Social media automation has become the hot, controversial topic of the blogosphere, twitterverse, or any other ‘sheres’ or ‘verses’ that exists out there. Some of it can be justifiable because of the ‘fakers’ and the spammers. Some argue that being ‘real’ is the way to go. It is, but it’s not completely possible. It’s not possible to be on every single social media platform, 24-7-365. People have lives, work, family, and basic needs to cater to as well.
Just like everything, there is a wrong and right way to do things.
My philosophy is to always take the middle road. Avoid the extremes on anything. Both sides have good arguments so equip the good of both.
Most of the time where people automate is on Twitter. This is also where the most complaints happen as well. There are automation doodads galore for this social media platform alone. These same tools are the ones that are abused by the spammers and bots and where automation gets a bad rap–with good reason.
This is probably THE most talked about automation feature. Everything is OK here as long as it is done the right way. Of course I tried to do this organically in the beginnings of my platform since there were so few new followers, but essentially though, as my platform grew up so did people following per day. Greeting everyone by hand became a chore and tiring. I tried not leave a boring message, but after a while my ideas became sparse.
Then I was introduced to the DM automater through Social Oomph. It used to be free, but thanks to the abusers and spammers, we now have to pay for it. It is a small fee. This is the best DM automater out there since you can rotate between two or more messages. It is less likely that every single person will get the same message. I try to make the messages more fun and branded.
HOWEVER, if you choose to do this, do not put a link into the DM!! There are more and more people complaining about this and it is SPAMMING. You will turn people off rather than get them to your site or check out your book. There are places for that on your Twitter profile. Tweet it in the stream maybe 1-3 times per week, but make sure you add some content or share something else.
This one I don’t do. I check every follower and read their profile if I want to follow them back. I do this in the morning and in the evening. Of course, I receive notifications from Twitter if someone follows me, and I can read their profile there if I wish. In the profile I look for keywords (i.e. book reviewer, book blogger, author, publisher, reader, book lover, etc) if I want to follow someone back or looking for people to follow.
This one can depend on a person. I just prefer to do this on my own. I check my followers twice a day: in the morning and evening. If I follow someone, I go ahead and list them in one of my lists. This is good for karma and it also is helpful for me to find people when I need to. I do all this from Hootsuite.
I don’t view this as the same thing as docking my tweets on Hootsuite since I actually write out the tweets and schedule them to post sometime in the day. I do use an automated tweet from Bookbuzzr.com and it only tweets one time a week. Bookbuzzr does have an option to have it post everyday, but I feel like that may be pushing it.
I do not want to tweet something over and over and over again on the same day and every day. Now, THAT would get annoying. You don’t want to be a broken record on Twitter. I hate repeating myself a lot in real life, so I don’t want to do it on Twitter.
In short this can be a good thing if it is done moderation and done the right way.
In summary a little Twitter automation is good since it can free up time to do other tasks such as writing and family and everything in between, but at the same time try to keep things as real as possible too. That’s what social media is for!