Social media automation is the order of the day nowadays; inasmuch as it has been described as a negative practice over and over, but quite on the contrary, it is not as bad as many people tend to describe it.
There are times when it can get nasty, but then these are not all that common. The thing you need to do is be clever about how you automate your social media activities. Remember, the goal of social media is to engage with people actively. When you remove people from the equation, things become a bit problematic.
The main benefit of social media automation is that it frees up a good amount of time that you can dedicate to personal engagement. When this happens, you are on your way to success across social platforms. As aforementioned, you have to automate the right tasks. There are those tasks that you should never consider automating like the direct messages on Twitter, and some people will take offense in the fact that you did send them an automated message.
What tasks should be made automatic?
While you are in the business of learning the tasks that you should automate, you should know which tools can help you out in your quest. Generally, it is the mundane tasks or those tasks that you are bound to forget about that need to be automated. When you spend less time on these tasks and more time on the crucial to-dos that bring in results, then you are going to be successful on social media. Without wasting more energy, let’s get down to the automation of:
1. Original content sharing
This is one of those tasks that you have to carry out but time is a problem. There is never enough time to post the content you want to share. You have that amazing photo from your conference that you want to put up on Instagram, but then every time you remember to do so you are either driving or in a meeting. There are two main types of content that you can share on your social media platforms. There is the content that you create like the blog posts. There is also the content that you curate.
Sharing content solidifies your position as an individual or a business that is not only up to date at all times, but one that helps the audience to remain updated as well. Finding fantastic content to share online can consume a lot of time. Creating good content is even harder. Luckily you have the opportunity to share the content with ease.
Tools for the job: Buffer and IFTTT
Buffer automates the sharing of content easily. You simply create a daily schedule of the times you want to share your content. You could create schedule that sends updates between noon and 7PM or between the normal business hours. It is all up to you. You only have to create the content that you want to share and Buffer does the work for you.
IFTTT is not just that tool that has many Ts anymore. It gives you the opportunity to create a recipe that will remind you to add a new content piece to your Buffer schedule when you have it on your blog’s RSS feed. The recipe will automate the sharing content from your blog to your social audience at the appropriate times through Buffer. If you are not using Buffer, IFTTT will simply share to your social media accounts the moment the content is published.
2. Curated content sharing
The next thing that you want to automate is the sharing of content that you curate. It is not all content that is posted in some other source that you will want to share automatically. You never know what the other people will be publishing. IFTTT recipes come in to save the day here as well. Start by subscribing to your favorite industry news sources through Feedly in IFTTT, then you can develop a recipe that directs any posts that you save for later in Feedly to be added to Buffer.
When you have this recipe in place, the next thing you will need to do is save a post that you think is fantastic for your social media audience in your Feedly subscriptions. IFTTT is then going to add it to your Buffer. In case you do not want to use Buffer, IFTTT is going to share the posts directly to your social platforms. It is however great to have Buffer which helps to schedule your updates. You do not want to share tons of content at once. Cognitive overload is such a problem for many people and no one wants to be stressed when they are using social media.
3. Customer discovery
The time that you spend searching for prospective customers on social media daily can be used doing something else more constructive. You can automate this process. It allows you to spend less time searching and more time interacting with them.
You can start with the Twitter lists. This allows you to follow large groups of people – up to 500. SocialBro comes with a rule-builder feature that will add people to Twitter lists automatically then they retweet you, follow you, mention you or add you to their lists. It is possible to filter these people based on various criteria like keywords in the bio, time zone and some other demographics. With that you can have a Twitter list that is full of people who could potentially become your customers.
There are many things that you can automate on social media. The content sharing can be made automatic. This is especially so if you are one of those people who are bound to forget to share content because of your busy schedule. It is important to be careful about the content you automate though. You do not want to automate everything. The goal is to clear up your schedule and have more time to engage with people online, not to leave you with nothing to do.
Author Bio: Sujain Thomas is a data IT professional who in addition to rendering DBA expert services runs a blog that is dedicated to sharing top quality open source resources for web designers and web developers.