Social Media Automation Rules to Follow

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Social media automation tools are great. They help keep things organized and on schedule and allow users to plan out their social media messages ahead of time. However, some users fall into the automation-only trap and forget what social media is really about- being social! A social strategy that’s clearly only on autopilot can be a turn off for social media users. That’s why it’s important to find the balance between automation and manual work when it comes to social media.

Social Media Automation Rules to Follow

Here are 3 important rules to follow when utilizing social media automation tools:

Monitor all posts
I came across this analogy in an article on Buffer and thought it was great:

Have you seen the infomercials for the Ronco rotisserie oven? Happy chefs throw all kinds of food into this oven, they turn the dial, and the audience cheers in unison, “Set it and forget it!” It makes for a convincing sales pitch for a kitchen appliance, but as far as a motto for digital marketing? Not so much.

Social media is not a rotisserie oven. Please don’t set it and forget it.

Instead, I like to imagine social media automation as more like baking cookies. When the cookies go in the oven your work isn’t over—you check on the progress, maybe you prepare the next batch. You remain engaged from beginning to end. The same should be the case for your social media accounts.

Automate what you can while still remaining engaged on a consistent basis.

As you build up your social following the chances increase that people are going to interact with your posts in some way. If they leave a comment on a post, especially if it’s a question, they are expecting a response from a live human being!

Analyze success
In addition to monitoring posts for comments that require a response, it’s also important to monitor the success of each post. What types of posts are getting the most attention? What are the best days/times to schedule posts? Keep an eye on the performance of your social posts and make adjustments as necessary. Social media analytics tools and reports should be viewed regularly. This is why you may not want to schedule posts too far out in advance. There’s a good chance that the strategy may change based on the data you receive.

Send different messages to each network when it makes sense
A social media strategy doesn’t need to be “one size fits all”. Automation doesn’t mean that the message needs to be the same across networks. Each social network is slightly different and each has slightly different rules. For example, Twitter’s character limit is 140 per post while Facebook’s is more than 60,000. That’s a big difference! In some cases it may make sense to add more information to a Facebook post while keeping the Twitter message concise.

In conclusion, there’s nothing wrong with automating some of your social media efforts to save some time. However, you can’t leave your social media strategy strictly in the hands of robots in order to properly utilize the social networks.

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