The best way to impair your social media presence

If it frustrates you when customers start actual conversations on your Facebook wall or talk to you on Twitter, just automate your status updates. They’ll go away—fast.

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Unfortunately, as companies work to do more with the same—or even fewer—resources, automated social media updates are becoming increasingly common. Though the technique can save organizations time and money, it sacrifices the five key components of an effective social media program:

1. Engagement

Though it may be convenient to update social profiles with a news feed, it compromises one of the most significant values social media offers—engagement. Without this key element, it is challenging for companies to build community and viral buzz.

2. Relationships

It’s difficult to build a relationship with a robot. To build a real relationship with your customers, show an appropriate amount of personality and address individuals who interact with you. This one-on-one communication quality is lost with news feeds.

3. Interaction

How do you get feedback from consumers? You ask questions and provide forums to share opinions. Though someone may occasionally retweet a news-feed update, you won’t get the same level of interaction you would from a Facebook poll, blog post, or even a “retweet for a chance to win” program.

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