If you’ve jumped into social media for the purposes of internet marketing – kudos to you. This is a forward thinking action, which can drive tremendous results for your business (and help you leapfrog ahead of your competition.)
Perhaps you’ve already noticed that great social media marketing seems to take much more time than you anticipated? Or that switching from one site to the next to check your engagement gets old quickly? Or that you cannot think of what to tweet or post on any given day?
Social media automation tools to the rescue.
What is a “Social Media Automation tool”?
These are online sites that you create an account with, and they allow you to monitor exactly what’s happening online without endlessly jumping back and forth between Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Using one of these “tools” can help you build your online communities faster, and more quickly and easily feed that community with highly relevant content.
Recommended for YouWebcast: 4 Steps to Creating a Marketing Content Plan
- Wouldn’t you like to jump onto one site and see your tweet stream, your twitter interactions, your Facebook page, any Facebook comments or messages, or even comments on your blog from one single interface? How simple!
- Wouldn’t you like to load a couple of weeks’ or even a month’s worth of tweets into the program, and have them sent out automatically for you on a preset schedule? Ahh, sweet relief!
- Wouldn’t it be great to get a report on traffic for all your social media sites, written in a way so that you can actually grasp what’s going on?
This might solve one problem for you, but how does it help you if you can’t think of what to tweet or post to your Facebook business page?
We recommend sitting down with your marketing team and:
- brainstorming a month’s worth of tweets
- mapping out an informational campaign showing your expertise
- building up interest for a new product launch…
And then, when you have your ideas ready and written into 140 character blurbs, or FB posts (please remember to always add a photo or graphic to your FB posts) and automate it.
There are various tools offering different features, depending on your needs and the size of your business. Some are free, and most offer a “professional” version which is not free, but might offer you features you really want.
Social Media Automation Tools for Every Size and Budget
1. If you’ve got a small to midsized company and are just starting with social media marketing, Thumbonomics profiles these three tools:
- http://hootsuite.com/ (I use it!)
- http://www.socialoomph.com/ (similar, and also highly recommended)
- http://www.tweetdeck.com/ (If you’re launching a major twitter campaign, check this one out.)
2. For bigger companies, with bigger marketing departments and higher budgets.
Automation really makes all the difference in staying on top of social media, without it taking up all your time.