Social media is an essential part of life today. For business owners, it’s a fantastic way to connect with prospects, customers, influencers and even potential investors.
For those who are wanting to be active on social channels, having a strategy is essential. Executing the strategy can be quite daunting and can become time-consuming, especially when starting out. We’ve put together some tools and techniques to help you automate parts of your social media marketing.
The easiest way to automate social media is by using automation software and apps. There are lots of different options out there to cater for different purposes and strategies. Essentially, they all allow you to schedule social media posts in advance and monitor your accounts when someone mentions your brand or leaves a comment on a post.
If you’re just starting out, select just one tool and experiment with it by scheduling a couple of updates. Most tools also have apps so that you can stay up-to-date with your social media accounts while on the go. A great way if you’re wanting to set aside an amount of time to schedule your posts that isn’t necessarily at your desk.
Some options to look at are:
Automation tools like the ones above can be a real timesaver. But, you can take that automation to the next level if you are a Bizink customer. When you post to your blog you can automatically publish to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Any possibility is IFTTT, (an acronym for If This, Then That) that connects two services together so that an action from one service triggers an action at another. IFTTT gives you the ability to create “recipes” so that you can sync your online profiles or Google Calendar with social media so that you never forget a birthday. The possibilities are endless. Check out this Buffer post to help you get started with IFTTT.
Do remember that not all types of content will work on all social media channels. Share content on the channels where you know your fans will see it. I find that the content that does super well on Twitter doesn’t always do as well on Facebook. Test it out and see what your audience likes and then automate it as much as possible.
Unless you literally started a blog last week, there’s a very good chance that you have some old blog posts in your archives. While it wouldn’t make much sense to share an article that discussed the hottest marketing trends of 2010, you could share evergreen content. Evergreen content is timeless content that is still relevant.
There is a great tool called MeetEdgar that allows you to publish a post and then automatically recycle your top posts on a schedule.
While you don’t want to be a social media account that floods your fans’ feeds with the same content, there’s also no rule saying that you can’t post it multiple times. In fact, the most effective Twitter users tweet multiple times per day. Even if you are only sending out the same content, you’re increasing your chances of it getting noticed by a different audience. If you are doing this, we recommend creating different tweets or posts to introduce the content though.
If you look at your audience, most people will find that they are from all over the world. This means that whenever you tweet, you’ll have followers online. I like to set up a schedule for tweeting several times a day at specific times. I then go and find my best content and schedule them out over the coming weeks. This allows me to spend a couple of hours a month creating a good base level of great tweets. Of course, you can post whenever you like and tweet and post things that are topical at the time. This is just scheduling things so when you get busy, you don’t look inactive.
Social media isn’t just about sharing content that you’ve created. It’s also about sharing other people’s content and treating it like a community. No one likes someone that just talks about themselves! Thankfully, curating is easier than ever with the help of those automation tools. For example, Hootsuite gives you the option to discover suggested content that you’re interested in based on keywords. Buffer allows you to create a posting schedule based on updates from within your network. Sprout Social lets you follow particular keywords, great to look at content that relates to your firm or region.
Newsfeeds like Feedly, dlvr.it and Scoop.it can also be used to curate and share relevant content. But, if you need a more heavyweight content curation tool, take a look at Curata.
Finally, you have to realise that you can’t automate 100% of your social media activity. If you want to have a huge strong following, automation won’t ensure this. There need to be moments when you have actual interactions with customers, fans or followers. People can easily notice when you’re not doing this and an account is basically a robot.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, focus on accomplishing one task whenever you have some downtime. This could be anything from responding to or leaving comments, interacting with your clients or prospects, finding and engaging with influencers, personally sharing updates or refreshing your profile. Try finding a little bit of time each day or each week to give your account a human touch. The more personal touch, the more real you are to your followers and fans. This gains trust and with their trust, you can make a more powerful impact online.
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