As social media feeds fill with thousands of updates every hour, users have put a premium on original content that is timely and relevant to their interests. Brands looking to engage with consumers on social face getting lost in the noise, or even worse, eliminated altogether by ever-changing user preferences and platform features.
All of this can make automation (the idea of “set it and forget it”) feel like a dirty word, but the truth is, it can be a godsend for marketers.
If done wisely, there’s no reason your company shouldn’t benefit from a little planning and scheduling on social media — especially when it saves time and money, and allows you to spend more time on the things that really matter for your business.
Below are four strategic ways to start automating your social media content (and freeing up your busy schedule).
1. When to automate
Social media should be fun and engaging, not a tiresome chore. When managing social media accounts, we’ve all experienced the struggle of scouring the web for relevant articles to repost and share, while precious seconds on the clock tick away. If you feel that keeping up with all your social channels is a major time suck, chances are you could use some automation in your life.
What’s more, you may already have the resources readily available to make automation feasible. If you’ve amassed a sizable well of evergreen assets — things like tip lists and blog posts — there’s a huge opportunity to automate.
On social, as with other content platforms, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you have materials that are timelessly valuable to your followers, you’re doing them a favor by resurfacing them on a consistent basis and saving yourself time in the long run.
2. What to automate
Social media automation, in plain terms, means prescheduling posts. This includes both older, evergreen content and fresh, new copy. It’s okay to post the same information across multiple networks, too — in fact, this creates a certain cohesiveness to your online voice and tone.
The trick to planning these posts tastefully is to keep your followers in mind, always. Even though scheduling ahead of time can feel contrary to the organic and often spontaneous nature of social media, it’s still possible to deliver useful content if you keep your followers’ wants and needs top of mind.
Taking a look at the calendar and prescheduling posts around known holidays and events is an easy way to automate social activity. However, take care to note unplanned world news events to ensure your content doesn’t come across as tone-deaf.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.