When should your social media posts become automated?
The debate about whether social media posts should be automated is one that has gone on for years. With each side having very reasonable & valid arguments, it comes as no surprise to learn that the majority of producers within the electronic music industry have conflicting ideas as to what will work best for their career. Is social media automation good or bad? When should it be used? And when should you avoid it? Those are all points that this article will cover.
Over the past few years, Facebook’s organic reach has declined rapidly due to the supply & demand of the market. With more & more content creators joining the platform every single day, it is understandable that an algorithm had to be put in place in order for the content to be controlled within people’s news feeds. Prioritizing posts with meaningful interactions (such as likes, comments and shares), it is fundamental to the success of the platform that only posts with high engagement got pushed towards more people. For many producers, that was where the problem lay. They weren’t creating good content which people wanted to engage with and were thus annoyed when Facebook didn’t push their content to more people.
By going to your analytics on Instagram, Facebook (and other platforms), it becomes very easy to see the times in which your audience is most active. If it is the middle of the night (such as 3 am), automating or scheduling your posts for those specific times is a good idea to maximize the chances of high engagement. For this, Facebook allows you to schedule directly, or you can use platforms such as Buffer or Hootsuite to do it for several other social media sites. Essentially, social media automation for this purpose allows you to maximize engagement on your content, and create a detailed plan as to what your posting strategy will be like.
Social media automation also allows you to save a lot of time within your daily schedule. If you don’t have to post constantly to your Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter & Facebook etc, you are able to accomplish a lot more within the day. By setting aside 1-2 days a month solely for creating content & social media scheduling, it will free up your calendar a lot more. Whether it’s playing shows, creating new tracks, attending meetings, taking a long flight, or simply networking in the music industry, it is undeniable that social media automation can help you become less stressed about constantly being able to post social content relating to your artist brand every single day.
Despite those positive aspects, there are some negative reasons for social media automation use. For example, it is pretty easy to tell if a post has been automated or not. Additionally, it may make you seem inconsiderate if something tragic happened. For example, if there was a terrorist attack & your automated post said “check out my new song”, people may consider you to be ignorant of what is going on around the world, and thus have negative repercussions on the integrity and perception of your artistic brand within the music industry.
Every single social media platform is basically a different version of your artistic brand. What works on Instagram may not necessarily work well as a Twitter post. Or, what works on Twitter may be a terrible Facebook status update. Automating your posts across all of your social media platforms may become badly received by your audience due to the lack of thought that has gone into sharing the content. Although it does save you a lot of time, it can tarnish the image of your brand. For example, Instagram posts work extremely well if they have lots of niche hashtags (for discoverability). But in contrast, a Facebook post with tags may look aesthetically horrific because hashtags are currently not a way of getting discovered on the platform. Likewise, Twitter has a character limit of 140, whilst Facebook is several thousand. It’s pretty obvious that crafting the same content across your social platforms is not a viable option if you truly wish to become successful. Whilst automation may allow your content to be crossposted to every platform, it isn’t quite good enough to reformat each post to the native nuances of the social media site (such as text length and image size).
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Also, the majority of automated services include a watermark-style addition to the post which clearly shows it was automated (and thus not done natively). For example, it could say “published by Hootsuite…” at the end of the status update. As users will instantly know that it was automated, it is bound to have less engagement, and consequently rank much lower in the social media algorithm of that particular platform. For example, a post announcing the winners of a remix contest may perform badly if it is scheduled as it won’t feel authentic to those who participated in it.
But with all things considered, it is certainly reasonable to assume that balance is essential when it comes to social media automation. If you are posting solely with automated social media tools, it may make your brand seem inauthentic. But in contrast, natively posting all the time will be extremely time consuming and create potential problems in your schedule. By ensuring that you are keeping a strong balance of the two, and engaging organically with comments and messages, a few automated posts here & there shouldn’t be a problem.