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Is Automation Your Friend?

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014

When it comes to blogging, many people I know use some type of process to have their blog posts automatically go to different places when an article goes live. I used to use a plugin called Twitter Tools to get the job done, but when that bad boy was discontinued I was lucky enough to have someone recommend Twitterfeed to me, and that’s what I use to have my posts go directly to Twitter when they go live.

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It turns out there’s lots of different tools that can handle that, but it’s also true that there are sites where those tools aren’t needed, and they can handle more than just blog posts For instance, if you set your account up properly on LinkedIn, it will not only share your most recent blog posts but any updates you make to your website will automatically show as well, if you have the proper RSS settings taken care of(I know some people are saying RSS is going away; well, it hasn’t yet). Facebook supposedly has a way of finding new things on your website or blog as well, but I haven’t fully explored it after they took away the original process I was using there.

There’s always this question about whether automation online is a good thing or not. In one way it’s good because it can allow you to put things out when you’re not around that you want people to see. In another it’s horrid, at least to someone like me, because some people set up their automation to post multiple times a day, and I mean like once an hour for a 24-hour period. Who wants to be connected with anyone doing that?

There should always be a balance in how and when to use automation for anything. For me, I have my initial blog posts automated because I like them all to go out between 9 and 10:30 AM EST, and I’m not always around when they go live. However, subsequent postings of anything, if I do them, are done live and in the evenings so that if someone wants to comment or say anything to me they know that I’m online at that time. I think it helps with engagement and branding and lets people know when you’re available to donate time to them.

Overdoing anything isn’t good, and that’s important if you’re going to automate processes. Learning how to engage your potential customers and audience while balancing your time is important. As someone who has a tendency to stay up real late, I tend to “call” some posts I see from people I know are asleep. They’ll have to deal with me the next morning; just the cost of doing business. πŸ™‚

Do you think automation is important in your marketing efforts? Are you presently using it in some fashion or thinking about it?

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I used to use a plugin that tweeted my posts. I don’t anymore. I do have a plugin on my Gifts blog that automatically posts to my Facebook page once my posts go live. Other than that I do everything manually. I much prefer that because it gives me control over the content I publish with the share as well as whether or not I want it shared in the first place.
Peter recently posted…Sports Betting JokesMy Profile

August 16th, 2014 | 4:30 AM

Interesting thought Pete. I want all my posts to at least hit Twitter once. I used to have that Topsy plugin but then it failed and I went outside my blog for service. What content do you have that you don’t want to share (as if you’re going to tell me lol)?

August 16th, 2014 | 11:39 PM

Hi Mitch,

You have rightly pointed out that there should be a balance as to when and how automation should be used in blogging. With the benefits of automation – which include time saving, there are also downsides like wrong postings and software problems.

I am an advocate of marketing automation but there are times when it just seems perfect to do things that must be manually applied to be effective!

Nevertheless, there is a right automation process for every business. Every marketer must understand this!

August 16th, 2014 | 6:45 AM

Well, I mainly talked about blogging, but there are many other things people automate, such as videos via YouTube. Still, I agree that it needs to be handled properly, otherwise we get sick of those people sharing way too much for stupid stuff.

August 16th, 2014 | 11:40 PM

Hi Mitch, I say yes. I love using the Buffer to set up my social shares for the day. I also use Hootsuite on and off for it as well. We can’t be at all places at the same time daily in order to network and share posts of others and our own. As long as you respond to others in a timely mannger automation does a place for bloggers to use.

August 16th, 2014 | 12:21 PM

I understand Lisa. I guess I’m one of those people who really wants people talking to me when I’m around, though I make the allowance for my initial blog posts. I also don’t have tons of time to learn all these other things to get posts out; learning stuff all the time already. πŸ™‚

August 16th, 2014 | 11:41 PM

Great thoughts on automation. I think it has to be balanced. There was a time I shared my posts on 5 services when they went live, now it’s only three. I achieve this through Jetpack for WordPress and particularly the publicize setting. It works great. I also schedule posts after the fact through IFTTT and Google Calendar to promote my posts that way. I don’t get a ton of traffic this way but it seems fair in this ocean of social media to give my thoughts a fair shake. I’m a big believer in automation when the blogger has something of value to broadcast.
Damien recently posted…People Who Don’t Drink Coffee Could Possibly be AliensMy Profile

August 16th, 2014 | 11:11 PM

Damien, I’ve heard of IFTTT but haven’t ever looked at it; maybe one day. As for your other thoughts yes, balance is always preferred in my mind. Still, sometimes I wonder if the people getting tens of thousands of connections are using these strategies to get those numbers. On the other hand if those folks are never talking to each other then what’s the point?

