Automating Your Social Media Strategy

Technology is constantly evolving. Accordingly, on a day to day basis our dependence upon technology grows. Therefore, it makes sense that we’d try to make our lives simpler by automating our social media strategies.

When I say automate our social media strategies I’m talking about scheduling posts and content on a computer that automatically posts when it has been scheduled.

However, automation is tricky because, although it is a huge time saver, companies run the risk of getting lost in the mix. It’s unappealing to customers to deal with a lifeless company as opposed to another person. Hence, companies should be careful implementing too much automation into their social media strategies.

Here are some helpful tips on how to put a successful automated social media strategy into place.

  1. Know when to automate and when to engage

Social media automation used the right way creates a very efficient social media strategy. However, one should not only use automation because then consumers will lose interest.

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Consumers can tell the difference between a person and a computer and they would much rather deal with a person. Complete automation can result in consumers thinking that companies don’t really care about engaging with them.

With proper use of social media automation, you can make your time spent on your social media online marketing as productive and profitable as possible.

They will then go and interact with a company who not only automates their social media strategy, but, also takes the time to engage with consumers. A good rule to follow when automation content is the 5-3-2 rule of social media sharing. This rule means that for every ten posts you upload to social media channels five are content from others, three should be content that you create, and two should be non-work related to make the company seem more human.

Three other places you can use automation include non-urgent social media posts, your RSS feed, and marketing flows. One place you should not automate is customer interaction. When customers interact with a company they expect to deal with another human being and not a robot.

2. Choosing the right automation tools

An app that I’ve come across that has proven helpful because it connects your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn accounts is Buffer. It allows you to queue up your content that you want set up at a certain time. This can be really helpful when you are doing social sharing or content curation.

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There are also other tools like Spokal and Hootsuite. But, I like Buffer because it is compatible with so many sites.

3. Creating an automation schedule

When creating an automation schedule one should consider these questions: In what time zones are your customers located? At what times do people click on your posts and shares the most? What times are you around to engage with your customers?

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Some helpful statistics using Twitter as an example that will help you answer some of these questions are:

  • On the weekends Twitter is used 17% more than on weekdays
  • Around 5pm is when retweets are the highest
  • On weekdays B2Bs get 14% more interaction than on weekends
  • During their commutes consumers are 181% more likely to use Twitter
  • Around 1-3pm is when your Twitter click-through rate is best maximized

There are tools out there like IFTTT and Zapier in which one service connected to another service will be triggered under specific circumstances.

For example, when the weather channel predicts rain, I’ve set up a trigger so that I’ll get an alert to my iOS device.

With all this in mind customer engagement should still be a top priority. Automation is great but it won’t be as effective without a company’s effort to engage with their customers.

4. Engage in conversation

A good way to keep yourself in the conversation is by using Mention. This app is a lot like Google Alerts. You can monitor websites, blogs, and other social channels for the use of your name or your brand. After Mention finds where you and your brand are mentioned then you can reply right from the Mention dashboard. You can also set it up so Mention alerts you via email so you don’t have to have the app open all the time.

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You can also turn alerts on your phone on to tell you about potential engagement opportunities on Facebook and Twitter. Another tool to check out is TwitterChats. Some new things about your industry and you consumers can be learned via TwitterChats.

Though these apps are exciting and time-effective to use it is important to set aside time to physically engage with customers in real time to make sure you don’t miss any opportunities.

Automating your social media strategy and keeping up with customer engagement is good practice when it comes to digital media marketing. However, it is also important to keep track of social media metrics.

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