As I repeated, for what seemed like the millionth time, the phrases that so often accompany a meal with my kids:
Stop kicking the table
Chew with your mouth closed
Take a bite!
I thought… how wonderful it would be if I could automate that process.
What a timesaver it would be, and how much more effective? No opportunity for correction would get missed because I was busy correcting someone else, or swallowing, or blinking or breathing.
Automation can be a blessing.
There seems to be a school of thought in social media circles that automating anything is not authentic. I disagree. Would you go back to keeping your books in a spiral notebook, or have you gotten used to software to automate many of those tasks?
How about your Tivo or DVR? Is scheduling programs to automatically record watching television in an unauthentic way? Advertisers might say, “Yes!!” but I digress….
Some social media tasks shouldn’t, in my opinion, be automated. Pulling a news or quote feed and sending it to your Twitter stream is not authentic. Scheduling a tweet to announce the blog post you completed at 3 AM so that it posts at 9 AM… I think that’s just smart.
Listening is another social media task that can benefit from automation. Set up tools like an RSS feed of Twitter searches or Google Alerts. You don’t have to remember to go listen that way…. You just have to respond. And response is one of those tasks that shouldn’t be automated. Conversation cannot be automated, either… Posting tweets or status messages all day when you are not there to respond to a question, comment or conversation is not authentic.
If I ever figure out how to automate table manners, I’ll let you know. I promise. In return, would you let me know what your favorite tools for automating social media tasks are? And why?