With social media becoming increasingly mainstream, a lot of business owners and online marketers often ask us, if they are doing something wrong by automating social posts. The answer to this question is, like always, it depends. Nothing is ever completely wrong or completely right and one needs to work with these binaries even more cautiously when it comes to running online enterprises and websites. No matter what sort of business you run, social media posting has become a necessity unless you want your business to remain hidden from potential clients and customers. With that in mind, let us take a look at what the advantages and disadvantages of automating social media posting are.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Automation of Social Posts
Automating posts reduces costs associated with social media management. By automating one does not need to hire a full time social media manager which is very important to small businesses that are cash strapped. Also, by automating, one can ensure that something is always shared to a target audience without remaining silent for too long. Automating posts also helps in tracking engagement and click through traffic so that one can assess what links and tweets are receiving more traffic.
On the other hand, automating social posts may make you seem robotic and lifeless. It may make you seem cold, and un-social which is extremely detrimental to social media. Moreover, by automating all the time, one will defeat the purpose of social media management which is to engage with the audience in real time. With all this in mind, one needs to sit back and think for a while if an all-or-none approach really works.
What to Automate and What Not to Automate?
One can automate blog posts that were published recently so that they get more views again after a while. Automating social posts with links to whitepapers, ebooks, case studies, interviews and sometimes, a few quotes is a great way to go. Once these are automated, you will need to regularly engage with your audience when you are free so that they are not left feeling bombarded with automated posts.
Why Automation Goes Wrong When Not Done Properly – Remaining Human and Social
Often, busy executives, managers and owners automate their social media posts using Hootsuite, BufferApp or one of the other services and just forget about social media until the posts run out. Once the posts run out, the one in charge with social posts automates posts again for a week (or even a month) and complains that no one is clicking or visiting the homepage. Where exactly are they going wrong? First off, social posts need to be social and that is a given. One cannot expect to automate social posts and expect people to robotically click through links and be impressed with the products and services you often. It is very important to interact as humanely as possible and not be a robot that tweets at the best possible time in a day.
The problem arises when managers and executives excitedly engage in social media and realize that it is consuming a lot of time, more time than it is actually necessary. Then, automating social posts seems like the perfect answer and they are no more social. With this being the problem, what can people do in order to effectively manage time and get the best out of social media postings? The clear answer is to not engage in black and white thinking and not fall prey to binaries of automation and complete social engagement.
Balancing Automation and Real Time Engagement
The trick is to automate a few posts per day for a week and spend just a few minutes every day in real time to interact with your audience. This way, even when you are busy for a few days, automated posts are shared on social sites and when you find time, you can always engage with your audience without seeming like a lifeless robot. The trick then is to ensure that there is a balance between automation and real time social engagement. It is always important to understand that there is nothing that is set in stone and everything needs to be flexible. In social media management too, one needs to make ample use of both automating social posts and engaging with audience in real time.