Has your social media strategy taken over your LIFE?
I know, it happens. Just sort of creeps up on us and before we know it, we’re drowning in social media overload. But the fact is, we still need to do it if we want our businesses to stay current and relevant.
Yep, with social media being one of the essential tools to marketing that it is today, we can find ourselves publishing, posting, and updating nearly every day. And unfortunately, without proper strategy, managing our accounts can become a full-time job. Thankfully, I have found a few tools that have allowed me to manage my social media with ease, and allow me to devote my time to what truly matters; growing my business. So without further adieu, here is your essential guide to Social Media automation, and the 5 important reasons to use it.
1. Automation for audience insights
If you post on Twitter, but no one is around to see it; did you really Tweet? Raise your hand if in your early days of working as a social media marketer you frequently Googled “best times to post on social media”. Me too. But as it turns out, there is truly no one size fits all schedule for getting optimal engagement across your platforms.
Working with various companies in many different fields I often hear business owners swear by “the 8pm post”, or that their audience is only on Facebook at 10am, but prowls Instagram at 1am. And we begin to learn that there is no sure time frames for success. You have to get to know your audience, and when they will be around to not only see your posts, but also interact with them.
It is always advisable to research audience interaction times for your field of work, but by far the two most effective ways to sync up with your crowd are below:
- Trial and error:This way will take time, and will need to take place on an ongoing basis, but if you truly want to learn about your specific audience you will need to keep an eye on what’s working for you. Play around with times, types of posts, and platforms to see what formula is going to work best through your social media insights.
- Analyze your data: In addition to social media insights, try True Social Metrics. This social media automation allows you to lay out your feedback on social media on a time table creating an easy visual of what is truly working for you.
Once you’ve determined the best times to post, and on which platforms, scheduling out your content will be a breeze. I use and swear by Buffer, for so many reasons…( ask me). Some other easy to use social media scheduling tools are Hootsuite, SproutSocial, HubSpot, and Social Flow. Simply create awesome, relevant and engaging content, and plug it in.
The majority of the time we are using multiple social media platforms to post our usually original, sometimes curated, and always engaging content. And as important as it is to focus on each platform individually, it is just as important to establish relationships between them.
After all, they collectively represent one entity; you and your brand. Creating relationships and interaction between platforms is actually a lot easier than it may seem, but this mostly comes down to social media automation. There are many different tools like Zapier and IFTTT, that allow you to create “recipes” that will for example, automate a post to Facebook when you have posted to Instagram. These tools truly make cross-promoting take a fraction of the time and effort.
2. Automation for content curation
It’s true, you don’t have to major in Art History anymore to become a curator. When posting to social media it is extremely important to create original, and specialized content, but you also need to show your audience that you are offering them the best content from the best sources.
Begin curating the best of the best from authoritative sites; are you posting for a physician? Publish a link from WebMd. Are you a fashion blogger? Post the latest fashion week coverage from Vogue.
Not only is this extremely sound advice, but since this is a blog on automation, one of the most powerful content curation tools out there is Curata. Another great one, that I use from time to time: ScoopIt
3. Automation for notifications
Yes, social media automation involves an array of tools that allows you to optimize your work schedule, and ensure that you’re posting efficiently and with success. However, we can’t altogether annihilate the human factor of social media. At the end of the day, we post to social media in order to increase engagement, and awareness with the end goal of creating relationships. When you create relationships with your audience, they will keep coming back for more.
For this reason I am encouraging you to set up your notifications accordingly so that when you get an important comment on your latest post, or a share, or ReTweet from your page you can reach back out and get a conversation going. Not only is this great for boosting presence on your social media, but you will also encourage other viewers of your posts to do the same.
Notifications, as we all know can be a double edged sword. Yes, you want to know when your audience is reaching out to you, but you don’t want your phone blowing up in the process. So now, once again running with this theme, here is the automated answer to notification success: Twitonomy. By using this tool, you can receive notifications at predetermined intervals to make sure they are not a constant source of distraction. Voila!
4. Automation for your value added content
Baby, your posts could never grow old; they’re Evergreen. Yes, it’s true – we tend to get caught up in the trending, now, and hot off the press topics that get a lot of click-throughs, but by tomorrow could no longer be relevant. But it is extremely important to remember our evergreen content. This is the content that whether you post it today or a year from now, your audience will find it informative, interesting, and relevant to them.
Instead of having to scroll back through your social platforms looking for that long ago posted piece of content gold, try automating the process through Tailwind. If you are involved in a visually centered business and post most of your content through Instagram and Pinterest, this tool is for you.
5. Automation in moderation
As extremely useful and time saving as social media automation is, it can never truly replace the wholly remarkable thing that is real-time human experience. Sorry. But we mustn’t let the grass grow beneath our feet as we seek to find the most effective way to interact with our specific audience, and that involves ensuring a few points:
- We always give our content a personal touch. Try not to simply cut and paste content, or frequently re-post the same non value adding information. People want to read, and will click through relevant and interesting content, and simply scroll through the rest.
- Don’t give your stamp of approval too freely. Remember that every time you post something for your company, or yourself, there is an unwritten assumption that you approve of any and all material that is attached to it. So for goodness sake, read before you post.
- Take something great, and make it your own, with your own CTA (call to action). Even when curating content, be sure to add your own summary of the amazing information you are providing. Add an interesting comment, ask a question to get your audience thinking, make reading your content an experience that your followers will want to come back for again and again.
OR…..you could just let us handle it all for you.
Successful social media marketing can be made so much more pleasant and simple by smart use of social media automation. As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment below and I will answer them or contact me. And be sure to let me know if you use any of these automation tools or if you have others that you love.