Caffeinated ideas and views on marketing communications

twitter automation

No pain, no gain (or, are you relying too much on assists)?

Every time I go to the gym I see at least one person hanging on for dear life on the Step Mill. In case you don’t have them at your gym, they are a “workout escalator.” Essentially, the workout consists of climbing moving stairs. Lots of people lean on the bars (yesterday I saw a woman whose upper body was horizontal, putting all her upper body weight on her arms) when the “correct” or more efficient way is to use the bars simply for balance and let your lower body do the work of climbing the stairs and keeping you upright.

When you lean on the bars you are effectively getting an assist. You are trying to minimize the pain. But, as they say: no pain, no gain. Though it may look like you are working hard, you really aren’t. You aren’t getting the cardio you think you are and you aren’t burning the amount of calories the machine tells you.

The same thing happens on social media when you rely on programs to post for you. You are getting an assist that makes you look like you are working hard when in fact you are not. Plus, you are not getting all the benefits of social media either.

There are many social media apps and programs designed to give you an assist. We may need that automation in order to keep up with the pace of social media, which is 24-7. The problem is when we rely on these assists for all of our social media presence and we forget to inject some of our own effort.

There’s an account I have been following on Twitter for a couple of years. I say account and not person because almost all the tweets from the account are links to blog posts (old blog posts at that). And I have seen the same five or six blog post links tweeted out over and over and over and over. There is no personality there. There is no discussion. There is no interaction.

I am sure the person who manages this account set up a program that will tweet the top blog posts every certain amount of time. This person pretty much set it and forgot it. This person rarely if ever has any exchange with anybody, never re-tweets, and only responds to direct tweets days later (if at all). This account is entirely reliant on social media assists. So although there is a social media presence, there is no social media benefit.

Social media requires  effort and attention. Get assists if you must, but don’t forget that over-relying on assistance means that you aren’t making as many gains.

What are your thoughts? How do you handle your social media accounts? Do you follow accounts that are completely automated?





About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.


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