How Business Owners Can Automate Social Media Marketing

12_12_2016_Blog_Automate_Social_Media_Marketing_16x9.jpg

I’ve coached a lot of people in creating an online presence for their businesses. One thing I’ve noticed is how many of them feel completely overwhelmed by social media marketing.

I get it. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to social media and all its moving parts. From blogging to tweeting and everything in between, social media marketing is enough to make your head spin.

Unfortunately, there’s no way around it. Social media has become practically synonymous with making money. Not only would you be giving up on free or cheap advertising, you also miss out on the opportunity to really get to know your customers.

According to Social Media Examiner’s 2015 report, social media marketing brings all of the following benefits into your business:

  • 90% of marketers reported increased exposure for their businesses.
  • 77% of marketers indicated increased traffic to their business websites.
  • 69% of marketers said creating loyal fans was a major benefit of social media marketing.

Other benefits included marketing insights, lead generation, improved search rankings, and improved sales.

Time Commitment of Social Media Marketing

So we get that social media marketing is a big deal for our bottom line, but how much time is actually required to keep up with it?

The job title “Social Media Manager” doesn’t exist for nothing. Social media, although absolutely worth it, is extremely time consuming. And, quite frankly, the last thing a busy small business owner has is time.

Fortunately, there are ways business owners can automate social media marketing so they can spend more time actually making money. In this post, I’m going to share some of my favorite strategies and tools for helping you automate social media marketing.

Invest in a social media scheduler.

The easiest way to automate social media marketing is to invest in a social media scheduler like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Edgar.

These are services where you (or your social media person) can upload content and schedule out social media posts across different channels. In this case, the channels refer to Facebook, Facebook Pages, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Now, there are some things to consider when deciding which social media scheduler to invest in. For example, Hootsuite and Buffer require you to upload and schedule content periodically. While it’s not as time consuming as doing it all manually as you go along, it does take a nice chunk of time.

That’s why I personally prefer Edgar. This tool, although on the pricier side, saves you so much time when automating social media marketing that it’s worth every penny. I’ve literally tried to run my business without it to save a few bucks and I came running back to it within a month.

The reason Edgar is at the top of my list is because Edgar posts on your social media accounts on a loop. You have a master library and a master schedule. Edgar does the rest.

The only time spent on this was the initial set up. From there, my assistant goes in a couple of times a month to add content to the master library. It takes an hour a month tops.

Which tool you use will obviously depend on your budget. If you must, test all three and see which one you like best.

Invest in other social media tools to complement your scheduler.

The social media tools mentioned above are not great for Pinterest or Instagram, two social media sites that, depending on your business and your market, need to be in your marketing plan.

In my case, I have a brand centered around millennials and money, so Pinterest and Instagram are necessities. In fact, most of my social media traffic comes from these two social media sites. Here’s what I use for each of those.

  • Later for Instagram. This a free tool where I log in once a month and schedule out my Instagram posts for the next 30 days.
  • Boardbooster for Pinterest group boards. Pinning to group boards on Pinterest can serve as a major source of traffic for your website. You can automate it for as little as $5 a month by using a tool called Boardbooster.

Outsource the rest.

Look, as much as you can try to automate social media marketing, it has its limits. For example, none of the tools mentioned in this article can write your social media posts for you. They also don’t load themselves with content.

With that being said, if you don’t have the time to set up and manage these tools on your own, consider outsourcing it to someone else.  At this stage in the game, you can find someone to help you with any social media tool you can think of. There are even people who dedicate themselves solely to managing Pinterest accounts.

You can also find writers and marketers to help you with the actual posts. This will come especially in handy if you have an aversion to writing.

Final Thoughts

While social media can be extremely overwhelming, there are ways to automate your social media marketing so that you can still get your message out easily and without wasting too much time or money.