Social media automation is truly awesome. However, it is more like a modern car – a liberating tool of personal freedom, but dangerous in the wrong hands.
Use social media automation wisely, and you can build your legion of followers while still adding genuine value to the social media platforms.
Or, you can abuse it, attract click-happy time wasters, and spoil it for everybody else.
To get the maximum benefit from any social media site, it is indeed important that you know what to share and when.
Being in the internet industry, we cannot follow any single slot as our audience is spread across different time zones.
So it makes sense to automate our posts during different times of the day to reach a wider audience.
In this article, you will find out how to schedule and manage your posts for free. There are also a number of short tips to help you avoid profile-damaging mistakes.
- 1 Does Your Website Builder Offer Social Media Automation?
- 2 Have You Tried Hootsuite Or Buffer?
- 3 What About Sprout Social and TweetDeck?
- 4 How To Schedule Your Social Media Posts
- 5 When Should You Schedule Your Posts?
- 6 Should You Pay People To Write Your Social Media Posts?
- 7 Social Media Automation: What’s Your Take?
Does Your Website Builder Offer Social Media Automation?
Many content management systems are very social media savvy to the point where some offer social media automation for free.
The most obvious example is Google’s Blogger. If you set up a scheduled blog post with Blogger, it gives you to option of automatically posting to Google+ when your blog post is published.
Add a comment to your Google+ shares for a better response.
Try providing the answer that your blog post explains.
For example, if your blog post says, “How Often Should You Write a Blog Post?”
Your comment could say, “Try answering these 4 questions first” The blog post title and the comment will compel people to click more than a spammy comment.
Have You Tried Hootsuite Or Buffer?
Hootsuite is a social media marketing tool, widely used by many bloggers and internet marketers.
Though they have a free version, however, the free functions are limited. You need to pay around $20 per month before the best automation tools are unlocked.
Buffer is a solid social media post-scheduling tool that allows you to create high quality posts in your own time.
You can spend a week coming up with great social media posts and then schedule them for the next few weeks so that you don’t have to bother writing new social media posts over the coming weeks.
Buffer is the one to beat when it comes to social media post scheduling, but it is just as limited as Hootsuite. It also has a free subscription, but you need to pay at least $10 per month if you want to make a real impact with your social media posts.
Try them both for free and try scheduling posts up to two weeks in advance.
Before you make the mistake of relying on them, ask yourself what value you are adding when you make your posts.
Before you accidentally turn yourself into a scheduling spammer, ask yourself this question after you produce each post, “Would I have paid a freelancer $12 for this post?” If not, then maybe consider a rewrite rather than scheduling it to be posted.
What About Sprout Social and TweetDeck?
Social Sprout is not free; they only give you 30 days of free service. After 30 days, you have to start paying for their services.
However, if you are interested in social media analytics and brand tracking, then Social Sprout is one of the strongest tools you have at your disposal.
TweetDeck is a free social media automation tool, but it mostly focuses on Twitter.
It has a number of handy tools that allow you to compose a post your tweets, it has a clean interface, and submitting your posts for scheduling is very easy.
It is certainly worth a try if you are a big Twitter user.
Spamming poor quality content on Twitter is very easy and few people will stand for it.
If you become complacent and lazy when creating your Twitter posts, then you will lose followers quickly.
How To Schedule Your Social Media Posts
Create your post, add it into your scheduling tool, pick a social media platform, pick a date, pick a time, and click to schedule your post.
Using a tool such as Buffer will allow you to schedule ten posts in advance (that is all you get with the free subscription).
Don’t worry about your posts being out of date by creating evergreen posts.
An evergreen post is something that is just as relevant today as it is in ten years.
For example, “How to boil an egg” is going to be relevant in ten years, but “How to fix the iPhone 6S screen jitter,” is not going to be relevant in ten years.
What’s more, it doesn’t have to be legitimately evergreen.
You just have to make sure it won’t expire within the period between now and when it is posted.
For example, a post about what Roger Federer now does with his spare time will probably be worthless in ten years, but people may still be willing to read it in two weeks, two months, and maybe even in two years.
Some topics take a very long time to go out of date. For example, the news company called the Independent ran a popular story in 2017 about the old TV show Friends.
The character Rachel was replaced by a stand in, and nobody noticed for almost 10 years.
Nobody would call this subject evergreen, but it still has some newsworthy value even after ten years. With this in mind, don’t lose sleep about how current your social media posts are.
When Should You Schedule Your Posts?
Now that you know you are able to publish your social media posts at any time of the day or night, you need to ask yourself when the best time to post truly is.
According to a study by CoSchedule, posting at 3:00PM will get you the most clicks on Facebook.
But, it is highly likely that the success or failure of your social media posts is due to its content rather than what time of day or what day of the week it is posted.
However, if you are not convinced, then set up posts at random times of the day and monitor which of your posts do the best.
See if there are any trends relating to what time/day you post and how popular your posts are.
There is no “ideal” time that works for every social media poster, so run your own tests to see which times of the day and which days of the week work the best for your social media posts.
Time and experience are going to tell you more than your analytics will.
Don’t worry too much about finding the best time of day and the best day of the week.
Time and experience will slowly teach you which the best day and time for your particular posts is.
In addition, there are too many people who become obsessed with things such as posting times to the point where they suffer from paralysis by analysis and end up damaging their social media campaigns as a result.
Should You Pay People To Write Your Social Media Posts?
If you have a serious case of writer’s block or you have nothing interesting to say, then consider hiring another person to create a few social media posts for you.
If you are publishing social media posts and your audience is as reactive and positive as a neutral ion in a vacuum, then you can consider looking over some writing services within your niche area to see if they have writers who can help you.
Some businesses hire people on a permanent basis to write their social media posts, and that is okay.
However, it may not suit you if you wish to maintain control over the direction of your posts.
Remember that like tends to attract like. It may be better if you only hire post writers on needs basis so that you may control the tone and attitude of your social media campaign.
Comment bait, spam, and controversy are going to get you a lot of likes and shares, but they only attract a less-than-desirable crowd.
They attract people with too much time on their hands, and people who are looking for reasons to be offended.
Are these really the sorts of people you want following your social media profiles?
You must know what type of content gets more social engagement.
Just remember that if you post content that adds value, then you will attract genuine and engaged users who are more likely to react sensibly to your user profile.
They are also more likely to stick around longer and continue to follow your social media profiles.
Social Media Automation: What’s Your Take?
As you can see in this article, there are a number of free ways that you may schedule and automate your social media posts.
Scheduling posts is very easy, and the process is intuitive if you are a web master who frequently uses a content management system to update your website or blog.
The key is to not use social media automation as a reason to pay your social media campaigns less attention or less effort, rather managing your social postings more effectively.
So how do you manage your social campaigns? Please feel free to share your thoughts and inputs.
Author Bio: This article is contributed by Robert Morris. He is a digital marketing manager from New York. Now he works freelance and writes articles on digital promotion, social media marketing and SEO. You can follow Robert on Google+.