As one of the Directors for the Sacramento Chapter of the Social Media Club, we often are at the center of where brilliant conversation occurs regarding the professional use of social media. The case was no different last week when while coordinating an event on Social Media and Social Uprising we did a short interview with Adam Krolfifer from KTXL Fox40. I can assure you that the comments where brilliant, though when cut up added to the tossed salad of media coverage, we could have come off a bit more polished.
The interview also features Laura Good, the Executive Director of the Social Media Club, as well as some others in attendance to the event hosted at the California Museum.
To help us to deal with this tools that aid in managing social media have become more commonplace. Tools that help monitor, schedule tweets, and reporting tools can be extremely useful. Some of these features also risk encouraging you to ignore your network, or worse yet, taking them more for granted, to post blatantly daft updates that give no thought to their context. Is this any way to treat the connections we worked so hard to forge?
One seemingly convenient feature that appears to be over used is auto posting. Auto posting can be accomplished a couple of different ways;
- An update created on a single or multiple social media platforms when a blog post is created. For example, if you update your blog you can auto post the blog post to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
- An update to one social network results in updates across all of your social media platforms. For example, a tweet resulting in an update to a LinkedIn profile.
Both of these types of auto updating should be used with extreme caution. It appears to be of great convenience, however it results in a post that could be better managed manually and risks sending a message to your followers, fans, and ‘likers’ that your social life is on auto-pilot.
Here are some of the more egregious offenses;
Twitter to LinkedIn
Last year LinkedIn allowed a connection with Twitter that allows all of your tweets to be used as your LinkedIn updates. Your connections on Twitter are far different than those who have chosen a purely professional platform for interaction. LinkedIn allows you to discriminate by only posting tweets containing #in. At the very least, execute some judgment so that your professional network knows that you are being thoughtful with your sharing.
Additionally, LinkedIn allows for a nice media rich sharing experience. If you are posting links, far better is it to actually post directly to the platform with a photo and additional comments. A well thought out post will attract far more attention and comment than auto posted twitter dribble.
Blog Auto Posting
Wordpress and some other blogging platforms allow for the auto posting of any blog content that you publish. This can also be a convenient feature. How can you be sure however that a tweet won’t be truncated, that the correct words will be used. Not to mention that there will be no hash tags. Also, Facebook and LinkedIn will allow you to pick the image you want associated with your article to increase engagement where as your auto post may not pick up the best image for your social media post.
Facebook Posts to Twitter
Every once in awhile something on Facebook is tweet-worthy. We have seen many however that have every post on Facebook auto posted. This is not a great idea for a couple of reasons. First of all, not everything is tweet worthy. Secondly, if you are posting links to websites on Facebook, there is nothing more frustrating for somebody on Twitter than to click on a link that takes the user to Facebook where they then need to click again to visit the subject of the post. Always deliver your audience directly to the relevant content.
These are just some of the many ways in which we are tempted to automate our online activities. While many of them seem to speed things up, leaving us more time for “actual” work, let’s not forget the reason that social media exist. As a tool that provides connections, let’s remember that what differentiates social media from other forms of one way media is that human connecting. Once social media has become simply another place for you to broadcast, it loses it’s efficacy as a means to connect you with those around you.
Social media has some broad and varying definitions. Some define social media as user generated content or interactive applications. One definition calls for the blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value.
Regardless of your preferred definition, social media involves connecting people. It promotes collaboration and interaction between individuals and groups. One of the major successes is the speed at which people are connected. Social media also serves to connect businesses, brands, non-profit organizations, locations, activities to their advocates.
That’s why I’d like to celebrate somebody trying to bring back the original form of person-to-person media. Just a couple of weeks ago I encountered Michele Valencia. Michele was introduced to me after she met and wrote about one of my clients. We later met in person at an event hosted by the Sacramento Social Media Club. Michele is endeavoring in a campaign to bring back the hand written correspondence. She calls it 100 Stamps in 100 Days, in which I am certain she will exceed. I use to be far more diligent about hand written notes myself. In a world of fast paced and sometime tenuous connections, it’s nice to know that for a handful of minutes somebody thought about you for more than 140 characters.