Auto Updates are So Easy, They're Evil

Services for Real Estate Pros with

During a presentation I gave last week, someone suggest to the audience that they sign up for a service that will auto-update their status updates on social networks like like twitter, facebook, plaxo, etc. every time you write a blog post.   Personally, I find these updates to be horrible marketing that do more damange than good... and ensure you get no meaningful following on any of the services...

Because this point is so darn important, I decided to record a video to make my point!


The takeaway?

Find a way to be relevant to your target audience or don't bother! You're doing more damage than good to your marketing efforts by autoupdating than any possible benefits you might be getting.  Of course, with all rules, there are some exceptions, but those exceptions are so far-and-few between that they're not worth mentioning in this post. 

And by the way, if you want more information about the radio show that we're going to be streaming live at 2pm PST (5pm EST!) today, then check out this post I did on  Using Facebook Pages to Generate Business and consider giving your RSVP on the Facebook Event Page.  

It's going to be a blast and we have some great people who are planning to be on the call include:

There's lots to learn from everyone involved!

Comments (45)

Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Dustin -- Makes perfect sense, as always, thanks!

Apr 30, 2009 10:13 AM
Harrison Painter
GoGladiator Media - Carmel, IN
New Media Consultant

Great roundtable today Dustin! I had a great time and learned a lot of valuable information!

You are keeping me on my toes!!!!!!!

Keep up the great work!

- Harrison

Apr 30, 2009 11:21 AM
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Dustin - great information.  We all like to automate certain things in life as much as possible.  I might give it a try.  Thanks.

Apr 30, 2009 11:37 AM
Preston Sandlin
Home Inspection Carolina - Charlotte, NC

Interesting.  I agree there are some things that I would put in Facebook that I wouldn't write on Twitter and vice versa.

Apr 30, 2009 12:33 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Dustin - I agree that the message needs to change for the audience - good post.

Apr 30, 2009 12:46 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

I have been thinkiing about turning off the auto-updates.  My problem is forgetting to go to Tweevisor and smack something out...  I have been trying to be better about actually spending time conversing instead of just sending the blog tweets...

Apr 30, 2009 04:11 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

This is something I've been trying to decide on, and I appreciate the debate and different views.

Apr 30, 2009 04:56 PM
Maria Morton
Platinum Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Dustin, I think people like the personal touch and many will not respond to autos. However, I do tweet auto when I post on AR. Hopefully, it's something someone is interested in. Then again, I don't tweet every 5 minutes either and will unfollow those who do because it clogs up my flow.

Apr 30, 2009 06:28 PM
Sabrina Kelley
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Woodland Park, CO
Woodland Park Colorado Mountain Homes and Land

I have an auto tweet on my AR blog and I like that. But, when I see people who have a service that does multiple post from certain key words I find that I glaze over because I know thatthere  isn't any character to the message. I need to at least feel some sort of human substance to respond.

Apr 30, 2009 07:44 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

I'm in social networking overload. And Twitter feels like the new hot spot for the equivalent of telemarketers. Every day I get at least 5 more following me. I'm ready to close the account. The only thing I like about Twitter is the way it picks up my blogs when I post them.

Apr 30, 2009 07:55 PM
Richard Byron Smith, NMLS #184479
Mortgage Loan Officer, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289 - Chattanooga, TN
Mortgage Loan Officer


Twitter auto feeds can crowd up the feeds quickly. They seem to be predatory, seeking business directly by following. I was an innocent babe on Twitter, but have learned to be more discriminating and have found the block button.

Enjoyed your talk yesterday.

Lisa a friend told me yesterday that more people are closing their account than are opening a new one. It seems to me that it is best to keep what is helpful and to lose what is not.

The updates have helped me. I love interconnecting AR, Twitter, and Facebook. Need to go back to my LinkedIn to see what damage my inactivity has done.


May 01, 2009 12:48 AM
Christianne O'Malley
Dickson Realty - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

Dustin - I don't know that I agree with you on this one. I know my FB connections click through to my postson ActiveRain and read them, and I know I get comments back a lot asking a question about the post. So isn't it possible that 'what works for one may not work for another'?

