How not-to automate

7 May 2019

Automated marketing. It’s a real thing and quite the hype. You do x; y and z happen automatically. And I am NOT a fan!

First of all, not all automations are bad. And I will get back to that in 2 weeks. But most automated marketing is.

What do I mean with ‘Automated marketing’? Any marketing message that happens automatically after you’ve done something else.

Good examples of what NOT to do:

#1: Linking different kind of social media posts

Seriously this is the WORST automation you can make happen. Instagram is NOT Facebook and Pinterest is definitely not LinkedIn. A lot of different tools allow you to sync up your social media posts or just link 2 profiles together and when you post on 1 it automatically gets posted to another. Please don’t!

Why not?

First of all, all social media channels have a different form for the best posts. Instagram loves square pictures, for Pinterest the longer the better. Facebook texts are written differently than LinkedIn, etcetera. If you automate your cross-posting (as posting on different channels is called) you don’t use the channel in the best way. You are just flying by your pants and hoping something will stick (Yes, I do know those sayings do not belong together. But neither does cross posting!)

Secondly, if you cross post then your post will appear on different channels at the exact same time. Say I’m following you on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook… I will get the same message 3 times! Why oh why would I want to get that message 3 times? It makes it ineffective and uninteresting for me to follow you in different channels. It works so much better if I read story 1 at Facebook and story 2 on LinkedIn.

Does that mean you can’t cross-post all together? No! Cross posting is actually a very effective content strategy but it only works if you post the same story on different channels on different days and different times.

#2: Publishing blog posts automatically to … –

Ever seen those posts where the first 2/3 sentences of something is posted, followed by “[254 words]” or something like that? That’s what happens when you automate social media posts to be made when you post a blog on your website. There are several plugins in WordPress that have this option but the result is always a very clunky, very pathetic social media posts that doesn’t really invite me to really read the blog.

It goes back to the ‘different channels, different ways of posting’ thing. It’s so much more attractive if the post is written specifically for that channel in a way that makes sense. And you might even want to add a link directly to the blog, depending on the channel.

“But I don’t have much time!” Sure! I get that! But it’s better to spend 10/20 minutes making a few social media posts about your blog that fit each channel, than to automate. I’d rather have you blog a few times less than autopost them!

#3: If (Potential) Client X does A, B and C magically happen

This is where things get interesting. I actually do this too! But never for marketing purposes! When I sign a new client I have some emails going out automatically with forms and such because it actually means I get to dive deep with them sooner. But when it comes to making the proposal (which is marketing too) before we sign, or writing some emails in between to keep them up to date, I always write them myself. I want them to come from me, not be automated and the same for everyone.

So here is not how to automate:

  1. Don’t cross post automatically between social media platforms
  2. Don’t make automatic social media posts from your published blog post
  3. Don’t make (potential) clients feel unloved and unwanted by automating everything in your services and programs

Let’s talk HOW TO in 2 weeks!

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