Why you should cut off your blog auto-updater

Yes, it shaves off time. It also shaves off engagement, as well as what might be the most intriguing part of your headline.

Making your life easier is the key to happiness. Making social media easier is the key to sanity.

There is a plethora of great apps, tricks, and shortcuts. From Post Planner to Scoop.it, there’s no shortage of ways to save time and energy managing social media.

However, do not use auto apps. Specifically, do not use an app to automatically update a Facebook page with new blog posts. It’s bad practice, and here’s why:

  • It lowers the engagement rate: Last year, auto-updates decreased engagement on posts (“likes” and comments) by about 70 percent. It was the same in 2011, when posts published through a third-party auto-posting app saw roughly 70 percent fewer “likes” and comments than those published through Facebook’s first-party interfaces. I predict the numbers won’t go in the other direction anytime soon.
  • No personalization: If you auto-update, there is no chance to grab your fans with a catchy headline and encourage clicks through curiosity. Most of the time, if your blog title is longer than three or four words, it will cut off when it automatically posts to Facebook. Half a title gives fans no incentive to look at your post. Rather, cut and paste your blog post link, and use Facebook’s direct link attachment feature to give fans a one-click option to read the blog post. If you need help writing an enticing update to pair with that blog post link, visit our friends at Post Planner (No. 2) for some awesome tips.
  • No image: I happen to love the images paired with external links on Facebook, and often I will decide whether to click on the link within the first few seconds of seeing the post. If you auto-update, there’s no chance anyone will be pulled in by an accompanying image, or the image might be automatically chosen for you. That’s not what you want. Take advantage of the customization options for imagery, and ditch the auto app.

This may not be a long list of reasons, but considering the consequences of auto-updating, I’m willing to bet they make a clear-cut case for why it’s just a bad practice. Don’t be the one who bites the RSS feed dust. Skip the auto, and take a little extra time to give your audience solid reasons to read your blog.

A version of this article first appeared on the Abbi Agency blog.

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