Many social media consultants feel that automation can hurt your brand. Whenever you mention the “A-word,” people fall on one side of the divide or the other. Hardly anyone is in the middle on this one. And yet, it’s something that can be done gracefully, and without looking like a robot. Of course, I’m not recommending total automation, but a hybrid approach.
Your Mental Health
Even if you’re not a social media consultant, if you must make every post manually, you will surely go insane. And since you’ve carefully been getting enough sleep, why risk your health now?
Creating posts all at once, maybe a week at a time, is a better use of your time than doing them one at a time.
If you have decided upon a certain number of posts per day, automation can help you reach that goal.
It’s simply not possible to be on all day long. Everyone needs some time off. And if your client is on the east coast while you are on the west coast, automation is the way to go.
Feel in Control
Social media can be an overwhelming task, especially if you’re trying to run your startup at the same time. Automation can help you get your life back. By the way, here’s a post about how to blog for your startup, in case you missed it.
Post When Fans Are Online
If you’re up at 2 a.m., you might not want to send out that tweet if your audience isn’t there. Schedule that tweet and go back to bed!
When you see a post that you like, use a scheduler such as HootSuite to auto-schedule the retweet for an optimum time. For most of us, that is 9-5. You can use a program like Tweriod to see when your followers are online.
Sooner or later you need a few days off. Schedule some stuff, but make sure to have someone check in for you if you do.
As more and more people get online, the marketplace is more competitive. It’s possible to post more frequently using automation (as long as the quality still remains high).
Stay Top of Mind
If you’re the most brilliant person in the world, but you don’t show up? No one will remember you.
Scale Your Social Media
With automation, you’ll be able to grow your followers more easily.
A Hybrid Approach
After six years of trying different approaches, I’ve come up with an effective hybrid approach. It’s partly automated (from blog posts), and partly live participation, which includes posting others’ articles and engagement. The hybrid approach has gotten me the most followers and, more importantly, the best relationships. And everyone knows that Relationships are the ROI of social media, as my friend Bridget Willard says.
Where Do You Stand?
Do you automate a little bit? A lot? What tools have helped you? Leave me a comment!