Social media has grown to become one of the most important marketing tools because it produces results. However, it can be a huge time sink if not done properly. On average, about two-thirds of all marketers use social media for marketing and 20% of them spend an average of 20 hours every week on it. For marketers who are looking to achieve amazing results in less time, here is how to automate your social media marketing.
Use Automation Software
By far the best way to save time on social media marketing is to use an automation tool. These tools help marketers create and publish posts, set up targeting rules, schedule content to be posted in the future, and a lot more. There are also platform-specific tools for WordPress and other content management systems that publish blog posts on your social media platforms so you do not have to do it yourself, thereby saving you a lot of time, especially if you post a lot of content.
Scheduling social media posts is the most common form of automation and this is where you are likely to save the most time. Having your posts ready to go eliminates the need to post in real-time. Scheduling tools provide a calendar of your social media posts so you can schedule different posts for different platforms at the best time. This saves you time by eliminating the need to switch between different platforms when you need to post to all the ones you are using.
Create a Content Schedule
No matter the automation tools you use, you will not see a return on your social media marketing if you do not have a plan. Without a content schedule, you might find yourself posting whenever you have some free time, which takes away from the time you would have used to cater to something else. Also, this free form strategy wastes a lot of time as you have to think about the content you would like to post and gather all the necessary information and assets every time you need to post.
Having a content schedule that tells you when and what to post gives you enough time to gather all the information and assets you will need for the week or the month. Having a content schedule also creates consistency, fills content gaps, and, most importantly, makes it easier to find posts or content that is not performing well. This allows you to make the necessary adjustments without having to dig through all of your posts as you can use the calendar to find out which content was posted and when.
Use Social Listening Tools
Knowing what people are saying about you, your business, or its products and services is very important for a marketing team. It can help the team know if they are speaking to your target audience in the right way. Many of the automation tools used in social media marketing can be used as social listening tools. These tools help you know when your brand, its products, and services are mentioned on social media without you having to go out to look for this information. Marketing teams can also follow relevant topics, keywords, and hashtags to stay informed about their industry.
Lastly, these tools can be used to listen to your competition. You can use them to know the latest news as well as what people are talking about in the context of your business or its products and services compared to your competitors.
Chatbots are everywhere and they are in use on almost all platforms. You can find them on Facebook Messenger, e-commerce websites, as well as on digital concierge services. Chatbots can be used to provide customer support, streamline your social media marketing, as well as help improve customer satisfaction.
A very common use of chatbots is for providing automated replies or suggested answers depending on what a customer asks or needs. The chatbot answers these questions without having to involve any members of your marketing team. Chatbots are also being used by companies like Canon to recommend specific products to customers. This allows you to keep potential customers engaged and generates leads for your business when the marketing team is unavailable.
Lastly, chatbots can serve as a supplement for your FAQ section. Chatbots can troubleshoot questions and provide followers or potential customers with relevant answers and solutions.
Use Automated Reporting Tools
Social media marketers are expected to provide reports and discuss budgets and ROI with their bosses. Social media marketers have to know if their efforts are resulting in sales, engagement, or an increase in audience size. Collecting all the information required to come up with comprehensive reports is very difficult and time-consuming. This is why social media marketers are urged to use automated reporting tools to get these reports quickly.
Luckily, most of the tools used in automation and social media marketing have these reporting tools built-in. These reports are usually easy to use and understand and can give markers answers to anything they would like to know in an instant. These tools can also create automatic reports depending on the parameters set so that they can be sent to all relevant parties at a specific time, such as the end of the month.
In some specific cases, social media marketers need to post content from relevant sources to fill content gaps or to provide more value to their followers and readers. Curating relevant information from third-party sources is very time-consuming. Tools like Sprout have content suggestion functionalities that suggest content you can share with your audience. This curated content is suggested based on the types of content you regularly post, which means it will be very relevant once it goes up on your platforms.
There are various aspects of social media marketing that are very time-consuming, and it is in these areas where automation can help save both time and money. By finding the right tools, social media marketers can schedule content, engage with their followers when they are not available, as well as receive reports on their marketing efforts.