While having a social media marketing strategy is a necessity for any local business today, it can become extremely time consuming! Between updating your profile, responding to comments, coming up with and sharing content, managing your social media accounts can become a full-time job on top of trying to actually run your business. (And you’re already the chief executive officer, vice president of finance and head of marketing.) So no thank you!

What can you do if you don’t want to take on another full-time job? It’s time to think about social media automation. Don’t get stuck thinking that social media is just a promotional tool; it’s also one of the most efficient ways to build relationships with your customers. And social media automation can help you be successful without the manual social media management overload!

Here’s Why:
  • Social media automation saves time. And time is money!
  • You’ll communicate consistently and intelligently with your following.
  • It’ll give you a comprehensive view of your social media presence, all in one place.
  • It’ll help you measure your social activity, so you can repeat what’s working and stop doing what’s not.
How It Works:

Social media automation allows you to schedule social media posts in advance and monitor your accounts when someone mentions your brand. The easiest way to automate social media is by using automation software or a social media management tool.

We have a few favorites:

Finding the tool that fits your goals isn’t the hard part. Most will work pretty well for your needs. The hard part is knowing common pitfalls before you encounter them and making sure you don’t fall into their traps!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Automation

DO: Automate to publish content at the most optimal times.

You can use social media analytics (which can be determined with an automation tool) to figure out when your followers are most active online. This will maximize their exposure to your content. Also, only schedule posts when you can respond to the comments, replies and mentions in a reasonable amount of time.

Pro tip: Make it easy for yourself, and schedule posts out in advance! One of the best perks of having a quality tool to automate your social posts is that you don’t have to log in every day (or night) to post new content. Let the tool do the work for you.

DON’T: Post the same content on different platforms.

Doing this tells your audience you don’t care and can come across as lazy and spammy. No one wants to see the same thing across all their social media. This practice often results in the loss of followers.

DO: Create content specifically for each social media network.

Post requirements differ on each social network, so make sure your images, videos and content are formatted for each specific one. Also, because each social network is set up differently, they should be utilized differently as well. It is essential to decide what the purpose for each of your social media platforms will be:

  • Will Twitter be used only for special offers?
  • Is Facebook how you will introduce new products?
  • Do you want/need every social network or just a couple?

Making these decisions will allow you to ensure your customers follow you on their fave social platforms, because you’ll keep them interested and continue to provide value within their social feeds.

DON’T: Automate direct messages or replies when you’re tagged in a post.

It might sound like a good idea to send someone an automated message every time they mention your brand or tag your business online, but you can’t predict every possible reason someone would mention you. So, it’d be nearly impossible to brainstorm the right responses for every scenario ahead of time.

Also, automated replies can seem inauthentic or even inappropriate – the last thing we want your followers to think of you! Think of it this way…a robot can’t effectively determine whether or not a pre-set response is the right response. So for these instances, it’s best to take the time to read the post and manually respond back. Your business’s reputation will thank you.

DO: Automate Tweets, Facebook statuses and promotions.

Let’s say you’re going to be running promos for a certain month, or maybe you’re going on vacation. Automating posts for daily deals or during the time you’ll be soaking up some sun on the beach is a perfect example of how much easier automation can make your life!