When it comes to social media, automation is your best friend.
For all my personal and insulate network social media activities i use 3 highly effective automation tools that make the process quick and simple.
These methods save me hours a day and allow me to focus on my writing and creative work (the real work) whilst also allowing me to get the most value from new and existing content. For more on getting the most from your existing content read my freshly squeezed social media post here.
3 Essential Automation Tools for Social Media Campaigns
Once i’ve perfected my content here are the tools I use to give it the head start and sustained social media presence it deserves.
1. Publicize – Jetpack WordPress
I run my websites on WordPress and Publicize is a great feature inside the Jetpack plugin. I’m sure there are other plugins available for WordPress and other web platforms but the simplicity of setup and integration with posts is a big time saver.
Heres how it works:
Connect the social media accounts you want to share to via the JetPack “Sharing” section of the plugin:
Once all of your accounts have been connected return to the post and in the right hand tool bar look to the Publish box at the top, near the bottom you will see the Publize feature:
Here you can tick the social media channels you want to send your post to as soon as press publish. It’s that easy.
For maximum impact click edit and make sure you are using the hashtags and have included any one associated with the post in the message field. Read my Essential Social Media Shortcuts post here that covers that topic.
If you don’t want to publish your post right now, automate the post time, by clicking edit next to “Publish Immediately” and change the date and time accordingly. The blue Publish button will change to Schedule. Press “schedule” when you are ready.
This is a tool I use to great effect when posting the latest news from Insulate Network. This tool saves me having to post on all my social media channels, freeing up time for other tasks.
2. Social Media Automation with Buffer
Social Media automation through Buffer is where time will really be saved and you will reap the benefits from all your hard work over time.
Here’s how the platform works:
Setting up Your Social Media Schedule
In the settings panel, click posting schedule to choose the times you want to post to each of your social media account.
Default times will be provided but these might not be best times for you. Here is an infographic from Hubspot that will give you an indication of the best time to post for each of your social media channels.
- For extra benefit choose different posting times for each of your social media channels, so your audience sees you content at different times. This increase the chances your audience will see your message at one time on twitter and then later in the day on Linkedin/Facebook.
Line Your Content Up
With your times setup it’s now time to add your content. FAST.
Using the Buffer Chrome Extension you can quickly capture all the content you need for future publishing on social media.
Go to the web address of your content you want to share. On the top right the Chrome toolbar you will see the Buffer symbol (Hootsuite also provides have this option) and click it to see something similar to this:
This overlay will show all the social media accounts you have connected. It will allow you to make necessary changes to each social media channels – features such as hashtags and @ handles. Now simply press add to que. Repeat the process for all the links on your blog or website you want share.
Automated Social Media Calendar
Head back to your Buffer dashboard and you will see all of your scheduled social media posts for each channel in the calendar. They will be positioned exactly as you set them up in the schedule:
Move on to Other Tasks
In a matter of 1-2 hours you can set up all the content you want to share for an entire week.
This not only represents a significant time saving benefit, it also gives your content the best chance of success.
No rushing to get your post shared, no posting at a time that you will get little response.
An additional benefit of automation is that it after the posts have been shared you can access stats related to the post and quickly re-add it as a future post by clicking Re-Buffer. You might even want to make slight changes to the post to give a fresh look.
3. Feedly – Super Charge Your Social Media Automation
Feedly is not automation in the respect of posting content out, instead I see it as automation of gathering content in one convenient place.
I use the platform to supercharge my Buffer schedule.
Choose the content you want to gather in your feedly by setting up feeds and selecting search terms and websites you want to show in each:
Once configured you will see all the latest news from those sources in main body of the page. No more typing in all the web addresses, relying on bookmarks, and missing out on essential news.
It’s then easy to add this content to your Buffer/Hootsuite/Automation Platform with a few clicks:
Why you Should Share Others Content
Sharing content from other sources adds value to your social media channels.
Known as the 80/20 rule of social media which is adapted from the Pareto Principle the concept emphasises the importance of just 20% of your content being about your brand, with the other 80% being informative and educational to your audience.
This balance helps retain your credibility as a useful social media account to follow, rather than a funnel to feed your sales targets.
Audiences are alert to being sold to, so create the right balance to show you are there to add value.
Social Media Automation in Summary
Hopefully these social media automation tools will enable you to save time and focus on other work related tasks. Social media is an important feature of your marketing efforts and will reap its awards overtime. But don’t allow it to unnecessarily steal your time.
What is your view on social media automation, will you be using the tools suggested in the future or continue to treat the social media activity as an ad-hoc task. Let me know in the comments below.