There are right ways and wrong ways to do social media automation. Here's what to do, what not to do, and tools to help you along the way.
At times, existing and thriving in the world of social media can feel like a great big hamster wheel.
Thankfully, I’ve compiled a massive trunk load of social media automation tools that will make your life wildly easier.
Here shortly, we will sift through these tools and expand on their hamster wheel-shattering capabilities.
But, first, let’s cover the dos and don’ts of social media automation.
While tools are great and all… if you’re not using them thoughtfully, you will only find yourself tarnishing your brand’s name whilst building an audience of bots, crickets and perhaps some weird disastrous hybrid of the two… like a robot cricket.
The dos and don’ts of social media marketing automation
As both a marketer, writer and millennial, I’m no stranger to the wild wild west that is the world of social media.
And, more than this, I’m an advocate.
If you know what you’re doing, there are endless opportunities for brands to grow their reach, connect with their customers, and share content that will make their follower’s mouths water.
And, better yet, companies like the lovely bunch of hamster wheel hating social media trailblazers here at Hootsuite are building platforms that are making all of this far easier for you.
However, there are right ways and wrong ways to do social media marketing automation. Here are the dos and the don’ts…
DON’T: Be a shady internet marketer who uses automated DMs
You know what it feels like.
You follow, connect or friend someone on a social platform and almost instantaneously you receive a cheesy (and dare I say greasy) automated DM that leaves you feeling like a bag of money waiting to be ripped to shreds.
Hootsuite does not have a DM automation tool.
Because the company is working to create a digital world where people and brands can easily share valuable ideas and content… not a world where scam artists can more easily litter people’s inboxes with annoying, scammy DM’s advertising their course that teaches people how to build a course.
Do: Engage deeply and personally with your followers by having authentic conversations
Many brands approach social media marketing with the set it and forget it mentality. This is the wrong approach.
While social media management platforms like Hootsuite certainly make building, sharing, and connecting with your audience much easier… it alone can’t replace the more human element that is necessary to grow a loyal following.
When your followers respond to a tweet or a post or a share, respond back, thoughtfully.
For larger brands with bigger budgets, it’s worth investing in a creative writer or copywriter that can come up with funny, clever, and memorable responses to those that engage with their brands.
- 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends or family more so than advertising.
- 74% of consumers say that word of mouth is a big influencer in their buying decisions
- 10% increase in word of mouth, both digitally and physically, can result in up to a 1.5% increase in sales
One easy way to generate word of mouth is through the single one-off conversations brands are having with their customers via social media.
If it’s funny clever, thoughtful, touching, etc… people will share with their people and those people will share with their people.
Too often us marketers think about creating viral content we can share with our customers and followers, when really we should be thinking of the micro conversations and interactions we are having with our followers and customers on a daily basis, digitally.
Don’t: Ever, under any circumstances, buy followers.
This should go without saying. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t.
Countless brands and social media influencers are falling into the trap of valuing quantity of followers over quality of followers.
It is much, much better to have a smaller more engaged following that adores your brand than a massive following that couldn’t care less about you and what you have to say.
To use a metaphor, what would you rather have? One hundred friends that love you and would love to show up to your birthday party. Or, 1,000 acquaintances that couldn’t even tell you what month you were born in?
It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, if they aren’t going to show up to the party… it doesn’t matter.
Brands seem to forget this though and make the fatal error of buying followers. Both myself and Hootsuite consider this to be a nasty black hat tactic that can ultimately lead to a brand’s demise… at least digitally.
The bottom line…
You would never buy friends. So, don’t buy followers.
Earn them the right way.
Do: Get smart about when you post and what you post
Rather than buying followers, come up with solid, wholesome ways to earn quality followers the right way.
This, in my opinion, can best be done by posting quality content and posting that quality content at the right time.
And of course you have to read the articles you’re sharing to your feed… Curating content is a huge value-add to your audience and you can’t expect them to stick around nor let alone read and consume what you’re sharing if it is of poor quality.
Additionally, get smart about the “when” behind your content. Hootsuite’s auto-scheduler uses a fancy-schmancy algorithm that finds the times that offer the most engagement for your content and then fires them off at those times.
Yes. I know. That’s a pretty nifty tool. Which, speaking of tools, let’s now discuss some of the best social media automation tools in existence…
9 social media automation tools that you should have started using yesterday
There is an entire repertoire of social media automation tools in existence that make your job as a marketer far easier.
