Social media tools are big business online at the moment.
Tools like HootSuite, BuzzSumo, TweetDeck, Likealyzer, BrandWatch, Rapportive, IFTTT, Buffer , Lumen 5 and many more are all enjoying big success and for good reason.
Simply put, these are apps that allow users to greatly expand their social media efforts – reaching bigger audiences with more relevant content while spending less time and effort putting in the work.
But while social media tools certainly have their advantages, they also have a few drawbacks and downsides.
If you’re relying on all these different tools and services, then it’s important that you recognize these flaws to ensure that you’re still making the most out of your social media account.
Just as computers haven’t completely replaced the pen and paper, there is still definitely a time and a place for manually checking your social media accounts and for updating them manually yourself.
Read on to find out why that is and what you need to be aware of when using this software.
Force Multipliers and Errors in Social Media Tools
At their most fundamental level, things like IFTTT are force multipliers.
What’s that you ask? Basically, a force multiplier is anything that takes the effort you put in and then provides more benefit and output that you would normally get from it.
The most basic example of this is a hammer which takes the force you apply to a nail with your hand and then amplifies it greatly.
IFTTT is the same because it lets you update one account and instantly update all the others too.
An even more extreme version of force multiplication is automation – which provides lots of output with zero input.
So how is this a bad thing?
Well, the problem with amplifiers is that they don’t only amplify the good work and the positive input – they also amplify mistakes making them much more crucial.
Miss a nail with your fist and nothing bad happens.
Miss it with your hammer and you crush a finger.
Likewise, if you make a mistake when typing up a post on Buffer, it won’t just show up on one account but instead on all of them.
If you’ve set up content to appear automatically, you may find that this can go wrong and flood all your accounts with nonsense content!
What’s more, using tools like this can take away your incentive to check your account manually.
This means that if you have made a mistake that’s appearing on all your accounts automatically, you might not notice it for months! The same goes for comments – if you somehow miss one and don’t check your account in person, you can end up losing that opportunity to build your relationship with clients and fans.
Lack of Inspiration
The other big risk with automating all of your social media efforts is it can end up feeling a bit cold and lifeless.
Say you write 50 posts on Buffer and schedule them to appear over the next few weeks.
This now means you’ll have a steady flow of content and you’ll have saved yourself lots of time.
But it also means that if something big happens in the news, you might not comment on it.
Also means that when you have a funny moment, you might not tweet about it.
And while you’ll be sharing the best and the most popular content from BuzzSumo, that’s not the same as finding things that you have discovered yourself and that are specifically tailored to your audience.
It’s about like films and computer games that you suspect are designed based solely on market research and focus groups.
They tick all the boxes of a ‘hit’ but somehow they lack the soul and the imagination of those real runaway successes.
Some tools even let you automatically respond to comments and suffice to say that these responses tend to sound robotic and lifeless at best.
This results in a situation where your fans will basically feel as though they’re speaking to a robot – not very inspiring!
A Juggling Act
And finally, if you use too many Social Media tools, you can end up actually creating more work for yourself.
Sure, these various apps are doing lots of work for you – but you still need to sign into all of them from time to time, to remember your password, to remember that uploading a post to WordPress automatically Tweets it which automatically shares it to your Facebook page…
Of course you have to pay for all this stuff too! A lot of these tools are free but for the more premium features you will end up paying which can all get a bit expensive after a while.
So think carefully before you sign up to yet another online account!
And while you’re at it, consider actually logging into Facebook once in a while too