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3 C’s of Social Media Marketing Automation. On Cool, Cute and Crap.

Twitter Status 6 achievement -

Twitter Status 6 achievement -

I recently received a “Twitter Status 6 achievement” on
It means I posted 750 tweets in my life. This merely indicates that I’ve been active on Twitter for a short period. During this short period however, I noticed a little annoying aspect of the social media phenomenon.

That little annoying aspect I want to talk about is what I call “the deployment of social media marketing automation tools” or even “twitter marketing automation”.

Social media has a human aspect

Social media doesn’t bear the word “social” in it just for fun. It’s all about engagement and connecting with people. As a result I recommend to listen before you define your social media strategy – and especially before you start automating. This will improve your overall social media campaign…

Oh wait! Stop thinking campaign-wise! It’s social, not campaigns. It’s people. It’s connecting. It’s engaging. It’s conversations. It’s for once and forever. It is marriage.

The Machine - painting as spotted in Museum of Modern Art Brussels.

The Machine - painting as spotted in Museum of Modern Art Brussels.

Social media’s machine aspect: automation

Let’s say social relates to human and let’s assume automation relates to machines. How can you then appropriately deploy automation within a social sphere? I believe the answer ought to be found in the 3 C’s of Social Media Marketing Automation.

The 3 C’s of Social Media Marketing Automation: Cool, Cute, Crap.

As I’ve been around and active in social media for about 750 tweets now, I’ve distilled some of the do’s and don’ts of social media automation.

It turned out however that it’s not that easy to define an automation aspect as “do” or “don’t”. Sometimes it can be used in a “good” way but it can easily glimpse into a “bad” one. That’s why I introduce a third class into this debate, the “consider wisely” category.

Bringing sexiness: category labels and infographics – Cool, Cute, Crap.

So to turn my entire theory / philosophy about social media marketing automation into a sex bomb, I’ve relabeled the categories into something more compelling (at least I believe, and please allow me to do so) and spice it up with an infographic.

The categories / labels are:

  • Cool (do): social media automation that’s recommended. A do. A Cool thing.
  • Cute (do with care): social media automation that might be beneficial. There’s the danger to glimpse into the don’t category.
  • Crap (don’t): absolute don’ts of social media marketing automation.

Cut the crap – what exactly is Cool, Cute or Crap?

Well, read the below overview or scroll down to the infographic below. Please realize that this is not an exact science and only a personal interpretation of what I’ve encountered. Of course, the list also doesn’t claim to be complete. I would highly appreciate your suggestions to include in this list – whether under Cool, Cute or Crap.

Infographic - 3 Cs

Infographic - 3Cs

  1. COOL
    • Multiple account management tools. If you need more than one account / profile / personality in the social realms, it might be cool to automate the management of the different personas. One could think of e.g. a professional and a private account or a consultant managing multiple company accounts, etc.
    • Multiple contributors to one account (professional environments).
    • Url shorteners. One of the key social aspects is to share things. Most of the time this includes sharing a link. It’s very cool to use Url shorteners. And it’s supercool to deploy personalized url shorteners…
    • Monitoring. It’s cool to monitor what people say about you or your themes. But please don’t push it.
  2. CRAP
    • Auto creation of users so to have a higher follower rate. There are tools who promise you a high amount of followers. In fact, the software creates fake people that follow you. Big fail.
    • Extensive retweet scheduling: automatically scream the same message over and over.
    • Bulk tweet sending. If you see a person able to tweet 10 messages in less than a minute than you know it’s automated, than you know it ain’t human.
    • Auto message to new followers “look forward to your tweets”. Yeah right, you follow over 20K people, as if you’re really interested in me.
    • Auto follow followers. It doesn’t make sense to follow somebody just merely because they follow you.
    • Picked keywords that are automatically (re)tweeted. This is very annoying. Yes it’s cool to monitor to stay informed but automatic re-spread of a message is crap.
    • Constant retweet of your marketing hero without any input. If I like those tweets, I will follow the source, your hero. After all it’s your hero who’s cool, not you.
    • Feed tweets from other sources that don’t have a 140 chars limit. Facebook has a 420 character limit, so if you push this to Twitter, your message is lost.
  3. CUTE:
    • Feed it from a different source. Linking your blog to other social networks is cool but tends to be cute when you don’t pay enough attention. It’s completely crap when you don’t pay any attention at all. Make sure you can modify your message for the different platforms’ characteristics.
    • Tweet scheduling can be very cute. Especially if you have a follower base in different time zones. But don’t spam it.
    • Automated tweeting when there’s a new comment on your blog is cute. But what about auto tweeting spammy a-like messages?
    • Social Media Monitoring and auto-follow anyone who mentions you without any interaction or further engagement. I personally had that experience with big brands as Adobe, Audi and RedBull. Of course I was flattered they followed me but without any engagement or interaction, it was only cute, not cool.

An infographic – that makes things sexy these days

Infographics are very hot these days. And yes, it makes facts and figures sexier to read. That’s probably why some even call it infoporn. OK, mine isn’t that sexy but it’ll be only by trying that I’ll make good once later, much later.


Infographic - 3 C's of Social Media Marketing Automation

Infographic - 3 C's of Social Media Marketing Automation


Join The Conversation

  • Aug 10 Posted 5 years ago Website Guru (not verified)

    Using automate to marketing is really amazing tools to use. It helps a lot in production of my market. It makes me easier and allows me to perform another job I want to do. And I’m grateful I read this article, this gives me more information I needed.

  • Jul 18 Posted 5 years ago vermeiretim (not verified)

    Hi Tristan,

    thanks for linking to these data. Very useful indeed!

  • tristanhandy's picture
    Jul 6 Posted 5 years ago tristanhandy

    Hey Tim,

    I recently did a study on what works and what doesn't from a social media automation perspective. The quick-and-dirty results:

    • There is very little variance in the click and conversion impact of real-time vs scheduled posts.
    • Posts published immediately generate 74% more conversion value than scheduled posts.
    • Posts scheduled on a 24 hour or greater delay generate 6x LESS conversion value than immediate posts.

    I totally value the best practice model you suggest here, but figured you might like a little bit of data to back up your recommendations ;) You can find the full results of the study at:

    Have a good one.


  • May 19 Posted 5 years ago vermeiretim (not verified)

    you truly wrapped the essence of the story nicely here. Thanks for dropping in!

  • May 19 Posted 5 years ago vermeiretim (not verified)

    Thanks Aaron! Agree on your point: nothing really changed - except for the medium.

  • May 18 Posted 5 years ago Aaron Eden (not verified)

    I'd definitely vote "C" for this post as in "Clever" - and I love the way it is written without sounding crass.  I wonder why many are still having this delusion that they can automate relationships on the Social Web.  There are even sites out there selling hundreds to thousands of twitter followers - never mind if these are bot accounts.  My point here is that people have simply forgotten the old ways of building trust and relationships... something that takes time, effort and energy.

  • May 17 Posted 5 years ago Manikandan Bala... (not verified)

    Very interesting perspective Tim! Though, I didnt have a CRAP in my strategy while I certainly take back a cute that I would like to replace with COOL.



    B2B Platform for SMBs

  • May 16 Posted 5 years ago SocialFirehose (not verified)

    Thanks for the great post. Currently working on a unique automation tool for social media managers and niche entrepreneurs that I think is going to be cool but I hope most people find cute. Thanks for the awesome framework for helping judge which features are worth putting in and which ones should stay out.


    Ian (@SocialFirehose)

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