The Pros and Cons of Automating Social Media

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automating social media

Automating social media is one of those things you need to do when you become serious about internet marketing.

But you have surely come across tens of tools, created to set specific tasks on autopilot and then save precious time and efforts.

It may seem very useful, but still, many marketers are using a traditional approach to give that personal touch.

I think the line separating the automation from the spam is very thin, thus, you need to pay attention how you use it. And there are many who are always searching the latest tool to save time on social media and improve productivity.

What do you think are the pros and cons of automating social media?  This is exactly what I will cover in the below paragraphs.

 

Pro #1: More Time For Your Writing


Writing has been always my biggest challenge, since when I started blogging. English it not my native language and I need to invest a lot of time to try to write awesome content, without doing any spelling or grammar mistakes.

I’m convinced the more you write, the better writer you become. It’s indeed important practicing everyday.

I feel comfortable publishing a new article once a week, it gives me time to do research and producing a great post.

Since when I started automating some social media tasks, I was able to invest more time doing other things, such as writing more, securing my blogs creating new projects, working on my other properties and building new connections.

 

Pro #2: Accelerating Your Social Media Results


Improving your productivity is the main benefit of automating social media (of course, doing it the right way, as many still think that automation does actually give any positive results).

Aside Hootsuite, I’m using a few other tools to automate some social media tasks and I must say that they are worth.

Platforms such as JustRetweet and ViralContentBuzz or apps like CrowdFireApp are helping me promote my content and improve my social media audience.

I reached a good number of followers on Twitter with my main account (@ErikEmanuelli, +31k), and I’m re-building very fast the audience of Reviewz’n’Tips (@ReviewznTipscom, +1,2k).

If you organize your time and use specific tools, also engaging with your followers, then you can keep improving your social media following, which also means more traffic and chance of converting them into your customers.

 

Pro #3: Magically Doing The Impossible


Our time is limited and we have so many commitments.

In one day you can work as much as you want, but you still have just 24 hours (considering the ones you dedicate to sleep).

This is when automation comes in handy.

A wrong attitude is posting 2-3 updates at the same time, because you can get much more by scheduling those posts at the right time of the day.

I’m sure you noticed what is a good time for your followers. Well, you should schedule your updates of content in those moments.

If you are not using Hootsuite like me, there’s another great app many folks are promoting: Buffer (read this interesting post on SocialMediaExaminer).

If you do it the right way, then automation can save you a lot of time and efforts, improving your productivity.

Isn’t this amazing?

 

Con #1: Resting On Your Laurels


You may think that when leaving specific tasks to those apps and tools available, you may slowly start falling into a hole.

It can happen. Those moments, when you just think what to do next.

However that is generally just for a few minutes (at least, for me), after which I can go back to my work.

You can avoid those moments by using checklists, or the tools available to manage your time and commitments.

Of course it all depends on you: if you are used to do nothing, whether you are automating or not, it doesn’t really matter. Either way, you won’t make any progress.

 

Con #2: You Are Not Being Real


If you use automation, you can’t engage directly with those who are asking you something, or tagging you in real time.

Well, aside automating your social media tasks, you should still take some time to dedicate to talk with your audience.

Sharing some interesting posts of other bloggers, answering to comments, or simply saying hello to people and wishing a good day.

Your audience will notice that, and will see that you are real. They will also reply you back, mentioning you and your content.

I’ve a motto that always worked for me in my journey online:

Be Real, Be Honest, Be Yourself.

I’m sure these principles can work for you too!

 

Final Words


As mentioned, I’m using HootSuite PRO to automate some of my social media marketing, while I’m still doing manually a lot of other tasks.

In my experience, automation is a good thing and if used properly, is a great marketing tool, saving time and worthless effort.

 

What do you think?

Are you automating social media?

Please leave your views in the comments below, and don’t forget to share the post, if you liked it!

Reviewz’n’Tips

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LinkedIn Publishing Platform Hits 1 Million Users – The Pros and Cons of LI Publishing

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LinkedIn Publishing Platform Hits 1 Million Users – The Pros and Cons of LI Publishing | Social Media TodayThere are now more than 1 million users publishing long-form content on LinkedIn. The social network made the announcement on their official blog, trumpeting the success of their blogging functionality, which they launched around 17 months ago. And while the LinkedIn blogging platform has been a big success, there have been some issues and queries over LinkedIn published content – in particular, over changes to how content is shared and distributed throughout the extended LinkedIn network. As user adoption has increased, reach has, understandably, also taken a hit, but has it been reduced too much, limiting the publishing platform’s viability as a result?

