Social media automation

There are so many tools out there today that can save us time and make scheduling social media posts so much easier.  But are they always effective?

I have always used Buffer on the free programme that only allowed me to schedule up to 10 posts at any one time.  Last week I decided to try Hootsuite as with this software you can schedule as many posts as you like.  I sat and scheduled a variety of posts for the next week.  I then sat back and gave myself a pat on the back and felt more relaxed that I didn’t need to blog into Buffer every day to keep it topped up.

But what happened?

The reach on my posts dropped from 500+ to less than 50.  The interactions on my posts dried up.  But why?

I stopped and thought about this as it couldn’t possibly be the fault of Hootsuite.  I must have done something differently.

And then it hit me.

With scheduling just a few posts at a time, I was taking more time with each and injecting a bit more of my personality into each.  Scheduling up to 50 at a time made me lose my enthusiasm and I just posted the bare bones, facts and links.  Quite frankly, they were boring!

So whilst using social media automation and having the ability to post weeks in advance can save a daily check, be careful that you don’t fall into the trap that I did and they all start to become over automated and somewhat mundane.

People buy people first and without your own comments and injection of personality you are in danger of turning into just another faceless site.

So be careful folks.  If you are going to schedule lots of posts at once, do it when your energy levels are high and you have enough interesting comments to make.  And remember that any industry news you schedule may well be out of date by the time your post appears.

I will most certainly use Hootsuite again when I am going to be away for a few days or on holiday for a week or so, but personally I am going to stick to Buffer for day to day posts where I can give something fresh to my posts each day.

Finally, please make sure that if you do automate for periods in advance that you still check in each day to your social media channels to respond to any interaction on your page.  There is nothing worse than putting in all the hard work for someone to ask you a question and they then get ignored.  This has happened to me when I asked a question of a business and I never got a response.  I ended up unfollowing the business in question as I felt they couldn’t be bothered to get back to me and so didn’t want my custom.  What a waste of their effort and time.

What works for you?  What social media automation do you use?  Let me know over on the Facebook page.