May 6, 2013
by Jeanine Vecchiarelli return to JayVee Media Link LLC
To automate or not to automate? That is a very popular question these days. And it’s one that appears to inspire passionate debate!
The way people use social media automation ultimately determines whether the practice is a good or a bad one. We DO need to remember that for social interaction to be successful we must be present for it! Automation needs to be recognized for what it is – a set of tools, rather than an end in itself.
Automate to Share
One useful type of automation consists of tools that help us to quickly curate great quality content by other leaders and peers in our fields. Sharing value is one of the most important ingredients of successful social media marketing. The activity engenders trust and loyalty among our followers, who appreciate the no strings attached information we share with them. As an added bonus, the content we regularly share helps us to stay visible among our fans and followers throughout each day.
The downside to content curation is the inordinate amount of time we would need to spend researching and evaluating posts we deem important enough to share if we had to undertake this necessary activity manually. Such a time investment would render impossible the equally important activity of real time responding and conversing with our fans/followers. Tools like Bundlepost offer wonderful methods of accomplishing curation while still maintaining ample opportunity for the real time interactions on which successful social media marketing turns. In this light, social media automation is definitely a good thing.
Schedule for Smarter Real-Time Presence
Another facet of social media automation that hits the proverbial hot button is the actual advance scheduling of the posts we wish to share. Opponents of the practice often paint proponents as lazy and apathetic about the germination and nurturing of those all important social media relationships. In actuality, proper use of advance scheduling tools offers benefits that would be very difficult to attain if every post we shared was in real time. For example, we may wish to target specific time sensitive posts to a certain segment of our prospects/clients who are located in different time zones. It makes much better sense to schedule copies of our posts to arrive within the necessary time frames, targeted to our fans/followers in each applicable time zone than it does to manually resend our messages at the necessary times for each time zone we need to target.
As noted earlier, advance scheduling of value posts keeps our companies present and visible among our social media platforms for our clients and prospects to see. Ideally, these should serve as “anchor” posts which we use to stimulate enthusiasm and spark good conversation among our fans/followers. In other words, advance scheduling does NOT mean we may walk away from our accounts. Proper use of this feature allows us to spend even more time present and engaging with our audiences, ultimately guiding them down our sales funnels. Truly, the only fail with this system is for those with an automation “set it and forget it” mentality.
Which social media automation tools have you tried? Which ones do you prefer for your business? Please share your experiences in the comments section below!