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Social Media Automation: Cool Tool Or Tempting Trap?

Posted on the 30 October 2014 by Marketingtango @marketingtango
  • October 30, 2014
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Social Media Automation: Cool Tool or Tempting Trap?

Given that up to 75% of all adult internet users routinely visit and use social media sites, it just makes sense that marketers use the popular medium to engage and connect with customers.

But, as with other highly promising initiatives, search engine and video marketing, for example, social media marketing comes with a catch: many businesses lack the time and resources to
tweet, post and troll for ‘mentions’ in a focused or meaningful way

Still, more resourceful small business marketers are pressing on, resolute in their goal of having a social media presence. To overcome the time and resource challenges, many have turned to social media automation.

Productivity a Plus

As the name suggests, social media automation does much of the heavy lifting for you, monitoring, posting, even compiling and tracking stats behind the scenes, while you’re off taking care of more important things. “Social media is an integral marketing tool for most businesses today,” says author and internet marketing expert, Dr. Rachna Jain. “But it doesn’t have to be a burden if you let the available technology do the work for you.”

Tools of the Trade

There are several tools, free and paid, that can help you manage and automate your social media strategy. Among the most popular is HootSuite. Hootsuite lets you integrate and control virtually any combination of platforms you use, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Google+ and others.

Many companies also use Zapier, which can automate tasks between more than 200 supported services. Zapier’s automated trigger events (called ‘Zaps’) notify your interconnected services when new events occur. For example, when you upload a YouTube video or post to Facebook, Zapier will send a tweet to let your followers know. If you’re on Twitter and simply want to automate your Tweets, Buffer is a handy (and helpfully hands-off) social media dashboard that simplifies the process.

Caveat: Keep Social Media Social

Because of the ease and convenience of automation, it’s tempting to put the whole shebang on auto-pilot. But remember, at its core, social media is all about connecting with people and building trusted relationships. So while it’s OK to automate some tasks, experts caution against doing so with others, including thank-yous, direct messages (DMs) and other contact expected to be ‘authentic.’ Giving these responses the personal touch they deserve shows you understand social media etiquette and keeps followers from feeling like they’re being spammed.

Social marketing is still on the rise, with experts predicting a continuing surge. So if you’re into social media, automation may have a place in your overall strategy. If you’re still fairly new to social media and need to bone up on basic planning and tactics, our library of tips and best practices is a great place to start.

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