Social Media Automation
Social media automation provides a powerful means for businesses to create and engage an audience.
To help you attract an audience you need to post relevant, interesting information. However, it can’t be all your own stuff all the time. There’s nothing worse than someone talking about themselves non-stop and the same applies to your social timeline.
By sharing other people’s content you get to build authority on a subject, relationships with influencers and you get to subtly drop you content and offers in from time to time.
So, how do you source a constant stream of relevant, interesting information? Easy, using a network of linked, automated tools and you’ll seriously reduce the workload and stress.
When I say automated, it’s 80% automated. You still need to set things up and press a few buttons.
Once you create the network it will seriously reduce the legwork and the amount of time you spend publishing content on social.
Here’s a step by step guide. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about any of this.
STEP ONE – Sign up to…
Buffer – https://buffer.com
Buffer is an easy to use tool that can help schedule social posts across a number of different social channels. You can add Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn under the free plan and ten channels under their paid plan.
You can batch write some posts then choose which social profiles to send them to, and then pick the times throughout the day or week that you want them posted. You can attach images, video or GIF’s too.
You can also let Buffer pick the times that you send out the posts. It will analyse your feed and pick the optimal times.
First, connect your social profile.
Then, for each profile, hop into the “Schedule” tab to choose the days and times that your posts will go out.
To add a post, click the “what do you want to share” box at the top of the page, and type or paste in your post. Also click the avatars for your profiles to choose which profiles this post will go to.
Then, once you add it to your Buffer, you will see it under the “queue” tab for those profiles.
Once the post has gone out you can click on the “Analytics” tab to see how it performed.
STEP TWO – Download the…
Buffer Chrome Extension – http://bit.ly/BffrChrm
To get the most out of Buffer and your social media automation you should download the Chrome Extension – just click the link above.
Once you’ve added the extension you’ll notice the Buffer logo as a button on your browser.
If you find an article that you think will resonate and interest your audience, just click the Buffer button, select your channel you’d like to share the article across and either post it there and then or add it to your queue.
STEP THREE – Sign up to…
Feed.ly – https://feedly.com
Feedly is an efficient way of finding, reading and curating content that’s important to you and your audience.
Once you create a profile and login you can then find content that you normally read across the web and organize it in your Feedly sidebar.
Once you have built a library of content you can then click into a story for a read. If you think it’s worth sharing you can push it out Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn under the free plan.
By upgrading to the Pro plan you can add more social channels and Buffer integration. However, if you install the Buffer Chrome extension as above, you will get the option to add the post to your Buffer queue as opposed to posting it there and then.
STEP FOUR – Sign up to…
If That Then This | IFTTT – https://ifttt.com
IFTTT is a website that runs social media automation using ‘Recipes’ – simple connections between products and apps.
There are two types of Recipes: DO Recipes and IF Recipes. We’re mainly concerned with IF’s.
IF Recipes run automatically in the background with one simple statement — If That Then This.
Typically, cross posting between social channels is not recommended. For example if you post from your Facebook page to Twitter and the text is longer than 140 characters you’ll have a truncated, possibly nonsensical tweet on your timeline.
Equally, if you post from Instagram to Twitter the image comes into your Twitter feed as a link rather than a picture.
It doesn’t sound like much but having to click a link to see the image will put the majority of people off finding out what the image is.
If you think carefully about how to use IFTTT to cross post you can save some valuable time while increasing your reach.
For example, you can use IFTTT to post an image from Instagram as a native image in Twitter rather than appearing as a link. Just be careful about going over the 140 character limit. After the picture has been added you have about 60 characters left to add some text.
If you think about it, some image posts from Instagram could be cross posted on Facebook and Pinterest too.
You can use recipes that will only post to another channel from Instagram based on tagging with a specific #Hashtag.
There are lots of pre-prepared recipes you can avail but you can create your own if nothing fits the bill.
STEP FIVE – Curate and Schedule
The quickest and easiest way to do this is to download the Feedly and Buffer apps to your smartphone or tablet. This allows you schedule a piece of content you may have come across ‘on the fly’.
If you find an article in your Feedly app you can simply post it to a social channel there and then or you can add it to you Buffer queue.
(For an iPhone) – Or, if you come across an article on a website, tap the icon/button that gives you options for what to do with the page. You need to add the Buffer app to this menu, which allows you then to schedule a post to a social channel.
If you don’t see the Buffer button in this feature menu tap ‘More’ and then add Buffer. Once this has been done you should be able to add content to your Buffer queue.
Have you anything to add?
There are lots of other tools that you can use for social media automation, such as Hootsuite, Contentful, PostPlanner to name a few.
Drop a comment below and share some of your social media experience.
If you’d like to get in touch with me, it’s easy, you can find my contact details HERE.
Thanks for reading.