One of the biggest concerns about social networks is that they can quickly become time consuming. While they may be excellent places for networking, it takes time to generate and post new content regularly, especially if it eats into time that is allocated for other business related activities.
For this reason, automation elements have become a useful timesaving tool. Automation allows us to schedule posts and apply them with little effort. The concern with this is that it can take out the humanistic element from your posts. However, this only happens when one doesn’t handle their social automation effectively.
Relatable social posts
First of all, it’s essential that posts contain intriguing content, such as tips, guides, advice, and trending topics. While it’s important to keep it relevant, adding in some personality will humanize your posts and allow readers to relate to them with their own experiences. One of the best ways to calculate this balance is to apply 80 percent brand topic with 20 percent personality. This doesn’t mean you should share updates about daily tasks such as waking up or eating a sandwich though. Turn your personal posts into relevant brand building material that others can relate to.
A little humor goes a long way. Sharing funny stories is a great way to humanize your posts. While covering your brand’s latest and greatest is on the top of your list, when it comes to social networking, the ability for the audience to relate to the brand relies on how relatable your content is.
Starting the conversation
One of the most basic human elements is to talk with others rather than talk to them. [Tweet this]
To this end you’ll need to use your posts to facilitate conversations with others. Can the audience share it with their own networks and thus facilitate word of mouth marketing? Will they relate to the idea and will they be able to respond to it with their own ideas? The most humanistic element of a post is held in the value of incorporating content that others will have the desire to interact with and ultimately have something to say about.
What I do is imagine myself in a room networking with others, and ask myself “is this something I would just blurt out to a group of people I walked up, to? Or, is there any lead in I would include.” I include my thoughts, perception or question, with the quote, article or idea to replicate a true human conversation. And, the result is much better than just haphazardly retweeting.
Involving others in the conversation
While sharing is a big part of social networking, it’s just as important that you get others involved in the conversation as quickly and effectively as possible. One of the best methods is to use discussion tools such as Twitter’s @reply to chime into conversations. This can still be automated, and will get you into conversations and help you improve visibility at the same time.
Essentially, you’ll need to make your conversations about other people too (your brand’s audience primarily), not just yourself and your brand. When you involve others in your posts, they see it and are more open to interaction, as long as you keep it positive and relevant. What have they done that has impacted you and your brand? Do they influence you in some way? Incorporate these principles into your social posts and you will achieve both humanization and attention regardless of whether or not your post was automated.
Automation doesn’t mean less humanization when it comes to social media. It’s all about the delivery of your content that affects those who read and share it with others. When your posts portray the human element of your brand, it won’t matter if they’re automated because it delivers the message you need the most.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat - a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.