Smartphones afford few greater pleasures than reading an article when sat on the loo. While the rest of the day is all email, phone calls, spreadsheets and a never ending game of Words With Friends, the toilet break is you time. It’s time to read that article or, better yet, simply stare at the door.

This is your life: If Stuart had his way

This is your life: If Stuart had his way

Enjoy it while you can for Future Content’s very own Editor, Stuart Roberts, wants to put an end to this. An end, even, to any free time you have. If he had total control he may even ask you to stop working. Why? Because you should, according to him, be glued, 24/7, to social media

This worries me because I like to automate. It feels fantastic. If I could automate my offline social life I would. I’d automatically update my family and friends on how everything is going so I could skip straight to the good parts because automation, for me, is all about skipping the bread and getting straight to the filling

Counter Point – Why Social Media Automation Doesn’t Work

Stuart would have you constantly glued to your phone – I propose that you have better things to do. I don’t believe that anyone based in the UK with a following in Australia and California is going to miss out on sleep to engage with the former colonies. With automation, you can schedule your posts so that the same tweet gets seen in Sydney, Stroud and Seattle.

He cites a silly little competition that I didn’t really try in. OK, so he did gain more followers but, in the long run, who’s the winner? His most successful tweet was a picture of his route to work. I’m not sure I want any followers who follow me for my commute. For starters, who are these people and, more importantly, are they likely to follow me home?

My Lovely Tweet

Social Automation tools have made me a God. Seriously

Using some nifty recipes in IFTTT my apps are all interconnected. I find a relevant article on Flipboard or my RSS feed and push that to Pocket to read later (probably when sat on the loo.) If the articles good enough that gets pushed to Buffer which, in turn, schedules the Tweet and publishes it for me at the optimum time. These apps work on my tablet and my computer.

IFTT recipe -pocket to buffer

I can have other people doing the same, finding relevant titbits and posting them. I had a prospect say “Gosh! You’re busy on Linkeidn”. Oh no, Caroline, I’ve not been on Linkedin in weeks

God like, no?

We all hear about BIG data, analysis and testing. Well, Buffer and Hootsuite provide stats. Stats beyond who’s retweeted, liked and shared. And stats are great, if a little depressing.

Snapshot of Buffer analytics

My advice – ignore the stats but enjoy the superior feeling of ‘having the info.’

Of course, with stats like that you can’t help but wonder “what’s the point?”  And it’s then that you focus on other people. A laser-like focus on the people who influence your audience and reaching out to them to drive engagement and other such horrible buzzwords. But this, too, can be outsourced (and wouldn’t you know that’s something we offer)

In the course of writing this manifesto I took myself to Twitter. What was supposed to be a quick sojourn turned into a 30 minute dilly-dally. I lack the discipline to ignore all the interesting tweets. Automation allows me to build a following without being sucked into its delicious pot of whimsy. And there lies the difference, Social media was originally for the techies and then this sensitive group of creatives got involved and all of a sudden they quote latin at you and tell you to engage and connect.  Nuts to that. I’m busy.

Photo Credit:

Phones: By Official White House Photo by Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Tom is the founder of Future Content, a specialist content agency located in Bristol, UK. Tom is the winner of the 2016 'Acceler8' award for Entrepreneurial Leadership from RBS and Entrepreneurial Spark. You can find Tom on Twitter @HTSandford. If you ever visit Future Content's offices you'll find Tom near the table tennis table.

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