Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Automation

Automate, automate, automate. We hear it in many facets: finances, marketing, even our Amazon ‘subscribe and save’ account is trying to confirm we’re on auto-pilot, making certain we don’t miss an opportunity.

We’ve even spoken about it before.

And automation is important. But what’s more important is having an authentic voice and speaking to your audience. This is where automation can be tricky. Setting it and forgetting is great for organization, but if it sounds like a robot is running your company you’re not going to be effective.

To make sure you’re organized and effective, here are three steps to master around your social media automation:

1.Do Create a Content Calendar

This is the first place we start with our clients. Yes, it’s hard and time-consuming to create engaging content on a consistent basis. But it’s much more manageable if you have the month (or months) set out ahead of you. You can use a service like Hootsuite to integrate your platforms, or if you’re just starting out, incorporate whatever daily calendar service you already use. If you suffer from writer’s block (or design block), an easy tip is to start with the holidays. Fill in the calendar and work around that. Once you have a few ideas down on paper, your creativity will start flowing.

2. Do Schedule a Week Out

Once you have your content calendar created, start scheduling posts one week out. Insider tip: don’t schedule daily posts more than one week out. There are so often tragedies, natural disasters or simple change of tones/topics that you can come across as aloof or worse, offensive, if you have an inadvertent insensitive post. Don’t take the risk and make Monday or Friday your social posting day. One hour or so should be a sufficient start.

3. Don’t Automate Across All Platforms at Once

Most automation platforms allow you to schedule your post across all of your platforms at once. Sounds convenient, but it can look really sloppy. Since Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. all have different intricacies, the same post across all platforms won’t work the same and can end up looking unprofessional. For example, LinkedIn uses hashtags but it hasn’t become extremely popular yet; if you post to both Facebook and LinkedIn with the exact same content (using hashtags), your expertise will seem lacking. If you try to add a bunch of links to your Instagram post, knowing they don’t link out, you can look amateur. These small issues make a UX difference, so play it safe and post to each account individually until you master the differences.

Social media automation is a great tool, but you need to have a basic understanding to use it correctly. It’s just like your bank account; if you tend to overdraft your accounts, don’t hit that auto-pay option until you can handle it.

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