It’s been playing around in my head for a few months and today I bit the bullet … disabled RSS Graffiti, the app that auto-posts my blog articles to Facebook and Twitter and will now start manually posting.
I know! We live in a microwave society and everybody wants to get more from as little input as possible. I’m just as guilty, but I learnt a long-time ago with YouTube, that manually uploading and optimising your videos works far better than using automated software.
Not sure why it’s taken me so long to make that decision where Facebook and Twitter are concerned but here is how it started …
I remembered that Mari Smith had talked about the reasons for not auto posting to Facebook and decided to do my homework.
Auto-Posting Lowers Visibility For Posts Shared Implicitly By Third-Party Apps
This is a more recent change and I’ve updated this post accordingly to reflect the focus from just a decrease in the comments an likes when using third party apps, to focusing on how implicit and explicit updates impact engagement.
SproutSocial do a good job of explaining why “explicit” updates get more attention. Samuel Axon explains:
With an “explicit” update, you take the initiative to share one specific thing from within the application — like clicking the “Share” button on a news story, or any post you publish using Sprout Social.
Notice I only use “explicit” updates here on TrishJones.com and have been since I first wrote this article back in 2012.
Let me use YouTube as an example of an implicit update. I’m not sure if it’s the case since I’ve turned off the feature on my account, but at one time, each time you watched a video, YouTube would share the fact that you watched a video with the world via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc.
I might just be watching that video for research purposes and not even like or agree with the content of the video, but by my mere action, the video was shared, though in my view it didn’t deserve to be shared.
So, “Implicit” updates happen automatically based on the user’s activity which is how it is when using third party auto posting applications on your blog … the mere fact you create a blog post, this triggers an update to Facebook, Twitter etc.
So Why Use Auto Posting Apps In The First Place?
Some would argue it’s easier, some might call it integration and then there are others, like me, who will just have to admit that it’s downright laziness.
We all want social media, but we don’t really want to relate and interact.
It’s far easier for sure to write an article, and have an app push that one piece of content out to as many social circles as possible, some of which we never even visit.
However, this isn’t social interaction and although I would have argued against it some time ago, if indeed it’s correct that Facebook reduces the prominence of posts published by third-party APIs, I say good for them!
It gives those who want to focus on the human element of social media to excel.
Social Media Needs To Remain Relational
And in my view, automated software just doesn’t cut it and doesn’t build real engagement.
Gary Vaynerchuk in his book, Crush It, talks about how in his early days of going social, he spent hours reading comments and engaging with his and other people’s readers. He talked about how he answered their questions, interacted with them, found out what they wanted and then tried to deliver what they asked for.
Seriously now, when you think about it, how can automated software add this level of meaning, engagement and relationship building to any business.
In truth, it can’t.
And I’m beginning to understand that this is one of the primary reasons some people are finding that social media is a waste of time.
It is if you treat social media like most people do networking … show up in the hopes that they’ll find someone to pitch.
You know what I’m talking about! Most people do networking really badly (me included … in fact, I don’t even bother unless it’s online). They’re like leech, looking for their next host. They don’t really want to engage, they just want to know, “are you ready to buy?”
social media is the new networking and so we had better get better at it … and fast!
Why Auto Posting Works For Some?
There are going to be groups, like celebrities and the TV Evangelists who do well using software such as HootSuite, but remember, they are on TV! Check when their scheduled posts are published and you’ll find it’s consistent with the timing of their airing on TV or radio.
Had to slip this one in just in case anyone asks!
It’s Time To Get Social
No pun inteneded, but it really is time to get (as in understand) and get (as in interact) social.
Just like the search engines and SEO, the more you try to cheat the system, the more work you’ll end up doing in the long-run.
Dig deep into the reasons social media exists and decide to do it well or not at all.
Until next time,