While automating your posts helps you prepare content and avoid missing out on post-worthy opportunities, the convenience comes with some drawbacks. Not every post should be automated and losing track of what you’ve scheduled can lead to otherwise avoidable problems. Following the Dos and don’ts of social media automation lets you save time while maintaining a high-quality account.
What social media content you should automate
Social media automation makes managing social media accounts easier, but it should be used strategically. Regular, evergreen content posted as tweets, Facebook posts, or Instagram posts are great options to automate, but certain situations call for more personal posting. Use caution when automating content related to current events or sensitive subjects; by the time your scheduled posts go live, they may no longer be relevant or appropriate. Likewise, avoid automating direct messages or responses to customer posts as automated posts feel less personal than real-time responses.
Do: Maintain consistent branding
When creating automated social media posts, follow consistent branding and voice. Keeping your social media content consistent makes it appear more cohesive, even when scheduled far in advance. Maintaining cohesive branding also makes it easier to create a number of posts at one time, as posts follow similar patterns including color schemes and tone of voice. Your personal branding should shine through in all your posts, reflecting your unique style and personality.
Don’t: Automate at inappropriate times
Avoid automating content during important days or events unless it’s relevant content. Regular, evergreen social media posts scheduled for major holidays are unlikely to perform well, as many people are spending the day celebrating—schedule a simple holiday message instead. In the case of significant news events, like natural disasters, it’s good practice to check what posts you have automated to avoid posting something insensitive. Reschedule posts to go live at a later date to avoid distracting from important messages.
Do: Use social listening tools
Once you’ve scheduled a few weeks of content ahead of time, you may be tempted to log off in the meantime. Keeping an eye on your content as it goes live allows you to make sure you’re receiving positive feedback and see what people are saying about your brand. Social media monitoring tools can streamline this process by showing you key metrics such as likes, shares, and mentions.
Don’t: Post too frequently or at odd times of day
The frequency and time of day you choose for your posts matter as much as the content you’ve carefully created. Use social media listening tools to see when your target demographic is most often online; typically, this will be during lunch breaks or after work hours. Being able to choose when your content is published is one of the key benefits of automating content—you can publish content at night or on weekends without having to log on.
Automating content makes it easier to post more than you typically would, but you should avoid posting too often. Posting more than a few times each day can clutter your followers’ feeds and may even push them to unfollow. For most social media platforms, two to three posts each day strikes a good balance.
Do: Switch up your content
While automating social media posts makes it easier to reshare a large amount of content, focus on the quality of your posts over the quantity. Publishing content that looks too similar to past posts turns your feed into an endless stream of repetitive content. Low-effort posts made to fill a quota result in poor engagement and turn away potential new followers. Check out these helpful tips for reusing and repurposing social media content across your brand so you can find the balance between creating new content and leveraging work you've already done.
Social media automation tools make it easier to post across multiple platforms, but you should avoid always posting the same content on each network. Certain types of content perform better on each social media networks, like engaging images or eye-catching videos.
Don’t: Schedule too far in advance
Many social media automation tools allow you to schedule content weeks or months in advance. Although it might be tempting to finish your social media calendar early in the year, scheduling too far in advance may backfire. By the time you’re posts go live, they may already be outdated or irrelevant. You may also find it challenging to keep track of what content has already been created and what’s in the pipeline. Stick to creating content a month or less before it’s scheduled to be published.
Automating social media posts makes it easier to grow your following and reach your social media goals. By using social media automation effectively, you’ll save time and energy without sacrificing the growth of your brand.