Using tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Expion and SocialOomph you can automate the task of publishing content over social media channels. Social media automation sounds like a bad idea if you're from the "keeping it real" school. The mantra goes something like this - be yourself, be real and be transparent in social media - or die! Scheduling tweets and Facebook status updates is something only spammers and marketing people (same thing?) do, right? For me it's not quite so black and white. Here are my pros and cons of social media automation and a few tips on keeping it "between the lines".
Like drinking and any other "vice", social media automation can be done responsibly, providing benefits without much collateral damage. The key is to mix it up. Sprinkle in real engagements with your automated updates. Add new content to your schedule frequently. Err on the side of educational posts, as opposed to promotional posts, and don't be too repetitive. Change or randomize your schedule every week so that your content keeps varying and at least appears to be fresh. I know, this seems like a very cynical approach to what should be a spontaneous medium for communication. We can agree to disagree about that.
Your thoughts, as always, are welcome below.
Photo credit: smaedli