Is robotic social media worth it?

On Wednesday, I wrote about how some Twitter accounts seem to be run by Rosie, the robot maid on The Jetsons. But robotic social media happens on other social networks and even on blogs. Since so many people seem to be doing it, what is the value of robotic social media?

Robotic social media? That’s a thing?

First, what do I mean by robotic social media? I mean social media that is cursory, unengaged, formulaic, uninspired, and there because someone thought it was a good idea to be present (but not active) on social networks. It’s the one tweet a day that announces a new blog post. Or the automated “thank you for following me” tweet. It’s the blog post that has no salient point and seems written just to have some new content on your site. It’s the LinkedIn profile that has not seen an update in three years, since it was set up.

Robotic social media nearly always depends on some sort of “social media management tool” that usually cross posts for you, and basically handles social media by algorithm.

Why would you do that?

I have been thinking about why people would use social media in such a non-social way. There are probably several reasons, for example:

  • For SEO purposes
  • Too busy to manage social media on your own
  • To check off social media on the communications plan tactics

Only one of these could has some sort of value: SEO. Certainly, due to changes in search engine algorithms, social media has impact on search results. The theory is that being present on social media helps your search results. However, I believe that search engines reward influence, and being robotic (unengaged) does not lead to influence.

Perhaps, it is even counteractive

I wrote about the woman who admitted she uses a Twitter management tool and that she really hadn’t known she “knew” me from Twitter. Now, I know that there’s no there there. So no more interaction. Davina Brewer in the comments on that post mentions something that happens every day, with big brands and regular people: no response to direct tweets/messages.  In fact, just this morning, I tweeted LinkedIn to ask a question, and still no response.

When I don’t get a response, I assume that person/brand/organization doesn’t care or doesn’t even monitor their messages. I then stop interacting.  I bet many people stop interacting or even following brands/organizations when their comments are not even acknowledged.

In my opinion, robotic social media is not worth it. To do something just because you think you have to, and then do it by proxy, is not going to accomplish any goals other than checking something off your to-do list.

As many have said before, social media is a platform not a strategy. If you don’t use the platform, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a communications strategy. Use the platform well, on the other hand, and you will further your communications strategy rather than stymie it.

Don’t be robotic! Come learn how to blog with me in the How to Write Your Blog workshop on April 1 in Washington, D.C. You will learn what makes for an effective blog, how to come up with blog post ideas and how to connect with your audience. Details and registration here.


About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

1 thought on “Is robotic social media worth it?”

  1. Pingback: Take some Twitter advice from Biz Stone | Deborah Brody Marketing Communications

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