Social Media Automation Made Easy

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Starting and running your own business can be incredibly time-consuming.

Between dealing with clients and the actual work part, there isn’t a lot of time left over for the marketing and social stuff.

However, if you’ve read my blog for more than 10 minutes, you know that I rant endlessly about how important your business’ digital marketing and online presence is!

So how do you make sure you give 110% to social media marketing AND still have time to get your job done?

This is a big question asked by a lot of new business owners and entrepreneurs. People become so overwhelmed with all the important tasks of running a business that it’s hard to keep up the social media schedule.

But that’s where mentors, like me, come into play. I’ve been there, I’ve struggled through it, and I am more than willing to share my hard-learned lessons with anyone who will listen (why? cause I really, really wish somebody had been there to share them with me!)

One of the lessons I learned? Automation.

I must admit, in the beginning, a part of me completely resented the idea of automating social media. But as they say, we must base our business decisions on data and not emotion, and so I did. The results? It worked! And I started having a little more free time!

So how did I do it?

Get ready, I’m about to spill all my secrets now! Keep scrolling…

Automate… but still stay engaged!

Confused? Just a second, let me clear things up…

Every business’ ultimate goals for Social Media are:

  • to connect with your followers
  • to have a way to get to know your clients more
  • to attract leads and then to convert them into customers, and
  • to increase conversion/sales

Everybody agree so far? Great… keep reading…

What is the #1 excuse of small business owners when it comes to Social Media Marketing:

  • “I don’t have the time…”

TIME. There’s never enough – which is exactly why automation is a perfect solution!

[tweetthis]TIME. There’s never enough – which is exactly why automation is a perfect solution! #socialmedia[/tweetthis]

When you use automation, you can schedule all your posts at once, so there’s always a new update on your pages, even when your schedules get really busy!

But that brings me to why I was slow to start the automation process, I thought if I automated, then I was defeating the whole ‘social’ part of social media. But I was wrong! That’s the best-kept secret of them all: I automate so I can increase my engagement!

Meaning…

I no longer have to spend my time creating the posts and remembering to schedule them, and crossing all the platforms, etc… After I write the post, I create all the images and graphics that go with it, and then schedule them out a few times on the day I post, then a couple more times through the next few weeks. Whenever the scheduled post goes live… I make sure I’m connected and visible to my followers by leaving and responding to any comments, sharing my insights, and even sharing the content itself among others. I’m able to focus more on my clients/followers, and less on the actual posting part. It’s like magic!

And since all the posts are scheduled in advance, I save a lot of time and now only need a few minutes to manage the rest of my social media activities. So I can spend more time creating better content. 🙂 Win – Win!

What are the tools you need to automate your social media marketing effectively?

Since now you understand the concept of automation and staying engaged, I want to show you some of the tools that that I use to accomplish this task easily but effectively. These are all FREE tools that you can use too:

Facebook Scheduler

If Facebook is your only focus right now, they have a built-in feature that allows you to schedule posts in advance. I’m guessing that most of you have done this before, but just in case, if you’re not familiar with the process to do this, follow these step:

1. Go to your Facebook page.
2. Write out your post just like normal.
3. Instead of clicking the button “Publish”, click on the arrow down icon and choose “Schedule”

Screen Shot - Facebook

4. When the little pop-up comes up, choose the date and time for your post.
5. Repeat the same process for all your other posts.

Buffer

Buffer is an awesome scheduling tool that allows you to connect and post to your social media profiles – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. After connecting your social media profiles, you can add a preferred posting time, so you no longer need to type them in every time you want to post something. This makes the process of scheduling so much quicker.

Screen Shot - Buffer

All of that sounds awesome right? Well there is a small catch: Buffer’s free version only allows you to schedule up to 10 posts per profile and you can only connect 1 profile for each network. But in the beginning, when you’re just trying it out, it’s a good place to start. Hootsuite If you need to schedule more than 10 posts and need to connect more profiles from the same platform, try using Hootsuite. The interface isn’t as simple as Buffer, but the features make up for it. With Hootsuite’s free plan, you can connect up to three profiles – regardless of platform. This works really well if you’re trying to juggle 2-3 fan pages / profiles and don’t want to create different accounts for each one. Screenshot - Hootsuite Zapier Now, onto one of the most amazing tools for automation: Zapier. This tool is awesome because, you only need to create a “zap” once, and it can go forever! For example, if you want your Google Calendar events also posted as an update on Facebook, you can do this automatically with Zapier. Again, you don’t need to reschedule all the content, you only need to create a “zap”. Here’s what looks like:   Screenshot - Zapier Wasn’t that awesome? Now before I sign off for the day, let me give you a few extra tips on how to…

Automate your social media content like a pro

Be mindful of your posting date and time. Before you set up your posts, make sure that you’ve analysed the data you already have. When does your audience usually go online? What time are they most active and engaged? Always find new content. Don’t post the same type of content over and over. Spice things up by adding graphics, images, videos, quotes, infographics, links from other sources, and anything else you think your audience may like. Remember, always put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if you’d enjoy the content you are currently producing. Don’t automate junk or spam. Nobody likes that! Be visible. Let me reiterate what I said above, automate but stay engaged. Never forget your goals or the ‘social‘ part of social media. Be there for your followers and clients, reach out to them if they need help, and even if they just want to say hi, appreciate the time they took to talk with you, and greet them back by name. People LOVE that! So go create a social media automation marketing plan, then buy yourself a coffee, because from now on you’ll have a little more “me time”.

What do you think? Share your comments below.

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