus out of me. I quickly click “unfollow” when I get those. What’s your take?

    [Reply]

    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Jenn, Thanks for your comment! I’m also not a fan of the auto-DM, usually crap. Sometimes I’ll let that first “Thanks for the follow” slide, but when they start pimping links to whatever e-book junk they’re hyping or just random DM cheesy quotes, I go for the unfollow button.

    I get syncing networks to cross-post on LI, Twitter, FF, FB, maybe blog posts if that’s your thing. But auto-programming tons of tweets is just phoning it in when no one’s on the other end of the line. #rudemuch

    [Reply]

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