Don't be a social media zombie - the dangers of automation
Social media can be a strong force for marketing your business and connecting with your target market. Between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram and numerous other social sites, it can be difficult to find the time to manage everything. You don't need to be present on everything, but staying active on the few social media platforms you choose can still be very time-consuming. Thankfully a number of tools are available to help us save time on social media by scheduling and automating content. You shouldn't become too reliant on these tools, however, or you'll risk turning into a social media zombie.
As the name suggests, social media is a social phenomenon, so to use it properly you need to be engaging with your followers and adding some personality to your account. If you always schedule your content in advance and ignore your account otherwise, you are completely missing out on the social aspect of the platforms. If you are never present on the platform, people will start to notice, particularly if someone tries to interact with you and gets no response. People will figure out that there is nobody there to engage with and will likely stop following you or stop engaging with your content.
Automated responses can be tedious, boring and annoying. If you set up an automated response to be sent to someone who follows you on Twitter, for example, something generic such as "Thanks for following, let us know if you need our services", it will be obvious that this is not coming from a real person. Plus, if that person was following you to enquire about your services, chances are that they don't need an automated message to encourage them to do so, and it might even put them off. If you get a lot of followers, a lot of these messages will be going out and may be popping up constantly in the feeds of your followers. This can be an annoyance and may even tempt them to stop following you.
People like to take to social media to discuss current events, and if you only ever schedule and automate your content then this is something you will miss out on. Keep an eye on local news, industry news or even wider news and popular culture that you think your followers might be interested in. Reacting to current events or news on social media is a good way of starting or joining in on a conversation and encouraging engagement.
When you do schedule posts, you should always be tailoring your content to the platform it is going out on. Scheduling the same post to all platforms is an ineffective content strategy, although it might save you time, because each channel is different; they each have different character limits, different post formats and different audiences, so keep these in mind when you create your content.
Some scheduling and automation can be included in your social media strategy as a way of saving you time or keeping up with social media when you are away, but if you automate your entire social strategy, you're missing the point of the medium. Don't end up a social media zombie - call us on 0115 880 0247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you manage your social media.