May 01, 2009 01:34 AM
Dustin Luther - Calabasas, CA

Roland:  What's your take on the debate?  I'm still not seeing anyone give a good reason to auto-tweet.

Chris: Thx

Harrison: I thought the roundtable was a blast as well!  I'm gonna do more of those in the near future because it was too much fun!  ;)

Marzena: Try it out... Instead of doing the autotweets to Facebook and/or Twitter, write something compelling that links back to your post... you might be surprised how much more activity you'll get on both your profile and your AR post.

Preston: Definitely. There's lots of banter on my twitter account that I wouldn't want to subject my Facebook friends to!  ;)

Lisa: Thanks!

Lane:  Especially someone like yourself who has a decent following on places like Twitter, I think you'll really benefit from writing down the reason someone should read your post... I look froward to it!  ;)   But the time part is critical.   As you know by being active on AR, it's really important to dedicate at least a 30 minutes AFTER you write a post doing some promotion (which can be as simple as engaging with your community) or what's the point of writing a post in the first place!

Christine: What's your take on why someone should auto-post?

Maria:  Have you tried spending a bit of time writing a unique tweet regarding your post instead of auto-updating it?  You might be surprised at how much more your audience on twitter reacts.   In other words, if you go back to the title: "Auto Updates are So Easy, They're Evil", the point I'm trying to make is not that they're hard... but that they're so easy people think that's all the marketing they need to do on twitter (and other social networks) and hurts their ability to attract attention, inbound leads, referrals, etc. through their posts.

Sabrina:  What do you like about the auto-tweet?  Just that it's easy?

Lisa: That's funny!  You're definitely not alone in expressing twitter fatigue!    But similar to the last few comments, I gotta ask, what do you like about the fact that it picks up your blogs?  Is it the traffic or the SEO?

Richard: You rock... Let me know how it goes... Personally, I've never closed down my own twitter account, but I did go through at one point and unfollow hundreds (I think 500 people) who only did auto-updates.   It wasn't worth trying to engage with those people since they were often not going to respond to my outreach anyway.

Christianne:  It's not that it won't work at all...  My point is that if you put just a little bit of luv into each update (like a compelling reason to click through on FB that's geared toward your FB audience and a similarly compelling reason that's geared toward your Twitter audience), you're likely to see much more interaction.   Try it. You might be surprised at how easy it is.  Writing a unique tweet and a FB update doesn't have to take but 1 or 2 minutes at most) and how much more traffic you'll get... especially when you compare that to the time you put in writing the post in the first place!

May 01, 2009 05:09 AM
Emily Lowe
RE/MAX Homes and Estates, Lipman Group - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

When I am busy the auto updates are helpful.  but I always think that a personal touch is better...

May 01, 2009 06:14 AM
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


Pretty lively discussion here on the topic. Auto updates do make it look like the poster is really busy, but, yes, too many of them will just dilute the intended message.

May 04, 2009 04:28 PM
Casey Wright
WingWire - San Diego, CA

Auto updates are like school in class. 

May 09, 2009 05:39 AM
Karina Kfuri Leal, ABR®, SRES®, PSA
Leal USA Realty 561-350-3503 ( FALO PORTUGUES) - Delray Beach, FL
Sales, Rentals & Prop. Manag. - FALO PORTUGUES!

Thanks for the great insite.

Why did you record the video on Facebook and not on Youtube? It looks refreshing that way. Was it the reason?

...Sometimes I wonder how we can manage to do so much online and still sleep?! :)


Jul 27, 2009 05:04 PM
Dustin Luther - Calabasas, CA


Sleeping is definitely important!  ;)

I uploaded the video to facebook instead of youtube because I have such a larger audience on facebook... I don't do many videos, so it's just a lot easier for me to get traction with stuff on Facebook.

Jul 27, 2009 08:26 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

I get your point.  It would be a little more work to manually do the updates, but like you say you can tweak the tiitle or catch phrase each time as opposed to Just Posted On Active Rain....  I'm going to give it some thought.

May 24, 2010 06:04 PM
Richard Dolbeare
Inactive - Wailuku, HI
Living the Hawaii Lifestyle

Thanks Dustin, now I know not to feel guilty that I'm not doing what was recommended by another.


Apr 18, 2011 09:35 AM