Pros & Cons of Auto Posting

What is Auto Posting?

Auto posting is the use of an application such as Later Bro, Bufferapp, or even Hootsuite that allows a user to schedule a post to be made at a later time. Some applications such as Twaitter even allow for reoccurring auto posts.

Why is Auto Posting on Social Media Platforms a Controversial Topic?

Many business owners don’t have time to spend online so they use auto posting applications.   Many of these businesses may have done themselves more harm than good by going overboard with their auto posting.  In their effort to “always be online” and “in front of their market”, they’ve turned into “spammers”.  They did not follow the golden rule of  social networking, which is being social.

There are many individuals who don’t believe in auto posting at all.  The thought of someone setting up timers for posts to be made when the individual is not online riles people up because the whole concept of these platforms is “social networking”.   Social as in, getting to know people, building relationships, having conversations.  Many of these people will even unfollow people who appear to be “bots” or use auto posting applications.

Why would someone use auto posting?

  • Continually post information to your followers even if you don’t have time
  • You don’t always have internet access to make the posts so you schedule them ahead of time
  • If you live in different time zone you can schedule your auto posts to your target market
  • They would benefit an individual wanting to post  the same content on a regular basis

Why would someone NOT use auto posting?

  • Appear to be a “bot” or “spammer”
  • You may not have the ability to interact immediately*
  • They don’t want to lose followers

While I was online I talked to some professionals and got their opinions on auto posting and this is what they had to say:

Keri Jaehnig – Idea Girl Media
  • “Scheduling a tweet or status update to be available to your audience at a specific time is okay — in fact sometimes necessary. However, syndicating every social platform from one central place takes the “social” out of social media. When I see a Facebook wall completely filled with only tweets from Twitter, I high-tail out of there!”
@JKCallas – Social Media, Pointedly
  • “I am against auto posts based solo on RSS feeds, but I agree with using @Bufferapp to optimize your twitter stream and work!”
more in mediaDorien Morin – More in Media
  • “Auto-posting should only be used to keep your info stream regular at the times you know ahead of time you’ll be unavailable. I am talking about middle-of-the-night, very early AM, maybe a few times on the weekend and of course, when you are away from the office or on vacation. Auto-posts can supplement your organic posts and enhance your engagement but should never, ever replace them. I am talking about <10% auto-posting vs. >90% organic posting.”
auto postKen Moorhead – Ken Moorhead on the Web
  • pros: more efficient use of reading/sharing time, time dedicated to social networks spent on engagement not sharing
  • cons: miss out on breaking trends, new facts render scheduled content incorrect, doesn’t address responses

Steve Wilson – The King’s Head
  •  “…definitely against it. Auto-posting is simply trying to use ‘social’ sites as if they were old ‘tell’ media…”
Do you have more reasons to use auto posting or to NOT use auto posting?  What are your thoughts?  Do you use it?  Have you thought of using it?  I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say!   Please comment below, on my fan page or chat with me on Twitter @Knikkolette.

 

*To those who would don’t interact immediately, whether you use auto posting or not, there is an application you can use called TweetBeep. With TweetBeep, you can type in a keyword alert and it is e-mailed to you each time that keyword pops up.

25 Replies to “Pros & Cons of Auto Posting”

  1. I like Doien’s stance, and if you think about it, Triberr is moving in this direction: automate small percentage and you are fine; automate the bulk of your feed and people read you as an unengaged “firehose.”

    This is a really important article, by the way, glad I found it, Knik!

    1. I also like Dorien’s stance. I kept contemplating whether or not I wanted to take a stance one way or another when writing the post, but I decided to be objective in the article and put in my 2 cents in the comments. Thanks for the comment Saul! 🙂

  2. Ah the debate rages on!

    Personally I use a combination of both auto-tweeting and manual tweeting. Here’s the thing with Twitter:

    1. It’s both a broadcast and conversation medium. Anything that allows you to post messages” is in effect broadcast. That includes everything in social media – all of the platforms and blogs. If you didn’t broadcast anything no one would know you had written it until the SEO kicks in. And if you don’t know how to do that you’d be screwed.

    2. Unlike Facebook people don’t (typically) sit on Twitter for hours at a time following links and chatting with people. And when I say “people” I mean non-marketers. What I’ve seen is that people may check in a few times a day and/or put people into lists in order to filter who they really want to follow.

