Autopilot bypasses human intervention altogether. Tying your tweets to an RSS feed is probably the most common. In theory this sounds harmless enough. It’s a way to regularly provide relevant content to your followers, which is good, but you’re not validating that the content is worth sharing. You just pass it along blindly.
Here is another (and more annoying) reason of why this approach fails. You aren’t the only one doing this! Take a look at this sample from my actual Twitter stream:
Each of these six people tweeted the exact same link within the same minute. It’s impossible that each of them read this article and decided to share it within seconds of each other. The exact tweet may vary a little, but only because the tool they use lets them add text to the start or end of the tweet and has an option of how much of the article to include. The fact remains, they set these options prior to this being sent. No human intervention whatsoever.
Do these people have a lot of credibility with me? Not a chance. In fact its one of the quickest ways to get me to unfollow you!
- You tweet everything from the feed, not just the good stuff.
- No way to credit the individual author or guest-poster.
- Tweeting manually makes for more variety.
She hasn’t seen any drop in her follower count or Klout score as a result of taking a more manual approach to tweeting.
While autopilot may be evil, I don’t have an issue with some degree of automation. I schedule a lot of my tweets using TweetDeck. I do this mainly because of the way I use twitter.
Throughout the day I favorite things that look interesting and review them later when I have time (everyone has to do SOME work to pay the bills, right?). If I think they’re worth sharing I’ll schedule them. If I tweeted everything then they’d all go out in about a two hour span every evening.
An important thing to remember here, I don’t schedule everything. I talk to people and post some things as I see them. It all depends on what it is and what I’m doing at the time. Bottom line: If I tweet a link to something, it means I’ve read it and felt it was worth sharing.
If social media is really about making connections with other people the tools you use to reach them doesn’t matter. What matters is if you’re authentic. People know when you aren’t!