I have spent the last week and a half travelling and with hardly any internet connection. It has always been the case when abroad my social media starts dying out, but not this time. Just before leaving I implemented my first social media automation and the results were surprisingly good.
There are many options when it comes to choosing a social media automation – they can be used on different types of accounts, socal medias and for different purposes. Here are some of the main tasks you can outsource to an automation:
This part still requires a lot of input from your side. To post you must first create all the content you would like to share, What I found great about this type of automation is that, once you have “loaded” your account, the automation will post for you at equal intervals during the day, while you are travelling, working or simply have no time to post. This strategy is useful for more “high-maintenance” social channels like Twitter and Instagram. With these type of channels, you need to post often and regularly to keep generating audience. The problem is that it takes time to create the post and the necessary hashtags. With automation software you can simply create your posts, do all your hashtag research and schedule all of you social media content at one bulk.
This type of automation can be used whenever you gain a new follower. They immediately get a welcoming message with some links and information about your product or service. In this way, you can always begin conversations even if you are not at your phone or computer. The automation might start with a welcoming message and if you decide to invest in a chat bot, it can have a decent conversation with your customer. Some marketers dislike automated messages, as they appear to be too artificial. One of the best ones I have received was something like this:
Hi, thank you for following us! Yes, this is an automated message, but we really would like to stay in touch with you. Please, let us know if you have any questions about our service. In the meantime, check this FREE guide: example.com/free-guide
By addressing the elephant in the room, this marketer won my trust and also appeared different than everyone else who was blasting fake excited automated messages.
Reposting and following
Interactions on social media are really important for creating an active organic community of followers. However, they take a lot of energy and if you don’t have a dedicated employee to keep on working on this, it might be overwhelming. Automation can help here, for example, with retweeting posts which have the most relevant hashtag for your business. You can also automatically follow and like and even comment on other people’s posts to gain visibility. This tactic is quite aggressive and it does look spammy. There are accounts with tens of thousands of followers, which repost random stuff every few seconds. Even though, they generate audience, this is not how you want your brand to be built. Very often the audience is just as random as the posts which the automation was engaging with.
Which social media is worth automating?
This is entirely up to you and your level of comfort with automation. Twitter and Instagram are two of the social media which require constant attention and therefore they can benefit from a good automated strategy. Posting often, around times of the day your users are likely to be online is a great way of using automation. If your audience is on another continent, then your best posting time might be a non-sociable hour. This is when using automation can help you. If you would like to share something between the automated posts – a spontaneous picture or thought, you can always do this manually.
Social media like Facebook and LinkedIn do not require such frequent content sharing. In my experience 2-3 posts per week are enough to have consistent presence. If you are looking to completely dominate the space because of a special campaign, then you might consider using sponsored posts, as they reach a larger audience. Social media automation tools allow sharing through a personal account and a company page, making it easy for different purposes.
Which automation should I pick?
One of the most popular posting automation is Hootsuite. It covers pretty much all major social media platforms:
- Twitter profiles.
- Facebook profiles, Pages and groups.
- Google+ Pages and profiles.
- LinkedIn profiles and companies.
- WordPress blogs.
- Instagram personal and business profiles.
- YouTube channels.
- Pinterest profiles.
The cost is 16£ per month for one user and up to 10 social profiles. If you want to manage more than this or you have a team which has to get access the monthly fee is 80£ and you are still limited to 20 profiles and 3 users. There are custom solutions for which you must contact them directly.
I discovered Social Oomph recently and I feel confident to recommend if you are looking to manage a lot of accounts. It is perfect for someone who is a freelance social media manager working with many small businesses.
There is a free version and paid version. The free version allows scheduling posts only with Twitter for one account.
The paid version costs 27$ per month, but it allows you to schedule quite sophisticated campaigns with several social media:
- Blog articles via Blogger and WordPress
The interface is a bit more robust and less fancy, but the features are easy to use.
How I gained 50 new followers on Twitter while on holiday with no internet?
My twitter account has been the most neglected social media. Even though I am convinced of the importance of presence there, I have been struggling with the habit of tweeting. I learned about Social Oomph from a fellow marketer who has a business around social media management for local restaurants in the U.K.
I started by creating a “queue” – this is group of posts associated with a single or multiple social media accounts. On a queue level, you must choose how often you would like the queue to share posts and which days. If you are paid to manage a social media account only Monday to Friday, you can have the automation running only then. You can specify hours you would like to have the automation on – for example working hours in your targeted geography.
I would choose a not rounded number for post scheduling, so it is not too obvious that this is an automation. For example, if you would like to have a post every two hours, select every 123 minutes, not every 120.
Then you create a new update and add it to the existing queue. It can be a text only tweet, image, image and text or a blog post. You can connect Social Ooomph with your account in Bitly and shorten any link with just a click. What’s great is that then you can track clicks on the link in your Bitly account.
You can also choose to tweet the same post several times by selecting “Recycle and add the end of the queue”. Then, you can select how many times you would like this tweet to be posted before it is “retired”. With Twitter, it is not a problem to share the same posts several times. I found all repeated posts getting the same amount of interactions every time they were shared. They simply appeared in front of a different audience at that time of the day.
So, I set up thirty tweets, some of which “recyclable” up to three times and went on vacation. When I opened my Twitter a week later, I realised they all were shared on time. There were interactions (likes, retweets, comments) on most of them and the best part – I had 50 new genuine followers.
I know in the world of influencer accounts with millions of followers this does not seem much, but this account had hardly grown for the last year. Getting 50 new followers was almost 30% growth over a week after a year of 0,1% growth. Also, all followers were genuine, they did not disappear after I did not follow back all of them. As I went through their profiles, they were all from the industry I was interested in. No fake accounts, no robots.
I now connected all my other accounts and I am looking forward to offering this feature to my clients who have been struggling with organic social media growth. It is easier than I ever thought.