This post is an excerpt from Seth Hinz's ebook Social Media Automation.
Social media automation tools will help you scale your social media marketing efforts. You’ll discover how to schedule out and recycle content indefinitely, find and engage in conversations you’ve been missing, expand your follower base, and reduce the time you spend on repetitive tasks. All of this will turn you into a lean and mean marketing machine. One stop short of full-on robot.
However, before you dive into automating your social media presence, you’ll have to take your “social media purist” shoes off at the door. With social media automation, your tweets and posts will “go live” when you aren’t really there. You will be logging into 3rd party tools that don’t require you to actually be on Facebook or Twitter, etc. Tools like Hootsuite, Edgar, and Buffer have upended the social media purity game, but if you’re looking to get content in front of a wider audience more consistently and reduce the time spent bouncing around to each site for engagement, you shouldn’t avoid them.
Social automation has helped our messages spread further than it possibly could have without it. Here’s why: People aren’t really connected 24/7. People put their phones down (it’s true!). Even if it’s only for one second, 7,205 tweets were sent in that time (metric on 5/11/16). Newsfeeds are flooded with content and it’s only decreasing the chance your messages are being seen. Couple that with fancy algorithms that “enhance the user experience” by changing the feed from chronological order to “top stories”—and your chances of being seen go down even further.
On top of that, you still need to sleep.
So how do you wrestle with this reality? You put the tools to work for you.
For me, social media automation tools fall into three main categories: Social Scheduling, Social Engagement, and Social Listening.
Automated scheduling tools provide you with the ability to schedule posts in bulk, reuse popular posts, set up categories of evergreen content that are pushed indefinitely, schedule retweets, and more.
Automating engagement may be a bit of a misnomer. The tools I’ll recommend in the social engagement category will help reduce the time you spend bouncing between your social profiles trying to respond to everything throughout the day.
Automating social listening will involve setting up dashboard and alerts that will bring engagement opportunities to your doorstep.
To get a better sense of the tools and how they can be used, I asked a few people how they’ve employed social media automation in their ministries.
To continue reading and learning about how to automate your social media, download our free ebook Social Media Automation.