Business Automation – The Happy Medium

When a client comes to me in high hopes, that I am going to successfully automate their entire business so that they don’t even have to look at their marketing again, something inside me starts to get a little queasy. Automation is fantastic, but not to the point where you never have to have a human presence again.

What does that mean? People receiving your automation realize that it’s a stock, so don’t try to make it so dynamic, that it seems fake. For instance, if you are automating things like blanket email messages on LinkedIn by the hundreds, hoping to get one or two who answer, recheck, why you are settling to have such a low ROI? On the reverse side, many begin to think the platform doesn’t work, but what doesn’t work is the end-user, who automated everything without strategizing the goals and the way others use the platform.

Now I do like to live in a world of happy mediums, where we can use automation as a tool for small businesses, but knowing how to use it with exceptions is critical. For example, please don’t send me a stock inmail in LinkedIn, because we finally connected. I always go back to the story of when I finally connected with this lady on LinkedIn. I say finally, because I had already been a presenter on her weekly show, and I was presenting on the best ways to use LinkedIn. She then sent me an automated inmail that did not have the least bit of personalization, the entire thing read, as I’d never heard of her or company before. Nothing in it made me want to build a relationship, as it was just one sales call, with no value added for me to want to take another look.

Now, let’s face it, one good thing to automate is social media posts, but even that has to have some balance. I do not use Hootsuite or any other social dashboard to schedule my Facebook posts. I go to Facebook and schedule posts because I do want to penalized for using an outside dashboard. I do use Hootesuite to post on Twitter; I also use it to post on LinkedIn. Here’s the caveat, I have to have enough sense when a world tragedy goes on to remember to go in and stop the post before it goes out. Nothing is worse than a company that ignores a national tragedy, because they are so automated, they forgot they are posting. You can still use the post, but not on that date. Schedule it on another day.

Automation by linking social media platforms isn’t terrible if you know why you are connecting the platforms. For example, if you are using it as a distribution channel, which is what Twitter has become by marketing companies, share your Instagram posts there. Realize though; you will not get the same responses as when you write for your audience on that platform. Each platform’s user interacts with the platforms differently, and to build a social relationship with your potential and current target market; it’s essential to know the psychology of how they use the platform, so your added value is on point. Once you have added value to your social media platforms, then you can sell something, not before.

Email automation known as a drip campaign, is perfectly fine, again as long as your target market has already signed up for the automation. For example, you have created an added value to your target market by creating a five-day challenge. The five-day challenge emails can be automated so that you don’t have to send out each email by hand daily. Here’s the caveat, at the end of the five days, ask them if they want to stay on your list. If they say no, that’s okay because you have captured their email and can do occasional ads on their timeline the next time you do a five-day challenge. You can repeat this until they are ready to convert into a sale.

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