social media marketing

Is Social Media Marketing Automation Bad for Your Business?

I’m a big fan of automating any task that will save me time, as long as it doesn’t negatively effect quality or results. One of the obvious candidates for successful automation is social media marketing.

Depending on your type of business you’re probably using at least 2 or 3 social media platforms to distribute content and engage with prospects and customers. That can take a lot of time, especially if you’re active and looking to see positive results. Social media management is a full time job in many companies (or many full time jobs).

For companies that don’t have the resources to hire full time social media managers, or if you’re doing it all solo, automating your social media is a necessity. There are plenty of great tools which you can use to schedule your social media posts like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Buffer.

In this Social Media Examiner article author Kristi Hines explains a way to use IFTTT (If This Then That), Feedly, Gmail and Buffer to easily share curated content to your social media accounts. This automated system finds the content for you and then shares it! Sounds like the answer to your prayers.

But there’s a fundamental problem with this sort of automated social media sharing: you end up sharing content that you haven’t read.

If you’re just interested in filling the social universe with your presence, then this can work well for you. But if your objective is to create thought leadership and trust, then blind sharing will end up hurting you.

Simply confining your algorithm to exclusively curate the content of thought leaders in your field isn’t good enough. If you want to be respected as an expert in your field and gain the trust of your followers you need to make sure that every piece of content you share meets your high standards. You can’t do that without reading them first.

While I respect the experts that I follow, I don’t always find everything they write to be something I think is share-worthy for my particular audience. Hey, sometimes even thought leaders have a bad day. There are certain people I’ll read religiously, but I’ll only share around 25% of their posts because I feel that while the rest are good, they aren’t right for my followers. I don’t want to turn into the boy who cried wolf on social media! That would hurt my credibility and cause my followers to start paying less attention to my shares, or ignoring them all together.

I also like to add a few words of introduction or teaser copy along with the link I’m sharing, and that’s really hard to do if I haven’t read the content.

Sure, reading before sharing takes time and you won’t be able to share anywhere near the amount you could with an automated system. But the posts you do share will be much more valuable to your followers and thereby make you much more valuable to them as someone they can trust to provide them with the kind of content they appreciate.

What do you think about sharing content without first reading it?