Can You Automate Social Media? There are a myriad of tools available today to help you automate your social media activity. Whilst I'm a big fan of making things easier and becoming more effective without putting in more effort, I think total automation is dangerous and I will explain why later on in this article. But first, let's explore the ways in which you can automate things like Twitter, Facebook and integration of the various platforms and some of the tools that are available to help you with this: •
Of course it's okay to schedule certain tweets to go out at a particular time on a particular day, or even have a series of tweets all lined up. Hootsuite is a brilliant tool for that and more. And SocialOomph makes short work of autotweeting
It makes sense to integrate the various platforms if you're going to distribute the same content, rather than posting it 3, 4, 5, times or more. So have your tweets feed into your website, your Facebook page, your blog and LinkedIn. Twitterfeed allows you to do this, saving you a large chunk of time. Just make sure Twitter doesn't take over, especially if you tweet a lot, as other content may get lost
There's nothing wrong with featuring your blog on Facebook and LinkedIn; in fact, I would recommend you do this, so the people you're connected to on these platforms don't have to go to your blog to see what's happening with you. Many blogs can easily be incorporated into both LinkedIn and Facebook.
OK, so having said all of the above, why do I think total automation is dangerous, you may ask. Well, the whole point of Social Media - and there's a clue in the word 'Social' here - is that it's about interaction. It's all good and well automating content distribution, but you CANNOT automate the interaction. You still need a person to read and respond to any comments and often, looking for relevant tweets or posts that they can comment on and add value to. People don't just want you to throw lots of content at them anymore. The most important thing about social media is not so much what you say. It's all about LISTENING and then responding accordingly. And this applies to other marketing methods as well, as customers today don't just want to be broadcast to. They want to be heard and Twitter and Facebook in particular are excellent platforms for this. Listening can be invaluable, as many dissatisfied customers will tweet about their experience and this actually gives organisations the chance to respond and hopefully turn the dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one or, even better, an advocate. And that's something only a human being can do. So whilst you can automate certain aspects of social media, it will never be possible to automate it completely if you want your social media activity to be successful. If you don't have the time to tweet, post Facebook updates, update LinkedIn, post video on YouTube, etc. yourself and don't have the money to hire someone to do this full time, there are experts who will look after your online activity, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and other platforms, for you without breaking the bank.
Just remember that the most important thing in social media is LISTENING! And at the moment, there is nothing other than a human being who can do this - and hopefully, there never will be.
Insa Winkelbrandt is a Social Media and Internet Marketing Consultant. Having worked in marketing in the IT industry for 13 years, she decided to become her own boss, working from home, and fit work around children and family. To find out more about Insa, please visit http://www.insawinkelbrandt.com/.
If you'd like to find out more about social media and how it can help your business or are looking for a social media manager, please have a look at http://www.insa-social-media.com. Insa can also show you how to look after your own social media activity if it's something you would like to do yourself. She can even teach you how to become a social media consultant yourself and help other people with their social media. You can contact Insa on +44 7575 787475 or +44 118 357 7475.
There are a myriad of tools available today to help you automate your social media activity. Whilst I'm a big fan of making things easier an...