3 Powerful Steps To Kick Start Social Media Automation

We are living in the Internet age and by now, the advantages of social media are just too obvious when it comes to the blogging community. And with so many social media platforms nowadays, we are always short of time and I am sure you can’t deny that either.

I don’t know about you, but creating the right social media automation is not always a piece of cake. Let’s face it guys … you are here because you want to know:

  1. What is social media automation really is
  2. How to make your social media campaigns easier
  3. How to save more time but produce better social media results

The most important part for me isn’t any of these 3 above. Instead, my biggest concern is to ensure that social media automation is returning the biggest return of investment (ROI).

What does social media automation means to bloggers?

For me, social media automation is all about using technology with lots of planning.

The main goal is to create quality social shares and most importantly, sharing them at the right time!

Social media automation is never about quantity but what matters most is the audience and quality. However, don’t ever put aside the fact, ‘The larger your reach is, the better chance your articles will be receive better responses’.

Basically, you need a healthy dose of quality content to be shared, a large number of reach and of course, timing.

Sounds confusing right? I will explain them in a moment.

Social media automation helps you in time management

Do you find yourself always short of time thanks to the countless social media platforms?

I certainly do and it is rather annoying when you are trying all your best to ‘go out’ and the only thing that holds you back is time.

Here is where social media automation comes into play. To ensure that it works, you definitely need to have a proper social media plan and the right marketing automation softwares to work for you.

The goal is to ensure that you are maximizing your ROI with the minimum time spend on each social media. In other words, making your 24 hours works like a 36 hours or so.

Still don’t get it? Don’t worry as what you need now is to watch this video:

[Video] What is Social Media Automation really means to me?

Step 1: Basics before creating an out-of-this-world social media plan

The goal is NOT to create just any type of sharing but to create highly optimized, specific and high value social media shares.

To start up, you need to use the right social media analytics tools to help you with no other than … social media research.

I am pretty sure you are wondering what should you be finding when it comes to social media research right?

Here are a few information you should know (hint: social media research) when it comes to social media:

  1. Targeted audience
  2. Time of share
  3. Constructing killer social shares

Targeted audience

This is where you understand the type of audience you have and what they are looking for. It is absolutely pointless to share information with a group who are not even closely related or interested with the said topic.

You need to analysis:

  • What are the information the visitors are looking for?
  • Who are you targeting (readers who are looking for information, recommendation or reviews for example)

This is one of those three parts which is very tedious and time consuming.

However, if you are able to work out a social media plan according to the analytic you had gathered, chances are extremely high where you will be able to perform not one but numerous and successful social media automation.

Sharing information at the right time

Planning your tweets or Facebook shares are very important too. The above technique would be able to provide you information on who to share and this in particular, will give you a hint on when to share.

At this point, I know the who, what, where and which are really making you nuts but hang in there with me! We are already halfway there.

When you are thinking of doing ‘social media’, it is always important to know when your readers are active.

Yup. What’s the point of sharing a shout if majority of your readers are asleep right?

That’s the whole point!

You want to make sure that every social media campaigns that you do are giving you the best results. Period.

Killer titles help to increase the click chances

You may have:

And … you ain’t getting any clicks. Not even one damn click.

Okay, what the hell is wrong?!

Personally, I’ve been there and I experienced it daily to be very honest. I had a few thousands followers on various social media platforms and I am always wondering; “why 95% of my tweets aren’t getting any clicks at all?”

Yup, no resharing, no favorites, no comments … nothing!

I read through some of the tweets (like a few hundreds of them) and I was like , “Hey, these aren’t good social shares at all” and the biggest issue was the title itself.

Check this title out:

Guys! I wrote a damn good article on Google Hummingbird and you should definitely check it out! (link) #SEO

What do you see from the above? Go on … I will wait.

The problem was … I wasn’t engaging enough at all. I was just merely telling others that I wrote a great blog post (which no one is able to clarify) on a specific topic.

For the readers, they wouldn’t know what to expect or … the shout wasn’t specific enough.

Here are two simple examples for better call-to-action social media shouts:

The importance of having the right call to action sentences

In short, my shouts and shares are not social media optimized.

I could easily get more clicks simply if I have added sentences such as “How to beat Google Hummingbird …”, “How did I hack Google Hummingbird …” and many more.

Of course, don’t use these as they are purely examples and you can’t beat or hack Google Hummingbird either :)

The above images are great examples. Simple call-to-actions or CTA would make readers think and wonder … which eventually some of them will click and read.

Recommended read: 500 Social Media Marketing Tips by Andrew Macarthy

Step 2: Which social media analytics tools to use?

Using the right social media analytics tools will actually help you to build a better marketing plan and believe it or not, they play more than just huge roles when it comes to social media automation.

