What you should and shouldn't automate on Social Media-

What you should and shouldn’t automate on Social Media?

What you should and shouldn't automate on Social Media-

The main benefit of automation is the ability to let the marketers focus on more meaningful tasks that require creativity. Rather than wasting their time doing repetitive and time-consuming ones. However, if you use automation tools to minimize the human factor, you’ll most likely fail.

You have to keep in mind, that marketing automation is nothing more than communicating at a high scale, and for that you need problem focused data: information that is helpful in identifying the bottlenecks by highlighting different KPIs. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated your automation system is, you will always get back to the human factor especially when you automate social media.

Automation can be quite addictive. Once you’ve finished setting up your first automated workflow and realize how much time and resources you’re able to save and allocate somewhere else, that can feel overwhelming. So it’s important to draw the line on what you should and shouldn’t automate on social media platforms.

What should you automate?

Scheduling your posts

Let’s say you post 8 times a day on Twitter and 3 times a day on Facebook and LinkedIn and you work 8 hours every day. That means you have to stop whatever else you’re doing at least every hour! But what about weekends, holidays, and posting before and after working hours? And what if your audience isn’t active during the time you post.

This is where a social media management tool comes in handy: these let you schedule your post in advance and automatically post your content at the time you set up. So you can enjoy your weekends and holidays without worrying about posting.

It’s also great because you decide what part of your timetable do you want to dedicate to managing your social channels.

finding out the best time to post

Finding out the best time to post

Finding out and using the optimal posting time increases your reach and engagement, which is exactly what you want.

There are a lot of timetables and infographics about what is the ideal time to post on each platform. These are useful to get a general idea, but each business and each fan base are different. So what might’ve worked for someone in the past might not work for you. And I didn’t even mention the frequent algorithm changes which usually have an effect on how feeds are updated. Also, you have to factor in the different time zones and the engagement of your fans with your posts.

These variables are continuously changing. So you have to adapt and keep altering your posting schedule.

Most social media tools can determine what’s the best time for you to post, which is great. You don’t need to keep updating your timetable to adapt to changes. With minimal manual intervention, your social media software will figure out the optimal times for each platform.

Curating Content

curating content

Finding quality content that suits your brand and your fans like is one of the key elements of establishing a social media presence.

But how do you figure out what type of content to post? You can dig into your stats and find out what type of posts get the highest engagement and share similar content. However, there are certain rules when it comes to company social profiles. The two most popular of these are the 5-3-2 rule and the 80-20 rule.

The 5-3-2 rule states that out of every 10 posts:

  • 5 should be content from others, relevant to your followers
  • 3 should be content from you, relevant to your followers (not product related, avoid the hard sell)
  • 2 should be non-work related, fun content that helps humanize your brand.

The 80-20 rule states that 80 percent of your social posts should be content from others that your followers are interested in, and 20 percent should be your own content (again not product related, avoid the hard sell).

The essence of these rules is that you shouldn’t treat your social profile as a platform for extensive self-promotion. However, you don’t need to follow these blindly. The important thing is to find the right theme and to keep it consistent so your audience knows what to expect from you.

Because most of your posts are content from others, that’s where you’ll need some automated content curation.

Okay, but how? One possible solution is using Quuu integrated with Buffer. You just choose a couple of topics relevant to your business, then you select how many suggestions you’d like to receive daily. After the setup, Quuu will send the content straight to your Buffer queue.

However, to avoid mishaps you should check out the content sent by Quuu. And I’ll tell you why. Let’s say you own a bookstore in London. You chose print media, books, magazines, bookstores, and small businesses as your interest categories. Quuu goes to work and starts to send suggestions to your buffer queue. It’s all fine and dandy until one day you check out your Twitter page and you see an article you posted with the title “The 50 Best Bookstores in London”. You click on the link only to find out that your store is not included. That’s something you want to avoid as it paints a bad picture about your business. To avoid accidents like this spend 1 minute each day on revising the content sent by Quuu. (Or you can manually approve suggestions inside the app in the Ultra and the Entrepreneur plans.)

As you can see from this example sometimes automation requires manual intervention, and some tasks should not be automated at all.

What shouldn’t you automate?

interaction with your followers

Interactions with your followers

Engaging with your followers on social media is another key element of your social media presence. And one that shouldn’t be automated. Because customers appreciate unique and personalized responses. Companies who have limited resources might be tempted to automate responses, but that’s a slippery slope.

Imagine a customer who took the time to tweet you about her great experience with your company and all she gets in response is a robotic automated message. Even if you can avoid getting bad press from over-automating your interactions on social media, it still damages your engagement and reputation.

I’m sure your followers appreciate unique and original responses. One of the reasons they like social media in the first place is because of these interactions. And if you take the human out of social media, it isn’t social anymore.

Automated replies can be especially damaging when a customer needs your support or voices a concern and they get generic automated responses. It’s like pouring gas on fire because the customer reaches out in need of your help and you don’t even bother to write a reply. It comes across like you don’t care about them and the problems they face with your product.

Wrapping up

When it comes to automating social media you should be careful. Overdoing it can cause serious damage to the reputation of your company.

Don’t forget that social media is awesome because it lets people from all over the world share their experiences, their opinions, their challenges, their life events with each other. And that’s just amazing.

