How to Get Started with Social Media Automation
Part of marketing a business or brand these days is getting yourself out there on social media, and if you’re still on the fence as to whether you need to be on social media, read the article, “Why Social Media Marketing – 1o ways Social Media can help grow your business”You may be convinced to try it out. In this article, I’ll tell you how to get started with social media automation in order to make social media marketing for your business quick and easy.
Get the Most out of the Time You Spend on Social Media
Setting up a Facebook account is easy enough, but not everyone is a social media guru right off the bat. It takes time to turn a fan page into a lively, effective marketing tool.
As a modern marketing professional in Edmonton, I often help my clients with their social media accounts. It can be anything from discussing the (many!) social platforms out there to helping them develop a strategy to managing social posting on their behalf. I find that one of the major drawbacks of social, and why some business owners don’t see the value, is the amount of time and effort involved.
Any time you spend on social media takes away from time you could be spending doing your usual day-to-day activities, and most people barely have enough time for that! Fortunately there are ways to concentrate your efforts and minimize the amount of time you spend focusing on social media.
There are activities and tools you can use to automate your social media posts, which can help you continually engage your audience, respond to their queries, contribute to conversations or trends, build your brand, and manage your reputation.
Get Started with Social Media Automation
Social Media Automation is a part of Marketing Automation, which is “the process of using software and technology to optimize, automate and measure repetitive online marketing tasks.”
Many people overlook what I think is the most important part of being on social media: a strategy. Before you post a single thing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or anything else, you should have a strategy.
Your strategy should involve analyzing your audience, figuring out who they are, what they want, what interests them, and what problems they have. From there it’s much easier to find and post content that is relevant and appealing to them.
Your strategy should also outline what your social media accounts are going to be for. Do you want to have a Facebook page so that your customers have another way to access customer service? Do you want to educate, entertain, engage?
Social Media for Customer Service
Many large companies like Dell, for example, respond to customer service issues on Facebook, and people have come to expect quick responses and resolutions to their issues when they reach out on social media.
The customer service aspect is helpful because it helps you listen to your customers.
Social Media to Build Awareness of your Brand
Customer service is just one aspect of social. You may not want Facebook or Twitter to be where your customers reach out for help but rather use social media to help build awareness about your brand.
You can link to your website, introduce yourself, showcase your products and service, and provide insight into the day-to-day workings of your business. This helps customers develop familiarity with you and your products, and they will feel more comfortable coming to you when they need your services.
Use Social Media to Become a Thought Leader
Another reason to be on social media may be to set yourself apart from your competition by being a “thought leader”. Forbes gives a great definition of what exactly a “thought leader” is:
“A thought leader is an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise.”
Being a thought leader in your field is extremely valuable and can lead to profits. For example, if you are an Edmonton roofing expert and your website and social media accounts are full of educational information around the subject of roofing, you can become the go-to source that people access regularly and trust as being knowledgeable.
When they have roofing questions, they’ll check out your material. And when they (or someone they know) needs roofing services, they’ll come to you rather than another company that lacks the authority that you created online.
A Content Calendar to Help you Plan Automation
Once you have a social media strategy, your key to success with social media automation is planning, which is why a content calendar is absolutely essential. A content calendar can be as simple as a spreadsheet made with Excel or Google Sheets or you could search the web to find a template that appeals to you. After all, if you don’t like it, you won’t use it.
A content calendar helps you plan and curate what and when you want to post. It’s easy and manageable to have a monthly calendar. Basically you can sit down once a month and create or curate content for the month, schedule it, and then check on your social accounts periodically to see what’s performing well with your audience. Social doesn’t have to be a daily chore, it can be a monthly task where you set everything up and then watch to see how things go.
There are many tools to help you automate your social media accounts, and one of the big ones is Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows your to curate and schedule posts for multiple social media accounts. It works with all the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, G+, Linkedin, and Instagram. Best of all, it’s free unless you want to manage more than one brand, like for digital marketers who manage multiple clients.
Hootsuite isn’t the only tool out there to help you with social media marketing automation. Social Media Examiner (an excellent resource for all things social), has explored 7 Time Saving Social Media Automation Tools You Have to Use.
Check out the article. You may see a tool that excites you that you’ll want to use. Again, if you don’t like it, you’re not going to use it. Don’t be afraid to try out a few. Spending a little bit of time figuring out what you like will make social media marketing more fun and easy for you.
So to wrap up, you can tackle social media posting with a strategy, a focused approach to what content you post, and by using tools to help you find and schedule your social media posts.
Are you just winging it with social and feel like you’re wasting your time? Give social media automation a try!
Share this article to help other businesses and brands with social media automation. Any questions? Ask us in the comments below.
Nyche Marketing can help you build your website, set up your social accounts, develop a strategy for posting, and manage your social accounts for you. Get in contact with us for information about our services or a quote. We’d love to hear from you!