In my search to weigh the pros and cons of automated community management I often ask myself this following question, is it a matter of time before algorithms can do our jobs?
Working as a social media manager involves and is not limited to developing relevant content topics to reach the brand’s target audience, create, curate, and manage all published content including videos and images. This also means responding to customer complaints, which demands more of a human touch than any bot/algorithm can possibly provide. This is the human and what I feel is the most important part of social media management: the personal touch.
Now enter a world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Social media bots that are designed using software to look like a human user to the outside world. Using key words that align with a particular brand, the software reposts and creates messages using a set of rules to pick up on common words that might be in a comment/question asked by a digital community member; this could be a question on the product or a customer complaint. The algorithm then finds patterns that reflect the question or comment and then responds accordingly.
Now my argument is; can brands really afford to leave their brand “voice” to a robot. This leaves behind the most important aspect of social media and that is; social media is social. People want to speak to people (maybe not face to face, but using different technology mediums). And this could be a difference from your brand handling social media crises in a right way, using a human touch which is the most important element of having a social media community manager. Bots rely heavily on set key words that are chosen by the company to represent their brand and put them together into a sentence. Microsoft sells software, but that does not mean that’s all they ever want to communicate on their social media platforms.
At the end of the day, a human can do far more to see the accuracy of the comment or story including spotting a great and trust worthy website. A bot that can do this would need to be highly complex and this would ultimately cost a brand more money.
For consumer brands, I believe it is more valuable to use a human digital community manager as people are more aligned to pick up tone sensitivity as opposed to a bot.
Chatbots are like the Gif on this post, they can do the job. But how well is a different story. I totally love the technology which works behind chatbots and the ingenuity it must take to create one and I suppose the price explains all of this.