At the weekend big news hit my Facebook news feed. Facebook have removed the share link from content posted via an application.
This will have a huge impact on Facebook users that rely on applications like
This move follows revelations that the new Facebook newsfeeds seemed to penalise content posted by third party applications (although this issue was resolved), awarding it less edgerank. It looks like Facebook really want us to be on Facebook to post our content.
- Even without these changes I believe that it is more effective to post directly to Facebook, from my own experience you get more feedback on a piece of content if you post it manually and add a short introduction to your link than you do when you allow an application to post it for you.
- For me the big breakthrough was when Google+ was launched. As it didn’t allow automation we were forced to post our blogs and links manually. When posting a link I’d add a bit of blurb at the top of the post explaining what was going through my head when I constructed the post or asking for feedback. The result as expected was more interaction.
Shortly after this I took the automatic feed from my Facebook page and started posting manually there as well, and it worked, I started to get more interaction on Facebook too.
But it’s not just on Facebook that automation matters. You will always get more interaction if you post on social media manually.
One of my new years resolutions was to cut back on automated posts, everywhere I use it I find I’m loosing benefit.
Here’s what I’ve cut so far
- Facebook > Twitter: I used to allow my Facebook page to update Twitter, when I looked back on my Twitter stream these posts stood out a mile. There is more benefit in linking directly to posts on your Facebook page from Twitter manually as you can make a stronger call to action. Here’s how to link to a piece of Facebook content.
- Networked Blogs: I allowed Networked Blogs to post directly to my Facebook wall. I still use the application, but keep it as a tab on my Facebook page. Now I post each blog post manually with a bit of blurb enticing people to read it.
- Twitter RSS: I allow Hootsuite to automatically post to Twitter each time I blog, however I now add an additional ‘hand crafted’ tweet to encourage more interaction around the subject I’m discussing.
- Other Twitter Apps: When I scanned my tweets, to my horror I discovered I’d allowed several applications to post to Twitter for me. Twenty Feet was tweeting my weekly Twitter stats, Post.ly was posting daily news. I didn’t feel that any of this was adding value to my feed and was of no benefit to my followers… so I stopped it.
What I plan to change
I’m not finished yet, I still have at least one area to tackle.
If you admin a group on Linkedin it allows you to pull in your RSS feed, this way every time you blog it will update the group. At first I thought this was brilliant but I have discovered that I get very little, if any feedback from the posts that autofeed in this way. My final step in de-automating is to remove these feeds and post manually.
Are you a big fan of automation? Have you found any tricks and tips that make it work for you? Or are you like me steering away from using it?
Image: “robot toys/Shutterstock“