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Think Twice About Automating Your Social Media Efforts

I recently participate in an Twitter chat where the conversation turned to whether or not it’s a good idea to automate social media activities. The conversation primarily revolved around whether the “always on” nature of sites like Twitter require that you tweet 24 hours a day, since your followers aren’t necessarily in the same time zone.

Good suggestions that came from the chat included using tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule similar messages throughout the day so all of your followers get the information, regardless of their time zone. Other, more controversial suggestions included allowing automated services to generate tweets for your or using filler tweets like paper.li digests, Foursquare updates, and auto-retweeting of certain “trusted resources”.

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 Do you automate your social media activities? Is it hurting your ability to connect with your community?

In the end, there was a strong consensus that while some automation is valuable, over-automating your social media activities actually defeats the purpose of building individual relationships with your customers or community members.

Personally, I do leverage tools like Paper.li, but as an aggregation tool, not for the purpose of filler tweets. I do schedule some of my blog posts and tweets, especially when I know that I’ll be in meetings throughout the day, that way I don’t spam my feed with 10-15 links at the same time during the 30 minutes that I have to surf the web or stumble some favorite site.

I also am not a fan of posting FourSquare updates, quotes from famous people, or trivial content like ASCII twitter art. My thought is that if it’s not useful to those that choose to follow me, what’s the point? These are just my preferences, though.

Do you automate your social media activities? Do you expect those that you follow to tweet/post 24×7? I’d love to hear what level of automation you feel is enough and what is too much.

Cheers!

–Sean

ev aletler

Tuesday 14th of May 2013

thank u for share. great blog and post

Joel Milne

Monday 22nd of October 2012

Some automation is helpful, I could not imagine trying to post without HootSuite which I have setup for my major 4 social accounts. Even with the help of HootSuite I find it tedious to load it with scheduled posts. One thing I am on the look-out for now, is how can post to lots of the smaller social sites? Do these smaller social sites, or specialized sites just not have API's, is that why we cannot automate posting to them?

Kamera

Friday 6th of July 2012

Whenever I had to catch up on my reading I had to go to two places: instapaper and my twitter favorites. Now I've set up IFTTT to send any tweets I fave to Instapaper. Now all my reading list is unified and updated.

David Sanger

Thursday 19th of April 2012

agree completely Sean, I automate very little except selective simulposts from Instagram. Rather I prefer to handcraft my messages.

Becky

Saturday 14th of April 2012

Ok, you've helped me make up my mind! Thanks!