“Somewhere along the way, when we were building social media products, we forgot the reason we like to communicate with our friends is because it’s fun.”
– Evan Spiegel
Is your social media run by automation or are you popping in there every day or ever other day posting whatever you feel like? Using social automation wisely means saving time, increasing your visibility and reach, promoting your products—and having people think you are present more than you’ve ever actually been before. It feels personal, and is well-timed. Social automation allows you to be in your groups and across social media even when you aren’t. You could be at the movies with your kids while your social posts are actively going live!
If you haven’t tried automation, give it a try and use these twenty-one tips for making the most out of social automation.
1. Don’t Sound Like a Robot
The first tip is the most important: Just because you are automating a post, or sharing a link to your latest blog post, you don’t have to sound like an impersonal robot. Add a “you”-based sentence that speaks directly to your ideal audience member. Be warm. Use your authentic voice! (They shouldn’t be able to tell your post is automated!)
2. Customize Your Automated Posts for Each Social Network
Don’t send the exact same message, worded the exact same way, to every network. For one thing, most networks have different requirements. You have to condense your message to fewer than 140 characters on Twitter, whereas a Facebook post can be longer. Hashtags work well on Instagram and Twitter, but they are pretty much useless on Facebook and Pinterest.
Make the most of each network’s unique sharing guidelines! Take the time to customize for each network … then automate!
3. Schedule Your Posts Before You Go on Vacation
When preparing to leave your business for a few days or weeks, you also need to prepare your social sharing before you go on vacation. Yes, cell phones make it easy to keep up with social media no matter where you are … but ten to one that consistent schedule you’ve built up will go out the window (or prove to be a pain) if you rely on keeping it while taking a vacation from your daily routine.
Pre-scheduling regular social posts will ensure that you keep your visibility prominent. And you won’t be left in the lurch in case you encounter disasters like no mobile coverage in your vacation spot … or dropping your laptop in the ocean! If you have your posts pre-scheduled, that leaves you to be more casual with the engagement and just have fun!
4. Pre-Post About Your Vacation
If you’re planning a vacation, be sure share images and posts about your preparation, if you think your audience would enjoy it. Doing this makes your followers feel included in your plans (disasters as well as triumphs). Including them makes it feel as if you are taking them along (not leaving them behind).
And you can create a whole bunch of posts as you shop and pack—and pre-schedule them at designated intervals for maximum engagement. Not only does this increase engagement, but it also allows a little wiggle room in case something does go wrong – at least they’ll know you were on vacation!
5. Automate Post Content Creation—but Don’t Automate Interaction
The fact is … you can’t automate interaction. Better to have someone write posts for you—but ALWAYS go over them to add your personal “voice”. And monitor responses, and respond! As I mentioned before, once things are automated, that’s one less thing to worry about and you can happily interact with your followers.
[bctt tweet=”You can’t automate interaction. Interact with your followers!” username=”ladybossloot”]
6. Use Content Creation Wisely
It’s a great idea to find and curate highly useful, interesting content for your audience, but even if you pre-schedule pieces, do go into your schedule and add a sentence introducing the curated content, or putting your own twist on why you are sharing it.
7. Fill the Gaps!
If you are unable to schedule out most of your content, at least plan ahead and anticipate times when you will be unable to post. Use social media apps and tools to automate posts and fill the gaps between your posts—and make sure you anticipate all the “lows” in the month when you won’t be available in person to post. (E.g. you’re busy at a three-day conference or in the hospital for a minor operation or off the grid at your parents’ cottage.)
8. Never Automate Direct Messages
We’ve all gotten them, and no matter what anyone says about them, nobody—and we do mean nobody—responds well to automated Direct Messages on Twitter. It’s a quick way to get yourself branded as a spammer … and avoided.
9. Don’t Automate ‘High-stakes’ Content
If you anticipate provoking a huge emotional response from a tweet or Facebook Post, don’t automate it—no matter how great the temptation to “get the word out” to as many people as possible. Make your post—and be there to respond in real-time. You want to make sure you’re available to respond to your followers in real time.
10. Forget the Words ‘Set and Forget’!
While automating your messages can save you masses of time and help you focus your social posts optimally, you should never apply an “out of sight, out of mind” strategy. Scheduling makes sure the posts appear at the optimum time. It doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility of checking your posts for responses—then responding.
Otherwise, you become a spammer if there’s zero engagement.
11. Make Use of Notifications
The next best thing to being there in real-time: Setting up your automation tool or app so that it notifies you the moment someone responds. So look for tools and apps that offer this feature, and consider them before exploring other similar tools and apps. Most native social media programs do have notification options, so make sure yours are turned on.
12. Check In Once A Day on All Your Social Networks
No matter how much you do (or don’t) automate, still maintain the habit of checking ALL your social networks at least once a day, at the same time every day, in order to respond and acknowledge those who have commented on your social posts. Once you get in the habit, or once your engagement starts to increase, you can up that to 2 or 3 times a day. But remember that it doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process – 20 minutes or so will suffice.
13. Find Out When Your Audience is at the Party
Check your analytics on each network to find out when your ideal audience is present and engaging with your posts the most often.
Then schedule your daily live interaction for that time—and automate other time periods (particularly ones that are incompatible with your time zone).
14. Create Seasonal Posts in Advance and Pre-Schedule
This works especially well with graphics-based posts, such as seasonal image quotes!
15. Never Make Automation a Substitution for Engagement
Automation should be used to maintain consistency—not absolve you from interacting. Nough said.
[bctt tweet=”Automation should be used to maintain consistency—not absolve you from interacting. Nough said.” username=”ladybossloot”]
16. Make the Most of Your Posts!
Each blog post, video or podcast you create is a potential goldmine for creating quotes, image quotes, comments, points and more. Get into the habit of going through posts the instant you complete them, and creating social posts for each network from each post.
17. Pay Attention to Social Post Lifespans
Don’t let any social post circulate and be repeated longer than six months. Even if you have a post leading to an evergreen article or product, create completely new social posts for these types of articles or products, basing what you say on current interests and trends, rather than yesteryear’s focus.
18. Use Automation to Create Reminders
One of the most time-saving strategies is to use your tools and apps to create auto-reminders about upcoming live events like Twitter parties, webinars, book launches, contest deadlines and podcast episodes.
19. Include a Share Request in Reminders and Other Automated Posts
Many people automate posts such as reminders and contests—and forget to ask others to share news of the event in question. Don’t be one of those people. Include a request to share in your reminder.
20. Monitor Your Social Posts
Use automation tools that let you monitor your automated posts and find out what’s being said about you and your brand (Use keywords and hashtags to maximize the effectiveness of your monitoring). You can also set up Google alerts with your name or your company’s name so that you get a notification whenever you’re mentioned in the media.
21. Keep a Social Automation Journal
The good news is, you won’t have to do this forever; but for the first three to six months, make notes of social automation strategies and post types that gather the most interaction—and social automation strategies and post types that result in negative or static results.
Automating your social media should be seen as an aide, rather than a substitute, when it comes to social interaction and growing your reach (think of social automation as leading a party of schoolchildren to the zoo … and having three extra teachers along to make sure each child is properly monitored and cared for). You’re still present … but you’re making sure you’re everywhere, even when you’re not.
Social media is the fastest way to connect with your audience. Be sure to make the most of it, every opportunity you get. What are your favorite automation strategies?