Automate or Schedule? #SocialMedia

shutterstock_2544220

This is a constant social media debate among practitioners, advisers and users alike. Over the last couple of years I've been seriously using social media I've tested and experimented with many tools tactics and ideas to see what works, what upsets people and what causes social friction. The question is;

Is it ok to automate updates to Social Profiles?

The simple answer is no.

As I indicated above I have set up automatic feeds in the past to see what happens. Quotes, RSS feeds, random reposting of blog posts etc. And the question you have to ask yourself is;

Are these automatic updates relevant, adding value for the people following me or just noise?

Now days I don't automate anything. Even new blog posts are manually published across my social profiles.

Each social network has its own personality, its own style that must be respected and utilized. Auto posting removes your ability to customise post style, copy and flavor and add relevance to that particular network.

It's also vitally important when you're focused on building an engaged community that you're online when you post something so you can respond, engage, discuss and thank people for engaging or sharing your content. If you post a great blog post or article at 2am, someone retweets it and replies to you but you don't see and reply back until the morning you've lost the opportunity for authentic relationship development. IMHO.

Scheduling is different. When you schedule posts you retain a certain amount of control over timing and post style. Scheduling usually means you decide exactly what time the post is published instead of an automated system posting in 60 min or 3 hour intervals etc.

Automated posting does not give you the opportunity to add commentary, hashtags or CC someone into the tweet who might be very interested in that content. In short automation loses relevancy and personalization.

Check out a tool like Dlvr.it or one I'm using a lot right now BufferApp.com. Buffer allows you to schedule posts throughout the day at set times when you know you'll be online or ready to respond and engage. When you schedule with Buffer you can add your own comments and tags etc. It's a great time saver when you can buffer your posts and articles first thing in the morning and focus on the engagement throughout the day which can easily be done on any mobile device if you're out and about.

So I've tried and tested all options. I've found that Auto posts failed to generate sufficient retweets, comments and engagement. But scheduling posts allows you to personalise content, add relevancy, context and organise your day for optimised engagement.