Keeping up and consistently updating social media accounts are imperative to building your personal brand but can also prove to be time-consuming. The onslaught of social media automation tools within the platforms themselves and from outside applications has made it easier to post fresh content around the clock. But can too much automation actually hurt your brand?
The Positive Side of Social Media Automation
You may barely have enough time to log into Facebook or Twitter once each day – let alone multiple times and on the weekends. In order to raise your engagement levels, you want consistent content that encourages your followers, fans and friends to interact. By scheduling future posts, you can have a social media presence even when you are not physically in front of your laptop or tablet. You have the advantage of thinking clearly before posting while you are in a social-media state of mind – and not distracted by other business tasks.
The Down Side to Social Media Automation
Automation can be a brand killer. How social can you really be when you are not updating your accounts live? If you post and then never follow up on responses, you could be missing out on key networking and engagement opportunities. Social media is a not a one-way street; when you publish content, you should always anticipate a reaction. Automation does not take away this facet of social media interaction, but it does make it easy to neglect the follow-up portion. You can also miss out on key conversations in your industry or area of expertise that are trending during the times when you have left social media up to automation.
Pre-scheduled social media content can also appear insensitive if there is ever a breaking news event – like a devastating tornado or gun violence – and your newsfeed is still linking to your own blog posts about digital marketing or investment banking. Not only will you appear uncaring, but the fact that you use automation tools will be really obvious. Additionally, automation tools that send the same updates to several platforms may annoy people who follow you in numerous places.
The Answers Lies Somewhere in Between
The best solution is to spend as much time as possible in your social media accounts, and update them on a live basis when you can. Maria Elena Duron gave some great tips for automated social media content that included being relatable, starting conversations and getting other people involved. She mentions the 80/20 rule – or the idea that 80 percent of content can be automated, while the other 20 should be live. If there is a link or post that you know will do well on a specific date or particular time of day, go ahead and automate it. Then follow up with more spontaneous prompts or shared content throughout the rest of the week. Before you automate any social media content, ask yourself if it would be better in a live format. Sometimes either way will work – but at least stop and think first. If you want your personal brand to really shine through, then you need to “show your face” on your social media profiles at least one-fifth of the time.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.