Why I Don’t Over-Automate On Twitter
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Aug 24, 2011
“Just thought I’d mention that if you see a post from me at 2 or 3 in the morning, I actually wrote it.” – Mitch Mitchell
I tend to stay up pretty late; yeah, I’m nuts. I get my energy around 9:30 or 10PM and then I start working really well. At a certain point I finish a project and unless I’m totally exhausted it’s a great time to go back and look at Twitter to see what has gone on either during the day or for at least a few hours.
Some people locally have commented on my late night tweets because they wake up and see a bunch of things from me. Actually, I never knew any of them paid much attention to anything I put out so that’s illuminating. However, like most people they tend to believe that everyone else is on the same time frame they’re on, and thus think that by the time I’m writing everyone else has gone to bed.
The world’s a big place, and as I’ve talked about on this blog, the majority of people that actually comment in my blogs don’t live in my area. So if I’m posting at 3 in the morning and someone’s still awake, they’re probably on the West Coast except for my friend that lives in Nebraska and works night, or they’re in Australia where it’s actually already well into their next day, or in Europe where it’s morning and they’re just getting started on their day.
One also sees a lot of other noise, if you will, when you stay up really late. There’s a ton of automation, the same messages over and over from people you know aren’t awake, messages I’ve seen many times during the day. Frankly it starts getting irritating, and one reason I actually write some of those folks early in the morning is to see if any of them respond. Of course I know that almost no one is going to respond, but I figure maybe they’ll respond in the morning when I’ve awakened.
Nope. Truth be told most people that do a lot of automation aren’t interested in what anyone else has to say for the most part. They haven’t quite learned the lesson that social media isn’t really only about “them”, but about everyone, communications, relationships, and networking.
I only do one little bit of automation. For almost every new blog post I publish I use Twitter Tools (discontinued 10/12) to put the notification out that I’ve written a new blog post. I do that because I tend to write a lot of posts all at once on all my blogs (remember I have 5 of my own and many that I write for others) in advance.
Often I’m actually sitting at the computer when a blog post goes out but I’m doing something else. However, I check to see if my blog posts are showing up usually within the hour if I’m not live on Twitter. Actually, every once in awhile I’m on Twitter when a post of mine shows up; that’s pretty neat.
If you see a blog post of mine in the afternoon or evening, you can be 99.8% sure that I’m posting it live. It’s either a repost of an earlier blog post or, if something’s hit me that I just have to talk about immediately, it’s brand new. Back in November I did an experiment testing 2-a-day blog posts with the second being advertisements for some of my products, and in that case those were written in advance. I haven’t done that since.
Here are my questions for you. How much automation are you doing on Twitter? How much actual engagement are you doing around the time messages are coming your way? Are you actually engaging people on Twitter at all? And how do you feel when you see messages from people that are almost all automation, since we know it when we see it?