Should you auto-post to social media?

There’s not one simple answer. So I say maybe. But more often lately I’m leaning toward no.

If you use Jetpack, there’s a sharing option that allows you to connect your blog to all your social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Path, and Google Plus. You can easily set this up with a few simple steps and approvals and voila, every time you publish a blog post, it auto-posts to all of these places and your content is automatically there. The plugin will use your post title and your featured image unless you specify a custom message.

Sounds great, right?  But not so fast…

Say you are sharing to both Twitter and Facebook, which are the two most popular social media hubs for bloggers. That’s great. However, on Twitter you only have 140 characters for your post, while on Facebook there is no limit. On Twitter, you need to be sure that whatever is being shared fits in 140 characters, but is a strong enough message to generate enough interest to get someone to click through.

On Facebook, you can share a much longer message with your post, with more details to give people more reasons to click through. With Twitter you really have very little space to make your case, so it needs to be an on-point message, but Facebook you can use more text to generate more interest. Same goes for Google plus too. You have a lot more freedom in these places with your text.

If you use the auto-share feature, then all your social media outlets get the exact same message, the exact same photo, no matter who is reading it.

The upside to using the auto-share feature is that it’s fast and gets your content everywhere at once, so that is definitely a bonus. For myself, I generally use the auto-share feature on the Sumy Designs blog. However, on two other blogs I manage I have opted to turn it off and craft custom messages that go with my shares on social media.

The nice thing about the Jetpack sharing is that you can turn it on or off on a per-post basis. Sometimes a blog post may be more suited to be shared as-is, and sometimes you want to add more or change it up depending on where you post. You can make these decisions each time you post.

Auto-sharing can be great, but isn’t ideal of every situation and can sometimes detract from your goal of getting your post in front of the most readers.

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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