Can Social Media Marketing be done
without automation?

Can Social Media Marketing be Done Without Automation?

Introduction:

We have compiled a list of social media automation tools and methods to assist your social media marketing efforts. This article shows the benefits of using automation tools to give you the best opportunity to succeed in the social media marketing space.

Social media automation

[1]Social media automation is the process of optimizing social interactions using automated tools. This can include scheduling social posts ahead of time or republishing popular articles. Automating social media publication, engagement, and management reduces the hours spent maintaining and growing brand accounts. As a result, time and resources could be allocated toward other areas of the marketing budget and meeting strategic goals

How to Use Tools for Social Media Automation

Learn the basics of using tools to support social media automation. Here are a few tips to get started:

Publish Posts During Peak Audience Times

Optimize your reach by posting when your audience is most active on social media. For more details, check out our latest research on the best days and times to post based on engagement from different networks and industries.

Keep a Steady Queue of Posts

Without a dedicated social media team, brands may struggle with posting regularly if marketers find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities. Social media automation lets you upload your content calendar so you can concentrate on other tasks. Additionally, if you went on vacation or want to publish posts outside of business hours, upload the posts and schedule publish dates days, weeks, or months ahead of time.

Analyze Social Data

Automated tools analyze the data in real-time and report key metrics like engagement levels, impressions, or reach. Some tools will also have customized reports sent to your inbox on your chosen schedule.

Set Up Automatic Responses to Customers

Improve customer care by using automated software that suggests replies to messages or chatbots that send responses to customer questions or comments.


Pros of Social Media Automation

The pros of social media automation include:

  • Spend less time manually updating brand pages
  • Maximize reach and impressions
  • Stay active on social media beyond regular business hours
  • Analyze social data in real-time

Examples of Social Media Automation in Action

Some of the ways social media automation could be put into action include:

  • Use chatbots to respond to user messages
  • Schedule Facebook posts weeks ahead of campaigns
  • Send tweets when your audience levels peak
  • Get notifications of social conversations

[2]The answer to every marketer’s prayers…

Automation sounds great, right? In theory, it is. It’s hard to deny its advantages. For small and medium businesses (SMBs), social media marketing automation is an essential part of any strategy.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some stats:

  • An average of 32 percent of businesses see increased revenue after 12 months of using automation tools;
  • while 77 percent see conversions increase; and
  • On the whole, businesses that are automating part of their marketing strategy outperform companies that aren’t.

Marketing automation is also a great way to save time and money because fewer resources and (billable!) hours are spent on manual, repetitive tasks. Hooray!

[3]Social Media Automation: Good or Bad For Your Brand?

Social media automation playing on your mind? With social platforms demanding more and more time and effort every day, businesses turn to social media automation to help them achieve their social media goals. However, social media automation is a bit of a disputed topic. What exactly can I automate? Is it good or bad for my brand? Can it end up causing more harm than good in the long run? In this post, we’ll take you through what can be automated, the pros and cons of each process, and the social media automation tools or services you need to help you do it. Ready? Let’s do this!

You can use social media automation to…

Automation isn’t always in the best interests of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So, understandably, there is a limit on what you can automate. Let’s go into the 4 main things you can use social media automation for.

1. Grow your followers

Many brands start off looking at social media automation because they want to grow their followers quickly and cost-effectively. There are hundreds of tools out there that can give you exactly that. However, different social media automation tools take a very different approach. We won’t even mention bots and buying followers and likes. Brands with thousands of bot followers won’t get those favorites, retweets, and likes that real, relevant followers can give you. While getting followers in this way does make your brand appear popular at a glance, it’s exactly that: at a glance. As soon as anyone clicks to see who follows you, they’ll just see a load of bots. This will give the game away that you’ve bought the followers – which can, in turn, make your brand seem disingenuine too. Our recommendation is never to run a campaign to acquire followers and likes on your page unless on social media networks’ own advertising platforms, i.e., Facebook and Twitter.

Like and Follow tools.

Other social media automation tools automatically make your account like and follow other accounts, which should result in a number of those accounts following you back. Most tools like these will unfollow accounts that don’t follow you back, maintaining a good follower-following ratio for your account.

The advantages?