There are probably a dozen more social media analytics tools you can use but here are a couple of them which are in my favorite list.

Followerwonk

Honestly speaking, I don’t really know how many of you are actually using Followerwonk and for me, I used to think that this is rather a ‘less useful’ analytic tool. And yes, I was wrong.

Followerwonk offers free membership (plus premium plans as well) and is highly focused on Twitter only. Well, since I am heavy user on Twitter, I think this rather self-explanatory right?

Features on free Followerwonk account:

  • Search Twitter bios
  • Compare Twitter users
  • Analyze followers/follows
  • Overlay your social graph

I am sure the above features are already very clear cut and I do not need to go any further with those. However, what really makes me to use Followerwonk is the third feature above; Analyze followers/followers.

Followerwonk offers great reports that help in social media planning

Followerwonk provide detailed information on the best time to share information on social media

By allowing Followerwonk to analyze my Twitter account, I could easily determine the best time most of my followers are active on Twitter. This means that, sharing any information during that period would have the biggest impact and reach.

Remember that when it comes to social media, it is never about the quantity but the quality.

And if you think that it is all, you are absolutely wrong!

You can also use Followerwonk to ‘export’ those hot time periods to your Buffer schedule. Now, that’s what I really call as social media automation!

Google Analytics

If you are thinking of social media strategy, Google Analytics is definitely one of those analytics tools you need to use. Furthermore, it is runned by Google and thus, it should be trusted right?

So, how do you actually uses Google Analytics for your social media analysis?

You don’t use Google Analytics to learn about your followers (even though you could) …  but instead, you should use it to focus on your social media campaigns.

For example, Google Analytics would be able to tell you which social media platform is the best and biggest contributor for your social media campaigns and blog traffic.

With this information, you would be able to perform the right social media optimization by focusing more energy and time on the right social media platforms that gives you the best results.

Personally, I would call this the “lesser work, more impact” social media strategy.

Does this make sense to you?

Step 3: The best social media automation tools

When it comes to social media automation, it is important that you uses the right tools for the job. In today’s world, there are probably a dozen or more social media marketing automation softwares out there but for me, I only stick to these three which are definitely proven to be working for my social media.

Buffer

Buffer is one of the best social media automation tools
BufferApp or Buffer is one of those tools that puts your social media marketing into 5th gear. For starters, Buffer has a free and paid version which is called Awesome plan.

Personally, Buffer is one of the best social media tools I ever used and their customer service team are top notch.

Buffer allows you to have a free account to manage one Twitter, Facebook (page or profile), and LinkedIn account with up to 10 updates in your buffer, aka scheduler.

If you are a heavy scheduler like me, you can easily signup for Buffer Awesome plan at $10 per month to manage 12 social profiles, have unlimited posts in your buffer, and even add two team members to help manage it all.

Buffer is really easy to use and what you need to do are:

  1. Connect your social media accounts to Buffer
  2. Select Schedule tab and assign dates and times of the share
  3. Input the post or social share and hit the Buffer button

For your info, scheduled social shares will only take place once in an account. This means that if you would want to reschedule the same post more than once, you need to redo it again.

This is great as it ensures that each of your social shares does not sound ‘robotic’.

Sound complicated? Of course not. Sign up for a free account on Buffer now!

Related article: How do you schedule social media updates using Buffer?

HootSuite

HootSuite is a very popular social media automation tool for bloggers

Personally, I had used HootSuite for over a year now and am totally loving it since it worked well with scheduling and socializing. This means that you are able to schedule social media shouts using HootSuite and even use it on a daily basis.

HootSuite is all about having a balance of work and play. Imagine ‘working’ and ‘playing’ all under one roof!

Alike Buffer, HootSuite has both free and premium plans depending on your requirements. Using a free account, you are able to connect to 5 social media profiles and 2 RSS subscriptions (plus basic analytics reports).

If you would require additional features, you can subscribe to its Pro plan at $8.99 per month which offers 50 social media profiles, team members (up to 9) and most importantly, advanced analytics reports.

Scheduling a post on HootSuite is great and these are the steps needed to get the scheduling up in place:

  1. Connect your social media accounts to HootSuite
  2. Input your post and select the social media accounts to share with
  3. Click on the Scheduling icon and select the time to share it
  4. If you are planning to share more than one post, you can easily enable Auto Schedule feature on HootSuite

Through my experience, HootSuite is a good social media automation tool and it works extremely well with some of the best social media platforms such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t just sign up for a free account. Take full advantage of the free 30-days trials of HootSuite Pro and revert back to normal if you don’t like it.

Socialoomph

Socialoomph is one of the best marketing automation software
If you are looking for a ‘set once and forget’ feature, this is one social automation tool you must definitely consider. What makes Socialoomph so popular is the scheduling process.

