Social media automation is a must for any small business.
It both saves time and helps you stay consistent across social media platforms.
Automation itself refers to any activity that you don’t have to do in real time (and perhaps don’t have to do yourself at all). Despite the myth, automated social media posts do not get penalized.
The following are seven opportunities for social media automation that you might not have thought of.
Sync your blog
If you’re using WordPress to publish your blog, there are a number of plugins available that will enable you to automatically share your content on social media whenever you publish a new article.
That option is also available on other platforms, depending on what you’re using.
Level up with advanced tools
These applications enable apps and websites to talk to each other. Of course, their capabilities go far beyond just social media. For example, you could sync your Gmail, Dropbox and Slack in such a way that if you receive an email with an attachment, that attachment would be automatically uploaded into your Dropbox and then a notification sent to alert you in Slack.
Both IFTTT and Zapier are either free or free to try with premium upgrade options, so it’s wise to create an account and explore your options.
Recycle, reuse your evergreen content
If you’ve been publishing on a blog for any significant amount of time, you likely have some content that can be repurposed and reused for social media.
Whether that piece of content makes sense seasonally, is a topic that works year-round or only needs a minor update to be fresh again, it saves you tons of time for social media publishing. This is because you won’t have to always spend the time to create new content.
Of course, when it comes to evergreen automation, there are tools that can help. Revive Old Posts is a WordPress plugin that will go through your archives, and MeetEdgar can publish a post and then automatically recycle your top posts several more times on a schedule.
Share curated content
Like evergreen content, curated content also saves time and resources while striving to keep your audience engaged.
Curated content is the sharing of other people’s or brands’ content for the benefit of your audience. Check out these five reasons why you should consider curated content in your digital marketing strategy.
Check out these four more ways for you to discover new curated content.
Schedule your social media posts
This is a go-to when it comes to social media automation. Scheduling your posts in advance can help maintain consistency while also saving time.
Ideally, you’ll want to aim for the best times and days to post, which vary across social media platforms. There are a number of already-mentioned tools that can be used.
Of course, you’ll want to pay attention to how your posts perform at different times of the day. Nationwide trends on best times and days won’t necessarily apply to every individual brand. Different brands can have unique options, so make sure you pay attention to what works.
Chatbots can up your customer service game
These days, it’s common to think of the Facebook Messenger chatbots that appear when you visit some Facebook pages. However, chatbots also are commonly used on various websites.
The benefit to either location is the immediacy of customer service at a visitor’s fingertips. All that, and you don’t have to be available 24/7 to be successful and responsive.
For example, Sephora has a Facebook chatbot that can route customers directly to an agent on top of answering basic questions. Adobe’s Photoshop chatbot enables customers to troubleshoot questions in detail and offers relevant solutions on its full website.
Check out this guide for building chatbots.
Automate your analytics reports
Another opportunity for automation is performance reporting. Many social media management tools can be set up to send you and/or anyone on your team reports on how your accounts are performing.
These can be set up to run on a weekly, monthly or other frequency.
Remember, you’ll want to make sure that all your automation is human and personal. That means conversational, laid-back language and even emojis if appropriate for your brand.
There also is value in filling in your automation with real-time posts and content. Nothing replaces human responses and conversations on any comment threads.
No matter what automation you use (or how you use it), social media is a conversation where people should want to connect with your brand and engage. Automation should never be a “set it and forget it.”