One of the rising trends of 2023 that has now become a norm is forcing customers to interact with the brands they are thinking of buying from…and I hate it.

I have seen this all over Instagram and email. A post or email will tease you with information and say, “If you want this information, reply with THIS WORD, and we’ll send it to you!” 

If you are on the marketing side of it all, this has two huge benefits:

First, you can automate your lead gen delivery process using ManyChat or a similar program. 

Second, when people comment on your post to “get the thing,” it improves engagement rates.

But here are some things to consider when it comes to making your audience “engage” with your account:

  • Forced interactions such as this might feel insincere
  • People may feel anxious when pressured to comment publicly
  • Depending on what follows, future automated messages may feel spammy
  • Automating “social interactions” can do the opposite of nurturing your customers

So, what can you do to prevent your audience from feeling like they’re being forced to talk to you?

3 Ways to Humanize Your Social Media Automation

Automation in marketing can be super useful. I don’t want to deter you from a process that is working well for you! But if you notice low engagement despite using this type of automation program, it may be because this tactic doesn’t fully align with your audience. Here are some ways to help improve their experience and humanize your social media automation while making it easier for you to deliver your lead gen.

Tell Your Customers What to Expect

Setting the right expectations is one of the number one rules of marketing. Let customers know what to expect beyond, “You will get this PDF I made for you!”. Will the rest of your emails be automated, or can your audience expect private messaging access to you? If you are delivering something via DM but will ignore incoming messages, then maybe that is not the right avenue to open up. Let customers know you may not be able to respond to every message that comes your way after delivering your lead gen, but that there are other ways they can do so.  Great examples include booking an appointment with you on your calendar or sending you an email.

Use Multiple Automation Words

I’ve seen some people get creative or specific with their “automation” words on IG (“Comment BIRTH PREP for your hospital bag checklist!”) and others who use generic “FREE TRIAL” or “YES” responses (“Ready to get started? Comment YES below for the next step!”).

Setting up a few different automation words can help personalize the experience, even if you deliver the same lead gen or follow-up action to everyone. Too many choices can be overwhelming—people don’t want to think that much. Even having just two or three options can help personalize the experience. It makes people think a little bit before responding to you, and it can also help diversify your comment section.

Here is an example that might work for a hot sauce brand:

Instead of: “Comment SPICY for a free hot sauce coupon!”

Try: “How hot do you like your sauce? Comment MILD, MEDIUM, or HOTHOTHOT for a free coupon!”

Offer Private Messaging/Link in Bio Options

There are other ways to deliver lead gens to your clients. Consider having them enroll through email or clicking a link to a separate landing page that requires less interaction. It might seem counterintuitive to offer promotions without engagement, but part of marketing is meeting people where they are. Someone might want to reach out to you directly rather than in front of a whole crowd (aka the comments section). By offering different options to interact, engage, or learn from you, you cater to intro- and extra-verted audiences.

These are just some ways you can help humanize your social media automation without interrupting your marketing efforts. It always goes back to really understanding your audience and knowing how they like to be communicated with!