    I’m in a number of Triberr tribes and use Timely.is to post additional updates to my Twitter community and I haven’t seen a slow down in growth since I started with Twitter a few months after if began.

    But that’s just me and what I’ve found works for myself and my customers, as well as a number of my peers including Saul who left a comment above.

    1. Hey Robert, thanks so much for weighing in on the debate. 🙂 I too use a combination of both. I think the secret is being able to use auto-posting without it being so obvious so you don’t appear to be a spammer. There is a happy medium where the two can meet.

      Thanks again for participating!

  3. I like the post and looking forward to debate about it. I think main issue is that many dont understand difference between automatization and optimization.

    As i said when person use only RSS feeds to feed the stream of Facebook or Twitter in general we are talking about automatization and is wrong doing. Many users use RSS feeds straight to their account from different sources and news are getting repeated, and user normally neither read any of the posts. An example would be recent news on Steve Jobs… I saw many users having 20 – 40 tweets all same news and you can see sources ( mashable, technocrunch, technorati etc ) I call this over sharing and over sharing is not honesty and soon become into manic tweeting which blinds facts as well. I have nothing against when user use their own blog RSS feed.

    Now optimization is something completely different, using tools like @bufferapp and others helps us to concentrate more on engagement, listening and developing relationship.
    Is difficult to abuse for example @bufferapp as you can only buffer links and in order to do so you need to have a post or read a post… Timing is very important and why i use bufferapp is for reason to post / tweet out the posts at the time when my followers are the most active and provide them with the best value and content.

    I will touch Triberr as well, as many talking much that triberr is form of spam, which is NOT. The most important part of triberr is building the tribe. Triberr offers two way of posting auto and manuel. I have all members on manuel for the reason that i can read the post, make my comments and tweet out at the best times. I look in triberr from different perspective as others do. I join triberr to be able to see and read the posts of bloggers that i respect and wish to share their opinions and views, and not from reason to get more RT! This is essential element of triberr, you are able to develop relationships with other bloggers that you might left out.
    I know some they dont read posts or neither ever visit their tribe and this is wrong, you need to know what you are tweeting out even if you have everyone on auto.
    Last but not least you need to make sure you are in the tribe from which your followers will benefit from and this can be only done if you know your audience and if you engage with her.
    This is my 2 cents. Thank you for including me in your post!

    1. Thanks Jure for such an in depth explanation. I’m sure a lot of readers will appreciate your taking the time to share the difference between automation and optimization. You are correct, there were a lot of points I didn’t cover in this post (was planning on and will still write a future post).

      Thanks again for your input! 🙂

  4. I’d have to agree with Steve Wilson on this one, Knikkolette. It just seems to me that the whole point of ‘social media’ is to be social. I think of it in the sense that my reader’s don’t want to talk with a computer anymore than they already feel they are doing. I know that I like to think someone is on the other end of the conversation, but everyone is different, we know this. If I don’t have time to reach out to my readers, then that’s OK, the world will continue to turn. I don’t let it bother me that there isn’t anything updated on my Twitter. If they don’t enjoy my content enough to come back when I’m there, than that says a lot more than scheduling a conversation with them while I’m not there. It just seems a little impersonal to me. However, this could also be why my numbers aren’t where I want them to be also. 😀

    Great post though, very informative. I might need to look into actually using my HootSuite.

    1. Thanks for your input Deeone. That’s one reason I wrote the post the way I did, I wanted comments from both sides. I understand your views and used to think the same way. I have since started using auto posting for “optimization” as Jure coined it Not to replace all or even most of the online activity, but to enhance it. Stay tuned for my follow-up post as I go into more detail how I use auto posting to “optimize” my online activity and not appear to be a “bot” or “spam” my followers and friends. 🙂

  5. Sounds like I’m with the group on this one, Knikkolette. A combo of auto and manual works. I think Jure says it well when he points out the distinction between automation and optimization. At the end of the day, I find myself using a range of platforms and applications to interact with my Twitter followers and that appears to work best. It is important to be social and it is important to be delivering quality content and updates to your followers/audience. The best social media people I know and know of do that through a combo of auto and manual. Paul

    1. Absolutely – there is definitely a distinction between automation and optimization. Unfortunately there are too many people and businesses that just haven’t learned that yet. Give them time. 🙂

  6. Knikkolette,

    thanks for asking for my opinion 🙂

    As a busy social media manager (and mom of 4, marathon runner, wife, etc.) I don’t feel guilty using auto-posting some of the time. There are times I am simply unavailable because I spend time with my clients, have meetings or when my family needs me . I monitor on-line activity and pretty much know from my analysis when on-line activity peaks. I regularly adjust even those ‘known high-traffic times’ according to holidays, days of the week and current events. I use Hootsuite to post relevant material and as soon as I return to my desk, I check to see if I need to respond in person.

