I’ll be the first to admit that at the beginning I loved the idea of being able to post to all my separate platforms from the one place and not having to worry for the next fortnight or so. However this is widely misunderstood among Social Media practitioners. Essentially, there are many pitfalls and opportunity for mistakes when automating posts and may serve more harm than good.
To begin with: the undeniable Pro’s of automating your social networks.
It’s easy – Time Saving & Convenient
It’s obvious. Logging on to Buffer or HootSuite on a Monday morning and spending two hours to schedule anything from Facebook to LinkedIn weeks in advance all on the one platform.
So what’s the problem?
Well, this is bad for quite a few reasons:
- Accidentally posting a tailored post to the wrong platform
Yep, it’s easy to do, I’ve done it. When scheduling your posts for the coming weeks it is quite effortless to lose track and click on the wrong platform or to make matters worse click on the wrong the client!
- Different Audiences for different platforms
You need to be aware that each different platform has varying demographics.Therefore, it is important to understand the value of not only the content you’re posting but what’s expected and the kind of manner you should be articulating to your audience. For example, your LinkedIn connections might be more business or professional orientated than your Instagram or Facebook ones. You need to be posting alternative content in the correct manner! Similarly, you don’t want to overwhelm your readers if the content posted doesn’t interest them or they’ve already seen it on an alternative platform. I’m not saying you can never cross over, but it’s crucial to understand why and why not.
- Lack of Tools
All your posts across each network will be the same – plain and non-appealing. This will result in less visibility and less engagement. Respectively, each network awards different benefits and opportunities for how to present your posts. And by actually posting directly from let’s say Buffer or Hootsuite you are simply depriving yourself of all the nicks and nacks each platform offers (for free).
- Losing touch
Scheduling your posts 2-4 weeks in advance can be a recipe for disaster, sure this ensures consistency but if you’re not monitoring your posts you can easily lose track and fall out of touch with your audience. This could be something as simple as lack of response to your follower’s comments and possible questions. Not to mention you could easily be missing relevant news or events that are going viral, forfeiting high engagement rates and new followers.
How to solve this problem
There are four key components when semi-automating your social media to save time and still produce great results: Harvesting, Scheduling, Posting and Measurement. To find out more check Julian’s presentation at the 2018 Visual Impact Show.
In summary, be careful, always think of your audience and only share content that is relevant to your specific platform and their needs. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a social media robot, use the benefits they provide and build your empire!