According to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 report, “At least 90% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best ways to engage their audience with social media.”
Here’s what I say to that:
Automate as much of your social media marketing as you can, so that you do have time to test different strategies and find the approach that works best for you.
Automation Tools: The Key to Social Media Success
View automation like you would a new personal assistant. You know they’re there to relieve some of your workload, but you’d never send them into a meeting with your largest client and tell them to pretend to be you. Social media is just like that. The random tasks that require more data entry and repetition can be automated easily enough; everything else should be personalized.
Now, in terms of which automation tools you should use, I always suggest starting with the more affordable options first. If you’re new to the social game, it’s best to get your feet wet when first testing the waters. Here are my favorite cheap tools to get started:
Jetpack by WordPress.com
Jetpack is a fully-loaded plugin for WordPress that helps users automate a whole host of items for their website. One of those items, as you may have guessed, is social media.
Once you’ve downloaded the plugin for your website, visit the Settings tab within WordPress and click on “Sharing”. This is your new Publicize tool, courtesy of WordPress. It will enable you to:
- Link your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages to WordPress.
- Add social sharing buttons to each of your posts (for the social media platforms of your choosing).
- Automate the sharing of any post, page, or other content type on your preferred social channels.
As I said, too much automation is never a good thing on social. While it’s great to have a tool like this to automatically share your new content on social media, people will start to notice if that’s the only activity you’ve got going on.
Hootsuite is a great way to manage the activity on your social media accounts from a single platform. It’s also a fairly comprehensive tool when compared to some of the other social media management tools available.
So if you’re looking for a tool where you can:
- Connect all your social media profiles
- Post messages to each of those profiles
- Manage your schedule of posts
- Engage with your connections
- Generate reports on activity
- And more
Start with Hootsuite.
If you haven’t heard of Feedly before, this is what’s known as an RSS feed aggregator. In other words, if you enjoy reading content from 11 different websites, but don’t want to visit each site separately in order to do so, use Feedly.
People want to engage with businesses like they would with people. If your social media page shows post after post of your own content, your audience may get the sense that you only care about pushing your own agenda. But if they noticed that you share relevant and interesting content from other sources… Well, then, they’d see you as a well-informed and impartial thought leader who simply wants to talk about important matters, even if they don’t come from your own blog.
In other words, when you find something share-worthy on Feedly, add it to your Hootsuite.
Zapier works similarly to the Jetpack Publicize tool. The main difference is that Zapier automates the connection between a lot more than just WordPress and your social media.
- Want to automatically share posts from a Facebook Page to your personal profile?
- Want to share your latest newsletter with your LinkedIn followers?
- How about pinning all of your Instagram photos to your Pinterest board?
Think about all the different ways you could connect your social media tools to everything else you use. Google, newsletters, WordPress, cross-social platforms, and more. Just create a Zap to make the connection, and you’ll be ready to go!
Social media has been the source of many headaches for marketers, entrepreneurs, and others just trying to figure out how to make this marketing channel work for them. Rather than spend too much time navigating the basics, automate as much of that as you can with the tools above. Then you can focus on being strategic about where to post, when, how frequently, and with whom you should share it!