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Automating Social Media to save time will cost you dearly

Would you save 30 minutes here and there? Sure. Would those 30 minutes add up over time? Again, sure. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that copying and pasting a bunch of stuff into an automated scheduler gets the job done faster.

Faster can be better. We pay for things with our phones and watches. We use robos. We pay extra for shorter shipping times.

But faster isn’t always better. Here are some key things to remember as you decide how to share on social media:

Each network is different: Twitter is not Facebook and Facebook isn’t LinkedIn. The concept of taking a tweet and re-purposing it as a Facebook and LinkedIn post is terrible advice. The minute you start posting the same exact content on multiple networks, you’ve given your audience permission to choose one network on which to follow you, when the goal is for them to follow you everywhere.

Algorithms are terrible: There are hundreds if not thousands of factors that determine why someone else’s Facebook post goes viral and yours doesn’t. Staying with Facebook, we’ve long known, even without confirmation from Facebook itself, that the company frowns upon people who use third-party schedulers to share content. Facebook, and by extension any other network, wants the newest, most enticing content to be shared. Why share something if there’s even a chance your content won’t be shared widely?

Your clients/followers/customers deserve better: It’s as simple as that. If you phone it in to get it done, what kind of message does that send to the people who rely on you? And before you say that there’s no way in the world anyone would know, trust me … they know. Automation is always obvious because patterns always emerge.

Let me close this way. I’m all about saving time. By all means, refrigerate your oatmeal the night before. Use an app to order your coffee and skip the line. But do not automate your social media. After nearly 12 years in this business, it’s one of the few things in life I don’t question.

You, and only you, can define your social media goals. If posting content just for the sake of posting content is your goal, schedule away. But there’s no point in posting content if people aren’t reading it or can’t find it — or if a social network such as Facebook buries it.

The better way of doing it is to learn about each of your social media audiences and then catering to them through interesting links, conversation, polls, photos — the choices are nearly endless these days.

There’s already enough terrible content on social media. Strive to make yours the best.