I decided to change my own style of marketing for the new year and move towards a much more personal approach.

For almost 10 years now I have relied predominantly on inbound marketing techniques to attract visitors and convert them into clients. It’s worked very well, however, I always knew that there was a risk of losing everything as very often it relies on third party entities such as Google. And there begins my story of woe.

If you are at all involved in SEO or online marketing you will have heard of Google’s algorithms and how dangerous they can be to companies and organisations.

As an example, back in 2013, the same time my own SEO troubles began, Interflora was literally wiped out of Google natural search positioning after they broke Google’s SEO policies by placing 150 advertorials on  regional news sites. They were out of the search engine for 11 days and probably had to beg for forgiveness whilst they were losing millions of dollars and pounds in revenues every day.

I have never received a ban or warning from Google, but suffered at the hands of their algorithm change in the summer of 2013 which took me months to recover from.

Like most businesses, I now also use social media as a method for connecting with people and potential clients. However, just like with Google natural search I am just as much at their mercy and could be BANNED at any moment if I don’t follow their strict policies.

The perils of Twitter automation

This was Techcrunch’s headling back in 2013 when Twitter started to clamp down on companies who were using automation to follow and unfollow people –

Twitter’s Bulk Follow Clampdown Could Claim Another Victim, Follow/Unfollow Service ManageFlitter

They go on to say –

Among the more recent changes afoot at Twitter, the company recently announced that it would no longer allow third parties to use Twitter’s API for bulk-following or unfollowing Twitter accounts — spammy behavior, by many estimates.

Here is Twitter own guidelines on follow/unfollow automation-

Twitter – Automated following and unfollowing

You may not use or develop any application that allows for the following or unfollowing of user accounts in a bulk or automated manner. Using block as a means to unfollow users is also not allowed. Accounts and applications that engage in this practice will be suspended. Please also review our Following rules and best practices to ensure you are in compliance. Also note that applications that claim to get users more followers are prohibited under the Twitter Rules.

You can report people who use this practice here, but it is best to email them directly, which also takes a bit of digging to find the right persons emails address.

Whilst I like automation software, it’s what the digital age is all about after all, there are limits as to what is good and what is bad.

Here are a few good articles from reliable sources to help you decide-

Social Media Week – To Automate Your Tweets Or Not? That Is The Question

Should you, or shouldn’t you, automate social media posts? On one hand, it could save you loads of time and effort. but, on the other hand, it can seem impersonal, and possibly come back to haunt you. So what’s the final verdict? Can you still get high levels of engagement and more followers with social media automation?

Hootsuite – The DOs and DON’Ts of Social Media Automation

With every technological advancement designed to make our lives easier, our dependence on technology for day-to-day tasks grows. Technology helps us do things with greater efficiency, and when it comes to social media, it’s only natural to find a way to automate our social media efforts.

So, maybe 2016 is time to start thinking about your morals and ask your conscience if it is doing the right thing or not, especially when it comes to Twitter automation.