Think Thoughts

Automatic Social Media?

December 3, 2013

As a small business owner, I get all kinds of phone calls, emails, and direct messages from vendors promising to make my life easier. Most of the time I very much appreciate the efforts. We at Think Tank are certainly looking for the next big software breakthrough that will help us more efficiently achieve the goals of our clients. But how much automation is too much?

Yes. We are all about pre-planning and scheduling our posts. One of my favorite tools is Sprout Social. For not a lot of money, you get a powerful tool that lets you manage multiple Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn accounts. Plus you get dynamic reports, a keyword tool to track mentions of your brand or industry, and the ability to create and assign tasks for yourself or anyone working on your particular social media projects. There are many more powerful tools in this application that might apply to your business so I suggest you take a look. I’m not looking to run a commercial here.

The point is that for many businesses and agencies, it makes sense to automate. We’ve even stumbled upon a new tool that is 100 times better at tracking brand mentions across the web than Google alerts – and it just so happens to be called Mention.net. We’ve just started our trial but so far, it’s very impressive and instantaneous with real-time alerts.

Where I draw the line, however, is with the automation of content. I’m running into a lot of new content curation programs, like BundlePost, that go out and post content on your social media channels automatically — based on keyword or hashtag parameters. Just set it and forget it? Yikes! Does that mean we’ll be out of a job soon?

Most likely not. Successful social strategies are personal, thoughtful, and … SOCIAL! By all means, automate the routine tasks. Take the time to plan out your posts based on your goals and strategies but don’t automate the actual content. If you’ve found an article that relates to your business, don’t just post it, ask a question about it. And make sure you’re available to participate in the discussion. Bottom line, social media is successful for businesses because it allows for two-way communication with your customers and potential customers.

And of course if you find you don’t have the time to handle your social media, there are companies like us to help you out.