You need to take advantage of any and all leverage your able to get your hands on in the world of business today.
This is especially true if you’re going to be marketing or advertising online. Because we live in the middle of the most competitive business environment that’s ever existed – going up against the stiffest competition in human history – you’re going to need to really get smart and savvy about marketing online and leveraging social media to improve your results across the board.
At the same time, just about every single business owner on the planet would tell you that they don’t have enough time in the day to tackle everything that they need to tackle. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that needs to get done – specially on the marketing front – so any way to streamline or automate things is a big boost to savvy business people.
There are significant benefits of social media automation that you’re going to want to unlock, and with the tricks and tips for social media automation we are going to share with you below you’ll really be able to make that register ring without gobbling up any extra time during the day!
Let’s get right to it.
Here’s why it is good to automate your social media
As we mentioned above, there’s just no way that you’re going to be able to handle absolutely everything that modern business people need to knock out of the park these days all on your own.
No, the odds are pretty good that you’re going to find that there just aren’t enough hours in the day, and that your marketing and your advertising efforts kind of slide by the wayside. That’s unacceptable, because without marketing and advertising today, your business has a much bigger chance of disappearing completely than hitting the big time.
When you automate your social media, you’re going to be able to free up a tremendous amount of time while unlocking the kinds of big benefits that social media marketing has to offer. It’s really the best of both worlds.
Not only will you get the impactful social media results your after – connecting with your marketplace in a way that you wouldn’t have been able to before – but you’re also going to be able to focus your time that would have been spent on social media marketing elsewhere.
Tricks and tips for social media automation
Now that we have covered some of the big benefits of social media automation, it’s time to get right down to brasics. Check out this article for a more in depth look into how to automate your social media.
Create a Social Media & Content Calendar
The first thing that you’re going to want to do to unleash everything that social media automation has to offer is to create a social media marketing calendar that you stick to religiously.
Without a social media marketing calendar, you aren’t going to be able to build any kind of leverage whatsoever. You’ll be throwing outposts randomly, with no real cohesion between them, rather than establishing the kind of serious and strategic campaigns that can make the register ring all the time.
Build a calendar of regular posts and then stick to the strategy, and you’ll be able to dominate almost from the moment that you establish a new social media effort.
Basically, you need to start off by having a plan.
Set up your Curation tools
Secondly, you’re going to want to get your hands on as many content curation tools as possible.
It’s going to be almost impossible to create content on a regular basis (to fill up your social media calendar, anyway) without completely immersing yourself in your market and the day to day goings-on.
At the same time, you don’t want to waste any time or any effort doing unnecessary research – but that’s where curation tools come into play. Use websites like Reddit, tools like Feedly, and social media platforms like Twitter to know everything that’s going on when it is going on and you’ll be off to the races!
Hopefully then you have a better understanding of how to unlock the power of social media, especially the power of automation. Leverage the solutions we provided above and you’ll gain an almost unfair competitive advantage over your market much easier than you ever would have been able to before.
Pick up a Social Media Scheduler
You’re going to need to schedule posts to social media. This way, you can pick one day of the week to schedule your content. This content should be 80% non-promotional. Use a social media scheduler that fits your needs (shameless plug – we’re an awesome social media dashboard – it helps you schedule to and manage Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, Pinterest, and LinkedIn pages). Use this to implement your plan from your social media calendar.
With these basic tools, you will have a way to implement your social media strategy and get started on your automation today.
Even though the overwhelming majority of smart and savvy business owners out there today understand the value of social media marketing, most of them would agree that there just isn’t enough time to regularly leverage everything that social media marketing has to offer.
Imagine you’re restaurant who does their own social media. Suddenly you get a call that your bartender called out. This means that someone on your staff (or you) will have to man the bar. This means that suddenly, all those social media posts and reviews you wanted to look at will have to wait until tomorrow and work begins piling up. This is just an example, but this can happen to any type of business.
There’s just too much on the plates of these business owners to add all the tasks that come with the world of social media as well.
There are two choices:
- Hire someone to manage your Social Media (not a bad idea)
- Learn about some automation tools to help you with your Social Media Marketing
Thankfully, you’re going to be able to dramatically streamline social media efforts when you take advantage of automation tools that do the bulk of the “heavy lifting” for you.
We are going to help you out in this department, helping point you in the right direction as far as things you should be automating on social media – as well as those that are almost impossible to automate reliably – so that you can shortcut the process and really hit the ground running.
Shall we dive right in?
Outline your social media goals in advance
The first thing that you were going to need to do when tackling a social media automation project is to outline the results and goals that you are hoping to achieve in the first place.
For one reason or another, the overwhelming majority of business people out there today are just kind of flying by the seat of their pants when it comes to marketing and advertising. Many of them feel as though advertising and marketing are rather simple and straightforward so they just kind of throw anything they can at the wall and hope it sticks when nothing could be further from the truth.
The best advertising and marketing starts off with a crystal clear idea about what you’re hoping to achieve, who you are hoping to attract, and what you want them to do next – and you’ll only be able to streamline social media marketing efforts if you take this kind of approach.