In today’s world, having a decent following makes your brand seem legit. In many cases, customers will check out your Twitter and Instagram followers before they go to your website- so first impressions are critical. Growing an organic following can take serious time, effort, and money. On the other hand, automating some of these actions can seem quick, easy, and relatively cheap.

The disadvantages?

Whilst this is definitely a better option than buying followers and likes, there are still some risks involved. First, there’s the chance that social media automation will lead to your account liking/following irrelevant- or, even worse, competitors’- accounts. Second, there have been cases of suspension or blocks from social media platforms for using automated follow tools- which would kind of undo all the hard work you’ve put into growing your account. Aside from these two points, there is, of course, how sustainable this approach is.

Tools to help me do this?

If you decide to go down this route, hundreds of social media automation tools are out there. Something to consider before you start, however. While like and follow tools are ok to use, you need to ensure that you have thoroughly researched what actions your tool will be making on your behalf. Otherwise, you could find your account inadvertently taking actions that you wouldn’t have if you managed your profile personally. Here are some that are relatively low-risk but still require meticulous configuration and monitoring:

Narrow.io

Narrow.io is one of the easiest social media automation tools to set up and manage. Most importantly, it has a low risk of the potential problems mentioned above.

Owlead

Owlead claims to be able to attract up to 900 new followers per month. It’s also a relatively low-risk option and pretty simple to setup.

Tweet

Tweepi uses automation to give you a social media to-do list full of accounts to follow, posts to like, and more.

Tweetful

Tweetful automatically likes, re-tweets, and follows accounts on your behalf on Twitter. It claims only to target real, relevant, and engaging accounts. Want to grow your following organically? Content is king! MixBloom focuses on curating, writing, and sharing great content for you, so your followers will keep coming back for more.

2. Re-share old posts

With social media moving at such a fast pace, it’s almost impossible to ensure all your followers see every single one of your posts. In fact, (particularly on Twitter) something you shared just 10 minutes ago can now be old news. Think about it: not all of your followers will be active when you share content- especially if you have an international audience with different time zones. A great way to maximize your reach is to automate repeat re-shares of old content.

The advantages?

After all the hard work that goes into sourcing, curating, writing, scheduling, and posting each piece of content, it would be unfortunate if a huge percentage of your audience didn’t actually get to see it. Automating your posts to be shared repeatedly throughout the month means every piece of your content has a bigger chance of being seen. This means more of all the good stuff: retweets, likes, shares, follows, and, most importantly, website traffic! Most tools will also give you the added benefit of posting at optimal times- further boosting your impressions.

The disadvantages?

If done well, automating re-shares is a highly effective way of getting a higher ROI from your posts. However, if done badly, it’s a surefire way to piss off your followers. For example, if you share the same content over ten times in a week, or you use the same words every time, it can get a little old for your followers. This not only runs the risk of your brand sounding robotic, but it also takes away the chance to re-sell the content to your audience. For example, if your analytics tell you a post didn’t do as well as expected, it would be silly to post it again with the same text and image, wouldn’t it? However, having an automation tool decreases the likelihood of your writing fresh copy every time a post goes out.

Tools/services to help me do this?

Edgar

Edgar does exactly what it says on the tin: it will re-share any of your evergreen content again and again to your social media accounts. It’s pretty simple to use. You create a content library with all the posts you want to be re-shared over the time you set. Edgar will then get posting for you!

Buffer’s Content Library

Buffer is an all-round social media automation tool. It allows you to schedule posts, manage all your social media accounts from one place, and track performance with detailed analytics. In Buffer’s Content Library, you can schedule each post for the times and dates you want your content to be posted. Buffer will automatically post those for you- and repeat the process as many times as you wish. Already a Buffer user? Read our Complete Guide to Scaling your Social Media With Buffer.

MixBloom

Re-sharing our customers’ content is a big part of MixBloom’s strategy. We use internal tools to remind us (not do it for us!) to re-schedule posts. This means that every time we re-share your content, it will be with new, carefully tailored words– making your brand sound a whole lot more creative and a little less robotic.

