• Marketing

Maintaining authenticity in the age of marketing automation

by Khoros Staff | May 04, 2023

At a time when automation is integral to marketing strategies, some marketers wonder if they’re in danger of sacrificing authenticity in the pursuit of speed and convenience. After all, everyone’s been on the receiving end of unwanted mass emails — and we all know exactly where those messages end up.

Marketers understand that audiences don’t want generic, robotic messages. This is particularly true on social media platforms like LinkedIn, where professionals go to connect with like-minded people posting thought-provoking content. On these kinds of platforms, having an authentic voice that humanizes your business is crucial. At the same time, marketers can clearly see the benefits of using automation to eliminate tedious tasks, streamline workflows, and gain illuminating insights.

In the age of automation, how can marketers reap the benefits of automation without losing the “human” touch that makes their brand relatable to audiences?

Why is authenticity important on social media?

Marketing on social media is a great way to connect instantly with customers, build brand awareness, engage in one-on-one conversations with prospective buyers, provide instant assistance to existing customers, and foster a large online community. Users browse and post on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter in their free time because they enjoy experiencing human connections with like-minded individuals (and brands!).

When audiences cruise their favorite social platforms, they usually have no patience for inauthentic, mass-produced messaging. Remember, audiences are on social media for the human connections — including from brands and businesses. Even on platforms like LinkedIn — where business networking is a given — vague or pushy messaging can be an instant turnoff. Audiences want to know that companies understand their likes, preferences, and needs. Suppose audiences sense an automated, mass-produced sales pitch from the get-go. In that case, they have no problem skipping over future marketing touchpoints and making a mental note: “I guess I’m never doing business with that company!”

“Does this company even know me?” How inauthentic messaging hurts marketers.

Audiences can’t always tell when campaigns have used automation, but there are some clear signs indicating a lack of human connection. Typically, audiences will pass over social marketing touchpoints because:

  • The content is irrelevant to their likes and interests.

  • The messaging includes unrealistic promises that seem too good to be true.

  • The language is too technical and lacks relatable emotion.

  • The focus is on a product or service, rather than the audience’s needs and pain points.

  • Sales-forward messaging comes across as insensitive to public sentiment, like when brands post on certain days or following important current events.

Essentially, audiences tend to avoid messaging that makes them wonder, “Does this company know me at all?” If they sense that you’re throwing everything at the wall just to see what sticks — without any thought to what is their top-of-mind concern at that moment — they’ll have no problem unfollowing or disengaging completely. For marketers on LinkedIn, this can result in losing valuable B2B customers, diminished brand reputation, and missed opportunities to connect with potential buyers.

Using automations to find the authenticity sweet spot

Very often, marketers just getting started with automation will jump in without knowing how its execution will impact the audience’s reception. Some of the most common mistakes social marketers make with automation include:

  • Going in without a plan or strategy for who they’re targeting and why

  • A lack of understanding of exactly how their automation tools work

  • Setting an automation and then never checking in to track performance or manage responses

  • Sending out too much content at once

  • Sending out the same content across every social media channel

  • Including copy that gets too deep into technical product details

  • Not preparing for changes in public sentiment or developing current events that could require a sudden pivot in messaging

However, used strategically, automation can help marketers increase their sense of authenticity. How? It all boils down to knowing your audience.

Automation technology, like AI-powered listening tools, helps marketers keep their finger on the pulse of audience sentiment across all channels, providing insight into what their target audiences like and want. From there, automated data analysis and easy-to-view dashboards make sense of those findings so marketers can make data-driven campaign decisions about:

  1. What kind of content they should post

  2. Where it should be posted

  3. When and how frequently they should post

  4. Who they should be targeting on each platform

Using automations to protect brand health

Lastly, we can’t mention social media authenticity without bringing up the big question: How do marketers respond to mistakes on social media?

Most of the time, you want your social messaging to focus on the positives. No need to air out dirty laundry when nobody’s asking for it. But when messaging goes wrong, it’s important to step up and acknowledge the missteps. In these cases, automation can be crucial for providing teams with the time and mental capacity to avoid PR disasters and protect brand health.

Automations for social media listening, data analysis, scheduling, and publishing help marketing teams tighten their workflows to be simpler and more efficient, meaning they can do more in less time. Simultaneously, they can set automated listening tools to send alerts of potential issues the moment they occur. The benefit is twofold — automation gives marketing teams the real-time visibility to address messaging issues before they spin out of control and the mental bandwidth to craft authentic, human responses that align with their company values.

Want to be more authentic with your brand’s messaging while streamlining your processes? Check out the Khoros social suite to see how the right tools can help “humanize” your social marketing automation strategy on LinkedIn and other social platforms.

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