While making any decision, all business owners should ask themselves a few questions. The first one being ‘Why do I need this?’. When it comes to automation of your social media marketing processes, the numbers speak for themselves. Research by Aberdeen Group shows that companies which use tools to automate social media marketing get 53% higher conversion rates to sales from social media marketing compared to non-users. This means automation is definitely worth considering.
Of course, there are things which must be done manually, like generating ideas and engaging with the audience as it requires imagination, compassion, and creativity. But in the rest, you can rely on algorithms, and computers are much better than people at this. The nice thing about machines is that they don’t have to save their time, but you do, because it’s you who has a business to run and creative and strategic work at hand.
The next logical question is ‘How and what to automate?’. And we have the answer. Using tools for automation you can have all your accounts organized in one place. It gives a bird’s-eye view on what’s happening on your social media — not only to you but to the team members you invited to collaborate. You can find hundreds of such tools on the market, however, there are functions each of them performs the best at. Here’s a list of things automation tools can help you with. Also, some tips on which ones to use for different purposes.
Schedule Posts in Advance
If you have excellent prophetic skills, or even better, a good marketing strategy, you know which posts you want to appear during a week or a month. So it will be easy for you to schedule them beforehand and to focus on your current business issues.
Just make sure you’ve reviewed your content plan, and it’s well-balanced in terms of different types of content. It can be informative or emotional and you can post quotes or quizzes, news, or case studies. And there’s a perfect proportion of each for different social media. For instance, Facebook subscribers will appreciate emotional and inspirational content and stories. However, Twitter followers prefer reading actionable content and business tips. Take that into account and then stick to the plan.
Don’t forget that there always has to be something that tells your brand’s story. People tend to trust a company more if they know more about it. Therefore presenting the team and sharing your values may bring more engagement than you expected.
The good thing about automation tools is that they will suggest to you time slots when it’s better to post depending on the industry you work in and the type of content you prepared. The media you are using also matters. Time slots won’t be the same for Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Also, it would be useful to check when exactly your audience is the most active and engaged. Tweriod or Followerwonk can help you with this on Twitter and free services such as Audience Insights — on Facebook and Instagram. They are available on your Facebook analytics page:
The tools for social media marketing automation like Buffer, Sprout and PromoRepublic will offer you the best time for posting. They have this option included in the basic user package.
You can also schedule the posts you want to appear every year or every month on the same day — it will bring a bit more certainty in your social media life.
There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world, and a lot of people are involved. Show them you’re interested in the same things they are — post something relevant. You have special features developed exactly for that purpose in the app by PromoRepublic. It shows you all the upcoming holidays and special dates you can refer to. You just need to preset the region you are targeting because a post about Thanksgiving day to your British customers will leave them scratching their heads. Your American clients will also be surprised if you don’t.
You can plan some sales campaigns for these dates beforehand or just prepare topical content. It will definitely give you additional engagement because people never miss an opportunity to do something only once a year even if it’s simply commenting on a picture of an Easter rabbit.
But it’s also a tricky moment — things can change really fast. Today you may think some event is totally newsworthy and base your publication on it, but in two days some big scandal occurs, and no one is interested in your Tulip Day post anymore. So you still should pay attention to what’s going on.
Make it visual
We are living in the era of visual culture now. People like not only smart and informative content, but a bright form as well, so don’t leave them all disappointed. Research by Venngage shows that posts with proper graphics, pictures, and videos get 180% more engagement than posts which consist only of text. There’s also a gap in engagement between posts with different types of visuals:
But searching for the perfect picture or designing it from scratch with no design skills for your post may be quite time-consuming. You may also face some сopyright problems if you just Google pictures. Or, you have to pay for a subscription if you want to use stock photos. And if after all of this, you find out the picture doesn’t look that good on your page, it will be a massive waste of time and money.
To avoid any of these problems, you can just use posts prepared by professional designers. Some of the planning tools have such an option. For instance, PromoRepublic not only gives you the option to edit the pictures you upload but also suggests more than one hundred thousand templates which are already designed and ready-to-use:
Using them, you don’t have to worry about the visual part of your social media pages and are free to save time on things that cannot be automated, like engaging with your audience.
Keep in touch with your audience
People like being paid attention to. If they mention your company or leave a comment to your post, responding to it will be a great benefit for your brand image. Conversely, ignoring someone may result in negative reactions. How can you be safe from missing important comments? Just use social listening tools suggested by Hootsuite, PromoRepublic, Buffer, Sprout Social, and others. They will notify you when somebody leaves a comment on your post or mentions your company. And, of course, you will be able to respond directly in the app.
The rest depends on you — don’t risk automating your answers to comments, sometimes it can put you in a pretty awkward position. And there are a lot of such stories on the Internet. For instance, when AmericanAir was mentioned as the largest and the worst airline on the planet, the company politely replied with ‘Thanks for your support’ which was an automated response preset to mentions.
It’s crucial to show there’s a human being behind the product you present. So delegate the monitoring to the machine, and you won’t be exhausted when your emotional reaction is needed. For instance, if you have to deal with unsatisfied clients, it’s especially important to respond. They may not have liked your product, but you still have a chance to show you are good at communication, so don’t miss it.
Analyze the efficiency
While you build good relationships with your clients and entertain them with smart content on social media, it’s still marketing. You need to move forward and get some results, and that means you need to know your way. But without any feedback, you can’t determine whether you’re doing the right thing. It’s necessary to figure out what kind of content attracts the most likes, shares, traffic to your website and which converts into buying. Having done that, you can improve your social media marketing strategy.
Almost all the tools for social media marketing automation have a feature that allows you to get statistics and reports on your activities. In the end, it’s a chance for developers to show you that using their tool brings you ROI.
Analyzing these reports should become a weekly item in your meetings with the marketing department. Knowing what works will inspire you to be even more inventive or point you in a new direction for developing your content plan. In both cases, you will know how to proceed. Here’s an example of how such reports look.
It will also prevent you from spending money to promote posts which bring you absolutely nothing, except for angry subscribers who are tired of annoying ads on the page, that is.
And that’s the thing about automating your social media pages — it can save you from trouble you may not have even known about like missing an opportunity to improve your brand image or paying for the wrong post, for example. A person can’t be omnipresent, but these tools kind of break that universal law. They give you the perfect opportunity to have everything under control on social media. And since it’s not you doing the routine work, you have more time for your business.