What is social media automation, and why should SMB owners be interested? Social media automation tools allow a business to manage its various social media platforms from one place. The rising popularity of social media in today's business world means that management tools like social media automation have a place in just about every small business. Proper use of marketing automation tools creates less work for you and frees up more time, making the advantages obvious. With this background, here are three key social media automation techniques for small business owners to keep in mind.
1) Choose the Right Platform
While you may be sold on the idea of social media automation, the vast variety of automation tools currently available might be overwhelming. Choosing the right tool (or mix of tools) is important. You'll want to evaluate your needs and clearly definite your goals, and then research and pick the tools that best meet them. For the purposes of most small businesses, free social media automation tools will do the job. Popular free platforms like Buffer, Hootsuite, Doshare, and Postplanner all have certain advantages and will work best with certain platforms.
Of course, there's individual preference and ease of use that comes into play when choosing the right tool; you'll want to use something that's not a big chore to figure out and manage daily. Carefully choose and become familiar with the marketing automation tool or tools you're going to be using, and you'll get the best results for your time invested.
2) Don't Overkill with Automation
Another key factor to keep in mind is proper use of your SMB's social media automation tools. You'll need to be careful of overkill (over-automation). Your customers and readers will want you to interact with them on a personal level, and simply plugging in set messages to be spread across all your social media platforms will be viewed as insincere and robotic. Try to create content that sounds conversational and interesting rather than stiff, and spread distinct messages across your different social media platforms.
Remember that the readers of your Twitter feed are likely a different demographic than those that follow your business's Facebook page, so your messages might be adjusted accordingly. And try to avoid simply plugging everything in at the beginning of the week and walking away; spontaneous updates throughout the week are very useful for keeping readers engaged and interested, and you may come across "breaking news" to share or changes that make a previously-planned status obsolete.
3) Use Your Time Wisely
While investing time in order to get the best results from your social media automation tools is necessary, you need to make sure to use your time wisely. One of the main reasons for using social media automation is to save time so you can focus on other areas of your business, so spending excess time fussing with the tools misses the whole point. You'll need to develop your own a time-efficient strategy that meets your own SMB's needs - around 30-45 minutes a day spent managing your various social media accounts and management tools might be a good place to start. With proper use of social media automation, you can make your time spent on your social media online marketing as productive and profitable as possible.