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Social Media Automation: What Makes Marketers Cringe & the Surprising Truth

If social media automation scares you, think about how email marketing has evolved. Today, most companies see email as the ultimate one-on-one marketing channel irrespective of the industry to which they belong. Yet, how many email marketers send individual emails? At most, companies send individualized emails managed by automation software. In fact, supermarket chain Safeway enjoys a 224% greater CTR than industry average on its emails by using automation; automation to collect collect customer behavior data and use it effectively.

The future is automation; embrace it.

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Even so, there are many marketers who accept email automation but cringe at the thought of social media automation. Do you believe that –

  • Automation defeats the purpose of social media?
  • Social media automation isn’t as mature as email automation?
  • You lose control with social media automation?
  • Fans despise automated content?
  • Automation destroys the human element?

Well, you’re not alone in harboring these fears, but they’re not necessarily based on fact. Below are reasons why these beliefs are limiting more than preventive and tips to automate your social media marketing the right way. Skip to the bottom of the post to see how you can get hours of your life back using DrumUp for social media management.

Social media automation: Mistake or marvel?

I concede. Nothing can replace the exchange of personal dialogues between you and your customer. But to impact more people, you need to scale one-on-one interaction. Can you manually scale personal conversations? Not likely. You might get to 10 or even 50 people a day, depending on how much time you can dedicate to the exercise. Social media automation, however, can effectively solve this problem.

Let’s revisit common fears about social media automation and address them with examples.

1. Does automation defeat the purpose of social media?

Automation doesn’t defeat the purpose of social media, but the messages you automate could. For instance, even if you use a social media listening tool to sort through noise and identify pertinent conversations in which to participate, how you participate matters. If your reply is a “standard template” with small tweaks, the recipient will sense the lack of effort.

On the other hand, if you understand the situation, acknowledge your subject’s pain/concern and truly try to help, he/she will sense your care. Humor is a bonus; an excellent ice-breaker and tool for endearment.

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Automation is merely a means to scale business-customer interactions; it is has nothing to do with the message you broadcast.

2. Social media automation isn’t as mature as email automation

While email marketing software have had a head-start at advancement, social media automation software aren’t far behind. There exist a myriad of intelligent social media solutions in the market. At DrumUp, one of the first solutions we built – the content curation module – was fit with a NLP (Natural Language Processing) algorithm to scan thousands of websites and filter content that is exactly right for your brand to use.

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However, the software you choose doesn’t have to be intelligent to bear benefits for your social media marketing. It’s useful to consider automation extra support; extra pairs of hands that can manage work that doesn’t need your personal attention.

3. Does automation take away absolute control?

Why do marketers crave control? They need absolute control to prevent untoward disasters. Messages broadcast by marketers represent brands on public platforms, thus demanding extra care and vigilance. Automation requires relinquishing some amount of control, and this requirement makes many marketers uneasy.

Fortunately, like AI’s popular control mechanism – the kill-switch, social media automation software have built-in control mechanisms that help marketers retain complete command over marketing. Settings, filters, delete buttons, review mechanisms and easy access to each of the listed features via apps across devices makes it easier for marketers to place trust in automation software. Many automation software companies also maintain open communication with their users to ensure that their specific needs and met, and concerns are addressed.

4. Do customers despise automated content?

Not necessarily. What customers despise is impersonal content that suggests an apathy towards them. Customers are unlikely to care about automation if the messages are relevant to them and their needs. In fact, automation can help you create and deliver messages that are more relevant to your target groups.

Relevance in the previous paragraph refers not only to the content of your messages, but also their frequency, delivery time, tone, design and ease of navigation. It pays to focus on the details, because they can amount to the success of your social media marketing efforts.

5. Does automation destroy the human element?

This post below could have been scheduled. I know it’s not human, but… :)

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With the assistance of automation, you can scale the human element by increasing the relevance of the content you share, targeting specific people and delivering your messages on time and consistently.

The only time that automation ever kills the human element is when the marketer in charge of it slips up and makes an error. Some errors include spamming customers, sharing irrelevant and pointless content and making contact at inconvenient times during the day. By automating the delivery of the “right messages”, you could make a real impact in your target market.

