At Digital Elevator we love automation. Automation and marketing is like peanut butter and jelly, green eggs and ham, and rice and beans. Hell, marketing automation is the bee’s knees for crying out loud.
However, automating your blogs so that they post to your social media accounts is bad news bears. I’ll give you a few good reasons why but first wanted to approach why I even decided to cover this topic on autoposting blogs.
The other day I had a content writing client of ours ask the following question in regards to autoposting blogs that I was creating and publishing on his behalf:
Daniel, isn’t this just a matter of some kind of plugin that automatically feeds blog content into our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc accounts?
Many of you may be aware that there are many plugins for WordPress that will autopost your blogs straight to your social media accounts. While this seems like a great time saver and seemingly, as this client thought, could save the potential costs of hiring a social media manager to handle the publishing of blog content onto social media, it isn’t. Here are a few reasons why.
A study conducted by HubSpot revealed that photos on Facebook Pages received 53 percent more likes than the average post. What does that mean to you you ask? Well, take a look at the below screen shot of what happens when you simply autopost (top) to Facebook and when you manually upload a picture (bottom):
As you can see, the autopost feature does not display the image as prominently as the manual method. The idea with your blog posts is to use them to drive traffic to your website. When you create more visual Facebook posts you will generate more attention to your content. Use this attention to drive traffic with the addition of links but be sure to manually upload your pictures to get the most click-throughs possible.
It is simple enough to create a blog and push the link out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn. The websites (with the exception of Twitter and Pinterest) will automatically grab the title of your blog post, a snippet of text and the picture.
However, the things that you tell to your Facebook audience might vary from than the approach you take with your Twitter followers and that is not even considering the character limitations (140 on Twitter). That said, you should keep in mind the likelihood that the same messages won’t have the same effect across all the networks.
For example, we like to be more conversational on Google+ and LinkedIn and more visual on Facebook because we know those types of messages get better responses. That is just works for us though and is not a strategy that works for every brand. The takeaway is that posting identical content across all of your social networks at the same time is half-assing it. Mix up the messages according to the people who are listening for the best effect.
Another aspect autoposting doesn’t take into consideration is the frequency of your other posts. Let’s say, for example, the blogger for your site and the person who posts to social media are two different people. The social media manager has carefully planned out the social media strategy for the week, scheduled posts for the most appropriate times, crafted messages for the intended social media audience, and has made sure none of the social media networks are getting inundated with five posts a day (other than Twitter, it’s ok to post multiple times a day on Twitter).
Then there you go, screwing it all up, the blogger-slash-autoposter who now has just destroyed the perfectly-timed Facebook promotion with your new blog about how the company dog ate another pair of tennis shoes. In this example the autopost has botched up the other content marketing strategy where it should in fact be contributing to it. Just because you created a great blog doesn’t mean the time of publish is the best time to post it on social media.
Generally speaking, the best times to post on social media are the following (taken from a post in Entrepreneur):
I recommend getting a bit more scientific than this and looking at the data. Facebook Insights will provide you detailed information on the best times to post. I cover how to do this in a SlideShare Presentation I did on SEO for Dentists and you can check out the how-to there (skip to slide 20 for the Facebook specific stuff).
The final reason why autoposting your blog posts straight to social media is bad is because you can’t include call-to-actions (CTA) within your posts. Unless your title includes a CTA, the autopost is just going to provide the title and in some cases, a snippet of the text. This does nothing to encourage click-through and assumes that your readers will know what to do when they see your link.
Rather than assuming your readers will take action, be more deliberate with your manual posts and be sure to include a CTA that guides your readers along your sales funnel. Common words for a CTA include call now, order, sign-up, email us, click here, read more, join, etc.
Autoposting is the lazy way to do social media. Manual social media involves proper timing, consideration for the end user of each network, and insight into how your message is perceived. Rather than taking the lazy way out instead consider scheduling your blog posts for a more optimum time so that you get more views, click-throughs, engagement and sales.
Oh, and if you don’t already have autoposting software, check out the free versions of Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social. These software brands also have paid options for when you become a social media ninja.