5 SEO Communication Strategies That Should Not Be Automated

After shopping for a car this past week, one of the sales people we met sent me a “thank you” email for stopping into the dealership. After reading the email, I realized it was an automated template, most likely auto-generated given the time it was received.

Assembly Line

In my opinion, “canned” messages and responses decrease the likelihood an informed (dare I say educated?) customer will buy or react. An automated reply can take away from a personal connection trying to be built and detract from the overall experience.

The same can be said with respect to SEO link building outreach and social media marketing. Even though there are several tasks that can be automated in SEO and social media, here are five SEO and social media strategies that deserve more than canned messaging and delivery.

Link Requests

We have all received these automated pitches. If you care about the link that could be acquired when sending out a link request, do yourself a favor and customize the message.

Basic elements include:

  • Addressing the site owner by name.
  • Establish the connection in the first few lines of your email message.
  • Identify why your link is valuable to their community or readership.
  • Professionalism, spelling, grammar.

Marketing, PR, & Blog Pitches

Essentially a more complex version of the link request, and thus requiring more personalization, justification, and tact. As SEO continues to bleed into the B2B marketing communications world, SEOs should take heed to etiquette preferred in these broader arenas.

Top Rank’s blog post from a few years back provides a nice checklist of tips to consider when pitching bloggers, and check out the Bad Pitch Blog for more regular, ongoing advice.

Forum Thread Contributions

While forum participation can be a great way to build links and quality traffic it can also get abused by spammers and users seeding poor quality or irrelevant messages and links.

Remember that one of the reasons a forum becomes successful (internally and as a third party referral source) is because of the quality of discussions found within.

Twitter Direct Messages

So many people despise automated Twitter DM’s and publicly share their frustration, that it borderlines sheer social media ignorance for a marketer to use them at a professional level. Do not use auto dm’s,

Thank You Messages

Back to my original reason for writing this post. A “Thank You Message” can be a critical component in building quality relationships. I would recommend at least considering to use them for everything from business development initiatives to client meetings to thanking someone for posting a comment on a blog post.

However, take heed at using completely canned responses for the entire communication strategy. There is a significant difference between letting people know you are “out of the office” and letting them know you appreciate their interest and/or relationship.

In a world where we’re constantly and consistently bombarded with rapid information, the ability to personalized a message can go a long way, hopefully leading to a more beneficial result.

Final Thoughts
There is a place for automation in the B2B search engine marketers strategy. For example, marketing automation technology provides a more effective solution when developing communication strategies across hundreds or thousands of customers and prospects.

However when seeking more complex or more significant value from an individual tactic, consideration (and common sense) needs to be taken with respect to the level of automated delivery.

What are your thoughts on the automation of SEO and social media communication strategies? I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions via comments below.

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