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I found myself channelling my inner Darth Vader this week when I shared a photo via Instagram of my ‘wine workout’ while taking part in charity wine bottling.

You’ll see in the message, below, I did place a hashtag next to the terms fitness, wine and workout because it was hard work and I was combining them all.

Of course, my ironic use of the hashtags was for humans but unfortunately some ‘robots’ set up by lazy or brazen marketers took them at face value on Twitter and favourited my post.

You might dismiss this as a minor skirmish but I believe it is a bad use of ‘the force’ of marketing automation tools and I’d advise you to avoid these traps or risk communicating disrespect and disinterest.

It’s not rocket science, trust your instincts

As I say in every social media marketing workshop I run, when we enter ‘social’ networks as marketers, we need to be mindful that we are privileged to be there.

When we speak or share or comment as a brand or brand ambassador, we should be natural and interact ‘humanly’ with fellow humans, not robotically with target market segments.

Why do I argue this? Well, apart from ordinary expectations of human decency, it is worth noting that these ‘humans’ have the power to block us or mute us if we bore or annoy them.

This simply means that when we start filming or typing, we should be responding to what an individual has taken time to communicate, not just brush past with a hollow like or canned comment.

You care? Uh, you don’t care

robotic-social-commentingWhen I saw two ‘favourites’ next to my ‘fun’ post I was curious to see who it was.

As it turns out it was an athletic apparel brand and an online trainer.

What was poor from a marketing communication perspective in my opinion can be summed up as follows:

  • Within an instant, I realised they had just favourited because their ‘robot’ had detected the use of the term fitness or workout
  • I knew no human was involved because it would be ‘dumb’ for those brands to favourite my post because there was no substantial connection. ¬†A human would have at least picked up on the humour and made some sort of connection that way, thus building a degree of warmth between me and them.
  • They both had spammy bios, one telling me to follow on Instagram and warning that if I tweet them back it signals they have the right to use my communication in anyway possible while the trainer urged me to download a FREE fat loss book

What we end up with here is just awkward.

Two brands have crashed a party to start selling with no small talk, no direct invitation, and surely a wall of deafening silence from me and the other souls out there who happen to mention their fateful trigger words in their social media sharing.

I can only hope the ‘force’ awakens in marketers, leading them to rehumanise social media marketing so that the presence of businesses in the social mix can be a long lasting one, avoiding the need for¬†consumers to band together like rebels to remove a despicable menace.

And now, like all readers of WordPress Wednesday, I face the challenge on sharing a link to this blog post in my social communities in a meaningful and/or helpful way.

Image: C3PO image via Wikimedia
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