How can automation help boost your social media challenges

Social media is an essential tool for your marketing efforts — it’s practically unheard of for any business to not have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram these days. And while social media is an effective means of communicating your message, building brand awareness, and facilitating advertising campaigns, it can also take an overwhelming amount of time to manage.

Today, many organizations are outsourcing software development services to help them build their websites and apps. But what about social media? Software development providers have created and continue to finetune and establish new platforms for automating your social media efforts. Automation helps you streamline posting, deliver content on a schedule, engage with users, review analytics, and more — all without expending a significant amount of time or effort.

Benefits of social media automation

There are plenty of benefits to automating your social media. They include:

Stronger engagement

Engagement from your consumer base and potential leads is crucial to your brand’s success, but, while too much engagement is a good problem to have, it’s a problem nonetheless. When the number of responses to a campaign, posts including your handle, and direct messages becomes overwhelming, automation may be the answer.

Software development providers have made it easier to engage with your audience, enabling you to automate responses to messages by sending immediate replies and more. Of course, some engagements may require followups or more personal attention, but you can set up your social media tool to flag different types of messages and posts that need review. Many platforms can also categorize different types of messages.

Efficiency

While you’ll still need to create content and monitor your channels automation can greatly reduce the amount of time you need to spend managing your social media accounts. Software development providers have created platforms that allow you to schedule posts ahead of time, making it easier for you to plan ahead and map out your social media calendar for the week.

Ability to review effectiveness

Reviewing your marketing analytics is crucial to your brand’s success. Automated social media platforms will show you metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), engagements, impressions, and more. Often, you can access multiple channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and their associated marketing analytics through a single automation tool.

Based on the results, you can fine-tune your efforts to drive stronger engagement. For example, you might notice that you receive higher engagement or more clicks at a certain time, which would encourage you to schedule posts to deploy at that time in the future. You also might see that certain types of posts perform better than others, such as quote graphics or pictures, and adjust your messaging accordingly.

Audience targeting and segmentation

Automated tools also allow you to track user behavior and better target their consumer base. If you’re outsourcing software development, you might ask for a platform that identifies features such as age groups, gender, interests, and other demographics. You’ll be able to see when and how often different groups are engaging with your content, enabling you to adjust your branding and messaging accordingly.

How to automate the right way

How do you automate effectively? Follow these steps.

• Recognize when automation is appropriate

Because it isn’t always. Sometimes, you need more personal responses and a human touch. If your organization is facing scrutiny after negative press, for instance, you need to be careful about sending out automatic responses to messages or continuing with your original social media calendar.

• Familiarize yourself with best practices for social media

Automation doesn’t remove the need for social media management and curation. It’s still important to understand trends and best practices, including how and when to automate most effectively. For example, you should be aware of what types of content perform well across different channels in your industry.

• Use analytics to your advantage

Software development providers equip social media tools with analytics tracking for a reason, and that reason is to help you improve your marketing efforts. Make sure to spend sufficient time reviewing your analytics to help you adjust your social media efforts in the future.

• Keep your eye on your social media

It’s easy to schedule posts and forget about them, but you need to remember to manage your social media accounts. Software development services and marketing teams can work together to create a strong social media presence, but you shouldn’t remove the human element completely.

In order to effectively monitor your campaigns and channels, you should devote a certain amount of time per day to check your platforms, ensure that posts have deployed as scheduled, review their efficacy, and respond to messages. You should also review messages that have received automated responses to determine whether the reply was sufficient or warrants follow-up.

By the same token, avoid scheduling posts too far in advance — no more than a week out. News or events could quickly make your post outdated or even inappropriate. If a tragedy occurs, for example, you don’t want an advertising message to deploy because you scheduled it a month ago and forgot about it.

Tools to facilitate automation

If you’re outsourcing software development, you might have your providers build you a custom platform for automating your social media. However, there are also plenty of existing tools that can help you manage your accounts, such as:

Buffer
Crowdfire
Hootsuite
Mention
SocialPilot
Zapier

Automation can streamline your social media efforts, save you time, help you increase engagement, and allow you to identify successes and weaknesses in your strategy. Since social media is an essential tool in your marketing arsenal, it can be hugely beneficial to your brand and online presence.

Image credit: Social media via 13_Phunkod/Shutterstock

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