With all of the different social media networks and the time it takes to upkeep each one, it’s only natural that a lot of social media managers and companies are turning to social media automation tools to help them keep up with it all. While automation tools can take a huge weight off of your workload, they can also make your voice disappear into the background of everything else that’s being posted on the web.
Nurturing your social media connections and finding the right balance between organic posts and automation is a fine art and something that everyone can master. While automation done wrong can ruin your social media presence, when done right it can amplify your reach. Here are some do’s and don’ts if you’re thinking about social media automation.
Don’t: Use automated direct messages (unless you have a really cool one)
Reaching out to people who follow you to say, “thanks for the follow!” is a great tactic, but it gets lost when people can smell automation. It’s much more valuable to skip the automated DMs and instead, engage with them on social media by replying to a tweet, commenting on a post, or retweeting them.
I have an auto DM for Twitter that works pretty well but it took a lot of failing, crappy ones before I crafted one that works. There are still going to be people that don't even bother to check the DM's but at least it's a start. And if I don't get a response within a week, I will either message again with a personalized message or interact with them on social as stated above.
Here is my Twitter auto DM (like or no like?):
"Yes, this is an auto DM but it gives me a chance to start the conversation and thank you for being a friend (did you just sing that last part?) Let me know your number 1 goal for 2017! Personal or business is cool. I heard that If you write it down and tell a new stranger, it has to happen!! Have an awesome day and don't forget to say hi! Hollie"
Connecting with people can be done on any social network – on LinkedIn, write them a heartfelt message or comment on a recent post. On Facebook, make sure to “like” their comments or comment back to them if they interact with your brand. Instagram, you can send new followers a video DM, personally thanking them for following and mentioning what you guys can do together. Social interaction that is natural will go a lot longer than a canned direct message. Follow up!
Do: Take time each week to interact with followers
If you’ve got a lot of scheduled posts on the go to get content out into the world, make sure you take time each week to interact with people directly. The word 'Social' is in Social Media for a reason! Spend time retweeting relevant content, commenting and sharing, or just simply favoriting and liking.
This will give your social media voice some depth because others will see these interactions and your followers will feel valued. Also, it gives you even more content to share and get out to your network in a timely manner.
Don’t: Ignore your analytics!
While it’s super easy to schedule a bunch of posts and wait until next week to set some more, don’t miss out on valuable lessons you can get from each post by checking out the analytics on them. What posts get the most reach? Which ones totally bomb? Don’t go on autopilot!
Every day, take some time to analyze the posts that are really working so you can tweak things for next week. Note which times and days get a lot of interaction and schedule accordingly.
Do: Post things that are meaningful
It may seem like a feat to post something once a day, or even a few times a day if you’re really ambitious – that doesn’t mean you get to haphazardly post content. If you can’t find enough relevant content, it’s okay to post less. Don’t water your content down just to push stuff out there.
There is this little rule I like to keep - 80% of your content should cover the three E's (Entertain, Engage and Educate) while the other 20% you can sell and talk about how awesome your business is and how much your customers love you.
While you’re skimming the Internet for content articles, make sure you’re reading each one thoroughly to check if it’s the right thing to post. Sometimes headlines don’t exactly match what the article is going to talk about, so be careful! All it takes is one post to cause a social media crisis.
Automation can be your best friend, but also your biggest weakness. It’s important to give it as much thought as the rest of your strategy.