Bless us, Blogging Gods, for we have sinned. It’s been three weeks since our last post.
Not to make excuses (OK, we’re making excuses), but we’ve been busy. When you’re as “lean” of a firm as we are and drowning in work, one of the first things to go is blogging. That was basically the point we addressed in our last post, “5 Ways to Create Social Media Efficiencies for Small Businesses.” (And yeah…the irony is not lost on us…we did not heed our own advice!) Now, three weeks after our original post, the issue of automated tweets has been raised by Fast Company and we felt the need to share our thoughts on the subject.
Many brands and individuals use third-party apps like Social Oomph and HootSuite, giving them the ability to write now and tweet later. Some social media leaders see scheduled tweets as “inauthentic and misleading”; others see them as “an effective time management tool that allows them to be present on social media–even when they aren’t,” writes blogger Allison Graham. Then she asks, “Can we split the difference?”
Graham goes on to point out that when she stopped automating her content-centric tweets over a 6-month period, she noticed a sharp drop in her new followers’ growth, not to mention her number of retweets. She concluded that you can automate content–but not connection. As long as you are automating content that is not time-sensitive, requesting interaction or making it seem like you are online when you are not (#FollowFridays are a good example), I’m still of the mindset that automating some content is a necessity for small businesses who do not have dedicated, full-time social managers monitoring Twitter 24-7. So, the bottom line, for us is, Twitter automation is not a one-size fits all solution for those who are cash- and time-poor. It requires understanding about the differences between engagement and content posts, and the fine line between authenticity and inauthenticity. So should Mr. Small Business Owner keep his automated tweets flowing? Yes, but choose them wisely.
What do you think? Are you an automator or non-automator? Saint or sinner? Or both?