Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Automate Your Social Media Responses

The good people at Cision asked an important question last night:

We’d like to flip it a bit: how can social media managers PREVENT a crisis?

First of all — as Bill Cosby, Robin Thicke, JP Morgan, Dr. Oz and any number of others can tell you — don’t schedule an open-ended Q&A on Twitter or anywhere else if there is anything approaching a controversy surrounding your business or personality.

Second, as the New England Patriots showed us last night: don’t automate your responses unless you are damn sure your “filter” works perfectly.

According to Adweek, the team created a campaign that would reward Twitter users who shared its announcement of its one millionth follower (the Patriots were the first NFL team to achieve that number) by replying with an image of a “customized jersey” bearing the given fan’s username.

It seems the account wasn’t strong enough to weed out the trolls:

patriots-fail-final-2014

We have no idea what sort of filter the team’s social squad was using, but this story makes a pretty good case for the value of active 24/7 social media management by real humans, doesn’t it?