August 16th, 2014 | 11:43 PM

If you have 10-15 minutes to play with it, IFTTT is quite a handy tool for connecting services via “triggers.” For example, I have one recipe that triggers 3 social media posts when I send an email. It’s cool. I use it on my phone in the field mostly. I totally agree though that automation must have a human message and human participants. Otherwise, it’s just robots.
Damien recently posted…Should Robin Williams be a Poster Boy for DepressionMy Profile

August 16th, 2014 | 11:47 PM

Sometimes some of my Hots Sports Babes posts are a bit too hot and the wife would not be impressed if it popped up on FaceBook. None of my sexual aids posts gets any exposure either lol
Peter recently posted…Hot Sports Fan Are Hot Sports Babes Claudia RomaniMy Profile

August 17th, 2014 | 5:38 AM

Oh yeah, I can see that. Let’s not be embarrassing the wife! lol

August 17th, 2014 | 1:26 PM

Right. Good stuff Mitch. I think we have talked about how I like to use Buffer because I do some social media managing on the side and Buffer allows me to access the various accounts for myself as well as those of my clients. That being said, I will take an hour and schedule ‘required’ posts for Twitter and Facebook for my client and get those knocked out for the month in one sitting. That frees up time for me to daily engage with their followers and engage new folks using hashtag searches.
Also, for my personal blogs I will sometimes write my posts well in advance and schedule them to go out at a later time. I believe regularity is important and am working hard to establish that habit.
So yes, I think automation is a good thing.
Troy recently posted…#903 Learning a new languageMy Profile

August 17th, 2014 | 2:14 PM

You know Troy, even when I was managing other sites (I do still write for a couple) I always only sent the first blog posts out and did everything else in the moment. I don’t know what my reluctance is because I do know that a lot of it could only help me long term.

August 18th, 2014 | 11:48 PM

I love automation tools. I use tools for my tweeter account, Facebook pages, instagram for promoting my blog post.I hope very soon there should be tools for Google plus. If it is already available then please let me know.

August 18th, 2014 | 9:53 AM

If there is something Rohan I don’t know about it. At this juncture only YouTube sends stuff to Google Plus as far as I know.

August 19th, 2014 | 12:46 AM

Oh Mitch,

We’ve talked about this before and I know how much you hate automation but anything can be abused my friend.

I think for the most part it’s perfectly okay to automate some things because we all can’t be everywhere all the time but some of our followers and friends might be online when we’re not and want to see some of the stuff that we have to share. Because of this automation works beautifully.

Now if you never interact with others and just automate everything then sure, you are doing a huge disservice and your followers probably aren’t paying attention to you anyway because they either think you’re just a robot or a spam bot.

As long as you get with people and associate with them then I think it’s perfectly fine. Especially when you’re traveling because I’ll automate everything when I’m traveling but you know me, I do love to chat with people so I’ll do that as soon as time allows.

So that’s how I feel about this subject. πŸ˜‰


P.S. I went back to using Chrome to see if it’s finally stopped crashing on me so let’s see if this comment lands in your spam box again or not. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Adrienne recently posted…How To Create Loyal Readers That Will Trust And Love YouMy Profile

August 20th, 2014 | 5:54 PM

Unfortunately it didn’t work Adrienne πŸ™

As for the automation, I think I rail against it so much is because most of what I see are posts where people never talk to anyone and you know they’re never actually online, or maybe rarely. There are at least some people who are retweeting other folks, but who knows how many of those are automated as well? Maybe I’m spoiled because I remember what Twitter used to be, when someone having 10,000 followers was a big deal and there really was lots of engagement; sigh… lol

August 20th, 2014 | 8:11 PM

I do use a little automation: just to send out new posts when they go up. Mostly because I try to schedule ahead and going back to promote posts that go live without my assistance would be a pain. I don’t think that’s out of line. I do get annoyed with people who use auto-follow, auto-DM, auto-retweet, auto-blowmynose to “simplify” their social media. Social media is supposed to be social, if you’ve got robots doing everything for you, it’s not social, just media and I’ll tune those folks out just like I do other commercials.
Doug Bittinger recently posted…The Green ThingMy Profile

August 26th, 2014 | 2:15 PM

We’re in agreement on this one Doug, although I’ve been reading an ebook by a prominent blogger who makes the case for a bit more automation, especially when posting to Twitter, because of all the time zones we have and how much of the audience will easily miss what you put out. Truthfully I’ve concentrated on folks on the East Coast because studies show that’s the largest group but heck, I could really be missing out. At least it’s something to think about… πŸ™‚

August 26th, 2014 | 11:59 PM
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