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The DO's and DONT's of Automating Your Social Media Posts

December 13 2017

A new service that will post to your social media accounts for you just arrived on the real estate technology scene.

IXACT Contact launched Social Stream today, an add-on to their popular CRM. Social Stream automates posts to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, saving you time spent looking for relevant content to share. Instead, agents simply choose their desired frequency of posts and the subject matter that they wish Social Stream to post about.

Social Stream then finds and curates content for you from top-tier publications, and posts videos and links to articles on your behalf. What differentiates Social Stream from other similar services is that links to the shared content redirect to a special web page that's under your control. So if, for example, Social Stream posts an article from Forbes, the content of that article will appear on this special page—a page that's branded to you and keeps you top of mind.

Some social media experts frown on the use of automated posts, arguing that it's an impersonal strategy. But if this is a type of service that interests you, go ahead and give it a shot. Make sure, however, that you keep a few things in mind so that it looks like your social profiles are run by a real human rather than a bot.

DO:

1. Respond to comments on your automated posts. Just because someone else is posting for you doesn't mean you can neglect your social accounts. The name of the game here is engagement, so take advantage of the interest your automated posts generate and respond to comments on these posts ASAP.

2. Interact with your followers. By outsourcing the time-consuming task of searching for content to share, you free yourself up to actually connect with your social sphere. Engage others by responding to, liking, or retweeting/sharing their posts. This shows consumers that there's an actual person behind your social accounts--and that it's not just a zombie profile run by robots.

3. Write your own posts from time to time. Sure, with a social media management service, you can completely "set it and forget it." But should you? Let your personality shine through on your profiles by writing your own posts occasionally. These can be things like local market info, your sales successes, listings, or just things you find interesting--posts that an automated service can't generate on their own.

DON'T:

1. Flood your followers with too many posts. Most social media management services let you choose the frequency with which they'll post on your behalf. Don't be too aggressive here, as you'll risk alienating followers by over-dominating their feed. Stick to one post per day at most, or three to five posts per week, ideally.

2. Choose post topics that you're not genuinely interested in. Your social media management vendor will let you pick which broad topic areas that they should post about for you. In an attempt to please others, it may be tempting to pick topics that you think your followers will be interested in, even if you're not interested yourself. This is the wrong move because the point of social media is to help others get to know you better and connect. Auto-posting topics that you're not really interested in comes off as disingenuous--and it makes responding to comments on those posts that much more difficult.

3. Forget to ask your vendor about their track record of success. The last thing you want to do is spend your hard-earned cash on a solution that doesn't work. So before you begin working with a social media management company, be sure to ask them specifics about how they've helped their current clients. Ask what the typical levels of engagement are on their automated posts, and the average number of leads that their clients see per week, month, or year.