3. Curate content

Curating content for your social media channels-i.e searching for relevant content and presenting it in a meaningful way- is possibly one of the most time-consuming parts of social media management. In fact, the time-consuming nature of content curation is the reason why many businesses turn to automation in the first place. However, out of all the processes you can automate, this is where the biggest risks lie, so listen up.

The advantages?

It is technically possible to automate your social media content curation completely. You’d need to use an RSS feed or a content curation tool alongside an automation tool like Buffer. If you use the right tools, chances are you’ll find some decent content to share. And, of course, using curation tools does save you the time and hassle of having to scan the internet daily for relevant content. There are, however, much better ways to achieve this (and more).

The disadvantages?

We could write an essay here- but we’ll refrain. When it comes to content curation, pure automation isn’t really possible without risking your brand’s damage. When people view your social media accounts, they want to see a personable side to the company. If your account is full of never-ending links (no engaging text, re-tweets, or conversations), your audience will be able to tell (a mile off) that no human is behind your account. So why should they listen to anything you have to say? Why should they trust your brand? Not only this, but you also lose control of what gets posted out there under your name. Automation tools don’t discriminate against posts shared by your competitors or videos discussing ideas and concepts that don’t align with your company’s views. This will not only affect your brand’s reputation, but it’ll also discourage your audience from following or engaging with your posts. Want some awesome social media content? Check out these 5 brands that are nailing their social media.

Tools/services to help me do this?

We’ve already said it, but we’d recommend going for a service rather than an automation tool when it comes to content curation. This will ensure you have full control of your content. However, if you want to go down this route, try:

Feedly

Feedly is basically a news aggregator that brings together thousands of articles from the web for you to browse in one place. You can search by keyword, organize by category, and share to your social media accounts. If you want to schedule your posts for a later date, you’ll have to combine the content you find on Feedly with a social media automation tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.

MixBloom

At MixBloom, we’re constantly building a content library filled with hand-picked articles, videos, and images by our social media specialists. Not only this, every post is custom written for you by professional writers to make sure your social media looks, feels, and sounds like you. No generic statements, no articles from your competitors, no off-brand messages- on MixBloom, it’s just highly relevant, top-quality content.

4. Schedule your posts

Not all automation tools do the hard work of content creation/follower acquisition for you. Some tools are there to simply help you manage, track, and improve your own social media efforts. In our humble opinion, automating your schedule is the safest form of automation out there. Scheduling your posts isn’t about handing the hard work over to someone else (and potentially losing control of your content), but to help you work smarter.

Advantages?

Scheduling tools encourage you to work in batches rather than switching from task to task. Once you have a bunch of content curated, written, and ready to share, you can automate your posts by manually entering your content into a scheduler (we love Buffer!) just once a week or, even better, once a month. Michael Hyatt described batching as a form of time management that allows a person to maximize concentration and decrease distraction. This is super useful for social media. A more productive posting schedule means a more consistent social media strategy- and consistency and frequency are super important if you want to keep your followers coming back for more.

Disadvantages?

Whilst scheduling tools are there to help with productivity. It still requires you to curate, write, and upload your content into the scheduler. If you’re a busy entrepreneur trying to run a business, chances are you don’t have time to do this. After all, content creation is the time-consuming part of social! If you find content curation and writing takes too much time and effort, you may be more suited to automating and outsourcing your social media content creation to a social media manager or a service like MixBloom. Our professional writers will curate, write, and schedule your content straight into your Buffer queue for you.

Tools to help me do this?

Buffer

Buffer is a great automation tool that lets you manage all your social media accounts from one dashboard (we use it here at MixBloom!). The main function of Buffer is to schedule your posts at your selected time and date. Still, there are loads of other cool features: a content calendar to organize your posts, detailed analytics, and browser extensions to schedule re-tweets and source content from RSS feeds. Already a Buffer user, but struggling to get enough content lined up? MixBloom fills your content calendar for you- so you can focus on growing your business.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite also lets you manage all your social media content from one dashboard. In addition to scheduling your posts at the time and date you wish, you can also monitor your brand’s mentions, find relevant conversations, and run competitions over multiple platforms.

What other options do I have?

Not keen on having a machine curate, produce, and post your content? Not to worry, there are other options out there that still lighten the load whilst giving you great (arguably even better) results.

