and #4 is a big one
As a business owner, you’ve probably been told time and time again the importance of social media. It comes as no surprise that many practice owners choose to make social media a part of their marketing strategy.
With nearly a quarter of all online views happening on Facebook, and an estimated 65% of American adults are now active on some form of social media, extending your marketing efforts into social media is a worthy strategy. But is simply posting something everyday truly a worthwhile venture?
While posting regularly is the first step of an effective social media strategy, it misses the mark of how and why social media is an effective marketing tool. Social media is powerful because it starts conversations, engages potential clients and facilitates both conversion and customer loyalty. How? Because it puts your practice a cut above the competition by starting a conversation with them well before they’ve walked through your office doors.
Unfortunately, the power of social media for lead generation and conversion is sometimes lost when put into practice. When businesses should be committed to using social media as a tool to start conversations about the content they are creating, instead it is used simply as an online billboard unlikely to get anyone excited about their message.
One such pitfall is the use of automated social media tools, which claim to save both time and money by posting to all of your social media channels from one place. And on the surface, this seems like a great way to save precious time when posting to social media – but what it often causes is sloppy and ineffective social posts that do little to engage.
So why do automated social media tools miss the mark on social media strategy? From our experience, these are our three top reasons:
Awkward, One-Size-Fits-All Language
Every social media platform is like its own community or ecosystem. What language works in one community might sound awkward, out of place and sloppy in another. Posting the same thing across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram might seem like it saves time, but it also assumes that every community speaks the same way.
The reality is that posts designed for a certain platform – and posted carefully – are what drives engagement from a community. Automated programs almost rely on this messy and haphazard way of posting. Doing so means you’re losing out on important opportunities to tailor language to a certain audience – and missing out on valuable engagement in the process.
Strangely Formatted Posts
Just like each social media platform has its own language and community, it also has its own rules and limitations for posting. While Instagram does best with short captions, plenty of hashtags and square photos, Facebook looks messy with hashtags and only uses rectangular photos. Twitter has a 140 character limits, while Facebook has a limit of 63,206. Do you really want to craft the same message for each?
While automated social media tools might be able to post to each platform, it simply isn’t smart enough to reformat things like image sizes, text and length for each platform. This can only be done manually and with a keen eye for detail. Anything else risks unprofessional and sloppy posts that might hurt your reputation rather than help it.
Bad Timing and Unintended PR Disasters
The biggest draw for automated social media tools is the ability to save time with scheduling. Rather than committing a few minutes each day to posting on social, these tools allow you to schedule far into the future – sometimes days, weeks or months ahead.
This might sound like a good idea, but if you consider the consequences of planning public messages so far in advance, the idea is less appealing. Tragedies, unforeseen events and disasters could equal your well-meaning messages scheduled weeks beforehand now sound insensitive or tactless. A little planning ahead is always good, but automation makes social media a sticky situation waiting to happen.
It Doesn’t Foster Real Engagement
So if social media really is so important to an online marketing strategy, how do you do it without automated tools? At AuDSEO, we don’t automate your social media because we value quality over ease (as we’re sure you do, too). Spending a little bit of extra time means better return on time investment in the form of better engagement, and more opportunities to turn followers into clients.
We do it because we believe it’s the only way to achieve the ultimate goal of social media: connecting and communicating with your clients in a way that will keep them walking through your doors again and again.
Lastly, we’ll leave you with a great quote from RocketPost, who wrote a great article on the pitfalls of social media automation.
“Automating your social media isn’t a genuine way to foster engagement and conversations. It’s basically broadcasting, and that’s a very inefficient and ineffective way to use social media. Instead, you should be looking to inspire conversation, engage your followers, and build relationships – and you can’t do that with your finger on the big, red, shiny “Automate” button. Think twice before you schedule that tweet, friends. Reconsider before scheduling that post, amigos. Learn from the past – and make sure your social media is authentically you.” – RocketPost