The Pros and Cons of Automating Facebook Posts
With all of the snazzy automated posting tools available now, it’s hard to rationalize setting aside the time it takes to manually publish social media. It’s a huge time saver to be able to schedule Tweets, Posts, and Pins a week or more in advance. Another major factor is that the times when most people are active on social networks is also when marketers are home with their families on nights and weekends. So unless you want to be creating Facebook posts at Little League games and during family dinners, the best way to reach your target audience is with a scheduled post.
If it’s really that convenient, why shouldn’t I use the automated tools to manage my social media?
Just because there are times where pre-scheduled posts make the most sense, this doesn’t mean that it is the best method to use ALL the time. There is a time and place for everything, right?
The Top 3 Reasons NOT to Automate Social Media1.
1. You lose the personal touch.
With all social media, interaction is crucial for success. While scheduling some of your daily activity can be a huge time saver, it is still important to set aside time to check on all of your accounts throughout the day. Responding to questions and comments in a timely manner is very important for maintaining a good relationship with your Facebook audience.
It also makes you more human to be able to share things that are going on in real time. Sharing in real time makes you more approachable and more people will want to interact with you if they know there is a real person behind the account.
2. You may become irrelevant.
With posts scheduled weeks in advance, it’s hard to consistently stay relevant to your audience. For this reason, it is important to supplement your automated posts with live contributions and updates on current events in your industry. You must also be ready to take down any scheduled posts if there is some type of breaking news at that time as well. Basically, it is okay to schedule ahead, as long as you are still around to monitor the social network and still contribute information that is relevant in that moment to your audience
It’s easy for brands to get lazy and schedule a months worth of posts and then walk away for that period of time. Facebook is a highly interactive platform, which requires constant attention. It is not hard to spot the companies that schedule weeks of posts and then walk away. Many big companies have made major mistakes when their automated posts have displayed at a time when they had completely lost their relevancy!
3. Facebook may discredit posts made with 3rd party applications.
A while back, before Facebook released its scheduler, there was a lot of debate on whether Facebook devalued posts from 3rd party sources. Many users claimed that when they shared posts via a 3rd party application, these posts did not share as many likes, share, and comments as their posts that were manually posted on Facebook. Facebook was made aware of this issue and has claimed to have fixed the discrepancy, but there is still some concern that posts made with a 3rd party scheduler are still being given less weight than posts made directly through the Facebook platform.
Now that Facebook has released its own scheduler, there is a way to avoid this problem all together. Simply schedule your posts manually or with the Facebook scheduler to bypass all possibilities of having the value of your posts discounted because of the application you use.
When is it appropriate to schedule social media posts in advance?
Any posts that are not dependent on a particular time can be scheduled in advance. These posts should always be checked on and monitored to respond to comments or questions and to make sure that the post still fits in with the current situation when it becomes live.
The Top 2 Reasons Social Media Automation is Helpful
1. It saves you time!
This is the main reason why automation is so important and widespread. Why waste time creating posts each day when you could sit down and schedule a week’s worth of posts all at once? Even something as minor as automatically posting new blog posts or asking a question of your fans to spark a conversation are great ways to use automation tools. These save you time and promote conversation, which brings me to my next point…
2. What comes after the post is the most important part.
In most situations, it is not the actual post that is important; the important part is how you follow up on comments and questions. The follow up is what builds relationships and ultimately increases ROI. For the average marketer, the amount of social media posting that they do would not even be possible without the automation tools available. This automation is what frees up time for building lasting relationships with their network.
Basically, it doesn’t make sense to pick one way or the other. The best way to manage social media posts is to combine automation with live posts. The point is to stay in tune with your audience, and if scheduling some posts ahead of time frees up more time to interact with your audience, it’s a win-win!