Automation has become a huge buzzword in the marketing industry in the past few years. And why wouldn’t it? With people managing more responsibilities in the workplace than ever, it makes sense that marketers are trying to find ways to work smarter, not harder. Personally, I love automating social media content. With some simple planning, it’s easy to pinpoint which holidays you want to run content for or sales/products you want to consistently promote.
Automating content doesn’t mean you get to forget about your content completely. You still have work to do.
More and more social media marketers are using automation tools as an excuse to be lazy. Especially when it comes to social media content. Why spend time checking on trending content every day for unique posts, when you scheduled social media content that self publishes daily one month ago?
Social media marketers can also run into issues when they miss trending content, or share inappropriate content that had been previously scheduled when breaking news occurs. Most recently, brands ran into this issue in the United States when George Floyd was murdered in Minnesota and light was being shed on the Black Lives Matter movement. Many businesses (and influencers) were suddenly under fire for posting their regularly scheduled content instead of speaking on racism in America.
For business owners, automation has other dangers. I get it, running a business is A LOT of work. It’s time consuming and posting on social media seems like the least important thing on your to-do list for the day. In that sense, automation has its perks. The problem occurs when businesses use automated content as an excuse to stop checking their social media accounts. After all, you know content is being published…. and that’s the most important part of social media, right? WRONG.
Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram were created to foster connections with your friends and audiences, NOT to recycle the same content over and over again in the hopes that someone will buy your product of service. Engagement is key on social media, and if you’re using automated content on social media as an excuse to stop checking social media or talking to your audience, you are doing it wrong.
I’m a fan of automated content. But I only use it for my own brand accounts and pages, and I only schedule content a week in advance. For my clients, I schedule content DAILY to ensure that the content being shared is timely and relevant to our target audience. In addition to scheduling content, I am constantly monitoring notifications for messages from followers, new comments, etc, so that I can engage quickly and create a dialogue that will build the relationship between the business and the customer – something a simple post cannot do.
If you want to make sure you are spending your time effectively when it comes to managing your social media content and presence, I recommend doing these things:
- Schedule evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that doesn’t go out of date. Examples include testimonials, information about services, product highlights, etc. (Note: It is possible to overshare this content on social media, so use sparingly ie weekly or monthly)
- Schedule 15 minutes at the end of the day for engagement. Before you sign off for the day, take 15 minutes to go through your engagement notifications. Ideally, you would do this more than once throughout the day, but sometimes things get busy.
- Determine what trending holidays you want to post for in advance. Fun holidays like Take Your Dog to Work Day, or National Wine Day are often the same every year. Do your research in advance and include the trending holidays you want to share a post for in your annual content strategy so you know when it’s coming.
- Keep a library of content you can use in a pinch. In your downtime, find or create unique content like blog posts or graphics that can be shared when you’re running low on content. I use Google Drive to store my content, but many scheduling programs allow you to save content directly to their program as well.
The takeaway here is that automating doesn’t mean forgetting about it completely. Schedule evergreen content when you can, but don’t forget that the key to building relationships and trust with your followers and potential customers is to present timely, relevant content and engage with your audience. If you’re pressed for time and don’t have the capacity to prioritize keeping up with your social media channels, shoot me an email today and find out how I can help.