Post by Adi Englander
Social media automation is a doubled-edged sword. Done right, it can save you a ton of time and radically improve your ROI. Advanced features like scheduling optimization, automatic reposting and replies, content curation to fill up your queue, and audience segmentation enable it to excel where even an entire team of humans normally fail.
One the other hand, we’ve all seen where automation can go wrong.
When it does, automation makes you look like a disconnected, disingenuous, sleazy, self-promotional robot.
While it might sound obvious … that’s bad.
After all, they’re called “social” networks for a reason. The point is to actually connect: one human to another.
Luckily, there are tools that can help you ease your daily social media workload and automate tasks without falling into the antisocial trap.
Socedo: Generating Leads
1Like the old saying goes, success is business is about who you know, not what you know.
In other words: relationships. But not just any relationships, relationships with the right people at the right time fueled by the right message.
Effective social media automation lives and dies by this very human principle.
Socedo helps you to take the guesswork out of finding the right people to follow and connect with on social media … with a special focus on generating leads.
You simply plug in the criteria of the people you want to connect with and Socedo will return the social media profiles of those who meet your requirements. What’s more, the platform also helps you to engage with them and qualify them as leads.
The great thing about Socedo is that even though it automates finding people to follow and the initial messages, you still retain full control in who you actually follow and communicate with: the best of both worlds.
Image Credit: Socedo
- Find your target audience using custom criteria.
- Automated engagement to qualify prospects.
- Track your results and fine tune your approach with your Social Lead Performance Report.
Followerwonk: Scheduling Posts
2If you’ve been using social media tools for a while, you’re probably well aware of Followerwonk as a way to search Twitter bios. However, they have a lesser-known feature which is extremely powerful, particularly if you use Buffer for social media scheduling.
Their “Analyze” function allows you to plug in any Twitter handle and get a robust statistical report on their entire social network — both their followers as well as who they’re following – that automatically identifies an audience-specific schedule of best times to share your own content.
You can then automatically import these best times into your scheduling tool to make sure your updates get published for maximum exposure.
Image Credit: Photocrati
- Learn the location and the most active times online for your followers and people you follow.
- Plug in the best times to tweet directly into Buffer.
- Learn how often your followers tweet, retweet and mention others to craft your own regularity.
Quuu: Curating Content
3Content curation — collecting and sharing other people’s content — isn’t just how you avoid looking like a self-absorbed jerk on social media. It’s also good for business.
But there’s a big problem that most content curation tools simply don’t addressed. Naturally, they’re great at finding you content that fits within the broad category your business and passion, but since they’re done with algorithms, not only is quality control and maintaining relevance difficult, but key social media engagement tactics – like mentions, author attribution, and hashtags – are left out.
Quuu solves this problem by building its treasure trove of shareable and niche-specific content on the curation efforts of actual people.
Image Credit: ProductFest
- Get hand-curated content scheduled to your Buffer account everyday.
- Receive a Daily Review email each morning (paid accounts).
- Choose from up to 5 categories with a free account and unlimited with paid account.
- Submit your own curated content for paid social-media promotion.
SocialOomph: Promoting Content
4It’s really hard to sum up all the amazing automation features SocialOomph has in one article, so let’s keep the focus on their most sought-after features that are difficult to find elsewhere.
If your brand has a lot evergreen content — that is blog posts, white papers, ebooks, tutorials, video series, or webinars – or simply specific social messages that need to be frequently promoted, SocialOomph helps you to repost all of it as many times as you wish with very little input on your part.
The effect of reposting or recirculating the same social media post multiple times has been well documented. The rule is simple: the more you repost – at strategic times and intervals – the more engagement your content receives.
You can also use SocialOomph to set up an auto feed between your site and your social media accounts so that every time you post new content it’s automatically shared.
Image Credit: SocialOomph
- Save draft tweets, frequently used text snippets and URLs and reuse them in your scheduled tweets.
- Use RSS feeds to automatically create updates that are scheduled or queued.
- Create a reservoir of tweets that will be drip-fed to your accounts, no scheduling needed.
IFTTT: Customizing Everything Else
5Each of the above tools specializes in one area of social media automation.
For everything else, there’s IFTT.
IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That, connects to your favorite browser, desktop and mobile apps and bring them together in ways you never thought possible.
This tool gives you social media automation recipes that make you much more productive by eliminating the things you would do manually between apps, like posting new Instagram posts to Twitter as a native image (rather than a link) or changing your Facebook profile picture automatically when you change your Twitter profile picture.
If you’re looking for great recipes to use for social media that will cut your work time, you can check out Buffer’s Big List of IFTTT Recipes.
Image Credit: Ed Social Media
- Currently works with 271 services.
- Provides tons of recipe recommendations in different categories.
- Includes GPS based recipes that send out automatic updates for real-world activities.
Automate … but stay human
There’s no need for a debate on whether to automate or not.
At the rate at which social media is developing, if you’re not taking advantage of automation tools, you’re not only wasting time and energy, you also aren’t taking full advantage of engaging and building relationships with your audience.Adi Englander is a freelance writer and social media expert who writes for Gerris digital, a full-service digital strategy firm in the Washington, DC, area.