Automating social media posts

03 March 2017

Automating social media posts

A quick search on a term like “Automate Social Media Posts” will bring up a choice of several tools of various descriptions, all of which aim to make your social life easier, more efficient and more effective by automating various aspects of it. As is so often the case in life, used properly, automation tools can make life easier and free up humans for more productive tasks. The key point is to use them properly.

Here are three tips:

1. Always automate your posts

This is possibly the single, golden rule of using automation tools for social media management. Content creation takes time and effort (which, one way or another translates to money). Often the most cost- and time-effective way of creating content is to do tasks in batches, e.g. get out camera equipment and take several photographs with it in one go, rather than getting out the equipment, taking one photograph and then putting it away again before re-finding it a few hours later for the next batch.

Using automated tools to schedule the posting of content not only ensures that it will actually be posted (humans can forget, even when they have an item in their calendar/task list), but also ensures that it can be posted at the most appropriate time.

2. Don’t over-automate

Some automation tools will allow you to bulk-direct-message people and/or automate replies to comments. In most cases, these are to be avoided. In the context of using social media to drive brand awareness and engagement, while scheduled content can be a benefit, automated direct messages and responses should be given a very wide berth.

3. Continue to dedicate human resources

Social media is essentially a collection of platforms for people to interact with other people. The two key words in that sentence are “interact” and “people”.

Great content creates engagement, which is a bit like starting a conversation. Once people begin to like, share and comment, you need to have someone there, an actual real person, to represent you in that conversation.

By the same token, as far as your users are concerned, there’s more to life than you. There’s plenty going on elsewhere on the net and often your credibility will be enhanced if you’re seen to be a part of it. In other words, you must show that you are part of the overall community rather than just being interested in getting people to your social media channels to show them how great you are.

Obviously, this stops short of promoting your direct competitors, but if there are complementary social media influencers in your niche, then feel free to share any of their content you feel would interest your followers, while also being ready to join in the conversation on their account.

Overt sales pitches are usually totally unacceptable but meaningful and appropriate comments can be much appreciated.