May 31, 2012

Do you use a third-party API to schedule your posts for the week? Many individuals think that using an API to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other various social networking sites saves them time, energy and money. They also believe that they will reap the same benefits from pre-scheduling their posts as they would if they posted live.

It is common practice to take one hour a week and schedule posts for the week, in hopes of generating buzz, gaining business and increasing ROI. The truth is, third-party API’s used to auto-schedule posts can do more harm than good. The key is to find a middle ground. What are some of the detriments of using a third-party API for your social media marketing activity?

Stale Content

If you are auto-scheduling the exact same content, verbatim, to post on all of your social media networking sites at the exact same time, you are doing your business a disservice. This is a sure fire way to have people unlike your page, unfollow you on Twitter and unsubscribe from your RSS feed.

Many consumers will follow you on multiple social networking sites. If they see the exact same content, with a note from the API that you used to send the post, they will believe that you don’t feel they are worth your time and energy to be posting ‘live’.

Bad Manners

Believe it or not, but social media etiquette does exist. When you click ‘send to all your accounts’ you are posting content that isn’t relevant to all of your accounts. Your followers on Twitter may not want the same information that your LinkedIn followers want. The same applies to Facebook. There is nothing more irritating than seeing a short 140-character post with a # (hashtag) on a Facebook business page. Auto-scheduling posts on a consistent basis broadcasts to your audience that you don’t have the time to deliver great content, that applies to a specific social media networking site, on a regular basis. Does this mean that you should never use a third-party API to schedule posts? Certainly not.

Use Common Sense

If you are using a third-party API, simply change up the wording a bit and schedule your posts for each account accordingly. For example, if you have just written a great blog post or if you have a brand new incentive, it makes sense to use an API to schedule strategic outbound messages to promote. Just remember to use the specific strategy that will apply. If you are posting to Facebook, you can use more words/characters, if you are posting to Twitter, keep it short and simple. You get the idea.

Third-party API’s are wonderful for monitoring your social media accounts and for engagement. You can see all of your accounts in one location. This is a preferred way to truly maximize API’s. If you are scheduling out the exact same post for all of your accounts at the exact same time, you are doing your business a disservice.



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