Guest Column | July 18, 2014

The Pitfalls Of Automated Social Media Tools

Mobile Capture

By Seth Rand, founder of Rand Marketing

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ facilitate interactions between millions of people each month, so it is hardly surprising that they have become prized tools for businesses seeking to reach new and current consumers. Posts and tweets have become a powerful way to connect with potential customers … if they are positive. Like almost any marketing tool, social media can be a two-edged sword. If handled with care, a tweet can be engaging and appealing, generating brand awareness and positive consumer responses; if they are thoughtless or insensitive, they can severely damage your brand.

One of the most popular platforms is Twitter which currently boasts more than 250 million active users. More importantly, Twitter is one of the most active platforms with more than 500 million tweets — short 140 character messages — sent each day.  Twitter is also quite popular among many important demographics. A recent survey by Piper Jaffray found that Twitter is the most important social media marketing service among teens. Additionally, eMarketer predicts that by 2016, almost 25 percent of all Internet users aged 12 to 44 will utilize Twitter at least once a month.

Tapping into this burgeoning group of important consumers has become the focus of many companies, but there is still uncertainty about how to exploit Twitter effectively. Social media marketing is more of an art than a science, so many businesses have turned to automated tools to help them manage this complex channel. While these tools can be useful in certain situations, it is critical that marketers understand the weaknesses of automated tools.

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