Basically, Socialoomph brings social media automation to the next level.

For example, both Buffer and HootSuite only offers one posting per schedule. On the other hand, Socialoomph offers you the ability to control the number of social shares per scheduled post.

Still puzzled? Allow me to explain further.

Imagine setting Post A to go live every Tuesday at 10pm. Socialoomph will be sharing the same post every week at the same time … FOREVER!

Yup, I bet now you get the total meaning of the ‘set once and forget’ feature. Well, this could easily be spamming right? This is where Socialoomph had integrated article spinner in it!

Article Spinner is a tool used to spin the same article or sentences into several different versions. To read more, here’s an example of The Best Spinner which I am currently using. Basically, it spins a string of sentences into a newly formed sentences that totally make sense upon reading.

What makes Socialoomph different from the rest is the feature where it has the unlimited shares and scheduling feature. Socialoomph is a paid service which could cost you around $25 per month for unlimited social media accounts.

It is in fact one of the most expensive social media tool but I totally love the service they are providing. Personally, if you are running a small blog and doesn’t want to pay any extra for it, you can try out Socialoomph for 14 days just by clicking here.

Your account will revert back to the free account upon the end of trial and therefore, you have nothing to lose. For your information, free account do not have the auto scheduling feature.

Over to you …

Are you putting your social media campaigns into automation? If yes, what are your tricks and tips for it? Otherwise, what do you think of this topic?

I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I do. Feel free to tell me what you think using the comment form below plus, please hit the red button below to share it too!

Reginald Chan

Reginald Chan

Professional Business Consultant at Traffic Diet
Reginald started blogging in 2005 and it soon went from just a hobby to a serious occupation. He specializes in content writing, marketing, social media and SEO. He also tweaks WordPress during his free time. Get more from him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Reginald is also offering paid services and if you need any help, feel free to contact him and check out the services he is offering or check out his SEO agency.
Reginald Chan

@Reginald_Chan

Business consultant, Search Engine Marketing and social media strategist. I help bloggers & businesses make money #seo #sem #socialmedia #blogging #marketing
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  1. says

    Just another informative post of yours, Reginald
    Social media automation is really help us to save our time and manage time in the most effectively way. The most interesting is Sharing information at the right time, that need experiences and you have to sensitive on this field to know what your audiences need, that make you different from the others.
    Thanks for your sharing, looking forward to your new information.

    Stephan
    Stephan recently posted…Arcu: Responsive OpenCart template for your online storeMy Profile

  2. says

    Hey Reginald,

    This is an awesome post, I can tell you put a lot of work into it. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    Actually I don’t automate much right now, I like to be a bit in control when it happens, but I should probably schedule more tweets via Buffer for example. Glad you’re enjoying Buffer so much, I will give it a shot as well.

    I have some experience with Hootsuite as well, and I really enjoy it, will give it another chance soon when I have some time to get into it.

    I’ve been so busy with a 30 day blog challenge I’m currently doing where I will try to write a new post for 30 consecutive days. Quite a challenge, but so far I’ve written about 15,000 words in the last 5 day and also doing some interviews for my up and coming webshow “The Lifestyle Architects” that will launch later this year in iTunes and on my site :)

    Keep up the good work!

    - Navid
    Navid Moazzez recently posted…7 Steps to Location Independence (My Journey to Freedom)My Profile

    • says

      Hi Navid,

      How are you my friend? Appreciate the kind words.

      For me, it seems to be pretty opposite honestly. I used NOT to automate and I thought of having more manual sharing. It was fine until my day job and personal life are getting more hectic by the day. Then I realized that I need social media automation. Of course, thanks to a few close blogging buddies who recommend me these tools.

      Buffer is a cool tool and am using it currently. HootSuite is more on socializing and I quitted Socialoomph last month due to the monthly price tag. However, it is really good to have the ‘schedule once and forget’ part.

      The next write up will be on how to use Buffer :)

      I read about it and I think you are doing a great job! Too bad I have a day job. Haha! Talk to you soon my friend and have a blessed week.
      Reginald recently posted…3 Easy Ways To Add Twitter Cards To WordPress BlogsMy Profile

  3. says

    I will give anything a try that will save me time and keep me online even while I sleep :).

    I have a HootSuite account but trying Buffer. I like them both but what I like most about HootSuite is the access to RSS Feeds.

    I was using the Pro version but downgraded to cut back on expenses. Now that I have two blogs, I’m going right back to pro. I really do like Buffer because it’s so easy to share right from the page, but HootSuite Pro is cheaper plus I get the RSS feature.

    Great post Reginald and your video breaks it down for us easy too! Have a great new week my friend!

