Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Is Your Social Media Presence 24/7 Automated or "Au Naturel"?

Social Media. It’s a 24 hour business and your community never sleeps. But you do. You also work, eat and spend time with friends and family and do other things "real people" do. 
So when you’re not online, what is your social presence "doing"? Is it resting or still tweeting and posting on your behalf?
Let’s face it. Automation is helpful. I would have a hard time sharing articles and posts with my community if I didn’t schedule tweets. I schedule my Tweets via Buffer and they go out at various time during the day. I think of it as a “sprinkling” of content, not a flood.
Here at Paper.li we use both Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to schedule papers and articles written by the community to promote them to the commuity. If we relied on doing this manually, we wouldn’t manage the balance between helping the community and promoting the community. In fact, I wouldn’t get any other work done during the day if I had to rely on real-time delivery. I simply cannot imagine not automating this process.
But that’s scheduling. What about automation? The fact that people can schedule a recurring event to take place without needing to check the quality of content before it is published annoys people.
Services like Tribbr, Tweeted Times, Paper.li, dlvr.it fall are often cited as noise makers. If we are going to talk spammy tweets, then we need to throw in Tweet Chats and Event Tweets, too, right? 
But these types of tweets happen in real-time so that type of “noise” falls into a different category. And as Brian Fanzo rightfully points out: Friends Don’t Unfollow Friends, They Mute
So who’s to blame? Services that provide the automation, or the people who don’t take the time to check in regularly to see what’s happening.
Recently, Barry Feldman threw out an excellent question to his followers. He was writing an article about content curation and the “contribution” of automated services. He asked this question: does anyone even read a Paper.li?
My response: “ Yes, if the content is curated with care. And, 'set it & forget it' isn’t a strategy”.
Barry and I connected, chatted and I had to agree with him: the people who are curating cruddy content and then promoting are not doing anyone any good. In fact, they are making it really hard on followers, services and themselves. 
Barry wrote this post and included best practices for content curation as well as may suggestions on curating a Paper.li that people will want to read. 
But the sad truth that still remains is this: a lot of people churn content, and automate, without a plan. And that is simply not a strategy.
This week on our #BizHeroes Tweet Chat we’ll be discussing the role of automation and scheduling in our social lives. Here are some questions to think about:
  • What are the rules to abide by?
  • When is the line crossed between informing and spamming? 
  • Is automation really needed? Should we all be pretending we’re open 24/7 like the local 7/11? 
  • What are the downsides of using automation services on social media strategy?
  • How do you tell someone their “spam” is annoying you. Do you have the right? Do you mute? Do you unfollow?
I encourage anyone who uses automation to jump into the conversation and share your thoughts and opinions. And if you are using Paper.li and our automated Tweet or posting feature, share your best practices with us.
A word to #BizHeroes: if you’re not familiar with #BizHeroes Chat, it’s our weekly Paper.li community Twitter Chat that takes place Tuesdays at 2pm ET. 
We feature guests from the community, as well as industry experts, to discuss topics that are relative to our anyone who is involved in digital marketing. 
The chat generates about 10 million impressions a week and the #BizHeroes community is, witty, intelligent and down-right friendly. It's a great place to lurk, learn and meet new people.