There are different means and extents to which you can automate your social media presence. This article explores three of the most common: Scheduling, chatbots, and automating your engagement with users, along with your thoughts on the three different approaches.
Approach 1: Scheduling posts to go out at specific times
One of the easiest, and most common approaches to automating your social media presence is to use scheduling tools to post your content at specific times. While this still relies on you creating the content, it reduces the time involved in managing the process – posts can be created in batches and then scheduled to go live at specific times.
Advantages of scheduling posts with scheduling tools:
- Helps you post across platforms
- Allows posts to be created in batches – saving you time to generate the content
- Helps you create and manage your social media calendar
Approach 2: Chatbots to respond to user questions
Chatbots are another way that you can look to save time on social media. Facebook for example specifically allows chatbots on its Messenger platform, allowing you to develop an automated way of dealing with common customer queries.
Chatbots aim to automate responses to common questions – through the use of language processing you can write code that seeks to interpret the question that is being asked, and respond to it in real-time. This cuts the need for your own employees to deal with the request, while also providing an instant answer to customers.
Approach 3: Automating engagement with users - social media bots
Another approach of automating your social media presence – and one that carries greater risks than the other two approaches – involves writing code to more directly engage with the platforms. Most social media networks provide developer APIs – interfaces to connect with the platforms. This opens the possibility that you can write custom code that automatically takes actions – a social media bot.
A simple social media bot for example may re-share content that contains a specific hashtag. While this may seem appealing – the ability to have a social media presence without any continued involvement, in general, the value to users of such bots is minimal at best. It also carries risks that you may not fully have control over your posts – your bot may take actions that, while you had programmed, you wouldn’t have directly taken yourself.
Different platforms have different policies when it comes to interfacing with the platform via their APIs – following others via automated code is typically barred. Overall though, while there may be cases where writing a bot to engage with users has great appeal, and there may be specific cases where it can help, in general, the appeal quickly fades.