Social media automation for small businesses
Every business owner wants to make the daily grind a little easier, especially if you are a small business owner like me. We take on so many roles, accounts, sales, marketing, staffing and so many more. Often it's us alone that are responsible for the growth, stability, direction and daily operation of our business. Somewhere in between the madness we also need a social life. Time to relax, wind down, poor a glass or a cuppa and put our feet up. Then it hits you, you haven't posted anything on social media today... cue the panic post!!
The solution is so simple, you need social media automation in your life. It makes your job easier, but does it allow you to fully optimise your social media accounts to build your business?
Easy and efficient
Automating your social media posts is super easy. There are loads of tools available (we will talk about these later). Each one will allow you to post to several different platforms on a date and time that suit you. Spend a few hours planning your posts for the week ahead, select your timing, and that’s you basically done, no more social media for a week. Super-efficient, right? Yes, but automation alone will not maximise your potential on social media.
The whole purpose of social media is that it is 'social'. You as a business owner are trying to build relationships, a community of like minded people, who want to hear from you, and value your opinion on the here and now. What about customer queries, replies, favourites, etc. If you only post your own content and don’t get involved with others, let's face it, you will never have a successful social media strategy. You MUST reply to those who are discussing similar topics, retweet relevant industry stories, and actively engage with other users.
Know your platform requirements
Each social media platform has different requirements; do you use hashtags? What are the image size requirements? How many characters do you have? Who is your audience? No matter how much you automate, you need to put in the effort in to tailoring your posts for each platform. This takes time, there are no short cuts here.
Mix it up
I’m not saying that social media automation doesn’t work. It does, I use it, and so do my clients, but not alone. My advice would be to use a mix of both. Schedule the mundane, predictable posts, the Monday motivations, meme’s, holiday posts, annual sales, seasonal competitions or business closures. Automating these types of posts works really well.
Social media automation tools
If you decide to try automating your content there are lots of different online tools available to you. My top two are Hootsuite and Buffer reach can help you to schedule your posts, monitor mentions, respond to followers and manage your account insights through analytics, and statistics. Have a look at both, and let me know which you prefer. Set up an account and use it for a few weeks, to see how you find the mixed approach.