Should you use a tool that automates your social media, such as Buffer, Hootsuite, etc?
I've tried Buffer and Hootsuite, and have seen them used by some clients and colleagues. I use none of them now, and caution my clients away from such tools, especially when posting to Facebook.
Algorithms Don't Like It
I've noticed that Facebook decreases the visibility of posts that use automated software such as Buffer, Hootsuite, PostPlanner, RecurPost, MeetEdgar, etc.
Why might that be? It seems to me that Facebook wants to highlight authentic human experiences, in-the-moment feelings and thoughts. That means being present when posting on social media. Algorithms on social platforms will tend to reward authentic human activity.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube have all been encouraging people to make live videos... and you can't get more in-the-moment and authentic than a live video.
Humans Don't Like It
Your own audience would probably prefer to know that you are actually present when posting, rather than just mailing it in. Trying to get people's attention by using automated bots just doesn't feel authentic. And yes, they will eventually see that you are automating, when they see repeated posts from your page.
Social media is intended to be truthful to the moment, and your audience probably prefers that you be real with them.
Sense of Fairness
There's a limited space in the news feed for everyone's posts. Auto-repeating of posts doesn't feel fair. While there's a real limit to how much time a human can spend posting on social media posting, there's no limit for a robot.
Would you like your feed to be filled with automated postings vying for your attention?
It's taking advantage of the social environment (other people's precious attention) in a formulaic, inhuman way.
The moment we schedule a post, we have different thoughts and feelings to the moment that post gets published. That's fine - as long as you don't schedule so far into the future that it differs from your genuine thoughts today as you create that piece of content. Scheduling something for up to 1 month may be fine. Personally I schedule for no more than 1 week in advance.
The inauthenticity is exaggerated when we ask software to automatically repeats posts on a regular basis without our conscious attention.
If you're a solopreneur or personal brand, I'd recommend to see you post authentically, truthfully, even if it was less often than what robots can do for you.
Of course, posting authentically more often would be ideal, but even if you don't have time, don't use software to do it. It erodes your authenticity in the eyes of your audience, and within your own conscience.
What About Re-using Previously Good Posts?
What about re-sharing things that your audience previously found helpful? I definitely do that. But when I re-share, I add a sentence about why that piece of content is still relevant or important, or why I still care, or if there's anything new I'd like to add.
For example, this very post was written a year ago, but I've spent the time to do some editing. It matches my current voice and views better than just re-using the same exact content. It's fresher.
Posting on Multiple Social Media Platforms
As for posting your content on multiple platforms at once, what I do is take that extra minute to do it manually. I post to Facebook Business Page, Youtube, Linkedin, Twitter, and Medium.
Each platform has its own etiquette and culture. When you take that extra moment to do it by hand, you'll be respecting your audience's attention more.
Giving Yourself the Opportunity to Evolve
Using automated social media software is also robbing yourself of the opportunity to practice creating -- and evolving.
Every time I write, or make a video, I further clarify my thoughts. I dig deeper into my truth. I reconnect with what's real and important for me now. Creating content is a privilege. Don't waste it.
I wish you the ongoing experience of authenticity and joy as you create real content for your audience, and thereby, truly grow into the thought leadership that you will deserve.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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