As a successful Digital Marketing Company in Manchester we often find ourselves strapped for time, much like many small business owners today. Multi-tasking is the way forward. With the ever increasing use of technology, we are now able to automate so many things – from weather updates to flight alerts. There is no doubt that automating certain tasks makes them much easier; it increases our efficiency and enables us to spend our time on more importance and enjoyable tasks. But are we in danger of taking this a step too far?

Using social media for business can take up a lot of time in our day. This is time that many small business owners just cannot sacrifice. Therefore, automating your social media is a great, cheap and easy solution to this problem, as automation works for so many other tasks in our daily lives. However, we would urge caution! Here at Reform Creative, we know that automating all of your social media can mean that you cannot engage in conversations with your audience – which we believe to be an essential component of a social media strategy. It is important to step in every now and again, to remind your audience that your business’ social media is controlled by real people, not a robot! For this reason, although its tempting, it can be a disadvantage to completely automate your business’ social media campaign. You have to be employed in the process every step of the way.

This might sound like a contradiction in terms, after all what is the point of automating a task if you still have to manually check it? Well, what it does do is free up more of your time. Instead of taking you hours and hours throughout the day, social media automation can massively condense the time you need to spend on it – leaving you plenty of time to do other things. We think that it is important to understand when it is appropriate to automate social media and when it is not.

At the end of the day, social media is social; it is about human interaction. There are many tasks on social media that can be automated, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should automate all of them. Much of your social media marketing will require you to engage with your target audience, as many studies have shown that people respond better to unique and individual responses, rather than blanket tweets. So, what can you automate to save time?

Content Curation
There are many tools out there that will allow you to curate and distribute your content using social media; for example, scheduling posts in advance is a great way to save time. It means that instead of spending precious time looking for content on a frequent basis, you can provide your audience with consistent content at a time that suits them. There are no hard and fast rules about what content you should share, after all every business is different. We tend to stick to a general rule of 4-4-2 – 4 pieces of content from other sources, 4 pieces of relevant content from ourselves, and 2 personal pieces of content that help to humanise our brand.

The content you share on your social media platform, or anywhere really, should be something that your audience will find to be of value. People will quickly unfollow brands that only talk about themselves. Sharing content is a great way to build relationships with other businesses as well, as they will surely take notice of what you are saying about them.

Personal Tweets
In the previous paragraphs we talked about sharing posts that are personal to your brand and are maybe a bit funny, to convey some of the personalities behind the brand. These sorts of tweets are perfect for automation, as they are usually not time sensitive.

Blog Posts
Every time you publish a new business blog post, add it to your social media automation tool of choice, to be shared across your social media platforms at the optimal time.

Once you have set up an automation schedule and are sticking to it, take some time each day to check each social media account and make sure you haven’t missed anything. We check in the morning, quickly in the afternoon and then in the evening before we sign off. The fact that you are now free of posting throughout the day, means that you should have more time to engage with your customers and start really good conversations.


For more information about Reform Creative, a Digital Marketing Agency in Manchester, please call us on 0161 236 0054 or email us at hello@reformcreative.co.uk


 

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