7 Quick Tips for Social Media Automation

7 Quick Tips for Social Media Automation

Using social automation wisely means saving time, increasing your visibility and reach, promoting your products—and having people think you are present more than you’ve ever actually been before.

It feels personal, and is well-timed.

Here are seven tips for making the most out of social automation …

  1. Don’t Sound Like a Robot

Our first tip is our most important: Just because you are automating a post, or sharing a link to your latest blog post, you don’t have to sound like an impersonal robot. Add a “you”-based sentence that speaks directly to your ideal audience member. Be warm. Use your authentic voice!

(They shouldn’t be able to tell your post is automated!)

  1. Customize Your Automated Posts for Each Social Network

Don’t send the exact same message, worded the exact same way, to every network. For one thing, most networks have different requirements. You have to condense your message to fewer than 140 characters on Twitter, whereas a Facebook post can be longer.

Make the most of each network’s unique sharing guidelines! Take the time to customize for each network … then automate!

  1. Schedule Your Posts Before You Go on Vacation

Just as you prepare in many otherwise, you also need to prepare your social sharing before you go on vacation. Yes, mobiles make it easy to keep up with social media no matter where you are … but ten to one that consistent schedule you’ve built up will go out the window (or prove to be a pain) if you rely on keeping it while taking a vacation from your daily routine.

Pre-scheduling regular social posts will ensure that you keep your visibility prominent. And you won’t be left in the lurch in case you encounter disasters like no mobile coverage in your vacation spot … or dropping your laptop in the ocean!

  1. Pre-Post About Your Vacation

If you’re planning a vacation, be sure share images and posts about your preparation, if you think your audience would enjoy it. Doing this makes your followers feel included in your plans (disasters as well as triumphs). Including them makes it feel as if you are taking them along (not leaving them behind).

And you can create a whole bunch of posts as you shop and pack—and pre-schedule them at designated intervals for maximum engagement.

  1. Automate Post Content Creation—but Don’t Automate Interaction

The fact is … you can’t automate interaction. Better to have someone write posts for you—but ALWAYS go over them to add your personal “voice”. And monitor responses, and respond!

  1. Use Content Creation Wisely

It’s a great idea to find and curate highly useful, interesting content for your audience: But even if you pre-schedule pieces, do go into your schedule and add a sentence introducing the curated content, or putting your own twist on why you are sharing it.

  1. Fill the Gaps!

Use social media apps and tools to automate posts and fill the gaps between your posts—and make sure you anticipate all the “lows” in the month when you won’t be available in person to post. (E.g. you’re busy at a three-day conference or in hospital for a minor operation or off the grid at your parents’ cottage.)

Automating your social media should be seen as an aide, rather than a substitute, when it comes to social interaction and growing your reach. (Think of social automation as leading a party of schoolchildren to the zoo … and having three extra teachers along to make sure each child is properly monitored and cared for.) You’re still present … but you’re making sure you’re everywhere, even when you’re not.

Social media is the fastest way to connect with your audience. Be sure to make the most of it, every opportunity you get.

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7 Benefits of Having Bricks With Your Clicks

bricks and clicks 300There are more people on the internet to buy than can ever walk through your door. Does that mean that I think you should close your doors and just operate online? No I believe that there are some huge benefits to combining the strengths of both channels.

That was Barnes and Noble’s biggest mistake when Amazon was just a small online bookstore that was bleeding cash. If Barnes and Noble had focused on their strengths in brick and mortar locations and combined their “clicks with their bricks” they would be the largest online bookseller today and Amazon would be gone or limping along.

What are these 7 vital ingredients that I’m talking about?

1. You get to look a customer in the eye and ask them questions.

There are some amazing analytics tools available on the internet for tracking and surveying customers. We learn a lot about our customers browsing and buying habits from these tools. But in my opinion they still are not a substitute for years of looking a customer in the eye, asking them questions and watching their response. The smartest business owners combine the benefits of both environments.

2. Many people still like the idea of going into a store.

The shopping experience is changing, but retail stores will not go away for a long, long time. I appreciate the convenience of the web for items that I know I want. But when I want to browse nothing beats a funky little store.

3. You can send people from your retail location to your online store.

Using your physical store as a medium to get people onto your This is a great marketing channel. You can have a slightly different inventory available online.

4. Your local clients will tell their out of town friends.

If you do a good job of servicing your local clients they will evangelize you to their friends. You can even provide incentives to those that bring you new customers.

5. You can form a relationship with your customers.

This is similar to #1 but the differences are that you will see them at church the ball games etc. They will see you as a real person, and probably refer to you as your business. You’ll be the furniture guy or jewelry lady, but it will make a difference in your business.

6. In store Pickup

This is especially strong if you have multiple locations – like Barnes and Noble had. You can allow people to pay for their items online and pick them up in your store. This will give you another chance to upsell to them. And there is nothing better than upselling someone who is picking something up that they already paid for because they feel like they are getting a gift. Walmart is doing a great job of this with their free ship to store service.

7. In store returns

Yes, none of us likes to take returns. But there are some great advantages to having them return it to your store. First it gives you the chance to find out why they really returned it. Rarely will you get the real answer online. Second it gives you a chance to change it into an exchange or upselling them something else.

The simple truth is that you can easily combine the benefits of both the online and in store shopping experience if you approach it with a smart strategy.

What need does your business fulfill?

Market analysis is not about calculating how much money a business needs to survive. Understanding the market is about understanding what does and doesn’t currently exist. Knowing the gaps, and how to benefit a customer, is the key to understanding the market. To this end, demographics are helpful.we understand your needs 300 x 250

Understanding an ideal customer can help determine the perfect selling situation. The perfect selling scenario then allows variable tweaking to find potential weak spots. Perhaps these variables start with mild rejections and questions. Basic hurdles can be added, such as “can you bring down the cost any” and “how is this different from the competition”. Start turning up the heat to make the rejections more and more intense. The hope is that this practice can help a business start moving away from the typical scenario with an ideal customer. The real world is rarely ideal and many customers start as cold leads. Cold leads are those customers who know nothing about the company’s product or service. Nurturing cold leads requires attending to the potential questions they may ask.

Selling isn’t the only focus a company needs to have. Knowing the market also means focusing on customer acquisition. To survive, a business needs to know where the market is thriving. Marketing is a way of probing different areas of the market to see how active they are. Each marketing effort should be focused on the demographics of the ideal customer. Ignore the temptation to expand demographics to survive, instead focus on micro-testing easy wins. After identifying easy wins, then expand demographics. The hope is to ensure marketing efforts are bringing the required return plus more. Many marketing efforts are too broad, making them wasted and weak sources of market information.

Listening to the market is more than just understanding where to find customers. A business needs to build and foster a relationship with loyal customers. Many customers are the first source of ideas and innovation for business. Customers help a business focus on bringing more value for a smaller cost. This extra value increases the leverage a business has in solving a need, hence increasing market share.  Loyal customers not only want a business to survive, but also thrive. Many loyal customers will act as advocates of the product, telling their friends and family. Fostering a relationship with these people should be the primary goal with any business.

In summation:

  • A business serves customer needs, not vise versa
  • Identifying an ideal customer provides a sharper focus
  • Quick micro-testing allows an organization to understand where to spend advertising dollars
  • Customer retention is often more important than customer acquisition