Even though social media platforms seem to constantly be updating and adding new features, one overarching question seems to be whether or not you should automate your social media posts. Before there was such a thing, those of us only dreamed of when something would come out where we could set our content to autopilot and focus on other tasks. When automation first arrived on the scene, everyone was head over heels with this shiny new tool. But as content has been put out in the social-sphere, a new discussion has started to buzz about.
Before diving into whether or not you should automate your social media, remember why your small business is on social media. The short version is probably because you want to create an online presence, be current, and connect with your ideal customer or client. There it is. Connect with your ideal customer or client. It’s the part of social media that puts the social into this pairing. You are on social media to create conversation and share news. If you aren’t cultivating your community through engagement and knowing who they are, then you are just broadcasting and advertising.
This is the part of automation that we would like to label, “proceed with caution.” If you are going from completely authentic straight to automation, there’s a big chance your readers, followers, and community will notice if it isn’t as genuine or relevant. As you are working hard to connect with your dreamies, it would be counteractive to yield those results. Here are few thoughts to keep in mind if you do set your content to automation:
Pick and choose. Not all your content should be automated, but there are some categories of posts that can be. For example, maybe it fits your brand to share an inspirational quote or picture on Twitter. Schedule out those posts that can act as a filler for your “present” content so you don’t have to be tweeting multiple times a day, or later in the evening.
Timing is everything. We suggest only scheduling a few days in advance or a week at a time. Why? You want to be sure your content is relevant and you don’t forget what your brand is saying. This is when automation isn’t your friend but your foe - when you become disconnected from the very dreamies who you want to inspire, connect, and grow. Again, be mindful of what pieces you can automate, and which you should shy away from.
Monitor, monitor, monitor. The advantage you have with automation is that if your peak posting hours are on the weekends, in the evenings, or when you are otherwise unavailable, your social media presence IS present. But don’t just set to cruise control and not ever look at how your content is performing or the responses you get from your dreamies. Review your social media content calendar to see what is going out on all platforms for the day and keep an eye on feedback.
Whether or not you choose automation for any one of your channels, the most important goal is always authenticity. If automation would infringe upon how genuine you are with your following, avoid it entirely until you can use this tool to your advantage rather than a hindrance. Social media is very much a fluid asset that constantly needs to be evaluated and readjusted, but one important thing to remember is to choose what is best for you and your community.
Now that you're well-informed, we do want to share some of our favorite automation tools with you–
Do you use any social automation tools? Which are your faves + why?