Food truck owners often often argue about social media automation. Unfortunately, it isn’t clear cut, and neither side is completely right or completely wrong. Keeping up and consistently updating social media accounts is imperative to building your food truck brand. The problem is this task can prove to be time-consuming.

There is a huge market of social media automation tools that have made it easier to post fresh content around the clock. But can too much automation actually hurt your food truck brand? Today we’ll share how you can tell, and how to get around these issues.

How To Tell If Social Media Automation Hurting Your Food Truck Brand

Let me start off by saying, I personally believe that every food truck owner should utilize a scheduler as part of their social media strategy. You don’t need to waste your valuable time by manually managing your accounts.  As great as scheduling is, it can also be done ineffectively. Here are some signs to help you determine if your are overusing, or not properly using automation in your social media strategy.

Engagement Plummets

If your social media is entirely or mostly automated, then you are is missing the entire point of having a social media presence in the first place. Social media is supposed to be a conversation. It takes two to be social, after all. Anything else is just posting a prerecorded message.

It is frustrating for your followers to reply to your account only to be ignored. We get it, not everyone has time to reply to every tweet. But when I notice an account never replies, retweets or engages with anyone but just shares its next location on an endless loop, I conclude pretty quickly that there’s actually no one is steering the ship.

RELATED: Social Media Engagement Ideas For Food Truck Vendors

Timing Is Everything

You should never automate your social media posts until you understand your audience to know when they’re most active and engaging. These factors vary by audience and also change from one social media platform to another.

Your social insights can show you when your audience is most active based on historical engagement metrics. Make sure to setup engaging content to be published during those hours. If your followers are most likely to engage you from 6PM to 10PM, it would be pointless to push out automated content at 9AM every day. Find the best time to post to your social channels for both automated and real-time posts.

RELATED: Include Real-Time Engagement In Your Social Media Strategy

You Forget The Uniqueness Of  Each Social Network

Every social network is unique, and just as the timing of engagement changes from each, so should the content you share. People use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in very different ways, and the tone and structure of posts should be appropriate for that particular channel’s users.

It’s not smart to automate to the point where the same content or update is being promoted on every single channel at the exact same time. Your message, tone, length, and images should be customized for each platform to maximize the potential for engagement.

Posts Are Tone Deaf

Time sensitivity and context are important when considering social media automation. Social media guru, Guy Kawasaki, attracted harsh criticism when his 1.4 million Twitter followers received a barrage of unrelated automatic tweets during and immediately after the Boston bombing tragedy. As you know, this type of social media mistakes can hurt your food truck brand.

RELATED: Social Media Mistakes Food Truck Vendors Can Avoid

How To Avoid Social Media Automation Mistakes

You’ve probably seen the signs of over use of social media automation. Links to Instagram or Facebook posts on Twitter, shrunken links without photos, the same content posted multiple times, over-hashtagging and no personalization at all. It’s impossible to build a connection with your food truck followers with that approach, and it will often drive them away.

To ensure you get the most out of your social media marketing, change headlines when you post the same content more than once. Add photos when posting links when automating, and create custom graphics and memes for your social media to help personalize both your automated and non-automated posts.

Plan Ahead

To properly automate your social media accounts takes planning. So, draw up a social media marketing calendar. This is a daily and monthly guide that keeps your team on track for meeting those goals. This plan tells you to send comments directly to followers more frequently; your calendar will also tell you when to do it, who to include and what platform to send them to.

The primary downside of social media automation comes when you rely on it too heavily. Don’t let it become a replacement for engagement or you’ll end up disengaged from your followers. Automation should only be used to supplement your social media strategy by streamlining your the process. Use properly by letting it fill gaps in your engagement and posting calendar, not the other way around.

RELATED: Developing Your Food Truck Social Media Strategy

The Bottom Line

Social media automation can help you save time and effort, but it pays off only when you use it correctly. Ensure your social media automation has a human touch to keep the conversation going with your food truck followers.

Do you use automation software for your food truck social media marketing? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section or social media. Facebook | Twitter