They say that numbers do not lie…and the numbers on social media marketing are extremely encouraging. According to surveys conducted by Statista, there are more people on various social media platforms now than ever before (of course, that is something of a given). Nevertheless, let’s take a look at some of those figures so that we have a clear picture of what we are talking:
- The number of social media network users grew from 2.46 billion in 2017 to over 2.77 billion in 2018
- 71% of all internet user in this world are on one social media platform or another
- Facebook is still the market leader with over 1.8 billion monthly users
What these numbers are saying is simple: your market is most likely on one social media platform or another because over 3.2 billion people worldwide now have access to the internet. Therefore, social media marketing should be a huge part of your overall marketing strategy if you want to remain relevant and competitive in this current market.
About Social Media Automation
How many times have you spent the better part of a workday on Facebook or Twitter and swore that you would never do that again? Yes? Social media platforms can act like vortexes that simply swallow your time. As a business owner, this is not something you want to get caught up in considering you still have other pressing matters to attend to such as actually creating a product or service to sell.
However, the fact that billions of your potential customers all frequent these platforms every single day means that social media marketing isn’t something that you can ignore either. It is important for you to find a balance between the two:
- How to carry out effective social media marketing without spending all day on Facebook
- How to cut down how much time you do spend on Facebook and still be responsive enough to your followers while taking care of other sectors of your business.
That is where social media automation comes in. With the right kind of strategy, social media automation can help you condense hours of social media work that goes on throughout the day and bundle it down to just 30 minutes of actual work for you.
Practical Steps to Social Media Automation
The trick is to automate most of your social media marketing tasks so that you have enough free time to do other things while remaining engaged enough with your audience to make them feel special. This calls for the creation of an intuitive system that may need correction from time to time. Here are four of the main steps you need to follow:
- Understand when you should and shouldn’t automate your social media presence
- Choose the right kind of social media automation tools
- Create an ideal social media automation schedule
- Stay in tune with the conversation
Every single of these steps has to be in sync with the rest of your social media automation process is to be a success.
Understand When You Should and Shouldn’t Automate Your Social Media Presence
There are some things that just simply need a human touch and should not be automated. Sympathy messages and responses to complaints, for example, need to be addressed individually and an appropriate response crafted by you. You can, however, automate things like:
- Content distribution: sharing relevant content with your audience is highly appreciated and encourage. Be mindful of the “5-3-2” Rule that says: out of every ten pieces of content you share – 5 should be from other sources; 3 should be from you; 2 should be funny or personal to humanize your brand.
- Funny or personal blurbs: these are not time sensitive and can, therefore, be automated
- Your new posts: you can make it so that every time you publish a new post it is automatically shared on all your social media platforms
Once you find a system that works while still giving your audience that “humanized” feeling then you can rinse and repeat it all through.
Choose the Right Kind of Social Media Automation Tools
You simply must find a tool that suits your specific needs. There are platform-specific tools such as Bundle Post for Twitter or “Post Planner” for Facebook. There are also other tools that can be used across platforms such as Spokal. The idea is to choose a tool that allows you to easily do what you want to do with your social media feeds without you necessarily having to go to Harvard for a computer programming degree.
Create an Ideal Social Media Automation Schedule
Simply bombarding your audience with endless tweets and updates will not work. You need to create an ideal schedule for your social media automation. A schedule that is guided by your social analytics. Look at these kinds of numbers:
- Research shows that brand engagement on Twitter is typically 17% higher on the weekends
- There is 14% more engagement for B2Bs on weekdays on Twitter
- The best time for retweets happened to be around 5 PM
While these numbers should act as excellent guides, it is often best to be specific to your business. That is why you need to use tools such as SocialBro to analyze your own niche to come up with the ideal automation schedule specifically tailored for your audience.
Stay in Tune with the Conversation
There is no other practical way to stay in tune with the conversation than to have tools such as Google Alerts or Mention working for you. You also need to turn on all your notifications, so you do not miss anything important or exciting without necessarily being logged in to any social media platform all the time.
Even though automation makes it easier to manage your social media engagement and marketing, you still need to set aside some time to actually be present on the various social media platforms. This is the only way through which you can truly engage with your audience and get a feel for the nuances that are always part of every conversation.