(This post originally appeared on Spin Sucks August 8, 2011, written by Jayme Soulati). And, the 162 comments (love that!) are worth their weight in gold.
Public relations practitioners strive to develop authentic relationships; we want genuine and sincere romance with our tiered audiences, and we get there with engagement.
The word “authentic” itself begs for definition. It was used in a variety of ways by a variety of practitioners when I launched an effort awhile back to define public relations on my blog. Social media allows for creating real communities with give and take, with nurturing and education, and with growth by engagement. Combined, these contribute to authenticism (I often coin words).
My growing fear is social media automation is quickly winning over authenticity. If you follow me online, this statement comes as no surprise. I have been lamenting scheduled tweets, the success of Triberr, and the disappearance of Twitter banter (nowadays that’s just about anything without a link!).
- Automating Tweets: I freely admit I schedule tweets on occasion; in fact, I was encouraged to do more of it to push attention to the blog. You can’t get traffic if you tweet a new post once. So, I did, and lo – more traffic. I also use Triberr religiously. I automate post distribution in the three tribes I’m in. In fact, I’m kind of jazzed; I recently launched Globe Spotting – a tribe with seven bloggers from seven countries.
- Optimizing Writing: I’m struggling with the whole optimization thing; it compromises authenticity! (While optimization is not automation, there are enough automated tools to enhance optimization, so they’re, like, kissing cousins.) A recent blog post over at Live Your Love by Brankica Underwoodhad me stewing. (She’s an expert about writing with keywords and measuring web analytics.) Bran shared how she wrote a keyword rich post and watched the traffic roll in. Then, she increased her traffic by writing a how-to post because keywords and search terms told her the market was seeking that information.
- Quantifying Influence: How about Klout? I predicted recently that employers and clients would begin reviewing Klout scores and select candidates with the higher scores. I just read a blog post where that prediction rang true. People on Twitter who schedule unique content, RT consistently, and write about keywords can automatically boost Klout scores – even when the keywords for which peeps are being considered influential mean nothing, such as “cougar,” “heavy metal,” or “sheep.”
All my fears for the future are likely a yearning for the past. As I’ve been pondering this preponderance of push marketing, others have stated, “nothing stays the same…to grow we need to automate.”…OK, but at what expense?