For event venues, hotels, and event planning bloggers, it can be challenging to build a strong on-line presence. Tweets and social media updates have a very short shelf life. When brands and users don't share content regularly, it's out of sight, out of mind. Yet, few people can spend hours on Twitter every day. There are business meetings to attend, client events to manage and long flights without Wi-Fi access.
There are excellent tools that event planners, resorts and venues can use to streamline tweeting and social media updates (e.g. Triberr, Twitterfeed, Hootsuite). There are also content aggregators that bundle tweets in attractive digests (e.g. Paper.li, News360 and Postano). We'll do a follow-up blog with tips but there are some issues to be addressed. No one objects to LinkedIn digests so it is puzzling when tweets and blogs bash Triberr or Paper.li or threaten to "unfollow" people who use them.
Advantages of Content Aggregators
Content aggregators save time. For example, tweeps with an interest in catering, can follow a Twitter user with a Paper.li jam-packed with catering information? The option would be to conduct a manual search for individual catering tweets. Why object to a time saver?
Some tweeps refer to content aggregators as spam and plagiarism. Plagiarism is "passing off someone else's content as your own." This label does not apply as content aggregators reveal and link to the original source. Spam is "using electronic messages to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately." Users build their own social media networks so tweets and updates are not unsolicited. Content aggregators are not indiscriminate. Users configure based on keywords, hashtags and users with content they value.
It is a great compliment when someone values content enough to share it with their own follower. Yet, some bloggers object to Paper.li mentions. Bloggers who don't want to appear in Paper.li need only use stop paper.li mentions.
Advantages of Automated Twitter Tools
Automated Twitter tools offer the opportunity to continue your on-line presence when live sharing is impossible. Yet, some tweets and blogs have referred to Triberr, Twitterfeed or Hootsuite users as "lazy." Why the name calling? It's like calling someone lazy because they use voice mail or e-mail auto-responders.
Part of the reason may be a misunderstanding. Since Cvent Blog first discussed Triberr, it has evolved. Manually approval of tweets has been the default for some time. Sharing content through Triberr isn't spam. It's no different from tweeting or hitting the re-tweet button. Triberr brings new content from bloggers who you respect into one, integrated "Tribal Stream." Users read it and decide if they want to share it.
Triberr spreads approved tweets throughout the day so that tweeps aren't bombarded with the same content all at once. Also, whenever a Triberr tweet has a hashtag, it means that a user has taken the time to manually add it. How is any of this lazy?
Triberr's default can be changed to automatically approve tweets for specific bloggers, however, there is a cost. (Users pay in "bones" purchased with real money.); It's human nature to avoid paying for what you can do for free so most Triberr tweets are manually approved. Still, automation comes in handy during travel and vacations.
Finally, there are great thought leaders in the blogosphere. It's unfortunate to miss excellent content just because you are in a meeting when it's tweeted.
One drawback to automated tools is that users can't control exactly when content is tweeted after it is approved. The ability to specify blackout periods (e.g. during Twitter chats) would be beneficial.
Users who work part-time or at jobs with enough downtime to allow them to pop into Twitter throughout the day, can tweet manually 100% of the time. (However, clients and employers would consider it highly unethical for people to spend the day tweeting on their dime.) For busy professionals who don't have that luxury, automated tools are helpful.
Automation is not for everyone but it's hard to understand the bashing and name calling. The key to leveraging any tool is to use it without abusing it. We'll share some tips in an upcoming blog.
Photo Credit: zemalf
I moderated an #eventprofs chat based on this blog to explore this controversial topic on Tuesday, July 10, Time: 9-10 PM EDT/6-7 PM PST. Here is the transcript for "Automated Tweets & SM Sharing - Love it or Hate it?."
Stay tuned for our follow-up blog with tips for event planners, event venues and hotels to use automated tools and content aggregators.