    Auto-posting gives me piece of mind when I can’t be there to send out tweets or posts on Facebook to my clients/fans/friends.

    Thanks for the post. Very interesting and let the debate go on…:-

    Fondly, Dorien.

    1. I appreciate your comment Dorien. I think the key word you mention is “monitor”, and that’s where many people and businesses drop the ball when using auto posting applications. It’s important to be notified when someone responds to one of your posts.

      Thanks again for your input.

  7. Awesome article. I have noticed lately my twitter engagement dropping, so I have been looking for a different way to automate my blog posts to. I am definitely checking out Buffer, which I had not heard of before!

    1. Thanks so much! I had not heard of Buffer before either. I use Twaitter because it gives the option of reoccurring scheduled posts, but it only works with Twitter, where Buffer works with both Twitter and Facebook. Good luck! 🙂

  8. Hi Knikkolette, great post. Interesting to read both sides of the debate.

    Personally, I think both automation and “being there live” is important, however for some businesses whose target market are in a different time zone, automation is important for them to enable them to share resources and information of interest with their community.

    As Paul mentioned above, many social media gurus that I know use a combination of auto and manual and this works extremely well for them. Annemarie

    1. I agree Annmarie – automation is almost necessary if your target market is in a different time zone unless you want to change your sleeping habit! 🙂

  9. I’m not even advanced enough to auto post. I really appreciate this article though, because I’ve been interested in the concept.

    1. Thanks for your input Dianne! You don’t have to worry about being advanced enough – that will eventually be one of my how-to video posts. 🙂

  10. I’m like Dorien. I’m a busy internet/social media marketing consultant, soccer mom, band parent, board member etc. I use a combination of auto-posting and manual posting.

    However, some of my manual posts are generated using HootSuite so they may look auto-generated. I love using the hootlet. If I come across an interesting article on the web that would benefit fans and followers I click on the hootlet, add a comment, then post.

    Many of my clients also “complain” of the amount of time it takes to do social media. I show them it doesn’t have to be with tools like HootSuite. I also tell them they need to monitor their posts and respond in a timely manner.

    Just my $.02
    Jacci

    1. Thanks for your input Jacci, it’s greatly appreciated. I have not heard of Hootlet, I’ll definitely have to give it a look. Social media can definitely take up a lot of time if you don’t monitor yourself, but with the correct tools you can be successful and not spend your entire day (or night) online. 🙂

  11. Knikkolette,

    I am honored to be featured with the above group – Thanks for including my words!

    This is a hot topic, and it seems people will debate this until the end of social media. Mainly, if we want to be a global business, we have to be available 24/7. As we are human, that is impossible. So, for the reason to update when we might take a nap, that is what I mean by “necessary to schedule.”

    But if I might, a combination of Jure’s and Dorien’s position is how I roll. RSS feeds to steer Twitter – No!

    The key is reading information and approving it yourself before it goes out with your name on it. Whether you find a perfect time for it, or send it right away, I don’t think one should be dinged for that.

    Always a pleasure to collaborate with you,

    ~Keri

    1. Thanks for your feedback Keri, as always I value your opinion! 🙂

  12. Wow…GREAT article! I found this on Google, I was specifically looking for info on whether or not I should auto post to Twitter. It seems there are valid arguments for both sides, so I’ll have to do some more research. I’m considering auto posting my blog’s RSS feed…with the intent of semi automating my online business so I can free up more time to grow said business. Thank you for this, it’s really an eye opener!

    1. Whitney – so glad you enjoyed the article! If you can auto-post without falling into the habit of being to busy to interact you’ll do well. The secret is a good mix of both. Thanks so much for reading the post and visiting my blog! 🙂

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