After you’ve created a batch of compelling content (or curated a group of links you’re eager to share), the next logical step is to distribute the material. To save time in what’s undoubtedly a hectic schedule, you might opt for an automated content sharing option.
Maybe you schedule a slew of tweets, or set up an automatic publishing feature through your blog or Facebook page. That way, you can ensure that you’re sharing not only your own content, but other sources, too, and maintain your distribution schedule even during the busiest of days.
Yet before you succumb to the convenience of automation, think twice. Continually sharing automated content may actually do more harm than good, according to Eric Wittlake’s post on B2B Digital Marketing.
Common side effects of content automation include:
- An overemphasis on source selection as opposed to the actual content.
- Over-sharing, which may result in publishing so much content that people can’t keep up with your stream.
- Disconnection from your sources.
- A lack of commenting or context that gives your readers additional motivation to read what you’ve shared.
Once your content curation becomes less thoughtful and more robotic, readers have less of an incentive to connect with you by reading what you’ve shared. Sure, content distribution can take some time, especially if you’ve shared something that generates a high level of conversation. But isn’t that what social media is all about? It is, after all, social—and automation is not.
Think of automated content sharing as a larger-scale replica of Twitter’s automated RT function, or the “new” RT style. When you hit that button, you share a tweet but are unable to add any of your own comments before publishing. Someone who already sees you as a trusted and valuable content source may have no qualms about clicking on your links, but without adding a personal touch to your message, you’re giving little incentive to prospective connections—and therefore diluting the overall purpose of your sharing strategy.
That being said, we don’t necessarily advocate that you ban all forms of automation from any of your online platforms. Maybe your blog posts are automatically fed to Facebook, or you schedule a handful of tweets to keep your stream active during a busy period or when you’re off the grid. Here’s the key goal to keep in mind: whatever you do, just don’t take the “you” out of what you’re sharing.
Our two cents? Take the time to curate, share and comment on your content. We know as well as anyone else that these actions take time away from other tasks. Yet in the pursuit of building a personable, engaged brand, time spent distributing content is as valuable as the time spent on other components of your digital strategy.
What are your thoughts regarding content sharing automation? Does the convenience factor win you over, or do you prefer to channel your efforts into hand-picking what’s shared to your audience?