When the Twitter algorithms were recently open-sourced, one interesting finding was that Twitter profiles that automated their social media publishing weren’t provided the same level of visibility as native posts. I was a bit disappointed with this. I have a personal Twitter profile where I engage personally with other Twitter accounts but Martech Zone’s Twitter account is a place where folks can follow our articles but not have to subject themselves to my views on other things. That said… I’m not going to change the way that I post or how I utilize Twitter. I’ll explain why…
There are several advantages to natively posting social media content on each platform rather than using automated tools to publish from one central location. Here are some key benefits:
- Platform-specific features: Each social media platform offers unique features and formats that are best utilized when posting natively. By creating platform-specific content, you can take advantage of these features and optimize your content for each platform’s user experience. For example, Instagram’s emphasis on visual content, hashtags, and Stories requires a tailored approach, while Twitter’s character limit and retweet culture demand concise and engaging posts.
- Audience preferences: Different social media platforms attract diverse user demographics and engagement patterns. By tailoring your content to each platform, you can better align with the preferences and behaviors of your target audience. Understanding the nuances of each platform allows you to create content that resonates more effectively, leading to higher engagement and a stronger connection with your followers.
- Algorithmic considerations: Social media algorithms are designed to prioritize content that performs well within their specific platform. Natively posting allows you to understand and adapt to each platform’s algorithmic preferences. By tailoring your content to meet the platform’s algorithmic criteria, you can increase the likelihood of your posts being seen by a larger audience and receiving more organic engagement.
- Community building and engagement: Natively posting on each platform enables you to build a stronger community and foster deeper engagement. By engaging directly with your followers through platform-specific features like comments, likes, shares, and direct messages, you can establish a more authentic and meaningful connection. This level of personal interaction can lead to increased loyalty, brand advocacy, and word-of-mouth marketing.
- Brand consistency: While it’s important to adapt content to each platform, maintaining brand consistency across all social media channels is crucial. By natively posting, you have more control over the visual presentation, tone, and messaging of your content on each platform. This consistency reinforces your brand identity and helps users recognize and connect with your brand across various channels.
By understanding and leveraging the unique features, preferences, algorithms, and user behaviors of each platform, you can maximize your social media presence and engagement.
Automatically posting using a social media marketing platform or integrating your Content Management System (CMS) can also offer several advantages:
- Time efficiency: Using a scheduling platform or CMS integration allows you to plan and schedule your social media content in advance. Instead of manually posting content in real-time, you can create and schedule posts ahead of time, saving you valuable time and streamlining your workflow. This automation frees you up to focus on other important tasks or engage with your audience in real-time.
- Consistency: Consistency is key in maintaining an active social media presence. Scheduling platforms or CMS integrations enable you to maintain a regular posting schedule even when you’re busy or unavailable. By scheduling content in advance, you ensure a consistent flow of posts, which can help keep your audience engaged and improve your overall social media strategy.
- Strategic planning: Planning and scheduling posts in advance allows you to take a strategic approach to your social media content. You can align your posts with upcoming events, promotions, or campaigns, ensuring timely and relevant content. This strategic planning enables you to maintain a cohesive content strategy and better coordinate your social media efforts with your overall marketing initiatives.
- Audience targeting: Scheduling platforms or CMS integrations often provide targeting options, allowing you to reach specific segments of your audience. You can schedule posts to go out at optimal times when your target audience is most likely to be active on social media. By leveraging audience insights and analytics, you can optimize your content distribution and increase the likelihood of reaching the right people with your messages.
- Multichannel management: If you’re active on multiple social media platforms, using a scheduling platform or CMS integration can simplify the management process. You can create and schedule content for various platforms from a single interface, saving you from logging in and out of different accounts. This centralized management makes it easier to maintain a consistent brand presence across multiple channels.
- Performance tracking: Many scheduling platforms offer analytics and reporting features that provide insights into the performance of your posts. You can track engagement metrics, such as likes, shares, and comments, as well as audience growth and reach. These analytics can help you understand what content resonates best with your audience and refine your social media strategy accordingly.
While cross-posting automation can save time and effort, you will likely see a drop in your interactions, engagement, and possibly your conversions.
So… Which One Is Best For Your Business?
There may be quite a few social media consultants in my audience who vehemently disagree. That’s okay, you’re absolutely welcome to your opinion… but keep in mind that your livelihood depends on companies that want to engage deeper and grow their social media community. For some companies, I simply don’t see the ROI no matter what level of effort they’ve put into it.
The question of whether or not you automatically or natively post to social media comes down to two distinct questions, in my opinion:
- Are You Building A Community? A community can be an excellent investment in a company’s efforts. Growing a lively community where peers are assisting peers is a powerful asset. While it may not pay off immediately, over time a community can help one another, you can solicit powerful feedback, and you can likely promote products and services once you’ve attained a certain size. Martech Zone has an audience, but several attempts at making it a community have fallen short. Because of this, it’s not worth my effort to engage personally and spend a ton of time in social media platforms. Instead, I automate my publishing and then respond when necessary.
- Does Engagement Have An ROI? Just because you have a great following and a ton of activity on your social media account doesn’t mean that those people are going to buy your products or services. If you can’t connect the dots between revenue and your social media investment, there’s probably a good business case for walking away. We have seen this first-hand. For some of our clients, social media posts drive direct revenue to their e-commerce sites. For other clients… like consulting companies or software platforms, we see little or no correlation between engagement and actual revenue.
It’s important to note that the goal of every social media platform is to both grow their users and deepen their engagement. Social media platforms make money through advertising… so the more users they have and the more they understand them, the better the targeting and the higher their revenue. They will always tell you that you should natively publish and invest heavily in their platforms. That’s not always advantageous to your bottom line as a business, though!
My advice for any business is to test and optimize. In this case, I believe you can share campaign URLs for events, content, promotions, or products natively for a month or two… then test automating for a month or two. If you’re not seeing the revenue when investing in natively posting, then you may want to just save money and time with automated posting.