When it comes to authors and their social media, you may have heard two different schools of thought. One side of the argument promotes social media automation tools to save you the time and mental energy of having to post every day. The other side says that automation removes the “social” aspect of social media and turns your online presence into nothing more than an impersonal robot.
Both points have merit. So let’s look at the pros and cons.
Social Media Automation Saves Time
The main benefit of scheduling out social media posts in advance is to save time. With a tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Facebook scheduler, you can sit down for an hour once a week and prepare all of your posts. Now you can have an active social media presence without having to be online all the time, every single day.
I schedule some of my tweets. Scheduling has helped me out over the last few weeks, because I’ve been very busy with moving into a new house, not having internet, etc. Having a few posts scheduled helped me to still be active on Twitter without having to find my phone and get online every few hours.
Authenticity is Key
Automation isn’t everything, though – and it shouldn’t be the extent of your social media strategy. Authenticity is where the real power is of social media marketing; people want to connect with a real person, not just a brand or even a book. Helpful links and inspirational quotes are all well and good, but if you never respond to comments or reach out to others, then people are less likely to follow you. After all, they can get their inspirational quotes from some other source.
I think what matters most is finding the right balance. While some may disagree with me, I believe that some automation is a good thing – it’s a time-saver, and keeps your profile looking fresh even if you’re not connected that day. But don’t leave everything to automation.
Get push notifications on your phone, or email notifications if that’s better for you. Even though I schedule out a lot of my tweets in advance, I get a notification on my phone if someone interacts with me by liking, retweeting, or tweeting at me. Then I hop online – usually right away – and respond. I also scroll through my Twitter feed at least a few times a week and retweet someone or engage someone in conversation.
Find the best balance that works for you. Don’t be afraid of automation, but don’t let automation take the place of real interaction. Your readers want to connect with the real you! Incorporate both into your social media strategy.