Why You Should Automate Your Social Media
Technology makes it easy to automate or delegate certain tasks in your life. Some people start their mornings by cueing Alexa to turn on the lights and make a pot of coffee. Others set their bills to autopay or outsource and automate email, calendars and other rote tasks. These workarounds clear time from our schedules and also bring joy to our lives: Studies show that buying more time can actually make us happier.
Out of all the distractions of modern life, social media is one of the biggest destroyers of our time. The purpose of technology should be to make our lives easier, not more cluttered or complicated. Yet how often do you find yourself scrolling through never-ending feeds of baby photos and political tweets instead of being present with your surroundings? Probably even more than you think: The average American adult spends more than 11 hours a day interacting with media.
Yet, few people think to automate their social media the way they would automate the making of their morning coffee. That might be because so many online marketing or social media professionals stress that you should “be authentic” on your social media accounts. Honestly though, in today’s society, what really constitutes authenticity anymore? When Bill Maher described “Avatar America,” he observed that our carefully curated online personas were already by definition inauthentic.
Why spend more time managing your less authentic—and therefore less interesting—online self than you have to? Instead, use modern technology to automate that lamer version of yourself as much as possible, so you can spend more of your time being present with family and friends or pursuing value-generating activities.
Set up, optimize and link your profiles
If you’re a founder or CEO, curating your online persona and positioning yourself as a thought leader is about more than just vanity metrics—what comes up when your name is Googled can also impact your company or even your career.
A recent CareerBuilder survey indicates that around 70% of employers look at job candidates’ social media during the hiring process. Yet, while it’s important to put some level of thought into what to share online, your screen shouldn’t consume all your time.
There are numerous resources online about how to optimize your profiles. In short, you should set up and link accounts on all social media platforms. Linking these accounts correctly can have a big impact on search rankings. If a quick search on Google pulls up photos of you drinking at a college party, you can use a service like BrandYourself to help clean up your existing online reputation.
Generate and organize your content
Unlike how VHS tapes once competed for shelf space or how television networks fought for programming slots, today it’s easier than ever to create high quality content with very low overhead, marginal distribution costs and opportunities for high visibility. If you are serious about building your personal brand, you’ll want to produce, program and distribute content with a determined strategy and focus. Start by taking lessons from Gary Vaynerchuck and create “hero” or cornerstone content about you and your business. Then use smaller pieces of this content to disperse on social media. Take an hour to record an interview with another expert in your industry and start a podcast.
Get creative. If you’re an entrepreneur or small-business owner, you can write original articles about topics you are knowledgeable about. You can also create videos of your customers giving short testimonials saying why they work with you. The point is to create original content that will help grow your thought leadership rather than linking to another person’s work.
If you’re short on time, you can hire copywriters and videographers to help generate your content. You can find writers through freelancing sites like Textbroker. At the very least, you can aggregate articles, free stock photos, memes or infographics that you find online. Google Alerts is a great tool to keep on top of certain topics, and an app like Crowdfire can help you source relevant content. The material you create today can be repurposed in the future as top ten lists or “cream of the crop." Just make sure to only share work that is in line with your brand’s identity and goals.
Another route for creating content is to mine it from other sources. If you are determined, you could set a bot to pore over weekly film reviews and then get it to paraphrase them into new pieces written by a fake film critic. These new reviews could then be shared, linked to and submitted to aggregate sites like Rotten Tomatoes. If a fake Russian art historian can build a fanbase from regurgitated content, you most certainly can also.
One of the most hilarious examples of repurposing content is the Twitter account @horse_ebooks, which was used to auto-tweet random passages from equestrian books back in 2012. Yahoo Sports and Associated Press were some of the first adopters of this type of robot writing, which works by interpreting data sets and then structuring coherent articles.
You can read Part 2 of this article here.
I am a talent manager, producer and growth hacker. Me and Nic's book Zen and the Art of Admin Tasks can be found here.