When it comes to social media marketing, I often get asked about tools to help make the process easier, faster and more streamlined. Here are my thoughts on this….
For any business owner, to use social media effectively – you need processes, systems and the right people resources in place. Social media can’t be an afterthought or an ‘add on’ to your marketing.
In addition, there are great tools out there that will help keep you organized as well as help you schedule or automate some of your content. We love using tools like HootSuite and Meet Edgar to help with some of your social media scheduling and organization. Buffer is another popular tool that will help you get organized and post content at various times.
However, these tools will never replace the ‘in the moment’ posting and it will never replace me engaging and interacting with people. This engagement and connection to people one-to-one is key. You can’t outsource that. You can’t outsource someone to be you!
As you know, I’m a huge believer in not “setting it and forgetting it” when it comes to social media automation. But, when done right, social media automation tools like the system Imprev has can be really effective. What I particularly like about Imprev’s system is that they help real estate agents automate their marketing in a smart way when they receive a new listing.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with them and helping them design their social media graphics – so when an agent or broker has a new listing, they aren’t simply spitting out the same information everywhere (i.e. ‘spray and pray’ LOL!), but instead are automatically creating email blasts or other online marketing materials (like Facebook posts, Instagram posts, Tweets, etc) that are relevant and engaging. They can add a personal touch as they post, but the heavy-lifting is done for them. This is smart automation!
I also recommend using tools like IFFTT to help automate part of the social media process that may be helpful for you.
IFFTT allows you to create what they call ‘recipes’ for ‘when I do this____ this will happen.’
For example, here are some of the recipes we have set up:
- Each time I favorite a tweet, it gets saved in a Google Spreadsheet
- Each time I change my Facebook profile photo, my Twitter profile photo changes automatically too.
- When I post an Instagram photo, it also tweets the photo but it tweets the photo as a Twitter photo
When done correctly, here are some of the pros to using social media tools and automation:
- Content is delivered consistently. It ensures that businesses keep updating their platforms with new information. Also, it ensures content is delivered on time.
- Content reaches many people more often. Automation ensures that you post content when it is mostly likely to be seen by many.
- Productivity is increased. The time you would spend posting content every day can be spent in doing other tasks. This will increase the productivity of the business.
Thinking of using some of these tools to help your social media strategy? Here are a few do’s and don’ts:
- Schedule your posts 3-5 days in advance. This will ensure consistency.
- Find the best time to post. HootSuite auto-scheduler allows you to note the best time to post on your networks. You can also find this information in your Twitter or Instagram analytics or your Facebook insights. These tool finds the most optimal time of your networks.
- Fill your content calendar. Social media automation allows you to see the messages on your schedule for even a month. Fill the gaps between posts.
- Assume the articles you are posting are correct. Always read the articles you want to post before posting.
- Use the same information on all networks. Make sure to create information for every network to suite character limit. This will ensure even Twitter with 140 characters has a clear message.
- Don’t schedule or automate everything – remember, social media is supposed to be social!
Here are two additional resources I recommend you check out as you work on your social media plan and decide which tools to use:
- How Do You Know When to Post to Social Media in the Moment (and When to Schedule It Out?)
- Snap it? Tweet it? Scope it? How to Decide Where and When You Should Post to Social Media
As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this – leave us a comment below or join the conversation in our Facebook Group here!