PLAN {WELL}

5 Ways to Automate Your Social Media

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social-media-automateYesterday’s post mentioned creating a social media strategy, doing it {well} and then giving God the results. As entrepreneurs, social media is a must to market our businesses. But all of the social networks can quickly become overwhelming – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ Vine, and the list goes on… and I don’t know about you, but I want to be a good steward of my time and not sitting in front of Facebook all day.

So how do we simplify all of it so that it doesn’t become unmanageable? One word: AUTOMATION.

With my company, Graciously Authentic Media, we seek to create social media strategy for your company and goals. These are some tips we recommend for strategically automating your social media without becoming a slave to it.

This level of automation requires some planning. A few questions you’ll need to know ahead of time are:

  • On which social networks do I want to focus my time + energy?
  • How often do I want to post to each network?
  • On what kinds of topics do I want to be seen as an expert?

I recommend creating a social media posting schedule. For example, regularly posting an inspirational quote or Bible verse at 6:00 am on your Twitter and Facebook page. That way, you’ll always have “categories” of social media content that you’ll be looking to fill.

Once you have a general layout of the kinds of content you want to be posting, now it’s time to get it scheduled! Here are the resources I recommend to automate:

1. Hootsuite
Hootsuite is probably the most popular and widely used social media management tool. It allows you to connect multiple social networks (the ones I use it for are Twitter, FB personal + business pages and LinkedIn) and schedule posts in the future. It seamlessly integrates with link-shortening services like bit.ly as well. Hootsuite is also my favorite social media monitoring tool – I love seeing the columns that I’ve created, based on Twitter lists, hashtags and more.

Here is a snapshot of what my dashboard looks like.

hootsuite-dashboard

If you had to pick one social media automation tool to start out with, this would be the one I would recommend!

2. Co-Schedule
A large percentage of my posts on social media are sharing my most recent blog posts. If you’re on a WordPress blog, then a plugin that you shouldn’t be without is Co-Schedule. It is a social media content calendar for your blog. The drag and drop calendar makes scheduling blog posts – and the social media that accompanies each post – SO EASY! This is GENIUS because you work so hard on your blog posts, that you don’t want to just share them one time. You’ll need to share it a few times and across multiple networks to ensure that most of your fans see it. Refer to this handy recommended calendar for when to share your blog post across all of your channels from Co-Schedule..

promote-your-blog-social-media-timeline

(As a note: since I’ve started using Co-Schedule I decided that I would schedule all of my blog-related social media within Co-Schedule and all other posts via Hootsuite)

3. If This Then That (IFTTT.com)
If you haven’t heard of IFTTT then you’re surely missing out. What I love about it is there are SO many different applications for it! Basically it’s a service where you connect web applications (like Evernote, Dropbox, Facebook, Gmail, etc.) together and turn on “recipes” which are individual tasks that are completed. Confused? Here are a few of my favorite recipes so you understand how I use it:

IFTTT-Recipes

There are such a variety of ways that you can use any of these IFTTT recipes, but an example is to quickly be able to use Instagram photos from your Dropbox folder to do a month in review blog post. That recipe above saves all of the JPGs in one spot, so it’s very easy!

4. Buffer
I mentioned created a social media schedule earlier and once you have it finalized you’ll want to configure it within Buffer. You’ll tell it the times and how often you want to post on each network. I recommend 1-3x a day on a Facebook page and 3+ times a day on Twitter. Your audience expects more updates on Twitter and less on Facebook.

5. Feedly
With the death of Google Reader (RIP…) I have switched over to Feedly. One thing I love about this service is its integration with other services, like Buffer. I will sit down to catch up on my favorite blogs and read them all in feedly, then I will schedule social media posts through Buffer. Buffer then puts all of my posts in a queue and sends them out based on the times I’ve told it to.

I recommend following blogs, and creating folders within your Feedly account, based on the categories and industries in which you want to be seen as a leader. Curate valuable content to share with your followers (be sure to @tag the source!) on your social media, and soon you too will be seen as an expert in your field!

These are some of my favorite social media automation tools! Some of them provide similar services, some of them are free and some of them you have to pay for a pro-version, so signup with them and try them all. You’ll probably like some of them more than others. Experiment, share your brand’s awesome content, analyze your results and then decide which ones are right for you!

Do you automate your social media? What tools do you use?

4 Comments on 5 Ways to Automate Your Social Media

  1. Mary Hill
    October 4, 2014 at 11:35 pm (3 years ago)

    Thanks for the info. I use buffer and just started using IQTELL and Evernote. I am still learning the ropes of these systems. I think IQTELL may be similar to the program you mention. I don’t have Instagram because i don’t have a smart enough phone. I have an old droid but do not like the pictures. Anyways lots of great info. 🙂

    Reply
    • Adem Smith
      July 13, 2016 at 6:56 am (10 months ago)

      Hi Mary,
      I think you should also give a try to Blog2Social as it is user friendly plugin and also no cron job to be done. There is no server side installation.

      Reply
  2. wynne
    September 27, 2014 at 11:03 pm (3 years ago)

    this was so helpful, thank you!

    Reply
  3. Tracie Bonds
    September 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm (3 years ago)

    YOU ROCK KRISTEN STEELE! THIS INFO IN OUTSTANDING! THANK YOU FOR BEING THE MASTER OF ALL THINGS SOCIAL MEDIA!

    Reply

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