For more, you could read The #1 Mistake You are Making on Social Media (and How to Stop It).

Now that we have cleared the air about what automation isn’t, let’s discuss what automation can bring into your life.

Social media automation: Uses and benefits

Sure, automation doesn’t hinder marketing, but why choose to use it? If used correctly, automation can transform your social media presence and help you achieve business goals. In fact, if you choose to ignore social media automation, you might miss out on a considerable amount of traction.

1. Save time to spend on more pressing issues

The most obvious benefit of social media automation is that marketers can stop “fighting fires” and focus on actions that move the business needle. Although publishing, liking and monitoring social media posts are important tasks, they don’t represent the big picture of social media marketing well.

With social media automation, you can not only schedule posts in advance http://drumup.io/schedule-posts-add-blog-feed-social-media-tool and maximize promotion returns, but also easily identify which conversations actually justify your attention and find PR and partnership opportunities that you may never find otherwise. For instance, by setting up “marketing event” as a keyword, you can identify the right events to attend to meet customers of marketing products.

2. Stay active when customers are without losing sleep

Publish your content at the wrong time and your customers may never even see it. If your company is competing in the global market, your social media page has got to be active through the day; a feat that can seem hectic for anyone to accomplish manually. With automation, you can identify “windows of activity” and ensure that there are posts getting published during them.

Once you have discovered your windows of activity, using a tool like DrumUp, you can ensure that there’s something going out during those windows, without having to manually schedule posts.

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3. Attract fans and future customers effortlessly

Imagine building your following brick by brick; you would have to find opportunities or exposure manually, one step at a time. Instead, what if you used an algorithm to hunt for opportunities and for content to share within it? By automating both, you would save so much time. Every marketer knows the time and effort it takes to create great content.

On DrumUp, you can set-up three types of content sources, within minutes. First, add RSS feeds of your blog and the blogs you follow for news and content ideas. Next, set-up important industry keywords for content suggestions. Finally, bulk-upload your best-performing social media posts into content libraries (you can also do this individually per post). Once all of this is done, these three types of content streams can serve as content repositories for you to custom schedule or “1-click schedule” to share on your social media pages.

4. Make a lasting impression on fans

People pay attention when you do something incredible; respond quicker than expected or join conversations where your brand is relevant. To do this, you need to have ears sharper than your own, eyes that can search through large numbers of social media posts real-time. What you set-up as watch keywords matter, because they decide the types of conversations that you set yourself up to join. Don’t limit yourself to the obvious possibilities. Bear in mind that social media can be used for anythign from branding to sales, PR and customer support.

When you do find conversations to participate in, use a personal tone and humor if possible, to leave a lasting impression on fans.

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Now that we have discussed the benefits of social media automation, let’s conclude with the important pointers to bear in mind when implementing your strategy.

How to social media automation right

Among the factors that result in social media success are your discretion of what to automate, how much to automate and what the content of the messages should be.

1. Don’t spam your audience. Choose the best frequency of posting for each social media platform. For instance, on Facebook posting five times a day may be seen as a heinous crime, but on Twitter, publishing five posts a day is a necessity.

2. Choose what to automate. While you can set evergreen posts on repeat publishing schedules, it’s probably not a good idea to set time-sensitive posts like a review of the latest elections or changes in algorithms of social media platforms on a repeat posting schedule.

3. Be smart about delivery times. Based on who your target audience is, assess when they might be active on social media, and ensure that there always are posts going out at those times.

4. Customize your content. Don’t use standard “template” messages that your audience might find “bleh” or annoying. Show that you are making an effort.

5. Maximize your efficiency. Choose a social media management tool that can maximize your reach and engagement, by allowing you to store and sort content, and set it on extensive and specific publishing schedules, across your social accounts, easily.

Wrap

There’s no reason to shy away from social media automation, because it’s simply means to expanding your current capacity. It doesn’t take anything away from your content, and in fact, can help you craft more personalized and relevant marketing messages. Now that you know this, it’s over to you to make the most of social media marketing with the support of social media automation software.

Feature image via Pexels.com