Social Media Timing is Everything: Understanding Automation’s Role in Community Engagement
Are You a Robot?
We have heard a lot of talk lately about the risks of automation in social media. Many people seem to believe that automating tweets, or posts work against social media best practices. In particular, genuine communication.
I think that the key to assessing this is in knowing the objective of your social media activities. In addition, the role that your social accounts are playing for the community they serve.
Manpower is a huge issue in this as well. Do you have a community manager who is dedicated to only running social media, or do you have social media as a “part” of the person’s role?
Automation used right doesn’t mean “impersonal”
There are positive ways that automation can be used which also respect and maintain the human touch. Here are some examples:
1. Scheduling Updates that contain photos, videos or your own posts to strategically appropriate times on both Facebook and Twitter
This content should be generally in line with your objectives, and the message you want to share within your community. There is no reason not to schedule these things. It allows you to be consistent. A huge factor in establishing a strong social media presence.
2. Scheduling distribution of articles via Twitter or Facebook so that the proper exposure is attained on peak hours in multiple time zones.
3. Automation responds to various needs and can help teams work together
Automation lends a Helping Hand in Time Management
Where “Automation Is Anti-Social” – What Not to Do.
It’s all about Balance
- Time for Blogging or other content creation
- Time for broadcasting the content
- Time for dialog and interaction based on the content & Identifying Opportunities for engagement elsewhere (ex: Social Search) <;- The most important aspects
- Time for analysis of interaction and results
The Appropriate Use of Automation
Automation does not Equal Auto-Pilot
- What is the acceptable delay to respond to comments on Facebook, Twitter, Your Blog?
- This will depend on the nature of your business, and the role your sites play.
- Itemize the type of content your organization is willing to automate.
- Example, blog posts, photos, videos, status updates, Direct Messages. Make sure to answer the question for yourself, what value does automating the selected items give your public, and your company. What are the potential risks?
- Ensure that there is a regular check point to follow through on these automated posts.
- Will it be every day, every hour? Set an expectation so you don’t lose yourself in the automated process. You want to respect the whole reason you are using automation – to stay connected. Leaving it on Auto-Pilot is not acceptable, and in theory does not meet the reasons you are doing it in the first place!