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Automated Nightmare
By: Jessica Cherok
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As a freelancer for a couple of different companies, I found myself needing to automate messages across a variety of social media platforms. Automation was supposed to make my life simpler, but little did I know it was going to turn it into a complex scheduling nightmare.

There are a lot of different automation applications out there. A lot. I know it’s a lot because I’ve tried them all. Or at least it feels like I have. I keep running into the same problems over and over — whatever application I try falls far short of my needs.

I don’t believe my needs are all that unique. I don’t need tweets to be sent when certain stars are in alignment. Or the messages to be blessed by elusive Tibetan monks before going out. No, all I need is to schedule individual messages to go out to four different accounts, in three different applications. That’s it.

In one, I can schedule across multiple accounts, but I can’t see the calendar from the compose screen, so I have no idea when I’ve already scheduled something. I end up setting them mere minutes apart, so I’m constantly having to double (or triple) check between the two views. I actually had to get out a paper calendar to keep track. It’s downright archaic!

In another, I can see the schedule while composing my message, but I can only do one account. Meaning I have to sign in and out over and over to switch between accounts. Literally no one has time for that.

A one-stop application appears to be one of the hardest things to find. In fact, the one I’m currently using is so convoluted that I can’t even speak its name without my eye starting to twitch.

If social media is so important to business, why isn’t there something better out there?

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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