Conducting a social media campaign is a time-consuming process. You need to produce intriguing content, comment and like posts, respond to follower’s questions, follow the right people, post at the most opportune times, and do it all over and over and over again across multiple platforms. It’s exhausting! It’s complicated! And yet social media is arguably the most essential form of marketing, so all of it is necessary.
However, you do not have to carry out all of these tasks manually. There are available resources that enable social media automation. No, nothing will run your campaign for you (though you can minimize your involvement when you hire an external growth expert), but technology can make the process of liking and posting seemingly happen on its own.
Automation is not a replacement for human interaction, of course, but for all the things you do not need to do personally, here are a few ways to automate your social media efforts and reach more followers:
Find your niche audience
You should already have an idea of the kind of audience you would like to target, but if you need a more defined picture or assistance locating them on social media, resources like SocialCaptain (for Instagram) leverage artificial intelligence and advanced filters.
Instagram automation tools, along with a variety of others, can search for users based on usernames, hashtags, locations, and other factors, so you don’t have to browse platform by platform trying to find people who would be interested in your brand.
Like and follow other users
You do not have to click the “like” button on a post yourself—especially if you are doing it to capture people’s attention, in which case you are liking dozens or even hundreds of posts all the time. Social media automation can do this nitty-gritty work on your behalf, removing the tedious effort of endlessly tapping on photos.
Social media is not just about who follows you; it’s also critical to follow people back. Deciding which profiles are most advantageous for you to follow can be complicated, so automation can follow and unfollow the right people when the time is right.
Post timing plays a direct role in determining who will see your content. Even if you spent days creating a stunning and informative video, it won’t go viral if it doesn’t appear on people’s feeds because the ocean of other content drowned it out. There are numerous resources at your disposal that can help you pre-schedule when your material is published.
Are you aiming for a specific time of day (such as when people are checking their phones before getting into bed or right before they get home from work) but will not be around for it? Do you have lots of work on your plate this week and only one day to focus on social media? Resources like Hootsuite allow you to upload your content ahead of time and schedule when everything will actually appear online.
Automate content curation
You should create original content and sharing user-generated material, naturally, but not every post is going to be something you or someone on your team spent time making. Instead, it never hurts to re-share posts from other people or links to relevant articles.
With Dlvr.it, for instance, you can set it up to automatically share articles from your favorite bloggers on your various social channels (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Slack) If your brand specializes in entrepreneurship, you can tell Dvlr.it a list of bloggers who update their related content regularly and have a consistent stream of tweets focused on your subject matter.
Provide customer service
Besides automating your social media tasks, you can also include a bit of automation into your blog or website with “chatbots.” Chatbots are a form of artificial intelligence that can interact with visiting customers (they’re convenient for individuals who want their questions answered quickly or those who are uncomfortable talking to real people).
Some chatbots are advanced and learn as time progresses, but others you can equip with a set of predetermined responses to handle basic inquiries. You should always do your best to interact with customers and followers yourself, but chatbots can free up a great deal of your time with minor customer service issues.
Social media marketing can be time-consuming, tedious, and sometimes even expensive. If you know the right processes to automate, though, you can make your campaigns more effective without spreading yourself too thin. How will you automate your social media game?