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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Great Viral Marketing Strategy

I almost called this article how I found out I was a mongoose, but it doesn't Serengeti Bookmake sense until you go take the quiz. My friend Jonathan Rivera, you can find him at Real-TechGuy.com did a video and post about Surviving Your Serengeti. <– affiliate link.

The book sounds interesting and he gave it a great review I don't know much about the book beyond his review.  But their marketing has been amazing.

One of the things they are doing is a quiz that helps you determine what animal you are, that's how I found out I was a weasel. It's a simple quiz and we're all curious to find out if the quiz is "right." But on the quiz page they have three different ways you could virally share. #1 like the page on Facebook, #2 like the book on Amazon and #3 like ActiveRain on Facebook.

Once you've gone through the quiz they show you what animal you are and give you multiple ways to share your type. I'll detail three of them here:

#1 They ask you to share your results with your friends. This generates the wall post below 

#2 The ask you to share the Quiz which generates a wall post.

#3 They have Facebook and Twitter Share Buttons

That's not counting the links on the two sides of the and they have a Facebook Profile badge generator that I didn't get a screenshot of, but here's Jonathan's. He's a mongoose too. My guess is that most of my online entrepreneur friends will be mongooses because we're resourceful.

They hit it from all of the normal book launch channels as well, but how they used social media to virally promote was extremely well done. And it looks like it worked:

I'm buying my copy based on Jonathan's review, but their marketing was top-notch. You can learn a lot from this campaign.
One of the core take-away's is to not be afraid to use multiple method because you never know when someone with a large audience will share your page and drive a significant share of traffic.

Social Media Mistake – Not starting with a plan

The most common social mSocial Media Mistakesedia mistake I see my clients making is starting their social media without a plan. Their are several scenarios that happen.

  1. You hear someone talking about how much success they've had with social media so you jump in and set up a Facebook profile. 
  2. Your boss comes in and says, "We need to get on that FaceTube or YouBook thing, and you need to take care of it."
  3. You realize that your old advertising methods aren't working and you need something new so you give it a shot.

In most of the scenarios above you end up failing. Why do you fail? Primarily you fail because you don't start with the right questions:

  1. What are my goals for social media?
  2. Who is my customer?
  3. Where is my customer active in social media?
  4. What information does my customer want to know?

The thing to remember about social media marketing is that it cuts both ways. It's better to not be involved than to do it poorly.

Let's dig into these questions

What are my goals for social media?

There are several metrics that you can track:

Engagement:

  1. # of new people on your email list
  2. # of fans/followers
  3. # of comments / likes / share of your content

Revenue

  1. # of online sales if you have an online store
  2. # of new customers coming into your store

Who is my customer?

Who is my customer?

I'm always surprised when I ask prospective clients who their customer is and they say everyone. It's not everyone, you might take everyone's money, but that doesn't mean you should be working with everyone or that everyone will buy your product or service. Build a profile of your best customer: age, sex, likes, occupation etc.

Where is my customer active on social media?

There are several ways to find this out:

  1. Ask them – this is the one that most of my online peers miss. Ask them in your store, ask them when you're meeting with them, email them if you have a list, but ask them.
  2. On Facebook –
    • Go to advertising
    • Start an ad
    • Adjust the demographics to fit your demographics
    • Ask yourself if that's enough people

What does my customer want to know?

This will depend on your business. Bars need to let people know what specials, events and music they have coming up. Clothing stores should share sales, dressing tips, Real Estate agents can share tips for lowering your mortgage rate etc… You can also do some of the following to find out what they are interested in.

  1. Ask them…
  2. Search.Twitter.com – search based on your business type and keyword phrases
  3. Do a Google search with the keyword phrases for your business – look for social media sites that could be a good fit
    • "Keyword phrase" blog
    • "Keyword phrase" forum
    • "keyword phrase" in video
    • "keyword phrase" in News

Feel free to ask any questions about planning in the comments below.

Are you Frustrated with Your Social Media Marketing?

 

Frustrated with Social Media“Frustration” – a word frequently used to describe companies new to social media and those who have been involved in social media but have yet to enjoy a return.

The problem is two-fold. First, establishing a social media presence takes time and continued effort. You have to be consistent in your involvement with the social media medium and remember that returns will not be overnight. Second, you have to make sure that you are using social media in a way that makes sense for your business.

If you are not sure, ask yourself these simple questions:

Are you using the right platform?

First, remember that there are a variety of social media platforms for you to consider – most notably Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Further, within these platforms, there exist variations on the theme. For example, in Facebook, you can have a “Page,” a “Group,” or a “Community.” Each variation has its own set of tools, purposes, and capabilities. In addition, you may decide to participate in several social media platforms at the same time.

