At our house, we’re pretty strict about “bad words.” Stupid is a on the list for example. So is hate.

If one of the girls says a bad word, her sisters are quick to tattle. “Mom, she said a bad word!”

Sometimes when I mention the word automation in social media circles, I feel like I’ve said a bad word.

Social media purists will say that they want their Twitter feed to grow organically. Or maybe they’ll take pride in the fact that they’ve grown their account “naturally,” suggesting that a Twitter account grown without any automation tools is somehow superior to a Twitter account grown using them.

When I suggest automating tweets, I get a bit of resistance. When I push back, I hear that people want to be real and authentic on Twitter; they don’t want to spam or become just another bot on Twitter.

I get that — I really do. And I guess this is a time when your “Why” really matters.

If you are using Twitter for business in any way at all, I urge you to consider using (some) automation tools to grow your account. I also recommend that you schedule (some) of your tweets.

Here’s why:

Twitter automation tools free you up so you can SHOW up. 

When you use automation tools, you free yourself from the mundane tasks of following new people, following back, and you can spend your time connecting with people, instead. Ted Coine has a great perspective about why he auto follows back everyone. I agree with him, and I take it one step farther. If you’re going to follow back everyone, set up a tool to do it automatically.

And then use that time to hang out on Twitter. Send a few RTs or start a conversation.

Amy Tobin has a much different perspective. And some of her readers share some pretty strong opinions on this topic.

I have written before that Twitter is not a numbers game to me. It’s not, and it is. It’s not, because what matters most is connection. It is, because bigger numbers equals the potential to make connections.

Automation is a bad idea if it is a replacement for showing up and connecting.

Automation is not a bad idea if it frees your time to allow you to engage regularly and meaningfully with others.

That’s what I think!

Tell me something! Do you use automation? If so, what do you use it for? If not, why not?