Automated Tweets: Effective or Impersonal?

In Wednesday’s daily, I talked to local PR sources about Twitter. One of the questions I asked was if they felt automated tweets were effective.

Just revert back to May 1, the day President Obama announced the U.S. had captured and killed Osama bin Laden. Although it was first broadcasted on TV, I personally – and I’m sure thousands of others – first learned the news via Twitter.

What I also found intertwined with the trending topic was random, automated tweets from various companies. Those companies stuck out like a sore thumb amid a national phenomenon.

So in order to save you from looking silly on Twitter, here’s some insight that didn’t make it into my article but are great words of wisdom nonetheless:

“If you’re driving a contest or teasing the audience to look for a big announcement I can see how using an automated service like Hoot Suite would suffice, but in the end I feel like you’re doing your circles a disservice,” said Cynthia Saatkamp, partner with Hemline Creative Marketing LLC. “Twitter is a tool, one of many in an organization’s toolbox that they can use to reach, reward and reaffirm customers. If a company says they don’t have time, they had best find the time or their competition surely will. I would rather an organization field a strong social media strategy and really set out to do something different, than to just get on Twitter because everyone else is there. You can see straight through those kinds of tweets.”

Natashia Gregoire, public relations account director with archer>malmo, echoed Saatkamp’s philosophy, adding that customers who are seeking engagement might be turned off by such one-sided communication.

“Twitter is about having a conversation and scheduling tweets does not allow you to take into consideration what others are saying,” said. “Instead of automatic tweets, develop an editorial calendar for Twitter with your team. This will give you an idea of the topics to cover each month, but will also allow you to craft these points according to what’s happening around you.”

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