Facebook, Twitter…Social Media. It consumes us. Is it OK to take a break or ramp down the engagement? What if you’re a social media professional or an entrepreneur needing the free marketing and relationship building it affords? How do you balance it with client demands?
Maybe that’s not a decision you have to consider. Why not, instead, automate your social media?
I’ve pondered this over the past couple of years as news broke that social media god himself, Guy Kawasaki had others tweeting on his behalf, or that social media gurus had automated their accounts — like, scheduling tweets.
Danny Brown’s succinct (isn’t he always?) post today gave me the push to share my thoughts. In Why There’s Nothing Wrong With Social Media Automation, Danny brushes aside the social media purists and strongly advocates for automation.
“Social media is just another toolset, or platform, or information base, or whatever tag you want to give it, to help you manage your needs better, whether they be personally or professionally… It works for people the way they need it to work, not how someone else uses it.”
It’s a good argument and I don’t disagree. In fact, I’ve gone away from examining the “ethics” of such actions. Who the heck am I to offer such an indictment? It’s an emerging medium and more importantly, as Danny alludes to, it works differently for each user.
The reason I’m not crazy about automation is that it doesn’t give me a chance to miss you. Think about it — even with the person you care for the most – your kids, mom or partner – do you want to be with them every minute of every day? No! We go to work, see other friends, engage away from each other. That time away gives us a greater appreciation for the time we do spend together.
It’s not that different in social media.
I follow a woman on Twitter who could be considered a social media and blogging heavyweight. She’s wonderful, puts out meaningful posts and occasionally engages. She also automate her tweets. So if I’m checking in at 2 a.m. before heading to bed, she’s there. Or during a bout of insomnia, sure enough a status update at 5:00 a.m. Even during the Tsunami in Japan, when I stayed up, there were her cheerful, but now rather inappropriate automated tweets.
After awhile it became just noise. I started glazing over her tweets because there were so many and they never stopped coming.
And so I don’t automate. But if you want to, I don’t have a problem with that. Just know that some of your valuable posts may be missed because we’ve stopped paying attention.
Really, I love you and all, but give me a chance to miss you!