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Stop Automating Social Media for Better Results

Stop Automating Social Media for Better Results
    If you're jumping on the bandwagon, be sure to keep social media social. Image by Matt Hamm. Used under a Creative Commons License.

    While the virtues of social media have been exalted countless times before and should be obvious to anyone who’s even dabbled briefly with a Facebook account, most of those virtues can be summed up thusly:

    Whether you want to market your business, promote your blog or appeal to potential employers in your industry, social media is a quick, easy and effective way to do just that.

    In fact, it’s so quick and easy that you hardly have to do anything at all.

    Using various tools, you can put most of your social media activities on autopilot, leaving your accounts to work by themselves and freeing you up to do other things.

    Yet just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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    Automating your social media may tick the quick and easy boxes, but it’s far less effective than giving your social media accounts real care and attention.

    Truth is, people don’t sign up to social media sites to receive marketing messages from robots.

    That’s not to say you can’t use those services for marketing, but by automating all your activities, the only real message you’re giving to potential customers is

    “hey, we don’t care enough about you to talk to you personally.”

    What is automated social media?

    Automating your social media simply involves using tools to keep your social media accounts running with minimal effort.

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    This could be:

    • Linking your social networks (for example Facebook and Twitter) together so that posting on one updates them all.
    • Automatically sending a direct message (DM) to new followers on Twitter
    • Having your activity on other websites posted on your social networks

    Updating all your networks at once

    If you manage several accounts across various social networks it might be tempting to use tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to update them all at once.

    The problem here is that people use each social network differently.

    To maximise the effectiveness of each post it pays to tailor your message to each audience. Otherwise, you end up with Facebook posts containing hashtags, @mentions and requests for retweets or, perhaps worse, tweets beginning with the words ‘Hello Facebook!’ At best, it makes you look silly, at worst it goes back to ‘hey, we don’t care enough about you to talk to you personally.’

    Writing your posts directly to your followers/fans in any given medium is more likely to get their attention.

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    ‘So What?’

    One of the biggest problems with automated social media is that it gives your audience little incentive to care about your posts. Take the way you can automatically inform your Twitter followers when you upload a new Youtube video.

    “I uploaded a @Youtube video you.tube/1234abcd Automated Social Media”

    Yeah, so what? Scores of people upload videos to Youtube all the time. You’re not special. Why should anybody care about this one? Having Youtube automatically update your Twitter may save you a few seconds of time, but is it really garnering you as much attention you’d receive if you manually posted something along the following lines?

    “Interested in learning about why automated social media may be ineffective? You might like this new video – you.tube/1234abcd”

    Direct messages on Twitter

    Automated direct messages sent to new followers on Twitter is the quickest way to let them know you have no intention of engaging with them properly.

    “Hi! Thanks for the follow. Check out my eBook – Why Automated DM’s are annoying”

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    The consensus amongst many Twitter users is that messages such as that are little more than spam, and it isn’t unheard of for people to quickly unfollow an account on receipt of such messages. If you really feel you must send somebody a DM, take the time to do it yourself. It only takes a second and you’ll develop an infinitely better relationship with your new Twitter friend.

    Ultimately, it all boils down to this:

    Keep social media social. Talk to people, engage, and be human. Chances are you’ll have much more success than letting robots do your social media for you.

    More by this author

    Chris Skoyles

    Coach, and trainee counsellor specializing in mental health and addiction.

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    Trending in Technology

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    Last Updated on September 11, 2019

    8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

    8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

    Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

    Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

    Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

    Why Typing Fast Matters?

    Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

    Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

    Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

    Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

    8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

    Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

    Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.

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    For Beginners

    1. Speed Typing Online

      What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

      The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

      2. Typing Trainer

        Typing Trainer

        is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

        Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

        The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

        3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

          There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.

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          Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

          The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

          For professional writers and programmers

          4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

            Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

            If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

            Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

            If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

            If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

            5. The Typing Cat

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              Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

              Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

              The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

              Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

              Fun typing games

              6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles

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                  Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                  Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                  Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                  8. Daily Quote Typing

                    Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                    Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on Wordgames.com – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                    With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                    Bottom Line

                    At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                    By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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