A Roaring Success

There’s no doubt that LinkedIn’s long-form content option has been a big hit with users. The ability to post to LinkedIn comes with huge potential benefits, the biggest being that your posts can be seen by a huge, professional network, helping you boost your standing as an expert in your field. That content is also forever attached to your LinkedIn profile, which could prove the differentiating factor for job seekers – if you’re able to enhance your profile with some definitive examples of your industry expertise, that might put you above other potential candidates – and really, anything you can do to make your profile stand out is a bonus in such application.

In LinkedIn’s announcement, their Executive Editor, Daniel Roth outlined the overall vision for the blogging platform and the purpose for such content:

“Since our earliest prototype, our goal was always to find a way to unlock the incredible insights stuck in the brains and cubicles of professionals like you. We wanted to make it easy for your ideas or lessons — or even just the start of one — to quickly spark a conversation that leaps silos, companies, industries, even countries. We wanted insight to turn into conversations that make an impact.”

Definitely, the platform has delivered on much of this potential, giving everyday employees the opportunity to expand their influence and showcase their expertise in an easy way, and to a wide range of related professionals.

But the main benefit of publishing on LinkedIn has always been the massive reach potential – LinkedIn Publisher posts can, potentially, be seen by any number of the 364 million LinkedIn members worldwide. And at first, the reach of LinkedIn posts was major, and proved to be a differentiating factor for many bloggers, leading to more looking to post on LinkedIn to expand their presence. But since December last year, that reach has dried up quite a bit, an element that has not gone unnoticed.

Reaching Out

I know, from my own personal experience in publishing long form content on LinkedIn, that reach has been reduced. When I first started publishing on LinkedIn, my posts were getting good reach – one even hit over 18.6k views, fuelling me to keep posting as much as I could on the platform. But in the latter part of 2014, that reach dropped off a cliff. Of course, more people started posting, which inevitably means more competition for attention, making it harder to get significant distribution. But the numbers for my posts suggest the reach reduction was more than just increased competition alone.

LinkedIn Publishing Platform Hits 1 Million Users – The Pros and Cons of LI Publishing | Social Media TodayAs you can see, the average page view count for my first 30 or so LinkedIn Publisher posts was 2,882. That 18.6k one was something of an anomaly, but even with that figure taken out, I was still getting a respectable 2,356 views per post. But from December 2014, something changed. My average view count dropped to 274 – a reduction of 861%. Now, there are many factors at play – increased competition, the quality of each individual post, etc. There’s no way to definitively say why that reach would have declined so rapidly, and no way to pin it solely to a change in the sharing algorithm. But that’s a fairly big drop – I’d be pretty disheartened if the quality of my content had declined so far as to justify such a drastic dip.

The other factor to consider is LinkedIn Pulse, the blogging showcase platform LinkedIn uses to highlight the best content posted by users. If your content is selected for LinkedIn Pulse, it gets much wider exposure, reaching a larger audience through the Pulse distribution channels. As a LinkedIn blogger, you wanna’ get on The Pulse, the expanded reach potential is huge. Or at least, it was.

In my first 40 LinkedIn Publishing Platform posts, the content that I was lucky enough to have featured on The Pulse saw a 200% increase in overall views, a 300% increase in Likes and a 230% increase in comments against those that weren’t selected for the featured channel. So, maybe my later posts weren’t getting picked up for The Pulse as much, right? Nope – of the 18 posts I’ve published on LinkedIn after December 2014, 13 of them were picked up by The Pulse. Despite this, the view count has remained at that 274 average, well down on previous.

Over time, those reach reductions have lead to me looking elsewhere, other platforms where I can post and get significantly more reach. While reach isn’t the only factor bloggers need to take into consideration when seeking the best locations to post, it is a significant one – in my case, it’s important for me to showcase my writing ability and subject matter knowledge to the widest possible audience. While I can reach a very targeted, professional group on LinkedIn – and I definitely plan to continue using the platform for this purpose – the reach reductions have meant I’m publishing less there as a result. And in speaking to other bloggers, I know their experience has been much the same.

An Evolving Alternative

Overall, LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform is a great opportunity for individuals to showcase their knowledge and ability, and one that should definitely not be ignored – as noted, to have posts attached to your professional profile can be a major benefit, and you need to do all you can to stand out among every other candidate on the network. But the reduction in reach has reduced my overall enthusiasm for LinkedIn’s blogging option. I do think, at some stage – and particularly given that now one million users are publishing – that LinkedIn will use your Publisher content as an algorithm factor. When people go searching for professionals using your keywords and location, you’ll be more likely to show up high on the list if you’re active and have a good following on your long-form content. At present, I don’t think this plays a part, but the more data LinkedIn has as context, the more they can use it to enhance their search capabilities and produce better, more relevant results. Given that, there are significant benefits, aside from reach, to publishing on LinkedIn. But the once irresistible lure of massive readership has become increasingly more difficult to achieve. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, overall, but it may reduce the overall use of the option over time.

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