Medium and large businesses have a social media manager overseeing a team. That manager may work full-time – writing blog posts to share on Twitter, signing up for webinars, curating content and running analytics – or part-time – spending most of her time on social, listening, analyzing and experimenting.
Small businesses don’t have the luxury of a social media team. There isn’t a communications major researching new social media networks and brainstorming on content ideas or a response team to handle social media ‘oops’ and crises. The time crunch is an even bigger problem for a solo entrepreneur, who – besides strategizing, curating and publishing content – must also allocate a few minutes each day responding to customer service requests on social media.
Whether you’re a one-man/woman show or have a team to fall back on, one thing’s for sure: quality social media automation software can save you time for core business activities or free up a couple of minutes each day to work at tasks you’ve been ignoring – competition tracking, face-time with people at events/exhibitions, cross-discipline strategy formulation or social media training. The incentive to use such software exists; question is, how can it keep your social media pages engaging and contribute to whatever business goals you expect from your social media efforts?
You Never Have to Worry About Putting Out Great Content Consistently
Even five years ago, businesses eager to cash in on social media would get Facebook and Twitter accounts and market the hell out of their brands. Press releases and blatant sales messages greeted fans and followers, who after a few too many onslaughts, decided not to engage anymore. Businesses then realized that they must plan social updates with a focus on value. Unless the content was useful, interesting or at least entertaining, it would be rejected. After all, what is the point of a blog post, comment, video or image shared on social media? To elicit a reaction. Any reaction that leads to a site visit, becomes a lead and ultimately, a conversion. Conversions are not guaranteed, but the opportunities for conversion on social media are significant.
Here’s where social media automation software can be invaluable, especially for the time-poor small business owner. It can discover fresh and trending social media content that resonates with your social media audience. Something that’s relevant to their work or personal lives, something knowledgeable that they can use, something that motivates them to be part of the conversation and share on their own social media pages, and builds up engagement in a big way.
Curated content can bring in the same levels of high engagement as thoughtfully-created original content. With a reliable content discovery tool analyzing thousands of stories each day across industries, niches and micro-niches, you can nail the quality aspect of content, and mobilize your social media audience around your brand/product or issue/cause (if you’re a non-profit).
For some social media managers, social media automation software augments and complements their original content creation initiatives. It is very challenging to come up with new ideas for blog posts and infographics on a day-to-day basis. Finalizing content topics is much like the alternating ebb and flow of a tide. On most days you may have amazing ideas, and experience a dry spell on other days. With content discovery software delivering the latest contextual content to your email, you can churn out consistently good posts and mix it up with your original content for variety and value.
There are various ratios for sharing content on social media. Popular ones include the 30/60/10 (owned, curated and promotional) golden ratio, rule of thirds (your content, third-party content and updates revolving around personal interactions with the brand). There’s a ‘content from others’ component in every rule simply because brands cannot afford to be self-serving in today’s highly judgmental online culture. Content discovery software brings you a daily stream of third-party content to break up your own content and also drive traffic to your blog by linking back to other sources. Third-party content introduces you to buzzing topics that you can build off to create original posts filled with several useful takeaways and ideas.
You Can Do Away with the Mundane Stuff
The process of identifying when your audience is most socially active is interesting, but the actual task of posting to this time window can be pretty dull. Social media automation eliminates this drudgery by scheduling your FB posts and tweets for a specific time and date, allowing you to reach your audience at the best possible times.
If you haven’t identified opportune posting times, popular social media management tool DrumUp can decide the best schedule and spread out your posts so you don’t end up overwhelming your fans/followers.
You Can Attract and Nurture Potential Leads
Maintaining a consistent presence on social media with specific information that fits into a category can be hard! You’d never have the time to come up with varying and interesting content in your niche’ and regularly posting the content to your socila media accounts can also be a task in itself. But, the crux of social media marketing hinges on being both active and sharing high-value content. And to attract and nurture an audience that might be interested in your products, you have to do both. Social media content curation and automation can help you make that possible.
You Can Build Top of Mind Brand Awareness
With social media, you can post your brand message directly into your audience’s news streams. You can have agile, near real-time conversations with your audience in the way Coca-Cola and Denny’s are doing. Social media automation software can help you stay social! On day long meetings with clients, off-site training or just a hectic day of putting out fires, small business owners can still stay current on their social media engagement with a full-service content discovery, scheduling and publishing software. DrumpUp, for instance, allows you to manage your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts from a single dashboard. In mobile app form, it enables you to accomplish your daily social media sharing tasks on-the-go. Staying front-and-center in your audience’s minds doesn’t seem like such a tough trial any more.
The benefits of social media automation are evident. But it shouldn’t replace social media marketing entirely. It requires a human presence, a unique brand voice, and a lot of social listening and monitoring to strike a chord with consumers and keep fans and followers forever.
Note: This article was originally published on Sep 26, 2015 and has since been updated with additional information.