The thing with automating social media for your organization is – you can automate it as little or as much as you want. And it doesn’t matter if your organization has 1 Facebook profile, or a Facebook, a Twitter, a Google +, etc. There are different ways and strategies to automate your social media all of which can save time, allow you to enjoy more flexibility with your workflow and improve your organization’s marketing.
Let’s take a step back for a sec. “Automate your social media?” You might be scratching your head and asking “what is he talking about, why social media and why automation? Isn’t social media just for interacting with my friends or occasionally posting pictures to my organization’s page?” If you are not asking that question just skip to the next paragraph, if you are then here goes…
If you have a business and need new clients, better SEO (Search engine optimization – basically how people find you on search engines like Google), better reputation and basically the things your marketing and sales department need and want then you should be using social media to market your business. If you are a camp, a conference, an association or any biz that has members or clients you need to be on social media marketing yourself. There are a ton of articles out there that will help you get started and will also explain better than I can why it is important. just search Google for “marketing on social media” and you will find a ton of resources. I have also given a few tips on it which you can see one these three posts:
- Why Social Media is Important To Your Business Part 1
- Why Social Media is Important To Your Business Part 2
- How to Use Facebook to Market Your Camp
- How to Use Twitter to Market Your Sports League
Now after that is out of the way, you can ask yourself why “automation”? The reason is that if you are like 99% of the businesses out there you simply do not have time and more so time at specific time frames. Social media demands action in specific timeframes. Hence automation…
Below I want to look at the ways in which automation can help your business and also share some great tools I use personally to automate Regpack’s marketing that might help you too!
Reason #1: Save time with automation.
The biggest pro with automation is that you can set up in advance when things post. So depending on how you like to work, i.e. every Monday morning you find a few great articles, write a post and gather some photos to publish on your Facebook profile, you can make your work structure fit in with automating.
To have to post daily can be problematic since you aren’t always in the office, you might not remember to post when you intend to or you might miss out on an article or photo you meant to share but forgot about. Furthermore, if you are using social media correctly you will notice that your audience has higher engagement at specific hours of the day. You want to post during those hours since more engagement means more potential clients. I will also let you in on a little secret: Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Linkedin all check the engagement level of your posts. If they are high more people will see them and more people will then know about you. If they are low they will get pushed down the list and people might never interact with them. Scheduling your posts on the up hours of engagement just helps you make sure you are getting seen and will get seen more in the future.
I love using Hootsuite to manage Regpack’s social media accounts. Aside from allowing me to see my news feed and twitter feed in one place (this to me is secondary), I can schedule posts for weeks at a time, or just for later that same afternoon. When I come across a great article, I can set up the post and which profiles to share it with right then and there so I don’t lose it. When it dawns on me some holidays are coming up (Thanksgiving anyone?), I can quickly schedule “happy holiday” posts to make sure our page stays current, human and inviting and at the same time have fun with my kids and not have them see me on the phone or computer during the holiday 🙂
No matter how you schedule posts, this ability allows you to save time since you can structure your posting in a way that works best for you. Hootsuite allows you to see a list based on date and time of all your scheduled posts as well, so it’s easy to see what you’ve mapped out and make changes as needed. Now every morning you don’t have to worry about finding something worthwhile to post, you’ve got it scheduled and covered!
Reason #2: Be flexible with automation.
Like I mentioned above, automating social media allows you to be flexible with your posting and the content.
Some content is easy to put together. Like “Happy Holidays!” or sharing a great video you think your audience would love to see. But sometimes you also want the time to write, research or put together a great blog post or a great album or video of photos from an event or session.
With automation, you can set up posts as it fits your schedule for creating some of that more important or time consuming content and make sure you are giving yourself ample time to complete great content and also sharing according to the schedule you want (daily, a few times a week, once a week, etc).
Some might argue that automating your social media means dehumanizing your profiles – taking away that human touch of a daily (or weekly) post because it’s pre-scheduled and not in the moment. I think the opposite actually. Automating allows you to spend more time putting together great content and more time to put thought and intention in your posts. When you’re able to block off time to schedule your content, whenever that works for you, you are able to fully focus on this task and put together a set of content to go out that is meaningful and looks how you want it to look!
The flexibility of scheduling posts will serve you well for off times when you aren’t in the office (on vacation, etc) or during a busy season (like Regpack is having now). You don’t have to compromise how you envision your accounts to function just because you aren’t physically present to make sure it’s happening daily.
A camp for example might not always have time when camp is in session, besides perhaps sharing daily photos and/or videos via a mobile device. But blog posts articles of interest to parents, etc might not make the cut of what you’re able to accomplish during the day with kids to manage, so automation becomes a great tool for these times. After session is over, you can create blog posts or video montages of the session and then space out sharing them as makes sense for your post schedule so you create quality content AND have it go out when you want it to!
Reason #3: Improve your marketing with automation.
When you use your time efficiently to get all of your social media posts set-up for the time frame you want or need, it allows you to free up time to focus on the personal aspect of your social media profiles, which goes a long way for marketing.
Of course just having regular, consistent and quality content posts is a step in the right direction for creating a great marketing base for your organization, responding to comments, reaching out to clients or potential partners on social media is worth your effort and can sometimes fall down on the priority list when you are not organized with just your daily or weekly content posts.
Hootsuite, my automation tool of choice, wrote a great blog as well of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to automating messages and how to use their tools to make sure you don’t lose the personal touch and relevancy and performance of your posts. It’s worth skimming to get an idea of how best you can use this tool but also how to balance automation with your personal goals and point of view.
Let me know in the comments below if you have your preferred tool or how you automate your social media (or don’t and why) so we can all learn from each over 🙂