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Dos and Don'ts of Social Media Automation

Let’s face it, we’re busy. I mean, what business owner isn’t? We take on more than we should. And if we’re not busy, we are busy trying to be busy again. It’s nearly impossible to try and remember to post to Facebook and other social media networks every day. So why not try a social media automation app?

Maybe you’ve never heard of automation software for posting to your social media accounts. Perhaps you have been posting directly. Well, it may be time to consider a third-party platform or app to schedule your posts.

We have been using Hootsuite since March 2012 to post to our social media accounts. It’s been great to see the growth and improvements of the platform since we joined over six years ago!

We have also used other platforms like Meet Edgar, Massplanner, Zoho Social and SNAP. We may compare these platforms in another blog post.

There are many features that can help out a small business owner with scheduling posts. Our favourite is the ability to import a bulk list of scheduled posts from a spreadsheet.

Thanks to social media platform API’s, automation apps allow you to post to multiple social networks from one place. No more logging into Facebook, then Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn… just to post that recent blog post.

Being on social media everyday, we see the errors that small businesses when posting to their accounts. We already know that there is very little organic reach on Facebook, so it’s more important than ever to have content that is engaging.


Don’t cross post across platforms. Cross-posting is posting identical content on every social media network or posting the same content, multiple times.

Do use unique content that follow the formats for each social network.

There are techniques that garner more attention on one platform over another. For example, though hash tags work on virtually all networks, but they work best on Instagram.

Tagging a person in an Instagram post works great, but when it’s cross-posted to Facebook, the tag doesn’t work. This can cause the post to look spammy.

Posting unique content to your other networks also encourages followers to connect with you on multiple platforms so they don’t miss anything. Also, your audience make-up may vary depending on social platform, therefore the way your messages are curated may differ depending on the target demographic.

When your audience views the exact same post on more than one network, it seems amateurish and screams “I don’t have time for this.” The best engagement is real, organic engagement. When people feel that it is a real post by a real person, the are more likely to trust your brand and engage with it.


Don’t repost every piece of content you’ve created.

Do choose the best, most engaging content pieces for repost.

When you have a well-written blog post, why not repost it? Well, reposting is okay depending on how it’s done. We recommend waiting a minimum of two weeks before reposting original content. As is with cross-posting, tweak the description using key phrases from the article to try and gain more engagement.

It’s always good practice to review the stats from the original post and repost(s) to compare engagement. If engagement is negatively affected, you may try waiting longer or changing the post description.

Set It and Forget It

Don’t auto-post so you can avoid logging on to your social media profiles.

Do use auto-posting to allow you to schedule your posts to reach different audiences at different times, giving the appearance that you are always available.

Auto-posting apps are only tools to help you build relationships on your social media platforms. They only start the conversation. It’s up to you to respond to comments, likes, shares and messages manually.

Organic engagement is the most effective method of social media growth. People like authentic, and authentic can’t be faked or manufactured. If you set it and forget it, you have missed the purpose of social media automation.

Remember, if you want people to be engaged, you first.

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