I think we can all agree that technology is a wonderful thing, and part of its wonderfulness is the ability to automate mundane activities and save us lots of time. This is the thinking behind “auto-post”, which automatically distributes your blog article or other content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and pretty much every other social media platform in the known universe if you tell it to.
The problem with auto-post is that it distributes the exact same words to every single network, regardless of the conversational style of that outlet or the interests of those who will see the content. This is the online equivalent of you blurting out the same random statement at work, at dinner with friends and at a family gathering. On at least two of those occasions you are going to seem, at best, like you’re out of touch or not paying attention.
I’m not terribly concerned with what people do on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or any of those others. In fact, I think my blog articles still auto post titles to Twitter – going back to the days when auto post was exciting new technology.
The point of this article is to get you not to auto post on LinkedIn – especially not to LinkedIn groups. Here’s why.
4 reasons you should not auto post to LinkedIn groups
1. We all know what you’re doing and it looks like spam. Most people are involved in more than one LinkedIn group and, if they’re your target buyer or influencer, chances are high you’re in many of the same groups. (At least you should be.) Imagine how special I feel when I see your exact same post in group after group after group.
2. Group members will ignore you. Once I realize you’re using LinkedIn to blast out content without giving consideration to the dynamics of the group or even trying to start a discussion, I’ll just skip over your posts. Auto posters are easy to spot. The format is always the same. Starts with an article title. Follows with the first few lines of the article. Finishes with a link. Also, see #1.
3. Group managers will hate you. In the better-managed groups, members probably won’t even see your posts. Good group managers are trying hard to build dynamic communities whose members help each other solve problems and take advantage of opportunities and actually interact, and fewer and fewer are green lighting auto posts. Instead, every post you make will be put into moderation and will either be moved to the wasteland of the promotion tab or left out altogether.
4. You’ll fail to achieve your LinkedIn objectives. You’re marketing on LinkedIn because it provides an incredible opportunity to connect with potential buyers and influencers, right? You want to generate leads, nurture prospects and stake out thought leadership positions. Reread reasons 1 through 3.
It surprises me how many social media consultants and so-called experts advise the use of auto-post when it’s such a rookie mistake. Then again, it gives our company low hanging fruit with which to impress new clients.
In case you think I’m exagerating about how ineffective it is to auto-post, here’s an example.
A new client of ours, CEO of a software firm for the recruiting industry, was wondering why his blog was generating very little LinkedIn traffic. He was posting content at least 3 to 4 times a week. We immediately realized he was auto posting and begin to use a more thoughtful approach to create relevant conversations for specific audiences. With no change to the content in the blog articles themselves, his LinkedIn traffic increased 3620% in six weeks.
The next time you upload a new blog article that some application is going to automatically post to your LinkedIn status update and every group you’re a member of, stop and think about it. Is this really the right way to make new friends?
Want to see what other mistakes tech marketers are making on LinkedIn, take a look at our free report.