Social media marketing automation can be very helpful when it comes to monitoring and maintaining your social media presence but it can also be abused and cause your social media efforts to fail. Here is a brief explanation of how social media marketing automation can be used to help you, some examples of how it can actually hinder your efforts and best practices to keep in mind when using these tools.
Social Media Marketing Automation:
There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of tools now available which will scour the web for keywords and search terms of interest to you and automatically deliver the results to your inbox, newsfeed or via message. Mention, TalkWalker and others like these can be a great way to monitor social mentions of you and your brand as well as to find and share valuable content and help you stay on top of industry news and developments. While you need to be careful not to drown in the data, this can be an excellent use of technology to support your efforts.
Other tools like Dlvr.it will automatically deliver your blog posts to multiple social profiles. This too can help your efforts, expanding your reach and making the time-consuming task of distributing your content, much easier.
Tools like ‘if this then that’ can automatically perform an action based on a trigger. To use their example, if any new photos by “X” are found on Instagram then add the file URL to Dropbox “X”. This is a useful tool which can help you save steps and to be more productive.
But social media marketing automation can also make it easy to push OTHER people’s content and posts out to your community and that is usually what I recommend against. I do not recommend sharing anyone else’s content without vetting it first. While sharing is a crucial component of effective engagement, you need to check what you are sharing first and more importantly, make sure you are not inundating your community. Too often, people will set up tools to feed content to their profiles without thinking about the quality or quantity of what will follow. And too much content or content of low (or no!) value will cause people to un-follow, un-friend and un-link, totally undermining your professional reputation and community building efforts.
Sometimes people will say, ‘but of course I trust that anything Ms/Mr So and So publishes will be valuable’. This may be true but what if they are saying the exact same thing as someone else has just said? Or the exact opposite? Sometimes, I will see news streams with the same post pushed 3 or more times. This is a red flag that not only are they blindly pushing out info from others but that they really don’t monitor what is being shared. If they don’t bother checking what goes out, it doesn’t say much about the quality of the stream.
Some social media marketing automation best practices include:
- Use these tools to have content delivered to you – there is no reason to manually run a search each day, or multiple times a day – use tools to do that legwork for you.
- Use these tools to categorize and filter posts. For example, sending your posts about wine and other personal topics to separate folders while highlighting work related content for you to vet and share, can save you time and energy.
- Automate processes and procedures to distribute your own content and once vetted, the content of others.
The idea is to use technology to save you time, energy and money but to stop short of having it blinding shifting data from the web out to your communities.
[Tweet “Use technology 2 save time but don’t have it blindly shift data from web 2 ur communities”]
Social Media Scheduling:
Social media scheduling is a bit different. Tools like Hootsuite, Social Oomph and Buffer can all help you by allowing you input a large number of posts all at once, which you can then schedule to be delivered at a later day and time. As long as you have created and/or vetted the content in the posts, this can be an excellent time saver. Especially if you use the time you save to actually go out and engage with your community! The one downside of this type of tool is people often think that this allows them to ‘set it and forget it’ which can be a very bad move. Click here to read more about when and how to use social media scheduling.