It was with disappointment that I saw that my friend had automated her twitter account. Looking at her twitter page was a bit like listening to a broken record. The same exact thing was repeated close to a dozen times daily over the last several days. She’d be better off going on a hiatus from twitter than using it like this. This is why automation gets a bad rap. Done wrong it is a complete turn-off. There is another way, a much better way to automate your social media marketing. Let’s take a look and how to effectively automate your social media marketing so that you get better results and save hours each week.
Business vs. Personal
You’ve got to separate your business and personal use of social media. Twitter, Facebook, etc., are used very differently when they are used for business as compared to using them personally. On the personal side, they can be great tools for connecting with friends and family. On the business side, your use of these tools must be much more strategic, with clearly defined goals that you’re working toward. You’ve got to be very careful with your use of time, because unless you’re very focused, it’s easy to get sucked in and let hours slip past.
Automating your social media is really all about saving time while continuing to inform and connect with your audience in a meaningful way. That being said, there are some aspects that you can’t automate effectively or with integrity. Essentially, you can automate the publishing of information, but not the interaction.
The right kind of social media automation really begins by looking at what you’re doing right now and seeing if you can be more efficient. For example, if you write a blog post and then go and tweet a link to your blog post, this is something that can be automated using WordPress plugins and other tools to save you time. If you send out an email newsletter, you can link your newsletter software (Infusionsoft, AWeber, etc.) to your facebook and twitter accounts so that when you send out an issue of your email newsletter, a link is posted to your facebook and twitter accounts automatically. You can also link your twitter and facebook accounts together so that your tweets are automatically posted to your facebook status update. Hootsuite is a great free tool that you can use to schedule tweets and updates to publish at a future date and time. This can be very handy for posting something that isn’t time sensitive, like an inspirational saying each day or to regularly highlight an older article that you’ve written.
Things To Avoid
- Avoid repeating your tweets and updates over and over
- Avoid only posting about stuff you’ve written
- Avoid only posting stuff you’re selling
Mix it up a bit, remember that variety is the spice of life. Create an editorial calendar of the types of things that you post. Some of those types can be automated effectively, the rest is best done personally. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out 5 Ways To Grow Your Business With Social Media.