To automate or not to automate?


(Image thanks to D’Arcy Norman via Flickr.com

With the escalating popularity of social media sites, I hear a lot of advice, especially in the wedding and event biz, about automating your social media feed.
This can consist of pre-scheduling tweets on Twitter, or scheduling blog posts in advance, or linking accounts with ping.fm or other services, so one status update can show across several services, just to name a very few. Many of these services are great timesavers and used wisely, can make the task of social media for business more of a pleasure.
However, I would caution business owners to remember the “social” aspect of social media. Those whose only contribution to Twitter is the RSS feed of their blog, for example, run the risk of looking like they’re only in it for themselves. Especially when said blog is simply a roster of products or services for sale and contains little real advice or education for prospective readers. If you’re wondering why you have few followers, no blog comments, low blog stats, and little interaction, take a hard look at what you’re putting out there and ask yourself, “Is this interesting to the type of people I’d like to interact with, and is it worth a response?”
Whether you choose to automate or not, make sure you keep the social in social media by interacting, reposting/retweeting, and assisting; the same as any good business owner would do in non-online life.