Outsource your social media

Instead of a machine being in charge of your social media, outsourcing puts an expert professional in charge instead; what we like to call “social media heroes.” It’s kind of like having an employee – or even a team of employees – without the usual headaches of hiring. Outsourcing your social media not only saves you time but also keeps your accounts consistent and your content fresh. However, outsourcing has its problems too. For example, it can be tough to find the right person, prices are sky-rocketing, and there’s always the risk of losing track of your content. Working with MixBloom takes out the hiring risks, keeps costs down, and keeps you in control. Try our 7-day free trial. Want to find out more about outsourcing your social media? Read what common mistakes founders are making when hiring social media teams.

[4]Key takeaway- what you can do today

Running a successful social media strategy is all about finding a happy balance between creating original, engaging content and using the tools/services to maximize your productivity and results. For today, think about what your social media goals are. Do you want as many followers as possible? Do you want to boost engagement? Or maybe you want your articles to be seen by more of the right people? Your answers to these questions will greatly impact what (or if) you decide to automate your social media. One thing is for sure, though: whilst automation can be a great tool to use alongside your strategy, relying solely on automation tools will not provide the best results. Sleep easy knowing your social media is being taken care of by professionals in the industry. Try MixBloom’s 7-day free trial. Sit back, relax, and watch your social media be awesome.

Social media marketing changes constantly. One thing that stays the same, though, is that keeping social audiences engaged takes time and effort.

By now, most marketers understand that scheduling social content is an essential part of any sound strategy. But, you might not necessarily know how to automate your social media marketing the best way. Or, you might be running into resistance from naysayers who believe it’s the wrong approach (for any number of reasons).

No matter what your current situation looks like, this post will get you on the right track.

Social media automation myths (that won’t go away)

Even today, there are still some who say that automating your posts is a bad idea.

Whether those folks have been fed bad information or have a philosophical aversion to the practice, that attitude most often isn’t based on objective reality.

It doesn’t mean they have nefarious motives. They just might not be totally informed.

Here are a few common myths you might encounter (and why they don’t exactly add up).

Myth 1: “Social automation tools decrease post-performance.”

A lot of things can reduce organic post reach. Like tightening network algorithms, increased competition for people’s attention, or just poorly-executed content. But, using a tool to schedule posts isn’t included on that list.

For evidence, Buffer conducted an in-depth case study confirming that using tools to keep your social media accounts loaded with fresh content isn’t going to hurt your performance.

Myth 2: “Social automation is impersonal.”

Social media marketing is only impersonal if you make it that way. With that in mind, this common misconception might hold if:

  • You only share automated posts. Generally, you should be augmenting your social schedule with timely posts too.
  • You never bother to tag any other accounts in any posts. This is a missed opportunity to influence shares and get more reach for your posts.
  • You don’t respond to comments or messages. Neglecting comments and messages are literally leaving money on the table. In fact, according to Sprinklr, customers who get a response from a brand on Twitter spend up to 20% more.

Follow some basic guidelines for mixing up your social content and take time to engage with your audience, and you won’t have to worry about this one.

Myth 3: “Social media automation is 100% set it and forget it.”

This one gets it partially right. Sure, one of the benefits of scheduling posts is freeing up your time for other tasks.

However, it shouldn’t be totally mindless. You should be proactively mindful of making sure what you’re posting is:

  • Still relevant. It can be easy to share and reshare content for so long that it eventually goes out of date. Make sure the content you share is either evergreen or up to date.
  • Actually driving engagement. Measure performance and adjust accordingly.
  • Appropriate given what’s in the current news cycle. If there’s a major catastrophe dominating social media, your pre-scheduled posts might come off rude or insensitive. In case of an emergency, be prepared to shut down your social channels temporarily.

Even self-driving cars need an operator to keep their eyes on the road. Think about social media automation in the same way.

Questions:

Article compiled by RapidPage.ca, if you need assistance in connecting your social media marketing by using automation tools, do not hesitate to call RapidPage today.

Reference:

  1. https://sproutsocial.com/glossary/social-media-automation/
  2. https://www.articulatemarketing.com/blog/social-media-automation
  3. https://www.mixbloom.com/resources/social-media-automation/
  4. https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/how-to-automate-social-media/