For example, if you have a fitness center or weight loss product , you may want to use your YouTube channel to publish videos on how to perform certain exercises or tapings of classes you offer there while using Facebook to build a sense of community through candid photos, listings of hours, available classes, and upcoming events.

Have you scrapped past attempts?

However, you also need to remember that whatever you take on has to be maintained and updated regularly. This can take up valuable time and people resources. While it can certainly be worth it in the long run, remember that consistency is key. If you do not think you will be able to maintain various platforms (or you have already started and stopped using a platform) be sure to erase or delete those accounts. Otherwise, you stand the risk of eroding your brand value when a customer (current or potential) stumbles across your forgotten Bebo account. Instead, make sure that what you have is the best it can be and do away with anything that you are not actively using.

Are you providing the type of information and interaction that your audience wants?

Ask yourself what it is that your audience would want to read, not what you want to tell them. Providing discounts or having giveaways can be useful, but you have to have more substance than that. Consider posting facts about your company, the brand, or its products. Think of the tidbits of information you encounter everyday that make you stop and say, “Really?” Examples include fun facts about how long you have been in business, what happens “behind the scenes”, why your business operates as it does (e.g. why Yoga class was cancelled on Tuesdays, why you do not serve poppyseed bagels, why you buy local, why legal documents are presented in blue card stock), etc.

Are you listening to your audience?

Likewise, are you listening to your audience? When they make a post, do you respond? Do you stay on top of when your company is mentioned on other sites, blogs, social media, etc., and make relevant comments to that affect (on that site and yours)? Remember that social media has developed because of the continued interaction it affords. Its purpose is not to simply broadcast, but rather give people a voice in things they would otherwise not be privy to.

Do you allow them a voice?

Similarly, make sure that you give your audience a voice. Ask open-ended questions, run surveys and polls, include them in new product decisions, etc. – the more things like this you do, the more valued your audience will feel. Remember that interaction is a large part of a successful social media campaign. If miss out on this, you may already be out of the game.

Social Media can be a key part of growing your business and brand to attract local consumers.

Local Internet Marketing isn’t just about having a website, it includes being findable in multiple places when local consumers are looking for your product or service.   A Local Internet Marketing Consultant can help you determine the best route for your online marketing plan.

Facebook Rant #1 – Facebook Profiles aren’t for Businesses

Epic Fail

Facebook profiles are for people and pages are for businesses, organizations etc. Does that mean someone can’t say what they do on their profile. Of course not, but what it does mean is that you shouldn’t have several profiles for different businesses or different aspects of your business you need to have business pages set up.  I’ll address dos and don’ts of using your profile to build your online presence without being spammy or breaking Facebook’s Terms of Service in another post.

I see people making the profile mistake all of the time. It’s an amateur mistake and I can understand a person who’s learning Facebook and just trying to get something started making that it. BUT when I see people who are touting themselves as marketing or social media experts building profiles for people it frankly just pisses me off.  This is 101 stuff that no one who’s been doing business on Facebook should be doing.

Why is it a bad idea? Because it’s against Facebook’s Terms of Service. Right, I know, they let you build the profile with a business name. Yes, you managed to slip it through. Yes, you’ve built up a couple of hundred or maybe even a couple of thousand friends.  But that still doesn’t make it a good idea. It’s kind of like speeding or driving without insurance or cheating on your taxes. Yes you haven’t been caught, but sooner or later…you will.

Here’s the info from FB:

Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. You may only create Facebook Pages to represent real organizations of which you are an authorized representative.

In addition, Pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles. Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your profile. They are merely different entities on our site, similar to how Groups and Events function. Once you have set up a Page within your profile, you may add other admins to help you manage this Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won’t be able to see that you are the Page admin or have any access to your personal account.
http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904

If you don’t want to have a personal profile you can set up a business account. I don’t recommend them because you can’t add any applications to the page.

Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer Pages and their ad campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same functionality as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on the site. An individual with a business account can view all the Pages and Social Ads that they have created, however they will not be able to view the profiles of users on the site or other content on the site that does not live on the Pages they administer. In addition, business accounts cannot be found in search and cannot send or receive friend requests.

Here are the terms and the pieces that you are violating if you have a bus

http://www.facebook.com/terms.php#!/terms.php?ref=pf

Section 3
1. You will not send or otherwise post unauthorized commercial communications (such as spam) on Facebook.

Section 4
2. You will not create more than one personal profile.

All in all, you can do what you want, but I think it’s foolish to violate the terms of service because sooner or later Facebook will notice and they will delete the accounts that are violating their terms.

Doug

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