They will help you say goodbye to the hamster wheel, put out better content, monitor what the digital world is saying about you and better connect with your audience.
Down below you will find some of our favorites.
1. Stay in the loop with Hootsuite’s social listening
Hootsuite allows you to set up social media streams that monitor conversations and keywords.
In other words, it allows you to keep your ears to the ground and listen closely at what the world is saying tweeting, posting, writing and sharing about you in the digital world.
You will be able to immediately respond to both happy and unhappy customers and manage what folks are saying about your brand on a minute by minute basis.
2. Spend less time posting and more time creating with Hootsuite’s scheduling feature
Does this sound familiar?
You’re trying desperately to keep up in the race, rapidly toggling in and out of social media platforms, and at the end of the day are left feeling mentally exhausted from a day-long game of musical chairs.
Let’s face it. Creating, editing, uploading, captioning and hitting “publish” on a post is exciting when you do it every once in a while… less so when you do it multiple times a day.
Fortunately, Hootsuite’s scheduling feature lets you organize, manage and schedule your content weeks in advance, freeing up time to allow you to focus on the fun parts of building a brand… creating remarkable content.
3. Do so much more, with less… with IFTTT
Technology has come a long way.
Today, in two-minutes, you can buy a mattress that arrives at your house (in a box) in less than 48 hours, you can order a car to come pick you up by simply pressing a button, and you can control the temperature in your home from your smartphone…
However, this technology doesn’t always play nice together.
IFTTT is a free, easy way to get your apps, devices, and software working in accordance with one another. It’s a plug-in that will add a little extra “oomph” to Hootsuite’s already tremendous integrations capabilities.
4. Too many questions to answer? Chatfuel might be your tool
While it’s always a plus to have real, living-breathing human-beings to field your customer’s questions and concerns… as your customer base grows it’s not always an option.
Chatfuel is the largest bot-building platform in existence and the one we recommend time and time again to brands looking to build a bot for marketing or customer support.
5. Hootsuite analytics adds some science to the art
Creating killer social media accounts for you or your brand is equal parts art and science. The art is in the content… it needs to be beautiful, authentic and ultimately remarkable enough to share. The science, on the other hand, is in the analytics…
Hootsuite analytics removes the “guessing game” that comes along with social media. It lets you easily measure the performance of your social media posts and then create and export custom reports that will help your team decide what’s working and what’s not.
6. See what content sticks with BuzzSumo
There is a saying. I’m sure you’ve probably heard it.
Throw stuff* at the wall and see what sticks. At times, that’s what coming up with likeable/ shareable content for your social media accounts can feel like.
BuzzSumo helps you do away with the throwing and jump straight to what has “stuck” for your competitors or topics you’re looking to generate content around. It lets you analyze what content has performed really well in the past, giving you a nice jumping off point when it comes time to create content of your own.
If you’re constantly finding yourself on the hunt for good, high-quality content that will make your follower’s mouths water but can only seem to find empty generic, regurgitated b.s… we highly recommend BuzzSumo.
7. Get organized with Hootsuite’s content library
Bigger brands shelling out a ton of content all eventually run into the same problem… keeping it organized.
Does this conversation sound familiar?
Hey, Sarah? Do you remember that video we created did well a couple of years back? The one about the benefits of plant-based protein?
Jim… we’ve published a ton of content on plant-based protein over the past couple years. I am going to need you to be more specific.
Hootsuite lets you create, manage and organize your content library making it easy for your team to find pre-approved images, templates, and videos. That means you save time sharing valuable content that you know performs well and is on-brand.
8. Get more out of your advertising budget with Hootsuite’s automatic ad optimization tool
If you’ve ever dabbled in paid advertising you know how annoying it gets toggling in and out of different platforms.
Hootsuite Ads allows you to manage all of your advertising under one roof. That means less time setting up, monitoring and tweaking each ad and more time coming up with ways to generate more income.
And the platform’s automatic optimization tool will automatically double down on the ads that are working and pause the ones that aren’t (even while you’re sleeping).
9. Automatically boost your top performing content with Hootsuite
Hootsuite Ads has another tool that will automatically put budget behind your top-performing organic content on Facebook to get it seen by more people.
That means more views, clicks, conversions, or sales with a lot less work.
Building a brand in the world of social media doesn’t have to be total chaos. It can be controlled.
Save time on social media by using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can plan and schedule content, respond to comments and @mentions, run ads, and measure performance. Try it for free today.