Social media automation is often referred to as a negative thing. The primary point of social media is to actively engage with people. How can automation help if it takes people out of the equation?
The answer is simple: When automation frees up more time for personal engagement, it leads to social media success. The key is to automate the right tasks. Here are some automation tasks and tools so you can spend less time focusing on the mundane and more time taking care of the to-dos that get results.
There are two sources of content you can share with your social media audience: content you create (such as blog posts) and content you curate from other industry leaders who are not competitors. By sharing both types of content, you position yourself as a business that not only stays up-to-date with the latest news and trends, but also helps their audience and customers do the same.
Creating and finding great content to share can be time-consuming. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you automate both efforts.
First, you want to automate the sharing of content you create. The easiest way to do this is with Buffer. In Buffer, you create a daily schedule of the best times to share content. For example, if you wanted to target an audience in a certain city during normal business hours, you could create a schedule that sends updates between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
In IFTTT, you create a recipe (a simple connection between products and apps) that reminds you to add a new blog post to your Buffer schedule when it’s on your blog's RSS feed.
This recipe automates sharing content from your blog to your social audience at appropriate times through Buffer. If you don't use Buffer, you can use IFTTT recipes to share directly to your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, etc.) as soon as the post goes live. Just publish your posts at an ideal social sharing time, and you'll be set.
Second, you want to automate the sharing of content you curate. You don't want to automatically share all of the content published from any one source since you never know what others will publish. You can shoot for 100 per cent automation using the same IFTTT recipe mentioned above using another blog's RSS feed.
You can also go for a 50-50 approach that involves you choosing the content to share from other blogs. Start by subscribing to your favorite industry news sources using Feedly. In IFTTT, you create a recipe that says any posts you save for later in Feedly would be added to Buffer. With this recipe in place, all you need to do is save a post you think your social media audience would like in your Feedly subscriptions for later. The IFTTT recipe adds it to your Buffer.
If you don't use Buffer, you can use IFTTT recipes to share posts directly to your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, etc.) that you save in Feedly for later. The downside is if you save a dozen posts in Feedly for later within a short period of time, you'll share a dozen posts in a short span to your social accounts. For this reason, using the Buffer schedule to spread your updates is a better approach.
People will often thank you for sharing great content that’s published by you and others. Regularly sharing content can open the door to conversation and helps you get to know what your audience is interested in for future reference.
In IFTTT create a recipe that notifies to add a new blog post to your Buffer schedule when it’s on your blog's RSS feed