As I continued to talk with my friend about social networking, I told him about HootSuite and how he could spend a small amount of time each day on it, or even just one hour a week, by scheduling all his tweets in advance announcing specials he would be offering at his store. In response to this he said, “That sounds kind of bullshitty.” When I asked what he meant, he said, “Well, when people are tweeting and updating their pages, you assume they are actually doing it, but if you schedule all these things in advance, it’s kind of false.”
This is an interesting opinion, and it’s one that you might share. Is it somehow disingenuous if you schedule a message to go out at a certain time instead of always typing it in at the moment? I think there are several ways to interpret his statement. He may be saying this out of fear because he feels it will be too difficult to learn. It may be another excuse not to get into online marketing and social networking. The fear of getting too involved could certainly be an issue as well. Finally, he might be saying this because it upsets his own Internet experience; he can no longer know whether people are posting things in the moment or just scheduling all their posts in advance.
No matter what the reason for my friend’s reaction, I do not see composing posts in advance as somehow insincere. If I am scheduling a tweet (which I do) and I am talking about an exhibition I saw that I loved or a new work of art I have made, I am being honest in what I’m saying. I could schedule posts like that all week long, and still be truthful. In fact, I am really just making announcements. The only aspect of social networking that requires that you interact in real time is “liking” or commenting on someone else’s post. This is when you have to contribute to the community by interacting with people in real time and investing the moment you have as you type on the keyboard.
Everyone has a different reaction to the thought of getting involved with social media tools like Facebook and Twitter and using them for the first time. These reactions are often age related, because people in their teens through their late twenties are very tech savvy (or at least that’s how people over thirty think of them). Children, on the other hand, are not so much tech savvy as fearless. Digital media and smartphones can be used by toddlers and young children are becoming very familiar with the concepts of poking around on a touch screen to write, download, play, and do research. That gives the newest generation a head start, not because they are smarter, but because they are learning about these technologies earlier in life, when they are not intimidated by them.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.