Take a few days to really try and drill down into the types of results that you’re looking to achieve. By aligning your goals in advance you’ll be able to set up analytic tools that help you track your progress towards those goals, and you’ll though how to adjust on the fly to speed things up and blow past even your loftiest aspirations!
Take advantage of the best tools to help you streamline social media marketing
Secondly, you’re going to need to focus on finding the best tools to help you automate your social media marketing efforts.
There are quite a few tools available on the market today (some of them free of charge, but many of the best ones charging a premium fee), and you’ll need to compare and contrast the different options before you take the plunge. We built Socialdraft to help you with a lot of Social Media automation for your business, so today we’ll discuss the features that will help you automate your social media efforts, save you time and get you results:
A Social Media Scheduler
This is a worthwhile investment for anyone marketing their business in Social Media. Use a scheduler, pick one day of the week, and bang out all the posts that need to come out. This way, when there is an emergency, you can rest assured that all your social media posts are taken care of. If you choose Socialdraft, you’re in luck. Socialdraft is based on a calendar. This means that:
- It is easy to visualize when things need to come out (special promotions, holidays, etc).
- You can drag & drop things to re-schedule them on the calendar
- You can duplicate posts – for example – if you run the same specials every Thursday, you can duplicate them instead of repeating your work over and over again
- Post the same content to multiple social networks at once
Reputation Management Software
You can’t be logging onto review sites and googling your business or brand name every day. You need a tool that will tell you when you are mentioned in real-time and that you can use to turn the good alerts into social media posts. You can do this easily with Google Alerts.
There are two types of tools you need.
One is a way to find people talking about your industry or brand as well as your competitors. You need this tool because the best way to find new customers is to see who is working with your competition. Our photos feature does just this. Search by keyword – be it geographic location, industry, or a targeted hashtag, and we give you content from people talking about just this. You can then re-share their content to your social media – and engage them.
Put your results on autopilot
Finally, you’re going to want to put your results on autopilot by installing analytics tools and tracking solutions that give you an idea about whether or not what you’re doing is working and how to improve all of your online marketing operations. The last thing you want to do is spend hours looking at Facebook and Twitter analytics, comparing results to your social media posts to figure out what is working and what is not. Socialdraft offers a simple to use reporting tool, so you can hop on and download your reports whenever you want.
By taking advantage of these kinds of tools, you’ll always know where you stand in the social media world, but you’ll also understand which areas to dump resources into certain areas to pull resources from command with or not your attempt to automate everything on social media is working as well as you had hoped.
We live in the middle of the most competitive and exciting business environment in human history.
Seriously. It’s possible for anyone (ANYONE) to create an online business with nothing more than a dream, a laptop, and an internet connection. This means you too can compete against every other business on the planet.
However, if you’re going to have any chance at succeeding online, you’re going to need to make sure that you are aggressively and intelligently marketing. This usually means having a great plan in place and turning to tools like social media and other online marketing solutions to improve your more traditional marketing results. The issue is that this is tremendously time-consuming. While entering the market is easy in comparison to the past, this means tons of other people are doing the same. The competition is fierce, and time will become your most valued and scarce resource.
This is why you need to take advantage of social media automation tools and really try to figure out how to properly automate social media marketing for your business. The issue is how to automate without losing that personal touch; how to automate and still be effective.
If you’re able to pull this off, you’re going to have a much better chance to dominate the marketing scene for your industry and yield an ROI. The key is learning how to automate social media and not look like a spammer.
How to Properly Automate Social Media Marketing
If you’re really serious about using social media automation tools to your best ability, you’re going to need to create content that is consistent across the board.
The overwhelming majority of small businesses out there are just kind of winging it when it comes to marketing online, especially in the social media sphere. They throw up anything and everything they think of, diluting their brand along the way, and just kind of hoping for the best.
You’ll never be able to enjoy good social media automation results if that’s the kind of approach you’re going to take.
Instead, you’ll want to be able to quickly and effortlessly create consistent content that really helps to build your brand and your messaging – giving you every edge and advantage over those “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” style marketers.
If you want to work on a content strategy, first you need ideas. BuzzSumo is a great place to get content ideas. Simply hop on their website, enter the name of your industry or a relevant topic, and BuzzSumo will come back to you with the hottest pieces of content on that topic. This is the stuff you should be writing about.
Now that you have ideas, you need to think about just what type of content you will be sharing. We suggest an 80/20 rule. 80% non-promotional, 20% promotional. To be more exact:
- 50% influencer content that is relevant to your audience
- 30% original content relevant to your audience, this should not have any sales information in it
- 10% personal content that helps humanize your brand
- 10% promotional content
Now that you know where to get your content, you need a way to disseminate your content. You can use any number of social media dashboards (like Socialdraft). If they offer a category system, this is even better. Each time you create a post, add it to a category. When you need content, simply bring up that category and duplicate this content. Make sure to space out this duplicate content so that you don’t bore your audience.
Learn when to Automate
Look at your analytics. Check the best posting times for all of your social networks. Then, make sure that you schedule your posts for those times. If you’re using a social media dashboard that analyzes this for you, let them do that job for you (we do that with SmartID). These systems analyze your best posting times and schedule at these times for you.
