As part of my Reputation Roadkill presentation at Internet Summit, I specifically warned of the dangers of automating Twitter responses–explaining that they can lead to undesired consequences.

Not 36 hours later did someone from the audience share with me how the New England Patriots had apparently suffered outrage at the hands of Twitter automation.

In an effort to thank each fan that helped them reach 1 million followers, the NFL team tweeted a thank you to each new follower. It looked like this:

New England Patriots Tweets

That’s a lot of fans to thank, so it’s no surprise that they decided to automate the process. Unfortunately, that led to this:

New England Patriots Hate Tweet

They quickly apologized.

Whether it’s auto-following, auto-DMing, or, as in this case, auto replying, be very careful how you use automation with your Twitter account. It could lead to a yellow flag on your reputation.

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