There have been continuous debates on how one shall use automated messaging in their networks. Having bombarded by auto-direct messages before I was never too keen into making this part of our discussions here. However, recently I was triggered to view it differently because I’ve seen how automatic scheduling can be a blessing to some when it is used wisely in social networking. After giving this a good thought then it hits me…
It’s All About Personal Ethics
Let’s try look at it this way…
Link droppers constantly messed up our comment boards, did it stop us from commenting seriously? No, it didn’t.
Spam bots misuse Twitter to spam our streams with useless info, did we stop using Twitter then? No, we didn’t.
Seriously, if one tends to misuse the scheduling feature solely for Me!Me!Me factor, there’s much to concern about his or her network ethics. Blaming the application for the wrongdoings is far fetched. Since personal reputation is at risk here so I wouldn’t suggest you to jump into scheduling whirlpool before knowing what to expect.
Are We Encouraged to Try Automated Status Updates?
Again, we can’t control how one is running his social networks. Automated Status Updates is a feature, a CHOICE, not a must. Don’t use it if you don’t need it; but if you insist, then take responsibility and revise your purpose before doing so. Bear in mind that if you despise spammers, people will too. Knowing what to avoid and don’t get dependent on it will be a good start.
I have met several people who are using status-scheduling under special circumstances. I didn’t bias to shut them out before I get to know them better in person. They have the decency to not overuse but keep everything moderated. I agree that it helps in both productivity and online presence. It suits their purposes well and so far, no one is complaining.
So what else you need to consider before using automatic status updates?
6 Points To Ponder Before Using Automatic Status Updates
1. Moderate Your Scheduled Status Updates
More doesn’t mean better. Recurring updates are to be handled with care or it will hurt badly. Do not suffocate your followers with endless info, separate them into different time slots if must. It’s tiresome to filter our Twitter streams and live feeds, don’t make us annoyed and shut you down for good. We’re not saying you can’t promote your own stuffs, but keep them moderated at all times. Here’s a clear example by Chris Garrett just how ugly it can get in real life.
2. Don’t Put Others’ Reputations At Risk Just Because You Can’t Follow the Rules
Some people are using it in special circumstances: getting messages across about rescheduling a tweetup, alerting others to beware account impersonations, call to actions in meaningful causes etc. Just because you’re desperately to be heard, sabotaging your chance with repeating self-centered updates can alter people’s judgments for both the application and the person who uses it. Do not force the spamming marker to be placed on others simply because you can’t follow the rules.
3. Avoid Self-Promoting Link(s) in First Direct Message to New Friend or Fan
It’s the same nature why people dislike salesmen, they have only one purpose – to sell. If you’re not, why rushing to push products? Take time to engage, find out what your followers truly like. Wouldn’t that be a much better approach? Think ahead and don’t limit yourself shortsightedly. Sometimes it’s not just about the revenue, but the word of mouth, long-lasting trust and friendship that worth so much more in social networking. First impression counts, don’t ruin it.
4. Personalize and Edit Your Automatic Status Updates According to Relevancy
Sometimes a pre-scheduled updates can be outdated or irrelevant. Make corrections and add values to them if needed. It should be as genuine as your other live tweets or news feeds. If the purpose of using online scheduler is for productivity, it shouldn’t be a problem for you are just as enthusiastic to enhance them for more retweets and bookmark-friendly. Make your updates count or no updates at all.
5. Knowing the Acceptance Limit of Your Audiences
Always, the acceptance limit of your followers or fans, not your own. Think on their behalf of how many updates are going their ways and how you shall engage with them during intervals. Many people forgetting the need to follow up and connect but depending lazily on online scheduler. People don’t want to talk or listen to a robot. My advise is, do not schedule too much updates before you manage to get in and start conversations or reply to a feedback. A stream without engagement is monotonous. That’s the last thing you need in social networking.
6. Personality and Sincerity of Wanting to Connect Should Be Well Delivered
Forget about affiliate links, ‘visit me’ blog links, help-me-to-help-you type of messages. These will turn people off before they get to know you, which is a pity. It’s not too late to change, try apply a mixture of scheduling of post-sharing for blogger friends, collecting data from poll questions dedicated to people from different timezones, offering freebies or job positions that will end someone’s misery. It doesn’t sound all that bad now, does it? Good things do happen if you know when to use automatic status updates, and when to stop.
You can even add a special hashtag as in offline or a short message indicating you’re currently unavailable for chatting. Making it clear that it’s a good information you think worth a look, even you’re not there in person. In that case, no misunderstandings will put you in a difficult position but people will aware of your absence. Promise to feedback to them when you get online and keep your word. I have yet seen this been done anywhere but thought could be a considerable thing to do.
Now It’s Your Turn…
What advises do you think people need to hear before using automatic status updates? Kindly share your experience and constructive suggestions (no hate messages) in the comments below. We’re in this together to make our network a better and reliable place to be in, encourage correct mindsets and reduce unwanted noise with social media applications.
A review is coming up so stay tuned for next posting.