If you’re not using this type of social media scheduling dashboard, you will need to look at analytics and test, but here are a few tips to put you on the path to success on Twitter:
- Schedule Tweets on the weekend, brands get 17% more engagement
- If you’re looking for Retweets, schedule posts to come out at 5 pm
- To get the most amount of clicks, schedule Tweets between 1–3 pm
Use a strategy to dramatically improve your results
Another trick to help you figure out how to properly automate social media marketing is to forget almost completely about day to day tactical stuff and instead focused on your grand and over arcing strategy.
If your strategy calls for finding the best-qualified prospects for your business and spending as much money as possible to get them into your funnel, you’ll then know exactly which strategies should prove to be the most beneficial in helping you do exactly that.
Start off with tactics first, and you’ll find that you are really struggling to gain any traction whatsoever.
Everyone is going to have a unique strategy that they are focused on when looking to leverage social media automation tools, and it’s going to be dependent entirely upon your sales goals and your business goals. Take a weekend to really try and hammer out a concrete goal that you’d like to achieve – a measurable goal that you can track your progress towards – and then build strategies and tactics to get there.
Good social media automation is all about flexibility
Though it is certainly possible to create a truly automatic social media account that works without any intervention on your behalf whatsoever, you’ll never be able to remain truly relevant or gain the kind of influence you need to succeed today if you go this route.
Good social media automation is all about remaining flexible to post at a regular intervals in conjunction with your automated system, giving you the ability to take advantage of opportunities as they come down the line.
Smart and savvy marketers understand the power of flexibility and leverage it at every chance. You’ll want to have a backbone of truly automated social media, but you’ll want to augment that approach with flexibility as necessary to really help you achieve the goals that you have been pushing forward towards.
At the end of the day, automation is only going to help you as much as you take advantage of it. Automate the things that would have otherwise crushed your time and then spend that time wisely on high impact efforts.
Your business is only going to benefit from the proper implementation of social media automation tools.
Select an Automation Tool
Speaking of tools, there are multiple social media scheduling and automation tools. Socialdraft is one, and if you want to see how we compare to the rest, just click here. Socialdraft allows you to schedule to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It also works on a simple to use drag & drop content calendar so that you can re-schedule and duplicate on the go. Some more features you may like:
- Download your content calendar as PDF
- Find content on Instagram and share it to other social networks
- CSV bulk scheduling
- Team collaboration
- Bitly implementation
- Downloadable Social Media Reports
- Campaigns allow you to group social media accounts together to post the same content
- Smart tasks – assign tasks to team members & associate them with social media accounts
Stagger Your Tweet Times
If you have international followers in different time zones, schedule several tweets at different times a day. Even if you tweet the same content, you’ll be reaching a different audience. And this is a great way to kick out content when you’re pressed for time.
Interact with customers
Automation is a great tool, but the last thing you want is for people to think your social media accounts are robotic. That’s why it’s so important for you to interact with your fans and customers. Spend some time each day to answer questions and leave comments in order to personalize your social media accounts and instill trust in your brand.
Recycle Old Posts
You obviously wouldn’t want to recycle a time sensitive post from 2012, you could post older content that was popular and is still relevant. You could use a WordPress plugin like Revive Old Posts to recycle your top posts on a schedule.
Clean Up Your Accounts
While social media should not be about numbers, but a targeted community, you do need to keep your account clean. If you’re following a ton of people who are not following you or engaging with you, you should clean those up and move onto a community that could yield you an ROI. Use a tool like InsTrack, it will show you those who are not following you so you can make a choice as to whether you want to continue following them or not.
Social Media Automation You Should Avoid
Auto DMs: these are the most annoying form of social media automation. Most people who auto DM are immediately unfollowed. These messages don’t work because they are impersonal. It’s as bad as email spam. If you’re going to message someone on social media, personalize it so they know you took the time to think about them. This will go a long way and set you aside from the pack.
Auto-replies: If you are using those tools that allow you to set up a specific keyword search and a tweet to reply any time that keyword is mentioned on Twitter, stop. Why? Because you’re missing out on sentiment. Your auto-reply could be completely unrelated to the tweet. This will not yield an ROI and will leave a bad taste in your community’s mouth. You don’t want to be branded a spammer. You should absolutely be tracking keywords (you can do this in our alerts tool), but for this type of thing, it is best that you screen the messages and reply to those that are truly relevant to your business.
Cross Posting: I know…we just said you should cross post above. However, this is not the case with Twitter. Twitter and Facebook are completely different landscapes, and content that works on one does not work in the other. Tweets don’t make sense on Facebook, and Facebook posts are too long and cumbersome for Twitter. Instagram should be 100% original…you get the idea. So if you are going to cross post, make sure you do it intelligently. Besides, if your audience is following you on multiple networks, they are going to get bored of seeing the same content across multiple platforms.
Don’t Set It and Forget it: This is the absolute worst thing you can do. Imagine a national disaster happens and you’ve got scheduled posts that are insensitive to this. While you should absolutely schedule and automate, you need to be vigilant over your accounts in case of unforseen circumstances.