To Auto-Post or Not To Auto-Post – You’ll Find the Answer Somewhere in the Middle

Are you setting your social media marketing on cruise control by auto-posting with third-party APIs?  I’ll offer a bit of advice.  Take the time now – after reading this informative blog post of course – to step back and rethink that strategy.

Going overboard with auto-posting is never a good idea.  It is bad social media etiquette and it is bad for your social marketing strategy.  When you treat Facebook and Twitter like an RSS feed, your fans and followers will flock elsewhere in a heartbeat.

In no way am I painting all social networking auto-posting as poisonous to your social media marketing success.  That would be unfair to third-party APIs like HootSuite and TweetDeck.  And after all, the technology is not the issue here.  The real problem is the laziness of those using the technology.  Read on to discover why relying too heavily on auto-posting software is never a good idea.

Don’t Show Up at a Star Trek Convention in a Star Wars Costume

Social media etiquette demands that those delivering content also understand the uniqueness of each social network and the eco-system within that network.  For example, Facebook fans don’t want to see a post littered with Twitter hashtags.  And your LinkedIn connections, well, they don’t want to follow links to videos and photos of your sister’s son’s third-grade play.

When you choose to hit a “Publish to All” button and blast your content in the same format across the entire social universe, you are going to ruffle feathers.  Think of this as if you were to show up at a Star Trek convention flaunting your new Darth Vader outfit.  That’s just not going to fly with the three hundred dudes dressed as Captain Kirk.

You must also understand that pushing bland, recycled content on your Facebook page and bombarding your Twitter followers with auto-post links and retweets is much worse than bad etiquette.  It also shows your true lack of understanding the psychology of engagement.  And an unengaged audience, no matter what social media channel and eco-system they reside in, can quickly turn your social network into a ghost town.

Is the Party Over (Again) for Facebook Auto-Posters?

Even if your bad social media etiquette doesn’t hurt your business, the folks at Facebook might give you further reason to question your reliance on auto-posting technology.  I use the word “might” because Facebook says they do not punish users of third-party APIs.  However, a recent study by Hubspot showed otherwise.

According to Hubspot’s data, brand pages using auto-posting software suffered greatly once Timeline was rolled out to all pages.  In fact, their study showed that content posted by third-party apps had 67% fewer Likes and 60% fewer clicks than similar content posted manually.   There is not definitive reason for this decrease but most fingers point to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm.

This is not the first time questions about Facebook penalizing users of third-party apps has reared its head.  In the past, the developers at Facebook made changes and tweaked the algorithm to create a more even playing field.  There are rumors that, even while denying EdgeRank punishes auto-posters, Facebook is once again tweaking their algorithm to close the gap created by the Timeline release.

Moderation and Quality Content Wins Out in the Long Run

As you move forward with your social media posting strategy, continue to use time-saving tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to auto-post to your social networks.  But as you do this, make sure to create a mix that relies more heavily on manual posting.  When you do set up your scheduled auto-posts, make sure to format your content differently and correctly for each social media channel.  And most of all, no matter if you auto-post or not, always deliver quality content that engages your audience.

Tell us…

Do you use Auto-posting in your business?

One thought on “To Auto-Post or Not To Auto-Post – You’ll Find the Answer Somewhere in the Middle

  1. Brendon says:

    There’s nothing wrong with auto-posting when you use it to manage your time. As long as you are mindful of what time your content is going live, AND you have the notification systems in place to let you know when it’s time to engage in conversation, then it’s absolutely no issue at all.

    RSS on the other hand was invented in hell…which is where it belongs 😉

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