When it comes to social media automation tools, like eClincher, businesses and marketers alike agree that they are necessary in order to scale. Afterall, social media never sleeps and with this comes a lot of responsibility for typically small teams.
Despite the recent rise in popularity of automation tools, there seems to be one major misconception. We hear this from people all of the time and we decided that it is time to answer it on the record.
So, what is the biggest misconception?
“Social media automation turns your presence into a robot, meaning you are not authentic or social with your audience.”
Let’s be honest, we have probably all said or heard someone say this. On the surface it makes sense. By automating tasks, such as posting, businesses are acting more like robots and less like people.
However, when you dive a little deeper you will realize this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, automation alone will make your business look like a robot.
Yes, no one wants to engage with or buy from a robot.
Now, let us ask you this question: How can you expect to have time to engage with new people or answer incoming questions if you are too busy with tasks like posting old blog content or manually checking each of your networks individually?
You see, automation has the potential to save your presence. It has the potential to make you significantly more social. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at how we automate tasks at eClincher.
Things We Automate
1. Promoting Evergreen Content
The majority of our blog posts are evergreen, meaning they will not become irrelevant as time goes by. Smart businesses understand that evergreen content has extreme value, as it can be continually promoted months, or even years, after it has been published.
Unfortunately, remembering to continually share your evergreen blog content can be hard. It certainly was for us. That is why we created Auto Post, an easy way to recycle content. We simply add our evergreen blog posts to a queue and set up a one-time, weekly schedule.
Though this form of automation we have been able to consistently provide our audience with valuable content that they may have never seen otherwise. By simply not forgetting to promote older blog posts, we have seen our blog traffic increase significantly.
2. Collecting Incoming Notifications and Messages
As your number of fans/followers increases, so does your incoming notifications and messages. New followers on Twitter, messages on Facebook…
Sometimes it can feel impossible to keep up. We reached this point of feeling overwhelmed and decided to do something about it. We developed the Inbox to solve this problem once and for all.
With the Inbox, all of our incoming messages and notifications come to one place. That’s right, regardless of the network. This form of automation allows us to engage faster and ensures we never miss something important. You can certainly see how this form of automation makes a business more social and authentic.
3. Posting Other’s Content
Posting content is a major aspect of social media. That is why automation tools that allowed businesses to schedule posts ahead of time became so popular. We highly recommend that every business uses some sort of tool to at least automate this part of social media marketing.
At eClincher, we use scheduling to share content written by others. By scheduling it ahead of time, we can make sure we are sharing content covering a wide variety of topics throughout the day. With customers in countries around the world, scheduling content allows us to be active nearly 24/7.
4. Curation of Content
Sharing other people’s content is easy, but finding it can be very time consuming. That is why we automate the content curation process.
Through the use of a tool like feedly, we are able to easily find and share content based on our topics of interest. This form of automation has saved us nearly six hours per week.
Things We Never Automate
The main reason that marketing automation tools as a whole are perceived negatively by some people is that certain tasks should never be automated. When businesses begin automating these tasks, the negative feedback is typically quick and harsh.
1. Connecting With New People/Businesses
There are plenty of tools on the market that will promise you thousands of new followers for a small amount of money. Now if these tools automate the process of finding relevant followers, this is ok.
However, if they automate the process of connecting with them all together, be very careful. Matter of fact, avoid them at all costs.
The problem with this type of automation is that it defeats the purpose of connecting. Since you will not be deciding, or even seeing, who you connect with, it will be nearly impossible to gain any value from the connection.
Another downside is spamming people. Most of these tools do not come with the ability to know if your account has already tried connecting with other accounts in the past. This means you could end up trying to connect with the same people over and over. This is one of the fastest ways to get block. We will guess that getting blocked isn’t high on your list of goals this year.
2. Answering Questions
When someone asks eClincher a question on social media, we can guarantee that you will get a response from a real person. Though machine learning technologies can adequately respond in many cases, they are never as effective as a real person.
Make sure that direct communication between you and current or potential customers is never automated. Use the time saved by our Inbox to respond manually. The people on the other end of the message will greatly appreciate speaking with a real person that can understand their needs and emotions.
3. Sharing Content
Another area of social media we do not automate is social sharing, meaning retweets on Twitter, shares on Facebook, etc. The reason we do not automate these activities is that it defeats the point of social media.
As we discussed earlier, a major benefit of social media automation is the time saved that can be spent on other tasks. This is one of the tasks you should devote some extra time to.
Throughout the day we monitor social media for great content to share. When we see it, we share it right then, in the moment. This type of engagement has led to many conversations and new connections. It is hard to imagine the same result if this task was simply carried out by a tool in the background.
4. Measuring Our Results
Being able to interpret and measure the results of your social campaigns is arguably the most important aspect of successful social media marketing. Without an understanding of what is and is not working, businesses are forced to “fly blind”.
On a daily, weekly and monthly basis, we analyze different aspects of our social media presence. This may be the effect is it having on our website traffic, the number of new connections formed in a given month or how many brand mentions we received. Though this task consumes several hours each month, it is important that we perform this analysis, as it helps us to optimize our efforts.
Do a simple Google search for “Social Media Automation” and you will find 62,600,000 results. What does this tell us? It tells us that social media automation is a hot topic.
Browse through the results and you will see plenty of posts telling you why you should never use automation. You will also find plenty like this one telling you why you should.
The bottom line is this:
When used right, social media automation will allow you to create a more authentic and engaging presence and it will give you more time to do the tasks you can’t automate.
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