Social media is powerful, right? It has undeniably been proven to connect and bring people together around common interests. For businesses and professionals it has the capacity to connect professionals within industries, and customers with businesses they love. We love this. While we love the connections and benefits of social media, often times we find ourselves looking for short cuts. Right? With multiple networks, hundreds or thousands of connections and only so many hours in a day, the pressure of keeping “connected” all begin to weigh on us.
To help us to deal with this tools that aid in managing social media have become more commonplace. Tools that help monitor, schedule tweets, and reporting tools can be extremely useful. Some of these features also risk encouraging you to ignore your network, or worse yet, taking them more for granted, to post blatantly daft updates that give no thought to their context. Is this any way to treat the connections we worked so hard to forge?
One seemingly convenient feature that appears to be over used is auto posting. Auto posting can be accomplished a couple of different ways;
- An update created on a single or multiple social media platforms when a blog post is created. For example, if you update your blog you can auto post the blog post to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
- An update to one social network results in updates across all of your social media platforms. For example, a tweet resulting in an update to a LinkedIn profile.
Both of these types of auto updating should be used with extreme caution. It appears to be of great convenience, however it results in a post that could be better managed manually and risks sending a message to your followers, fans, and ‘likers’ that your social life is on auto-pilot.
Here are some of the more egregious offenses;
Twitter to LinkedIn
Last year LinkedIn allowed a connection with Twitter that allows all of your tweets to be used as your LinkedIn updates. Your connections on Twitter are far different than those who have chosen a purely professional platform for interaction. LinkedIn allows you to discriminate by only posting tweets containing #in. At the very least, execute some judgment so that your professional network knows that you are being thoughtful with your sharing.
Additionally, LinkedIn allows for a nice media rich sharing experience. If you are posting links, far better is it to actually post directly to the platform with a photo and additional comments. A well thought out post will attract far more attention and comment than auto posted twitter dribble.
Blog Auto Posting
Wordpress and some other blogging platforms allow for the auto posting of any blog content that you publish. This can also be a convenient feature. How can you be sure however that a tweet won’t be truncated, that the correct words will be used. Not to mention that there will be no hash tags. Also, Facebook and LinkedIn will allow you to pick the image you want associated with your article to increase engagement where as your auto post may not pick up the best image for your social media post.
Facebook Posts to Twitter
Every once in awhile something on Facebook is tweet-worthy. We have seen many however that have every post on Facebook auto posted. This is not a great idea for a couple of reasons. First of all, not everything is tweet worthy. Secondly, if you are posting links to websites on Facebook, there is nothing more frustrating for somebody on Twitter than to click on a link that takes the user to Facebook where they then need to click again to visit the subject of the post. Always deliver your audience directly to the relevant content.
These are just some of the many ways in which we are tempted to automate our online activities. While many of them seem to speed things up, leaving us more time for “actual” work, let’s not forget the reason that social media exist. As a tool that provides connections, let’s remember that what differentiates social media from other forms of one way media is that human connecting. Once social media has become simply another place for you to broadcast, it loses it’s efficacy as a means to connect you with those around you.
Disclosure: This post was originally authored for my blog hosted at MarketSmall.net and has been reposted here for the sake of archiving on my personal blog.