3 Ways to “Automate” Your Social Media Efforts—And Why You Should

I’m delighted to welcome back a guest blogger, Nick Thacker, whose post earlier this year resulted in some interesting feedback. He has some great ideas here, many of which are new to me and I am already planning to try out.  “Automation” is a word that tends to invoke thoughts of iRobot-style post-apocalyptic societies, machine-versus-human world wars, and other disturbing concepts. It’s easy to see why: we’ve gone from an unplugged, eating-dinner-at-the-table family lifestyle to a smartphone-wielding, status-updating and Pinterest-crazed world. There are automated banks, door-to-door grocery delivery services, and machines that will eat your money and turn it into a hot and “fresh” hamburger. But that’s just one side of the argument. We can’t forget that all of this automation and the fast-paced society we now live in have given us some remarkable innovations as well—including marketing innovations for authors.

The ongoing saga of the dodgy review.

Some months ago, I was moved to write a post about fake reviews. I got quite a stroppy comment from one reader who said s/he was fed up with authors telling readers about fake reviews, and we should trust people to have the common sense to be able to spot the fake reviews. Frankly, I was embarrassed that I may have caused offence, and I took the post down. And now I wish I hadn’t. In the last few weeks, there have been a endless articles, tweets and blog posts about fake reviews, and whilst I am prepared to accept that the amateur faker can usually be spotted a mile off, I think my previous reader had underestimated the seriousness of the whole sock puppet mentality out there. This is not about people’s family and friends writing one-liners ‘the best book I’ve ever read’, or their worst enemies writing ‘wish