Is Automation Your Friend?

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.

New Belgium Production Line
scumdogsteev via Compfight

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. 🙂

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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Posting Times On Social Media?

I’ve always been someone who has given a lot of thought into when I should have my posts show up on Twitter and on other social media platforms. I really didn’t have anything to go on so I used my own judgment.

21-06-10 Cause I'd Rather Pretend I'll Still Be There At The End ~ Explored #1
Βethan via Compfight

For the last 2 years I’ve had the posts on my blog go live between 9 and 10AM Eastern Standard time. In my way of thinking, it would be the time that most people on the East Coast, where I live, would be alert, probably already at work or have started their working day and have some energy.

Then, later in the evening or early morning, I find myself reposting my links to Twitter, often between midnight and 1AM, trying to reach a second audience that I figure is either on the West Coast or in other countries that might just be coming alert or waking up.

Anyway, these were my preconceived notions. I never had any data. Now I do, as this post on Kissmetrics titled An In-Depth Look at the Science of Twitter Timing was kind of illuminating. In essence, the person who wrote the article found some statistics that pretty much blew my mind.

The article is mainly about Twitter but in my mind if it works on Twitter it probably works on other sites as well. The main thing it stated is that 80% of the American audience on Twitter is in Eastern and Central time zones; that’s just wild! It also stated that based on user patterns, the majority of people who are apt to read and retweet posts do it between noon and 6PM, but that 5PM is the best time of all.

Talk about something that freaked my mind out. I’ve never thought about posting in the afternoon as a strategy. My mind said that’s when people were looking to go home from work and thus would be otherwise engaged. But numbers don’t lie, do they?

What to do, what to do… Well, that’s the blessing of having multiple blogs, isn’t it? Since I have 4 blogs that are the most regular, I’m going to split the times up better so I can do my own testing. I’m not sure as I write this, which is about 2 weeks in advance, of which blogs will post when. I do know that this particular blog’s feed goes out around 7PM every time I write a post, so I’ll have to take that into consideration.

What do you think of some of these stats? And if you’re in other parts of the world, do you think they’ll hold true for you as well?
 

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