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social_media_automation_automizy

5 steps for the successful social media automation

Most of all people are using or in love with social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even Instagram which is getting more popular can be mentioned here.

social_media_automation_automizy

The other day I was discussing about this theme with my marketer colleagues, and their feelings were all the same. They think that social media just a pain in the neck, they don’t like using them, and if they had a chance they would even get rid of them. The reasons were the following: a lots of work and they don’t generate immediate, measurable profit.

Unfortunately, whether you like it or not social media is unavoidable. Those who already deal with it and follow the analytics could see the same as me:

social_media_blog_source_analytics

 

Google Analytics stats from Automizy blog

As you see social media sits on one of the first place in the traffic sources. So it doesn’t mean more, than Facebook along with others are inescapable.

Although, I have to admit that a long ago I was thinking the same. Mainly, because I don’t post every day on my own private site either. But how to do it then? How to get myself to post on the daily basis, and even more times a day on the company’s Facebook sites?

Then the solution was born. With social media automation my problems have just been magically vanished.

Alright, alright I know it sounds like a slogan of a pharmaceutical advertising, nevertheless social media automation has this power indeed. It will not only influence your work, but also the profit as well. So the more work you put into it, the greater chance you have to activate your followers.

Ultimate Guide to Marketing Automation

How to achieve this?

First of all determine your strategy of the social media: Decide what, when, how many and what you want to achieve with your post, and of course don’t forget to specify that how you are going to measure your goals.

Secondly determine the content: What kind of content will you be share, your own or someone else’s? Who will write the content? The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) recommends to keep the 5-3-2 rules.

  • 5 should be content from others, relevant to your audience
  • 3 should be content from you, relevant to your audience (and not directly selling your products)
  • 2 should be personal, something non-work related to help humanize yourself and/or your brand

At the third step is to determine the automation of the post. Attention please, here comes the trick, let’s carry on!

Variate your posts! Don’t be satisfied with only one version, make more. So give new title or change the lead an you can even use different pictures. How does it look like in the reality?

Let’s get this article what you are reading as an example. As you see the title is 5 steps for the successful social marketing automation. However I make two versions, which are going to look like these:

5 best practices for the successful social media automation

or like this

5 tips for the effective social media automation

So the point is to make more variety of one post and you share them in different times. Pay attention to change the lead along the title, because the visitor has to meet the same content on the blog or website what on they clicked on the social media.

At the fourth step determine the frequency of posting: An average post lifetime is about 3, 2 hours, but with automation it can be stretched even till two days. Therefor you have to decide how frequently and what intervals you are going to post in a day. Check out what are the best times for posting according to SumAll’s survey:

Twitter  1-3pm weekdays
Facebook  1-4pm and 2-5pm weekdays
LinkedIn 7-8:30am and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Tumblr   7-10pm weekdays and 4pm on Fridays
Instagram  5-6pm weekdays and 8pm on Mondays with a sweets pot at 6pm
Pinterest  2-4pm and 8-11pm weekdays with weekends being the best
Google+  9-11am weekdays

At the fifth step choose a tool to implement. Now you know how to do it but don’t know what to do with. There are countless superb apps for social media automation, however I suggest this two:

  • Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media automation tool. With a well-chosen subscription you are able to use most of the social media channels. For private use a free version is available and there is a 30 day trial for pro and enterprise version too. Using the more expensive versions give you the ability to run unlimited number of social sites and integrate Google analytics, Facebook Insight.
  • Buffer is the other well-known and favorable brand in social media automation. Buffer can set posts too and you are able to use numerous channels simultaneously. Of course different subscriptions are available as well. A social media app isn’t really a good one without analytics so you get that too of course.

Which one to choose? Hootsuite is a detailed tool which to use properly requires deep knowledge as for using Buffer is easier but doesn’t have the sophistication of Hootsuite. I strongly advice Buffers if you just started social media automation. When your campaign blows then it’s time changing for Hootsite.

Now you are familiar with the social marketing automation tricks the story doesn’t end, keep reading!

If the world was as simple as I said it in the above, we would live in a perfect world, where pros and cons wouldn’t be existed. Life however not that easy so here are some advice what you better keep in your mind during social media automation.

The pros of Social media automation

The following arguments are with the social media automation:

  • “Comfort is a big boss!” And because you don’t have to keep a team only for this, you can even do it by yourself, it’s really cost effective,
  • Bigger and more frequent reaching. The more you post the bigger the activation you can get from your fans,
  • It’s generate more leads and later customers with its effective usage

The cons of Social media automation

Fully automation is risky! Don’t let it just flow by itself as you can easily end up as in the below example the Bank of Amerika:

social_media_automation_bank_of_america_titter_fail

 Automated Twitter fails from Bank of America
  • Timing can be automatized badly,
  • Interactivity easily can be forgotten. Never let it slip in your mind, that in social media interaction take places what you need to respond for, and you cannot substitute or solve them with automation,
  • It is considered a SPAM if you post only offers,
  • Irrelevant content posting can be driven to lose your admirer,
  • In a tragedy or emergency situation the automatized posts can make significant damages

So don’t forget that automation is a good and needed object because it perfectly increases effectiveness and decreases costs, but within that the human work, spirituality and control never can be missed.

Now you are know the social media wiliness, so let’s do some work and share! 🙂

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