Social media automation frequently gets a bad wrap, because brands abuse it to inauthentically bolster their followings. But when used correctly, social media automation can help marketers work more effectively, taking mundane repetitive tasks off their plates so that they can concentrate on engaging with their followers in real time. .
But as marketing automation expands, its misuse also remains a topic of concern. In an effort to combat the rise of automated spam social networks are constantly updating their policies. Thus as a result, many are now setting limits on third-party automation tools.
Here’s an overview at the most important, recent changes made by social network platforms regarding automation, and what marketers need to know moving forward.
Twitter automation update
According to Pew Research, 21% of adults in the U.S. use Twitter. Given this, keeping Twitter spam free is a top priority. The platform just introduced new rules for spam and automation activities in order to rid the platform of on bots, fake profiles, and other malicious activities.
The introduction of these new policies has received a lot of support, however it’s also caused some uncertainty for marketers.
The most recent changes include limitations or restrictions on:
- Duplicate content
- Recycling tweets
- Simultaneous or bulk actions – such as liking, retweeting, or following
What Advertisers should do
The new rules implement broader limitations and restrictions on what marketers can do using social media automation tools. Marketers should avoid posting identical or substantially similar content to one or multiple Twitter accounts at the same time.
Using automation tools for Twitter is still very much allowed, however marketers should limit their use for bulk actions. Such as retweeting or liking, and perform these actions manually as much as possible. Rather than duplicating and posting the exact same tweets over and over again (i.e., “recycling”), marketers should always alter the copy.
According to Instagram’s statistics, 80% of users now follow a business on the platform. Last year, Instagram changed its API to allow posting and scheduling to business pages from third-party tools. This was done in an effort to help businesses manage their pages more effectively.
Though this change was a major win for brands, Instagram has also set new limitations on third-party tools. Anyone using third-party tools to like and comment to generate inauthentic follows automatically will receive a warning to change their passwords. They are encouraging users to cut ties with these apps – or risk losing their accounts.
What Advertisers should do
Instagram has been actively removing fake accounts since at least 2014. However the platform is now utilizing machine learning tools to identify even more inauthentic activity and remove it. Marketers can continue using tools to automate post scheduling, but they should stick with performing all other actions manually.
Because of the crackdown on automated activities, many brands may also see their post engagement numbers dropping. However new features like Instagram Stories and Instagram Live provide additional opportunities to engage audiences.
Instagram Live is growing in popularity, with 100 million people now watching or sharing live content every single day, so marketers should consider adding it to their Instagram strategy in the new year.
Facebook automation changes
Facebook is constantly evolving its policies to fight the spread of misinformation on its platform. The Social Network said that fake accounts are often the root cause of misinformation, and that it removed more than 1.5 billion fake accounts in 2018.
Facebook also announced that it would no longer allow third-party tools to post or schedule content to personal profile pages automatically. Individuals have to log onto Facebook to post or schedule content on a personal page.
Additional updates to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm to promote content from users’ friends and family, rather than brand pages, are also prompting marketers to rethink how they promote their brands on the network.
What advertisers should do
The goal of Facebook’s new policy approach is to restrict trolls and fake accounts – especially those using personal pages. However, this can cause issues for anyone who has a large following on a personal page.
Business Pages have been experiencing declining levels of engagement for some time, and some marketers are even wondering whether Facebook marketing is still worthwhile anymore. Despite the recent changes, Facebook remains an essential component of any social media marketing strategy. The goal of the updated algorithm is to drive more authentic interactions.
Facebook’s also heavily promoting Facebook Groups, and now allows business Pages to join groups and interact as a business or brand.
The advantages of social media automation
Social networks are constantly changing, which is a never-ending challenge for digital marketers to keep up with. At the same time, marketers have to also find new ways to engage their audiences, and are increasingly expected to respond to queries at record speeds.
Performing all of these activities manually, and keeping up with conversations across multiple channels, is impossible without automation tools. But by staying on top of each network’s automation policies, advertisers can be smart about their social media automation strategies, and avoid getting blocked or banned.