Did you know that 40 percent of Internet users use social media to learn more about brands? Social media is a key element to any marketing strategy nowadays. Without it, you’re missing out on precious leads.
If you’re like many other business owners, keeping up with social media posts is a huge challenge. Thankfully, automated social media posting makes it possible to stay on top of your marketing strategy and nurture leads. Keep reading to find out how you can use social media automation.
What is Social Media Automation?
Social media automation is the process of optimizing your social media marketing efforts through automation tools and methods. In other words, you make social media posting easier by automatically posting content and syncing accounts.
Automation makes it possible for you to schedule social media posts ahead of time — we’re talking weeks or months in advance. Also, social media automation means that you reduce the number of hours you spend posting — because who has time to be on social media all day?
Since you’re automating your social media posting, you have more time to allocate to other important tasks for your business. Here are some of the other benefits of automating social media posts.
Advantages of Social Media Automation
- You spend less time manually posting
- It maximizes reach and follower engagement
- Allows you to easily stay active on social media
- Creates more time to analyze statistics and KPI’s
- Streamlines your workflow
Examples of Social Media Automation
- Using chatbots to respond to users’ messages
- Using software and apps to schedule Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts
- Posting at optimal engagement times
- Getting notifications of comments or messages from followers
How to Properly Use Automated Social Media
Now that you know about what automated social media posting is, let’s delve into how you can incorporate it into your social media marketing.
1. Use Social Media Automation Software and Apps
When experimenting with automated social media posting for the first time, you may want to start with a few automation tools and apps. These tools include Hootsuite, Tailwind, Buffer, and Social Flow. Each software has its own unique features. However, all of them allow you to schedule social media posts in advance without having to worry about manually posting — they do the work for you.
It’s wise to start out with only one tool just to experiment with it and get acclimated to the process. As you get the hang of using social media automation tools, feel free to add more and sync them — we’ll talk more about that later.
What’s great about these kinds of tools is that they take the stress out of managing several social media accounts.
2. Change Headline and Caption When Cross-Posting
Cross-posting refers to posting one piece of content on more than one social media channel at the same time. Although this method is easy and time-efficient, it can look messy and careless if done incorrectly. What do we mean by that?
When you cross-post, change up the caption or headline. Cross-posting content with the same exact caption and headline across all social media channels doesn’t look professional.
Just small tweaks to the caption or message will make a huge difference. And your followers will appreciate it.
3. Consider the Demographic of Each Social Media Network
When curating content, consider the demographics of each network.
For example, LinkedIn’s demographic is mostly business professionals and executives. So the content you post on LinkedIn should reflect that.
A large percentage of Instagram users are millennials, so your Instagram content should be tailored to this age group.
4. Use Central or Eastern Time Zones
Regardless of where you live in the world, it’s key to schedule your posts using central or eastern time zones. Why is this? These are the two time zones when people are most active on social media.
Not sure which times are the best to schedule your content? Here’s a little cheat sheet:
Mondays and Thursdays at 9 AM and 5 PM CST
Thursday and Friday at 9 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM CST
Wednesdays at 7 AM, 12 PM, and 3 PM CST
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 7 AM, 12 PM, and 5 PM CST
Weekdays between 2 and 4 PM CST
Of course, this isn’t a definitive guide to when you should post. Study analytics of your audience and see when your followers are the most active on social media.
5. Follow the 5-3-2 Rule
In the world of social media marketing, there is a 5-3-2 rule. This principle says that every 10 posts should be made up of the following:
- 5 posts must be useful content for promoting your business
- 3 posts must be original content that doesn’t promote anything
- 2 posts must be humorous or a personal story
This rule is for the folks who have a hard time coming up with content to post. Also, it keeps content from getting stale and boring.
6. Make Time to Engage with Your Audience
As mentioned earlier, automated social media posting isn’t a one-and-done process. It still requires you to do some legwork. What this means is that simply posting isn’t enough. You still have to engage with your followers if you want a successful social media marketing campaign.
What does engagement look like? Responding to comments and messages and posting prompts that encourage dialogue from your audience. These small actions make your followers feel seen and appreciated.
Engaging with your followers doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment — an hour a day will suffice.
7. Don’t Forget to Look at Analytics
Automated social media posting makes executing a social media strategy easy, but don’t forget to establish key performance indicators, or KPI’s. These are markers that allow you to assess how your social media marketing campaign is doing.
What’s awesome about automated social media posting tools is that they have built-in features that let you view analytics. Use KPI’s like post reach and engagement rate to track your process.
8. Don’t Schedule Too Far Ahead
Don’t get too carried away with scheduling your posts. Why? Some content or news stories may become outdated. To keep your content fresh and current, schedule at least a week or two into the future.
9. Integrate Your Apps and Software
Automated social media posting tools are a major time saver. But you can take that a step further with software like Zapier.
Specifically, these tools integrate all of your apps. For example, you could create a “zap” that automatically posts on Facebook whenever your WordPress blog post gets published.
10.Repurpose Evergreen Content
Suffering from a creative block? Just reuse old content. Evergreen content is timeless and still relevant. Unless your blog website or social media account is newly established, chances are you have some evergreen content you can reuse.
11. Tweet Multiple Times a Day
Tweeting is a no brainer in any social media marketing strategy. However, do you know how often you should tweet? It’s recommended that you tweet at least three times a day. Doing this gives you a better chance of getting noticed or retweeted.
Don’t have the time to sit around and tweet all day? Use automation apps like Buffer which allows you to schedule your tweets.
12. Do Research on Your Audience
Automated social media posting apps like Tailwind give you the option to include hashtags in your Instagram posts. But to you know which are the best to use?
Keyword and hashtag research allows you to find out which hashtags your target audience is searching for. Not only will this make social media automation easier but it will increase your reach as well.
13. Consult with a Marketing Agency
Does all of this information seem overwhelming? Don’t hesitate to hand off your social media marketing to an agency. Agencies like Radcrafters Marketing Agency handle everything from creating content to scheduling posts. Outsourcing is the best way to automate social media work.
Here’s How Not to Use Social Media Automation
Although automated social media posting makes managing multiple accounts easier, this doesn’t give you an excuse to get lazy. Here are some ways you should not use social media automation:
Have Automated Direct Messages
There’s nothing more annoying than getting sent an obviously canned and non-personalized direct message. Social media is about connecting. And there’s no better way to turn off your followers than with an automated direct message.
Like the old adage says: quality over quantity. Although it’s tempting to easily jump a few hundred or thousands of followers, this is not advised.
Not only can fake followers decrease your engagement but you could even be penalized. Instagram is cracking down on Instagram accounts who buy followers and likes. Trust us, taking shortcuts like these isn’t worth it.
How Will You Automate Your Social Media Posts?
We’re living in a digital age where social media is at the center of everyone’s daily life. As a business owner, it can be difficult to keep up. However, automated social media posting makes juggling multiple accounts a breeze.
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