Is Automation Suffocating Authenticity?

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Is Automation Suffocating Authenticity? #WebWritingAdvice

While steady work flows in, long days turn into longer evenings at my desk as I mark off projects one by one. Like many small business owners, I have a few (non-human) assistants to help keep everything organized and afloat, including automation tools.

Yes, I automate replies to people who sign up for this website’s email list and I also pre-schedule my ideas to share with friends on social media. Since I have a global 24/7 readership and clients, it’s best for me to have a presence online even when I’m buried in interview notes or sleeping.

Before you shake your head at the use of automation, I don’t like it either. But, I do like the results. I like that I can keep in touch on some level with those who reach out to me. But, is that level good enough?

Yes, let’s talk about that.

With the latest algorithm update announcement from Facebook, and resulting avalanche of insights and concerns from business page owners about having less prominence in the news feed, we should all be thinking more about being authentic in our communication.

Authenticity. In a simple sense it’s being real, genuine, accurate and original. It’s the act of showing your true self. Are your communications online about you, your business, your ideas and your personality (automated or not) or are you passively retweeting, sharing posts and clicking the Like button with abandon?

If I had to make a prediction what the buzzword in marketing will be for 2018, it’s authenticity. It’s a snug little blanket, keeping the concepts of storytelling and empathy swaddled together. We could all be a little more authentic with our storytelling by identifying the feelings and experiences of our audience and customers.

Hey, brands! Communication isn’t all about you.

It’s also about your readers and a lot of us forget that when we promote our newest product or recently published article. I’m guilty too.

Lately I’ve been trying to be more authentic with my public voice as a professional writer. I show you behind the scenes when I’m working late, talk about work-life balance, share my joys and blunders and give shout-outs to the companies I’m partnered with because we are in this together.

I don’t think automation is suffocating authenticity.

I do think automation makes it easy to queue up messages, get back to work and let the messages flow which creates a false sense of genuine communication. What if we broke away from our usual publishing schedule?

Stop and post something to your business social media right now. Let your audience know what you’re working on, reading or discussing with your team. Snap a photo of office life or the view out your window. Share a helpful tip with no strings (or links) attached. Shake up your social media!

After all, we are just people talking to people.

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