Automation is becoming increasingly important for businesses of all sizes in 2023. The automation of accounting work or HR duties is commonly seen in many organizations – but could your company benefit from automating its social media marketing?
In this article, we take a look at how automation has become an essential part of good social media marketing in 2023, and how your business can implement it successfully.
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What is social media automation?
Writing for Toolbox Marketing, Madhura Gaikwad provides a helpful definition of social media automation as “the process of automating social media activities to optimize the results derived from social media channels. It helps marketers save time and effort spent on managing social platforms, engaging with prospects, and enhancing brand awareness.”
Expanding on this, the automation of social media doesn’t usually refer to having AI create content for your social media. Rather, automation involves the strategic use of tools that can:
- Schedule timely content
- Republish posts that are running successfully
- Track the engagement of posts, and
- Curate trending topics.
Automation can be a valuable asset for scaling-up businesses on social media platforms with strategic SEO planning and enhanced search engine optimization. Smaller businesses, which might not have the budget or manpower to have a team (or even a single employee) watching over their social channels, and larger companies, which may be interested in running more sophisticated campaigns.
Popular automation tools
There is a range of social media automation tools available. Although it is interesting to note that some of the most famous names aren’t actually hugely well suited to the majority of their audience. Well-known products such as Hootsuite and BuzzSumo are regularly used by small and medium-sized businesses, even when these tools may not be ideal for them.
For example, Hootsuite is an expensive option that has a more complex interface, making it more difficult for small businesses to deploy effectively. BuzzSumo can be useful, especially with regards to trend gathering, but it is highly limited when it comes to the mediums. Tools like eclincher are more effective because they are specifically designed for small and medium sized businesses, allowing for everything from automating and scheduling posts to measuring performance in a valuable way.
How to create a content calendar
Planning is a huge part of being able to deploy social media automation effectively. To use these tools, you need to have a firm idea on some of the content that you want to publish in advance. Of course, not everything needs to be meticulously planned out, but you can only see the benefit of automation if you know what kind of posts you are putting out.
To do this, it is important to create a content calendar. A content calendar helps you to track your posts and what you have got coming up. A well-run calendar can also provide you with information about important upcoming events that you need to schedule content around. With social media, it is vital to be timely and respond to events as they occur. A content calendar allows you to do this easily.
Look for an automation tool that has an integrated content calendar feature so that you can plan and deploy all of your social media content from a single piece of software.
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The benefits of social media automation
There are a huge range of benefits to social media automation no matter the size of your business or the scale of your social media campaign. Some of the most important advantages include:
Nothing looks worse than a social media profile that isn’t well-balanced. If your profile posts at irregular intervals it can become almost impossible to build up a following or capitalize on the success that you have from your posts. Having a large number of consistent posts in the correct tone of voice, and providing quality content is an important way to grow your follower numbers, and attract new ones.
One of the major challenges for smaller businesses running a social media marketing campaign is the amount of time that the campaign takes up. Having to constantly create new posts as well as respond to comments for those interacting with you can be literally a full-time job for a social media professional. But, smaller businesses don’t always have the budget to dedicate to a full-time social media staff member. This is where automation can save you a great deal of time so that a member of your team can manage your accounts while also taking on other business-critical work.
It is ideal to have social media profiles that get a great deal of engagement with followers. Social media automation tools can help to make this a reality. Not only are you providing better and more relevant content (thanks to a better understanding of those who you are in your audience), but automation tools can also help you to re-distribute popular posts. In essence, it can also enable you to read and understand your audience better in the longer term for targeted campaigns.
Tips for using automation more effectively
To use automation tools to their full potential it is important to understand the best ways that they operate. Here we take a look at some key tips for using your social media automation software more effectively:
- Make use of auto-responses – automated responses can be extremely useful when replying to customers. They can be deployed effectively when a customer asks a question or makes a complaint, and the response can direct them to an FAQ page as well as provide a way to get in contact about the query, for example by email.
- Ensure every post is unique – even if you want to reuse a social media post that has been popular, it is good to change up the headline or some aspect of the post. This keeps it fresh.
Use it to speak to audiences in different time zones – just because you aren’t working at 10pm, it doesn’t mean that your whole audience isn’t ready to engage.