How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing (SMM) Strategy


How much time does your social media marketing (SMM) strategy consume in a typical week? There's no denying the fact that social media is an effective marketing channel. According to Sprout Social, over three-fourths of consumers are more likely to buy products or services from businesses after having a positive experience with them on social media.


However, promoting your business on social media can be time-consuming. You'll have to respond to users' messages, prepare content, publish posts and more. Rather than performing these tasks manually, you may want to automate your SMM strategy. Automation will streamline your SMM strategy while allowing you to take advantage of other marketing channels.


Set Up Automated Responses


You can set up automated responses for a more hands-off SMM strategy. When users visit your business's social media profiles, they may send your business a private message. Maybe a user wants to know your business's store hours, or perhaps a user simply wants to thank your business for delivering a high-quality product or service. With automated responses, you won't have to manually respond to these messages.


To set up automated responses on Facebook, go to your business's Facebook Page and click the "Inbox" tab under the main menu. The option for automated responses is under the "Comments & More" menu on the next screen.


Facebook supports a variety of automated responses. You can set up automated responses for contact information, location, and store hours inquiries. Best of all, these automated responses work on Facebook and Instagram. As long as your business's Instagram account is linked to its Facebook Page, automated responses will work on both social media networks.


Use a Social Listening Tool


Another tip to automate your SMM strategy is to use a social listening tool. Social listening tools are services that are designed to scan social media networks for specific keywords, such as your business's brand name. They'll curate mentions of the specified keywords into a list, revealing when and where the keywords appeared.


With a social listening tool, you can see what social media users are saying about your business with the click of a button. Just enter your business's brand name as the keyword, after which the tool will scan social media networks for mentions of it.


You can also use a social listening tool to come up with ideas for new content. Instead of entering your business's brand name as the keyword, enter a word or phrase that's related to your business's operations. Most social listening tools allow you to sort the results based on engagement. Therefore, you can see which posts featuring the relevant keyword have the highest engagement.


Some of the top social listening tools include Brandwatch, BuzzSumo, Mention, TweetDeck, TweetReach and Keyhole. Keep in mind that some social listening tools target different networks than others. If you're going to use a social listening tool, make sure it scans the social media networks on which you promote your business.


Schedule Posts in Advance


No SMM strategy is complete without content. If your business's social media profiles have little or no content, they won't attract many followers, nor generate much engagement. Content is what drives social media engagement.


Social media networks support content in the form of posts. You can log in to your business's social media profiles to publish posts. Alternatively, you can automate this SMM task by scheduling posts. When you schedule a post, it won't be published instantly. Rather, it will be published at a later time -- the time for which you schedule it.


According to the digital marketing provider HubSpot, businesses should publish one to two posts per day for maximum engagement. Publishing fewer posts may result in users thinking that you've abandoned your business's social media profiles. Publishing more posts, on the other hand, may overload users with so much content that they stop following your business's social media profiles. By scheduling posts, you can stagger them so that they are published automatically at appropriate intervals.


You can schedule Twitter posts by clicking the calendar icon at the bottom of the tweet box. To schedule Facebook posts, you'll need to use the Creator Studio. In the past, Facebook offered a post scheduling feature directly on Facebook Pages. It has since moved this feature to Creator Studio. You can still schedule Facebook posts for your business's Facebook Page, but you'll have to use Creator Studio.


Use a Social Media Management Platform


There are social media management platforms available that can help you automate your SMM strategy. Social media management platforms are multipurpose web-based tools that are used to manage social media profiles. They are typically sold as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), meaning you'll have to pay a monthly or annual membership fee to use them.


You can use a social media management platform to automate a variety of SMM tasks. Most of them support post scheduling. Rather than scheduling posts directly on Twitter or Facebook's Creator Studio, you can schedule them from a social media management platform. You'll have to connect your social media profiles to the social media management platform. Once connected, you can create posts and schedule them from the platform.


Social media management platforms offer more than just post scheduling; most of them offer analytics as well. When logged in to your social media management platform, you can analyze the performance of your previously published posts. From there, you’ll be able to see which posts generated the most views, shares and likes. Many social media management platforms also have a built-in listening tool.


Some of the top social media management platforms include HootSuite, Buffer, MeetEdgar, Zoho Social and Sprout Social. Of those platforms, HootSuite is probably the most popular. You can sign up for a free HootSuite account, or you can sign up for a paid HootSuite account starting at $49 per month.


There are still some SMM tasks that you'll have to perform manually. You can't automate the creation of ads, for example, nor can you automate profile updates. Nevertheless, plenty of SMM tasks can be automated.


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