Social Media Auto Posting Misses the Point

You are overloaded. It’s a fact. Before the internet came along you were already plenty busy. It’s taken you a decade of weening yourself from traditional media, transferring marketing dollars over to the digital side of the coin.

Now, along comes the Social Networks (SMM). If a business is to participate, there are so many things to learn and do at once. It seems insurmountable. Smart marketers saw this early on and developed management tools. A component of most of these tools is the ability to “load” posts for Twitter (or Facebook and others) to autopost in the future. And it is oh-so-easy to flip the switch that auto posts whatever you post at Twitter directly onto Facebook. Whew! That cuts down the workload.

The problem with this tool and the strategy around it is that it completely sidesteps the “social” part of social networking. Social networking is the act of participation on social web sites (not lurking or puking on them). These places are the town square. Your auto post is like the crazy guy shouting over on the opposite corner of the square. Nobody wants anything to do with him!

Autposting isn’t wrong in and of itself. It is a symptom of misunderstanding the purpose of the medium. The only potential purpose of the auto post is possibly at Twitter where you want to place a message into the stream on a regular basis throughout the day. But that can’t be the end all to the effort. SMM is all about developing relationships and sharing. You can’t do that unless you are listening and communicating personally with people. So, you might set up several auto posts a day on Twitter. But everything else you do needs to be done manually. If you don’t take the extra step you are wasting your time. If you auto post your twitter tweets on Facebook, I will bet you never find success on Facebook. It’s much more intimate there. It is also much more visual. For a business to gain traction you must be including pictures and videos with 90% of your posts or nobody is going to pay any attention to you shouting over there on the corner!

Instead, of all that, you need to make a plan and stick to it. Here is what a successful SMM plan looks like:

1) You write a blog post that is original, really interesting and informative

2) You post on your facebook and twitter (and linked in) (and perhaps a vertical portal) that you have a new blog post. <<<KEY>>>

3) You invite your twitter and linked in followers to become a fan of your business at Facebook. You also invite everyone to sign up for your newsletter.

4) You release a newsletter and start the process all over again and announce the event to all your networks

5) You post pics and vids on a regular basis on your Social networks.

6) You ask questions and you answer questions. You strive to “engage” with your audience.

7) Your sole intention is to grow healthy audiences at your networks so you can invite them to come and visit your web site.

8) You do these activities day in day out with regularity. You participate at the networks by making comments, liking, asking questions and making comments on other network pages.

As you can see this effort is done manually. It cannot be done automatically with any sort of success. In the beginning it seems fruitless because nobody is engaged with you. Many business people give up quickly and go the autopost route. Sorry. While that will free you up from the drudgery it will not advance your brand in the marketplace.

Yes it is a lot of work and it takes time; both daily and for good to come of it. But if you can’t do it right it makes more sense to hire someone to do it for you than it does to continue improperly. We encourage our clients to “fiddle” with their SMM whenever the urge hits them – but we will take care of the day to day audience building and communicating. This strategy works well for most small businesses!

Comments

  1. These are great points Chris. With so many choices to market products or services and not enough time in the day, people have the tendency to try and automate some parts of the process.

    Blogging should not be one of them. You have to put your personal spin on anything with your name on it. Entrepreneurs just need to slow down, create a marketing strategy and implement it with sanity and persistence. Marketing is a long distance marathon.

    If it’s not Stress Free…it’s just not fun.

  2. champdog@gmail.com' ChampDog says:

    I’ve never thought of that as I”m doing the auto posting from my article as I find it is pretty convenient.

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