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Please Stop Automating
By: Jessica Cherok
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As someone who browses social media in my personal time, I absolutely hate when I come across automated posts. It’s hard to feel good about something meant to be timely and heartfelt, but was no doubt written a week (or more) ago. Yet, as someone who uses social media for work, scheduling and automation keep me sane.

So how do you make the updates you’re scheduling sound less schedule-y and more personal? You don’t. Seriously. There are things you can do to soften the blow, but for the most part automating sounds like automation. Remember when telemarketers would call, and for a couple of seconds it sounded like you were talking to a person, then realized it was not? You were mad at being fooled. It's the same way now with social media. You don't need to look any farther than people's reaction to @Horse_ebooks (though admittedly, it's somewhat a reversed example).

The trick is to never go full automation. Don’t schedule everything. You’re not a prophet; you can’t predict the future. Yes, Fridays do happen every week, but if you’ve scheduled a “TGIF ya’ll!!” tweet to post at 9:04am every Friday from now until the end of time, someone is going to notice.

The balance is about being a real person more often than not. Do not listen to anyone whose advice is “just put out a lot of content.” Bad content is bad, especially if there's a lot of it.

Social media is meant for engagement, so be engaging.

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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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