Automated DMs. I literally have thousands of twitter direct messages saying something like "Thanks for following me. As a token of my appreciation here's a Free PDF about _____".
Nobody wants your Free PDF lead magnet!
In their defense, I'm pretty sure that's the default message when you sign up for an automated DM service, but these are the users... these are the examples of why social media automation gets a bad rap.
But using automation tools for social media isn't all bad. Even the naysayers agree that using automation tools like
It's like there's two sides... On one side you have tools like the above where it can help automate and schedule your social posts...
And then there's the "Evil side" that consists of automated DMs, follows and unfollows, and other evil things like that!
For me... I think with any tool, there's a useful and tactful way of using it, and then there's an absolutely horrible way of using it. You have to use the right tool for the job. You wouldn't dig a ditch with a spoon am I right? Doesn't mean the spoon is "Evil" and doesn't have any use in this world!
I think what makes for good social media automation is that it's part of a strategic system. I mean, even using tools like Buffer can be a bad thing if you just keep spamming your own sign up page that nobody wants.
On the other hand, if you use the tools above to automate the process of providing amazing helpful content and your instruct full blog posts, you are weaving a story and reinforcing the idea that you and your brand can provide benefit.
So... when you do throw in a post to your sign up page for your next "helpful webinar" or "helpful ebook", your followers know you're not full of sh*t, and that it could actually provide a ton of benefit for them.
Makes sense right? Alright... now let's take a walk on the dark side...
The Infamous Automated DM
First thing you want to do... change up the default message!
When you keep hearing or seeing the same things over and over again you tend to tune them out, so make sure your first few words on your DM aren't "Thanks for the follow".
Your auto DM should also be as targeted and relevant as much as possible. So for instance, if you use holr for your auto DM service, you can specify a list of twitter or instagram usernames to send your DM to.
This way you can curate a large collection of relevant users who have shown interest in what you're about to promote, and target them with a DM campaign.
Another way of keeping it relevant and targeted as much as possible is to have holr only DM your new followers, then go on twitter or instagram and start networking like crazy with users who would benefit from your promotion.
Like their tweets and photos, start following them, share their posts... you know... be an actual human being on social media.
Then... the ones who do follow you back will get a nice tailored, targeted, relevant DM that they actually can get benefit from. Plus... they know you're not just a complete robot because you already interacted with them!
The Dreaded Auto Follow/Unfollow
First things first... Don't auto unfollow people who are following you.
It's the equivalent of a con man running away after you've helped them by giving them a loan... or at least that's how it feels. So don't do it.
As with the DM, your auto following activity should be tailored and targeted as much as possible. Many people like to target using hashtags, but I like to go a different approach.
I think what people consume shows more of their true nature, instead of what they produce and what they want the world to see and know about them. Which is why I target my auto following activity based on who people are following, not by the hashtags they use.
So for example, if I was interested in selling t-shirts, I might craft a shirt that says "Hustle", and then I know that any follower of entrepreneur, and all time hustler Gary Vaynerchuk would probably be interested in that shirt.
So Gary's followers would be a good group to target for an auto follow campaign in this case.
To top that, I could also combine this with the auto DM strategy from above so that if Gary's followers decide to follow me back, they would get a nice tailored, relevant DM that talks about my "Hustle" t-shirts.
Targeting, Relevancy, and Value is the Key
The key to mastering the art of social media automation is keeping it as targeted and relevant as possible, because if it's relevant, it's not spam.
On top of that... the next best thing you can possibly do is to make sure that you are providing real value to your targeted audience. ( What a concept right? )
This is the ultimate differentiator between "a person using social media automation to grow their brand and business" and an absolute social media spammer everyone hates!
Don't be the latter.