Robo Replies…Effective or Impersonal?

Last month’s blog was Social Media…We Love to Hate It.  This month’s Blog relates to Social Media as well.  It is a daily part of our lives anymore. 

I don’t know about you, but when another business, or person, follows my business on #Facebook, #Intagram, #Twitter, or whatever the platform, I will always send a response.  I look to see who has followed me and then tailor my response. If they do the same thing as my business I simply thank them for following.  If it’s a business in a different industry, I’ll mention what we can do to help them grow their business.  Does that take extra time?  Yes.  Do I know there are programs out there that will send an automated response for me?  Yes, I do, but here is why I take the time. I think of it as a compliment, when another business follows me.  There are hundreds of thousands of businesses like mine and they chose my business to follow.  Even if it is a business in the same industry you never know where it might lead.

Just recently, a business started following me on #Instagram.  As always, I thanked them for following me even though they do the same things my business does.  A couple of days later I received a response from them.  It was immediately obvious that either it was an automated response, or they didn’t bother to see what my business does.  Their response went on to say what they could do for my business, which was all the same things my business does. 

In my opinion, the problem with auto responses, unless they are generic, they are just that…a robo response.  No thought or effort was put into that response.  Unless, the robo response says something like: “Thank you for your message.  We will get back to you within 24 hours.” Then get back to them with a personal note, when you said you would.  To me it is just very impersonal. In this day in age, the whole world is at our fingertips.  We can communicate with people all over the world now.  You never know whom you might connect with. Think about that! If you just take a few moments to look at who has chosen to follow you and write a personal message back, where could that lead?  Wouldn’t a personal message stand out more than a robo response?  It does for me.  Unless you are a huge company, is it really that much of a burden to provide a personal reply?  

These days our whole society is on auto mode.  We have companies developing self-driving cars, Google and Alexa are making appointments for us, ordering food, and then there is  software that will automatically respond to e-mail messages.  All of this reminds me of when e-mail first started catching on.  Everyone thought the US Post Office would go bankrupt, because nobody would send letters anymore.  Yes, the mail services was impacted quite severely, but it is still around.  However, in my opinion, people hate getting email any more.  We get so much of it.  I get close to a hundred emails a day, between work and personal.  A majority of them I don’t even read, I just click delete.  Yet, I get excited when I get a personal note in the mail.  To me that means a lot more than receiving an email. I know someone took time out of their busy day to send me a handwritten letter.  

That is how I look at sending personal responses via Social Media.  A tailored, personal response will grab the attention more than a robo response will.  Maybe I am just old fashion.  Tell me what you think? 

Geoff Cummings is President | Founder of On the Level Marketing & Consulting, LLC. Successfully helping businesses with all their marketing needs by branding their businesses and keeping marketing simple and straightforward.

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