Thursday, May 12, 2011

What auto-posting can't do for you: 3 convincing reads

Auto-posting offers an easy option for enterprises large and small to work social media tasks into already packed schedules. But what else is it reducing, along with your time and effort? And what might you gain by unhooking your feeds from the firehose? Three recent finds in my feeds offer a few fresh ideas. And even if you don't auto-post, you'll find great ideas on engagement here.

First, a practical set of reasons: Some social sites give less space or prominence when you auto-post. In 3 great reasons to post manually on Facebook, Nicky Kriel looks at how auto-posts can have a negative effect on whether your post is seen and how it's ranked, based on user behavior as well as the ways Facebook handles third-party apps and rates of engagement.

That may be reason enough for you, but the mechanics aren't the only consideration. Less auto-posting might be the key to a better customer experience. "Reading news online feels like flying Economy," says Oliver Reichenstein. He's making the case for providing better content and a better user experience behind a paywall, but autoposting is a big part of the negative experience your users encounter in social media. Step back from your social shares, and put the paywall aside for a moment. What would it take to get your posts from economy to business class-level service? Somehow, auto-posting everything doesn't seem like the right approach.

Finally, you want that experience to get you to the ultimate goal: Getting your users to share and say enthusiastic things about your services, products, places and more. The Psychotactics blog looks at how companies are creating "accidental evangelists," customers surprised by individual, timely and out-of-the-ordinary extras and thoughtful responses...that are tough to automate. It's a smart marketing tactic that you can employ in your social-media engagement. The post describes how this should work in your workplace: "People listen and act on specific situations. And when they (as in you and me) act, the customer is startled, bemused, surprised, excited and suddenly there’s a smile on the customer’s face." That sequence--listening, acting on a specific piece of feedback, and engaging the customer--is just what social media's good for, and auto-posting isn't.

You'll find more good examples of how my clients and other companies and groups are dialing down the automation of social-media posts--and delighting customers in the process.

Related posts: Artisanal social media: Can we tell there are real people doing your postings?

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