Automation – keeping things simple, and making them faster
We are now in 2017, and the era of Social Media automation is truly upon us. Today, we witness a number of scheduling tools for various automation tasks. Such tasks include automation of e-mail responses, automation in industries, automation in banking services – in a nutshell, and many others. A pretty big chunk of the average person’s day is dependent on automation and automated processes. Automation, in itself, is an invaluable tool to boost productivity.
Social media – Killer Shark or a Marketing Runway?
Ask anyone born post the ’90s where the real dynamism is. A great majority of them will tell you it is social media. However, over two-thirds of marketing executives cringe at the very mention of social media. This is because of the overload of social media. Its intrinsic ease of access is, strangely enough, killing marketing. However, on the other hand, it is also enabling a rebirth for marketing, in the form of social media marketing.
Let us move towards what exactly social media marketing is. Today we see many small businesses, libraries, and stores purely run based on their social media presence. Moreover, nowadays, we see companies use various channels of social networking to create a self-sustained marketing model for themselves. The more the employees post on social media, the more potential gains the business stands to receive.
The use of social media is not quite universal—but it is getting close. 70% of the U.S. population now has at least one social networking profile, while more than half use two or more social networks. According to CMO survey, the number of global social media users is projected to grow from 2.1 billion in 2015 to 2.5 billion by 2018.
The following pie describes the impact of Social Media Marketing on businesses
A dose of insight:
Social media marketing now plays almost as large a role in purchasing decisions as does TV, and 57% of consumers say they’re influenced to think more highly of business after seeing positive comments or praise online.“
Still, some fascinating contradictions remain. Even though businesses today use social media for marketing and those efforts are expected to increase, many marketers and top executives alike find the business value difficult to quantify through this process. Today, as social media is speeding along at a lightning pace, marketing executives are huffing and puffing along in its wake. Now, it is time for the marketers to catch up.
That is where the brainchild of the two – social media marketing and marketing automation – comes in. Say hello to ‘social media automation’!
When the worlds of social media and marketing automation hit into one, a union of convenience and connectivity is achieved. A broad bandwidth of experts in this domain does seem to concur with this fact. According to a recent study by Marketo, 91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing efforts across channels.
Five rules for social media automation
Today, a major amount of our time is mostly spent staring at screens. It seems that this trend is here to stay for long. The devices and their screens are getting more and more sophisticated as well. Keeping that in mind, here is the nitty-gritty of social media automation.
- Post When Your Audience is up and surfing
The chances of getting higher traffic to your posts are obviously higher when your audience is online. Each business (and social network) is unique. The only way to know the best time to post is to dig into analytics. Once you are well versed with the knowledge of perfect posting times, it becomes easier for you to take data-driven decisions. Rather than throwing posts out hoping for an outcome, better you predict it. Based on our research, we highly recommend a tool called True Social Metrics if you need to understand when and how your audience is spending their time on the web.
Once you know your best time to post, you can then use a tool like Post Planner or Sprout Social – both are excellent social media management tools. Usage of these tools can help you plan or schedule your posts at specific intervals.
When content is added to a unique plan, it is then scheduled based on the pre-determined times. It can also help you sort out the best posting times depending on the type of content you are creating. No huffing, no puffing anymore! Just let your system do all the hard work, while you get some down time!
The buffer is another important social media tool used to optimize social updates. which conveniently helps in scheduling posts on various other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and others. It also helps in spreading scheduled posts out to publish throughout the day and engagement time.
There you go, an easy way to save a whole lot of time and effort! What are you waiting for, then?
- Automate to drive it home: Evergreen Content
Your evergreen content is your bread and butter. This aspect of your website never gets old. In simple words, evergreen content is material that is considered fresh and exciting to your readers. It adds value to your audiences, no matter when it is posted. A tool we found to be very nifty when it comes to posting evergreen content is Tailwind. Pin your freshly churned content – be it a blog, a page, an article or a quote. Let it keep showing up on your social media pages.
- Set up automation meetings between your heroes: multiple social networks
Perhaps another fundamental feature of automation in general, extending even to social media automation is inter-connectivity. As a marketer, you can set up a linked list of operations based on triggers. By combining one social media network with another, you can achieve greater returns and attention to your posts or websites. With a tool like IFTTT (If This Then That) you can share your Instagram post over Twitter for a wider band of users to see.
- Set up notifications -to keep you up to speed!
Do you know that annoying pop-up which keeps appearing on your smartphone? Well, a similar feature can be implemented here as well! Except, who has the time to interact, respond, and stay engaged all the time? Timing is essence here. To stay up to speed, you need to initiate automated notifications. One such useful tool we came across is Twitonomy. Twitonomy helps you manage your mentions over Twitter, but more than that – you can see your most influential, engaged, and active users (provided you shell out the bucks for a paid version). The beauty is in its ease of use. Find a mention, click on the tweet, respond, follow, or even add to a list.Within a matter of seconds, you can interact with your audience and stay in the conversation.
This graph depicts that an average 68% of social media fan posts are ignored. Here is where you can get ahead of the rest. Just by being responsive and responsible, all without your own precious time being wasted!
TweetDeck is a successful and totally free desktop web app. It is the best fit for those who need to manage varied accounts, follow specific hashtags, respond to lots of distinct users, and see precisely what’s being tweeted in real time.
On the other hand, Followerwonk is used to explore and grow your social network. It does deep digging into Twitter analytics and let you know who are your followers? Where are they located? When do they tweet? Which tweet gets more fame?
- Don’t let it do all your work!
It is easy to get carried away these days, isn’t it? Well, automation is a time saver, perhaps a life saver for so many of you marketers! However, having a portion of your work automated doesn’t mean you kick back and grab a breather. Indeed, social media management tools are surely here to stay, but only because they free up your schedule from monotonous work. Use this time wisely to interact with your customers, to spread your content, and to build relationships!
Finally, since you do spend most of your time on social media anyway, why not utilize that to improve your productivity – as funny as that sounds? That is why, for growing businesses, developing a social presence through automation is perhaps a leap of faith they can afford.
Remember, It is never too late to start!