As a business person, running your social media marketing profiles is incredibly important.
Yet doing it well can be very time consuming. Updating your profile, coming up with and creating content, sharing content, responding to followers, and otherwise managing your social media for business can become almost a full time job in and of itself.
Social media automation can make life much, much easier in this instance, saving you time and allowing you to take a more organised approach to social marketing.
You can establish an online social presence with minimum time devoted to creating content and posting it.
Automating social media can be a very powerful and effective way to build your audience and follower base.
There is, however, a fine line between social media automation that maintains a personal tone and that which sounds robotic and inauthentic.
Social media users expect timely content and too many posts that are obviously automated will turn followers away.
What is social media automation?
There are three main types of social media content:
- Evergreen content – which are existing posts or still-relevant posts that can be re-shared effectively over time.
- Scheduled content – time sensitive content relevant to your niche.
- Auto-posted content – suitable for scheduling ahead of time for posting at a later time or date.
Social media automation allows posts to be scheduled in advance.
They are set to update at various times as per your choosing, and posts may be created and scheduled days or weeks before they will be automatically uploaded.
Scheduling posts ahead of time is a wise move when it comes to time management, and also allows you to both create and curate content.
- Evergreen Content is timeless and relevant for a long time – some even years after it was first created. It’s really important to not take evergreen content for granted; you can’t just set and forget it.
You need to regularly check it for relevance before re-sharing. Update content where necessary and retire content that is no longer relevant.
- Scheduled Content will perform best when your target followers are using social media and interacting with your posts.
Analyse trends for likes, comments, and shares on your content and use this to determine the best times to strategically schedule your automated posts for greater engagement.
Automating social media delivers you the following benefits:
- Communicate with your followers consistently and in a quality way
- Reap long term benefits from scheduling once
- Receive better results with less effort
What should be automated:
It’s perfectly acceptable to automate tweets, Facebook updates, Instagram and Google+ posts.
Avoid linking Twitter and Facebook accounts. It annoys a lot of users and does not reflect well on your commitment to your social marketing.
What should not be automated:
Automated tweets in conversation do not work. They feel like spam to other users and sound inauthentic from the outset. Direct messaging should never be automated.
It’s inadvisable to schedule all posts across all networks. You want to be building relationships via social media, and using it purely as a tool for self promotion is doomed to ultimately fail.
Tools for social media automation include: PowerPost, Buffer, HubSpot, Posticron, Symphony, Hootsuite, IFTTT, Zapier, Edgar, plus many more… (we’ll look at some of these in depth in a future post).
3 myths about social media automation:
Various marketers believe that social media automation is taboo, but this is nonsense when it is done properly. Some of the myths relating to automating social posts include:
- Automation of social marketing is impersonal. This is untrue – you are still creating your content, designing and writing your posts. By doing this ahead of schedule in an organised way, you can actually create and deliver better content for your followers. Automation simply lets you share it at a later time.
- Automation impinges on engagement. Only if you don’t make time to engage with your audience in real time.
- Automated posts are penalised. According to research completed by Buffer, with regards to automated Facebook posts, these posts do not receive any less engagement than do posts created natively on the channel.
Guidelines for social media automation
- Plan ahead to deliver an array of posts for each newsfeed. Create a posting schedule for every piece of content to curate and publish. Keep in mind where your target audience is and when they use the social platforms you are using.
- Include quotes, sound bites, questions, anecdotes, showcases, benefits, and controversial posts to elicit response.
- Facebook is used on mobile and desktop, both at home and at work. Users prefer emotive, inspirational, storytelling posts and quizzes without hashtags attached. Use links to your website in posts, images where possible, and maintain weekend posts.
- Twitter is usually accessed during breaks, commutes, and down time. Twitter users respond to actionable tweets and those that show your personality, include quotes and business tips. A couple of hashtags (but no more!) are crucial. Use images for greater reach.
- LinkedIn users are most active during work hours, and seek business content including news, case studies, and informative posts – again, do not use hashtags. Images add value to posts and mid-week posts perform best.
- Instagram is a mobile platform, used any time. Users appreciate content relating to culture, lifestyle, products, and inspiration. Use as many hashtags as you’d like – but don’t go too overboard; each has to be relevant to your post. Images must be top quality. Include links to your website in your bio.
- Google+ is targeted to professionals and is most used in the early morning. Content should incorporate professional, product, personal, and how-to posts of greater length and with up to three hashtags. Post on weekday mornings and use high resolution .png images.
- Tweet several times a day – this will reach a global audience and you’ll appear to be more active.
- Remember that not all types of content work on all social channels. The content that performs well on Twitter won’t necessarily be as popular on Facebook. For example, Twitter users want short, sharp snippets of content. LinkedIn audiences want in-depth professional content.
- Sync your blog to your social media profiles. Using WordPress in particular for your blog makes it easy to add social share buttons and to automatically post newly published articles on social media.
- Maintain an active real time presence on social media. Respond to comments, thank followers, and share the occasional time sensitive post.
10 key tips for social media automation
- Create unique content ahead of time
- Automate content curation
- Always pre-read articles and content you are automating to check for relevance
- Schedule posts for when you are on holidays
- Add a personal touch to scheduled posts – invest time and attention into each.
- Match the tone of your posts to the platform they will be published on
- Don’t tweet automatically whenever somebody uses a particular hashtag
- Don’t automate tweets that would be better published live
- Never automate direct messages
- Recycle evergreen content (using tools like WordPress plug-in Revive Old Posts or MeetEdgar)
Automate posts that share content you have created as well as curated content. If you do opt to utilise social media automation for your business, don’t forget to schedule regular time to engage with followers in real time.
This will maintain the all-important personal touch and tone to your social media marketing, and this is what will keep your followers coming back for more.
More on LinkedIn…
Methods of developing meaningful LinkedIn connections
LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals and business connections. Ideal for building your professional profile, it can be harnessed for job seeking, recruitment, networking, and building valuable professional relationships and connections.
DID YOU KNOW: Numerous LinkedIn users join the platform then fail to fully leverage their contacts on the platform.
Yet the entire point of this social media platform is to build meaningful and valuable relationships that are related to your work, career, business, and industry. You need to know how to get LinkedIn connections and how to make them work for your benefit.
So how do you connect on LinkedIn?
Making LinkedIn work for you
The entire purpose of using social media in all of its forms is to build connections. Engaging with these connections adds depth and purpose to your endeavours. It is through engagement that relationships are born.
You can read the full article … here
Meanwhile, did we mention we have a free LinkedIn eCourse?
4 Week LinkedIn Optimisation Course: Not only do we share a bunch of valuable, relative and useful info on our blogs, but we’ve got a free LinkedIn eCourse to help you get the most out of this platform especially for B2B enterprises. If LinkedIn is your preferred social media channel, take a look at this course to raise your profile, generate leads and boost your business – so LinkedIn can start working for you.