What Brand Marketers Need to Know About Automating Their Social Media Marketing It’s funny how no one want’s to talk about automating social media posts. The truth is, every successful marketer is using automation to scale their social media marketing. In this day and age, there’s no reason why you can’t benefit from a little social media automation. Until recently, social media automation tools were only popular with growth hackers and enterprise marketing teams. But all that has changed, social media automation tools can save time and money for any size business in any field. We all face the same challenge of keeping up with the pace of social. The frenzy is making it harder and harder to share consistently, the right content, on the right platforms, at the right time. That’s where social media automation tools can help, and the advantages are significant. Pre-schedule your social media posts Ensure that you are posting consistently, week over week, month over month Leverage older posts so don’t have to be so reliant on always creating new content More control over the type of content you share Post content to multiple platforms Automate repetitive social publishing tasks Manage all of your social media accounts in one place Track your results. I don’t know a single marketer that isn’t strapped for time, Who doesn’t want to save time on repetitive tasks? Who doesn’t want to become more productive? Who doesn’t want to spend more time doing things that have a greater return on investment and maybe even have some time to do the things you love? That’s what prompted me to reach out to Laura Roeder; she’s the founder of Edgar, one of my favorite social media automation tools. Laura’s road to recognition didn’t start out focused on being a tech entrepreneur, but she’s always been focused on how to scale. She began early on as a blogger and social media consultant; she was even named one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under 35 in 2011, 2013 and 2014 working with the likes of Marie Forleo & Sir Richard Branson. Somewhere along the way, she hatched an idea to build a software company that could fill the void she was experiencing first hand, that is, automating the parts of social that could benefit from a touch of technology. How to Getting Started with Social Media Automation Automating your social media marketing works the same way as the tasks that many of us have automated with MailChimp, Salesforce, Constant Contact, IFTTT or Zapier. Being social online can suck the life out of your day, especially as a business marketer, this is time you just can’t afford to waste. But automating your social media activities poses a challenging question: “How do you automate your social media marketing, without sacrificing the human side of social engagement?” That’s a good question, and highlights a challenge that we will always face when building trust online. It starts by making your automation decisions with the end user in mind.. Don’t Over-Automate your Social Media The goal is to systemize and automate what doesn’t require your day to day touch, while also making time to be responsive and engaged. Automation can condense hours of social media chores that happen throughout your day, and condense them into just minutes of work. Which then gives you freedom work on other, more important stuff. The Basics of Social Media Automation Now that we’re all in agreement that marketing systems aka marketing automation can help us be more effective, we can get to work automating the right parts of social media intelligently. Start by following these simple ABC’s. A. Choose the right social media automation tools B. Pick the right time to schedule your social media posts C. Schedule time to stay engaged with real-time conversation Let’s looks at some tools… The Only Social Media Automation Tools You Need to Get Started While there are dozens of options when it comes to social media automation tools, I use three tools for three very different reasons. Edgar If you have a library of content at your disposal, resurfacing it on a regular basis is critical for getting the most mileage for all the hard work you put into the content in the first place. It works like this; Edgar lets you organizes and categorizes your content within a digital library. Then you tell Edgar what types of updates to share at which times, and on what channels. After it posts an update, that particular post will be put back at the bottom of the pile to use again later. This continues until you change the settings. Edgar is worth it’s weight in gold. If you have built up a library of evergreen content, you will benefit from automation. Hootsuite This is my social listening and engagement tool of choice. Hootsuite allows you to create a dashboard of all your social platforms, all your most import groups, and keywords so you can respond in realtime or at least at your now regularly scheduled engagement time. I spend 15 minutes per day on Hootsuite, responding to tweets, commenting on posts, sharing, liking and engaging with the content that my audience cares about. It helps me work efficiently in quasi-real time. Buffer Buffer is my curation tool of choice. While there are slight overlaps between all of these tools, they each excel at something very specific for my needs. In this case, I use Buffer to curate content that I find on the web, content that is somewhat time sensitive, meaning that it has a shelf life, like an upcoming event. Or, content from my favorite sources, whether that be people I follow or blogs that I like to read. I tend to spend time curating and scheduling posts for social sharing twice a week +-. It usually takes me about 20 minutes. Now it’s time to think about the right time to schedule your social media posts. One of my favorite articles on the subject of finding the right time to post on social was written by Lindsay Kolowich Finding The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites Lindsay writes: So … When’s the best time to post content to social media? Unfortunately, there’s no perfect answer. Different businesses may find different days and times work best for them. In fact, timing often depends on the platform you’re using, how your target audience interacts with that platform, the region(s) you’re targeting, the content of your post (e.g. funny or serious), and your goals (e.g. clicks versus shares). I couldn’t say it better. Here’s the Infographic from the Hubspot Blog, What’s Working For You? Hopefully, this article has given you a good place to start with social media automation. Let me know what’s working for you, what tools you use and any tricks you have up your sleeve. Seth Price I’m on a mission to transform the way you think about personal branding to empower your life’s work. My keynote speeches connect me with audiences all over the world. Join me in creating ideas for bringing your brand to market.