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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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    Published on January 18, 2019

    Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

    Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

    Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

    The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

    1. Duolingo

      Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

      Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

      The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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      Download the app

      2. HelloTalk

        HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

        There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

        What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

        Download the app

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        3. Mindsnacks

          Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

          You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

          Download the app

          4. Busuu

            Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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            The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

            When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

            Download the app

            5. Babbel

              Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

              Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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              If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

              Download the app

              Takeaways

              All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

              Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

              Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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