How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing
Automation helps businesses in all areas of their online operations, but social media is an area that you have to be careful with. The reason is simple – it’s social. It involves real people socializing and making personal connections online. If your business automates too much of its social media operations, your fans will know it and it will turn them off. However, there are certain tasks that can use technology to make your life easier.
You can automate some of your status updates. Status updates are simple messages that go out to all of your fans. But while many updates can be scheduled, don’t set it and forget it. When there’s something timely, like a new product you’re releasing or a news story you want share, bump your automated updates and save them for later.
Even if you’re automating your updates, don’t forget to check in regularly to read comments. You need to respond to comments and do so in a timely manner. Businesses that ignore comments lose fans.
Sharing Content across Platforms
There are social media automation programs that allow you to share content across platforms. One example is Twitterfeed, a program that lets you add your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn news feeds to your RSS feed. Whenever you add a new blog post to your site, it posts it on all of your social media profiles. Just make sure you’re not posting the same message twice in a row on the same site!
Automated alerts are an important part of all social media. On each social media site you can sign up for notifications whenever someone mentions you, connects to you, tags you, and so on. All social media sites allow you to sign up for these alerts through their system, but there are also specific tools like HyperAlerts that allow you to sign up for search terms and offer other features as well.
If This, Then That
There’s a handy tool designed especially for automating social media that’s similar to alerts and notifications but gives you a great deal of control. It’s called IFTTT – ‘If This Then That.’ This program connects your social media channels with profiles you create called recipes. Recipes are based on the simple concept expressed in the program’s name. You choose a ‘this’ – which is a trigger – and a ‘that’ – the action that the trigger causes. When the trigger is pulled, the action results. For example, your trigger is any mention of your name on Facebook. The action is an email notification sent to you.
One of the most important things to do on social media is join groups and network. Finding groups can be a hassle, but there are automated programs that seek out groups for you such as Triberr. Triberr connects you to like-minded users and puts all of your content from all groups in one feed.
Dashboard programs are web platforms that let you manage multiple social media accounts with one interface. You can simultaneously check your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts and handle all of their functions at one time. There are many dashboard programs available but one example that’s popular is Hootsuite.
Whenever you automate social media functions that are publicly viewable, put yourself in the shoes of your fans and check your profile to make sure it doesn’t look automated. Remember that the real personal component is the most important aspect of social media.