Unraveling Social Media One Tool at a Time
One of the greatest dilemmas for Social Media Editors and anyone trying to keep their readers informed in this digital world is this: Our biggest audience is tuned in to Facebook when most businesses are the most sparsely staffed: On nights and weekends.
One solution? Post from your dinner table, your kid’s basketball games, and your Saturday morning bicycle ride. We all have all done this, and felt the affects of burnout, no doubt. Burnout does not only wreck your weekends, but it also is not so great for your readers. If you are exhausted and distracted and bored, your readers are going to figure this out pretty quickly. But, skipping weekend and evening posts all together is not the best way to keep your followers either.
Short of teaching the rest of your family to post, supplementing your human touch with a LIMITED number of automated posts can help fill in some of the gaps. Big warning here. The best Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts work because they creating conversations and engagement with followers. Delivering a constant stream of canned content is the surefire way to fail in the social media world. Responding quickly to your followers’ questions and complaints is key as is joining in on the conversations that happy every day on your social media accounts. And, if you are a news organization, it would be darn embarrassing to have a cat feature story trending on your Twitter account on the day of a triple homicide which did not get posted because a robot was in charge.
During a recent discussion with my colleagues at Digital First Media, led by Ivan Lajara all of us agreed that while automation can be your friend, it should not be your main partner. Someone needs to be paying attention to be sure that a post can be cancelled when breaking news interrupts.
Find more of that #dfmchat here. I also interviewed some of them about how they handle the minimally staffed times, and will blog about their responses next week.
Meanwhile, here is a mini-tutorial on how to schedule automated posts to your Facebook page. I use this to schedule one or two posts when I am stuck in meetings for hours, and when I am off actually enjoying myself. While Facebook gives lower priority to posts scheduled through a third-party app, it apparently does not discredit posts made with its own scheduling feature now included on all Facebook accounts.
Here’s how to do it: http://screencast.com/t/Md18APJd7