The “Right” Degree of Automation

June 3, 2010

Social media monitoring and measurement is hard. Knowing what to do with the data, how to respond and how to engage is harder. Being able to scale your response and engagement is even harder. If you are Mom’N’Pop Ice Cream, and you have 300 inbound social media messages per week, you can probably handle them yourself (Quick note: I refer to any piece of social content as a message, whether it’s a tweet, blogpost, video or a discussion forum thread). Now imagine, you are Large Enterprise with 1-2 social media /community managers on staff… Now you can even handle 1,000 messages per week (not every message needs to be addressed, because not every message asks for an action). Now imagine that you start getting 5,000 messages a week. You can hire more social media and community managers. Now imagine you have 20,000+ messages per week, because your product is now sold all over the world, and these messages are coming in every minute of every day, and the volume is growing. What if you couldn’t hire any more people? And even if you could, should you? How do you scale? Or do you answer an ever-decreasing percentage of messages and queries? After all, especially if you are a