I strongly believe that business shouldn't always be about the “hustle” or working 50 hours a week. I actually run my own business as a way to help me make more room in my life for the things that matter, so I'm a big fan of taking smart shortcuts when they make sense and work well. Automating social media is one easy way to save time, but should you do it?
As with many things in online business, there's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. Let's dig in…
Why Would You Want to Schedule Your Posts?
Let's start with the reasons why anyone would want to schedule social media posts in the first place. The reasons are pretty compelling:
- To Save Time: Writing several updates in bulk and then uploading them together can help save a lot of time.
- To Be Present: Scheduling your posts helps you space them out in a way that you're present in people's feeds throughout the day. The idea is that you'll reach more people this way. You could do this without automation, but it's a time suck!
- To Avoid Getting Sucked In: If you've got your posts scheduled in advance, you won't need to log in as often and the risk that you'll get sucked in and procrastinate on social media all day is a lot smaller!
- You Get to Be In More Places: Some people may be able to successfully manage accounts on 6 different social networks, but personally I find that overwhelming. Automating some accounts could be a good way to help readers find you in more places without having to deal with the daily management of each account.
Why Wouldn't You Want to Schedule Your Posts?
There's one huge reason why people are against social media automation and that is interaction. Should social media be more about the conversation, rather than talking at people? Some people only schedule content that promotes their own blog, or they just rehash things they've posted a million times before. This is less social, and more of a personal notice board. But is that necessarily a bad thing?
Why Are You Using Social Media? And Why Would People Follow You?
You need to think carefully about the reasons why you are using social media to grow your business, as well as the reasons why people might follow you. If you're actively trying to build a following to a new blog or brand using only social media, then purely automated posts just aren't going to cut it.
How is anyone ever even going to find your social media profile if you never interact with anyone else on the platform? It's unlikely you'll get very far without actually logging in and talking to other people unless you pay for ads. Even then, if you're running ads purely to get followers then you'll want to show them that you have something interesting to say!
That said, if you already have an established brand, you may be using certain social channels simply as another way that people can keep up with what you're doing. As a user of social media myself, I follow a lot of people for this reason. I don't really need the personal updates or chat, I'm simply there to see when they post links to new blog posts or offerings.
The Bottom Line…
The truth is that automation has gotten a bad rap thanks to spammy marketers who fill the internet with links to their spammy blogs. But I know that you and I are not part of that group. As long as you schedule thoughtful posts to your social media accounts, and don't post the exact same posts across all social media platforms, then I see no reason not to use automation as a part of your overall social media strategy. You'll see far better results if you do log in and interact regularly, but it all depends on your current goals.
For example, right now in my business, I'm focused mainly on growing my list with content and Pinterest. Because I find it overwhelming to focus on too many areas at once, social media is not a priority. I use Buffer* to automatically post to Twitter, and that's about it. And that's OK, because I'm not expecting massive of followers from doing this, but it's an easy way to get more of my links out on the web. One day, I'll make Twitter my priority and build a more engaged following there, but I'm OK with leaving this off my plans for now.
One day, I'll make Twitter my priority and build a more engaged following there. When I do, I'll make a smart plan for logging in, interacting with people and posting authentic updates. But you can bet I'll also continue to use automation to post my latest blog posts (and links to useful, relevant old post), because, why wouldn't I?!
My question for you – do you believe in automating social media? And what tactics do you use to keep social media more manageable?Click here to sign up to my free library of biz-building worksheets, guides and tools
*Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.