Social media marketing can be a fantastic way to engage in a two-way communication with your audience/community. However, staying on top of social media can be extremely time consuming and can consume all of your efforts, if you let it. Fortunately, there are tools out there to help you keep your social media mentions automated, so you can spend a set number of hours each day or week stockpiling content and publish it later at given intervals so your content stays constant, giving you more time to dedicate to other marketing efforts.
Below are a few of our favorite tools that can help you build a fully automated social marketing campaign.
- Twitterfeed: This service allows your RSS-enabled blog posts to be automatically posted to your Twitter at customizable, pre-determined intervals. Links in your posts become shortened Bit.ly URLs, which provide insights as to the number of clicks and geographic locations of your audience. Another useful feature of Twitterfeed is that you can repost from other company or people’s blogs, giving them credit using the “via @theircompany name” option. Posting other stories from companies and individuals in your niche will help you establish authority and provide valuable, credible content for your audience. It also builds great niche associations.
- HootSuite: This service allows automated posts and offers built in Twitter and Facebook analytics. One thing that sets this service apart is its ability to handle more than one social media account (5 or more accounts is a premium service). You can write a single post that gets transmitted to multiple accounts including MySpace, Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook and more.
- Buffer: This web app works as an iPhone and Android app as well as a desktop extension tool for the Chrome browser. It allows you to store interesting content found from the web in a custom Buffer queue for posting later on Twitter and Facebook. The service posts your Buffer content throughout the day at optimal time intervals to gain the largest audience for each post.
- Tweriod: This service shows you the best times each and every day to post a tweet for the widest possible reach. Tweriod analyzes your tweets, followers, and reach to determine the best time of day for you to Tweet. You can automate your tweets to correspond with the most effective times to post.
One thing to consider with any automated social media strategy is redundancy. That is, posting all the same things to your Facebook, Twitter, & Blog. Reserve certain content for Facebook, some for Twitter, some for blog posts only. This will help keep audience engagement high and will prevent your readers from reading the same post twice.
Also make sure you keep a human element in your strategy at all times. You don’t want to make it seem too robotic. Reply to tweets with sincerity and spend a few minutes each day watching your Twitter and Blog posts to track engagement.
In the end, by automating the vast majority of your efforts and coupling that with human oversight, your fans, friends, and followers will stay engaged and your social media campaigns will flourish in popularity and effectiveness.