Part of the reason that automated tools pose a challenge to Social Media is because it removes that live feeling.
I've been thinking about this Blog a lot lately. When I'm thinking about this Blog, I'm also thinking about Social Media - what it means and why it's so dramatically different than any of the other media channel. Once I am doing that kind of media hacking, I start thinking about what we can expect and/or do with these many new channels when it comes to business, Marketing, Advertising and Communications.
That usually leads to the struggle.
It's the eternal struggle between young and old. New and antiquated. Traditional and modern. What was and what will be. This Blog and many of the other Social Media platforms - like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube - are living organisms. Remember that. Think about that. Not everything can be planned and there won't be an obvious beginning, middle and end (like traditional Marketing has). If this is your first time on this Blog, the story is very different from those who started playing along at home a couple of years back. It flows and changes based on mood, my availability to deliberate on a specific topic, how many people comment and even how I respond. It's not planned. It's not perfect. It's human. It's a living organism.
Think about Twitter and Facebook.
Living organisms that change, evolve and adapt based on who is putting what into it and how the content is being collaborated on and extrapolated. You can plan to be a part of it every day at 7 p.m., but you'll never get the same or a similar result... the living organism will do what it does (selfish gene and all). You can walk away from it all... it keeps on going. Every day that passes, individuals (like you) leave comments and ask questions about Blog posts that were written well into the past. Those older posts don't wind up on a pile with newspapers getting yellow and crusty from the sun. They stay where they are... there are breathing, being found in search engines or being resurrected in online social networks.
You can see why a business might struggle with it.
The hardest part of being a living organism (especially one with conscience) is knowing that everything is actually not in our control. It is chaos theory on a good day. How it lives and how it dies is usually not a defined decision... stuff happens (as they say). The ones who succeed with these living organisms are the ones who are comfortable with this. This always on platform that evolves and tweaks is not for the brands that feel the need to control everything from the colors to the commentary.
When you think about getting really active in Social Media, it might be wise to think about whether or not you're capable of dealing with the living organism of it all.