The Awkward Auto Respond: How To Avoid a Twitter Slip-Up

Automated social media tools can take the guesswork out of your social media strategy and save you time to focus on the big picture, right? This is certainly true, but it’s important to make sure a dedicated human being is still monitoring your automated social media processes. Even big name brands goof up from time to time, and sometimes these errors come from an over reliance on apps and the lack of a dedicated staffer to provide a human touch to your digital footprint.

Tools You Can Use…With Caution

Using apps to stay on top of your Twitter notifications can seem like the perfect time-saving solution, but keep in mind that using this can open a Pandora’s box of reputation management concerns. Many users report that automated direct messages (DMs) can feel like spam, so limit your messages to friendly greetings with no sales language at all. If you can, avoid mentioning the product or service altogether and stick with a simple “Hello and thank you!”

If you need to keep up with a high volume of followers and decide to use a tool to automate your responses, ShoutMELoud offers a round up of 4 social media tools. Of the 4 tools they cover, Twitter DMer may be your best bet, because it will customize your automatic DM to include a few details from the person’s account to give the message a more personalized feel.

Beware the Robot Reply

When it comes to interacting outside of private messages however, use caution when allowing an auto responder to do your social media marketing work for you. Several high profile companies have given us all a master class in what not to do when using social media tools. Media Bistro reports major snafus from Oreo, Bank of America, and, in one of the most infamous cases, insurance giant Progressive, who coldly auto responded nearly 20 times to users expressing concern over the way the company handled a claim following someone’s death. In addition, your auto responder likely won’t be able to weed out legitimate customers from “trolls,” so if you leave your replies in the hands of a machine, you may find your account responding to parody accounts and users with offensive usernames which can affect your brand identity.

As a general rule of thumb, avoid auto replies. Always keep a live person responsible for monitoring Twitter, especially during high traffic or high stress moments. A real person on the end of that tweet might take more time, but it can make a world of difference in preserving your online reputation. And, after all, customers are more likely to trust a brand that personalizes their content for authentic communication. Stick to scheduling your tweets, following a pre-approved list of responses and content calendar, and ask for advice when you’re unsure of how to reply to a particular customer or situation.

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