Aashish Sarma | @aashish884
The inextricable connection between social media and today's brands
Nowadays brands and social media go hand-in-hand. Both established and novice marketers are leveraging the power of social media to connect with customers, influencers, and potential investors. But the time-consuming nature of social media strategy still poses challenges before marketers, thus pushing them to create full-time positions for social marketers.
While using social media marketing for a brand, marketers usually focus on the following aspects:
- Content: Social marketers need to curate, re-purpose and share relevant content in order to thrive in a competitive social landscape.
- Time: In order to stay relevant, brands have to focus on the timing for publishing content on social media so that users get real-time updates and information.
- Analytics: In order to have better control over their content strategy, marketers rely on data and analytics for identifying loopholes in campaigns and taking corrective measures.
Enter social media automation
Given the pressure on social marketers to minimize time and maximize output while managing social media accounts, social media automation comes as a boon. The aim of social media automation, as most marketers wrongly assume, is to eliminate work completely. But in reality, social media automation is only a key for marketers to work more efficiently.
Gone are the days when marketers had to spend hours devising a strategy and scheduling posts on social profiles. Social media automation takes mundane social media work to a new level where effective utilization of time, money and resources becomes possible.
Social media automation and tools help brands maintain a consistent presence on social media. How? By discovering and curating relevant content and publishing them in a timely manner. For example, marketers can use DrumUp, a social media automation tool that allows them to discover trending content related to businesses and schedule posts so that they can save time and stay active on social media. Marketers can also use BrandWatch, a social media monitoring tool, which helps them catch and manage mentions of brands on social media.
Benefits of social media automation
There is one principle that marketers should always remember:
Automation should not begin or end your social media marketing efforts.
Social media automation should only be used as an aid for social media marketing instead of a replacement for manual work. By using the right tool and balancing automation with human efforts, marketers can reap the following benefits of social media automation:
- Automation helps businesses with multiple accounts to achieve consistency in their marketing efforts.
- Automation allows marketers to schedule and post time-sensitive content in a timely and flexible manner.
- Automation allows marketers to focus on larger organization goals by reducing the time spent on managing mundane social media activities.
- Automation enables brands to stay relevant by curating likable and shareable content
- Automation provides useful data, which supports major business decisions.
How to automate social media?
Here are four steps to automating social media and converting users into actual customers:
Understanding WHEN to automate and engage
The harsh reality is not everything on social media is meant to be automated. Understanding the "when" of automation has been challenging for brands always. However, they should focus on automating the following:
- Content curation: Automation of content curation provides an opportunity to post relevant updates at a time when their audience is most active. Moreover, it leaves marketers with more time to discover content to share.
- Non-time sensitive social media posts: Marketers can consider automating thoughts, retweets, and quotes that are not time sensitive.
- RSS Content: Marketers can automate posts that are intended for different social media accounts after carefully formatting everything. They can also try different headline structures with the help of automation tools.
However, troubleshooting and customer interactions SHOULD NOT be automated because they are better done by real people.
Choosing automation tools
Social media automation tools are a godsend for brands and marketers. These tools connect applications with one another and create a call-and-response chain of action. Social media automation tools allow marketers to manage multiple social media profiles on one platform. They let marketers connect Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts so that marketers can create content queues that are published at specific times you decide.
Creating a posting schedule
While planning to automate social media, marketers should have a posting schedule in place. Automation tools help marketers in queuing and spacing posts according to the schedule, thus making it possible to target users at appropriate times throughout the day. A posting schedule aids the automation process by giving marketers a clear idea of the right posting time.
Engaging and interacting with audience
Last but not the least, marketers should create a system that would help them in keeping conversations going. They can use tools that help them find mentions for their brand across blogs, websites, and social networks. Moreover, they should keep notifications on so that they get updates instantly. This would help marketers interact with customers in real time and drive better engagement on their social profiles.
As brands are facing a challenging time driving conversations and engagement, social media automation comes as a blessing. In fact, conversation and automation share a symbiotic relationship as one cannot be effective without the other. Social media automation takes brands to new heights by engaging a huge group of influencers and followers and reducing time spent on executing content strategies. Marketers are sure to reap significant returns in the long run by employing social media automation today.
Author Bio: Aashish Sarma is a content strategist at Godot Media, a leading content agency. His interests include social media and content marketing. Writing, travel, music and socializing are hobbies that he pursues whole-heartedly.