    • says

      Hi Corina,

      How are you? Hope you are in good health :D

      HootSuite is okay and I did try out it’s Pro trial version. Not bad at all since 50 accounts is massive. I don’t really use RSS feed and even if I use it, I have it sync-ed to my mobile. Buffer on the other hand is great and I love the outlook!

      The only downside about Buffer is that it is not a socializing tool. Haha!

      Thanks for the kind words and glad you enjoyed the short video. Have a great week ahead too!
      Reginald recently posted…What Is NoFollow Rule And How It Affects SEO?My Profile

  4. says

    Reginald, this is one hell of a post. So much information and all well explained with detailed examples. I am also looking into quite a few of these topics and I know how complex it can all be and how much work you must have put into this – so I gave you a little social media love my friend. You deserve it for this great piece.
    have a great week
    ashley
    Ashley Faulkes recently posted…How to Create Perfect Posts on Social Media – An Amazing InfographicMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Ashley,

      Thank you for your kind words. And yes! Thank you for all the support mate.

      I have long time been a huge fan of automation but didn’t really want to spend the money. However, it seems like I can do wonders with just $10 a month. So yes, that’s one hell of an investment indeed.

      I always consider myself in those testing phrases and it is always fun to try new tool. However, Buffer is something I will be using for a long … long time.

      Have a great week mate and take care. Talk to you soon.
      Reginald recently posted…Did Google Panda Update On Small Sites (Hummingbird) Really Happened?My Profile

  5. says

    Hi Reginald,

    Informative post yet again :)

    Oh yes…social media IS important, and what’s most important is that you know when your followers are online or when you should be sharing your posts on the various platforms. I have a tough time sometimes with this because of the International audience I have, which must be the case with most bloggers I think, so for me, it’s got to be sharing going on literally all day long!

    Yes, I do use Buffer and Hootsuite as well, though presently the free versions are enough, and I think Triberr is a huge help along with JustRetweet that adds up more, though mainly where Tweets are concerned. For other platforms, I prefer going ahead on a more personal level, and still have to explore how one does it all through Hootsuite, as I just switched over to it from MarketMeSuite, a few months back.

    I agree with you about weaving your Tweet in a way that more people will want to click it, and that’s where and how the interactions start. I think the more your reach, the better are your chances of getting the posts clicked or shared by others. Adding relevant and related tags also helps at times as you tap those people also who might be looking for that particular tag, isn’t it?

    I enjoyed your video – keep them coming :)

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)
    Harleena Singh recently posted…How Social Media Can Rock CausesMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Harleena,

      Oh yes, tag is important. Personally, I don’t see much use of it on Twitter but it has better impact on Facebook and Google+ through my experience.

      Just Retweet is something I hardly use nowadays. Not sure why but maybe, I am just plain lazy. Buffer is my top tool right now and followed by Triberr. But talking about Just Retweet, it really has great impact especially when it comes to spreading the word out to the masses.

      Thanks for sharing your input and have a blessed week my dear friend.
      Reginald recently posted…6 Reasons Why AWeber Is The Best Email Marketing ServiceMy Profile

  6. says

    Great, detailed post Reginald. Automation is indeed necessary with social media. Otherwise our promotional strategies might get a bit overwhelming for sure since we have so many avenues – Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. etc. Even if we choose 2 or 3 places to hang out with that is still overwhelming to handle.

    Hootsuite is really a handy solution that works great for me! Plus I love their analytics. Thanks for sharing this!
    Jane recently posted…7 Types Of Websites WordPress Is Most Suited ForMy Profile

  7. says

    Hey Reginald,

    I so agree with you here my friend that we definitely need to automate some things on social media because we can’t be everywhere all the time. But as you also stated that we need to be active and where we use to be able to just share content and that was enough, it’s no longer the case anymore.

    I use Buffer and have used different services to find out when my followers are online. I am really horrible about my tweets and when I’m sharing others and loading those up I don’t always come up with the best verbiage. Just like with headlines, it’s still not my strong suit and I know I really really need to work on that more. I’d probably get even more interaction if I did.

    Back in May I did sign up with Buffer’s paid account because I was doing some traveling and wanted to load my tweets up for several days in a row and I didn’t have enough free in my stream. I did have quite a few though but didn’t want to worry if I wasn’t able to get online. I do love their service I must admit.

    Automating social media really is important and I know that what you’ve shared here is important as well. Always appreciate great subjects like this Reginald, thanks!

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…5 Bloggers That I AdmireMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Adrienne,

      Absolutely agree with that. I used to ‘wake up early’ or ‘sleep later’ just to send out tweets. Imagine that craziness. Thanks to some of my blogging buddies where I decided to try on Socialoomph and it was like a blessing from God LOL.

      Weird because even though I had used HootSuite about a year, I never even though of using it for scheduling. Crazy? Haha. Then I balanced myself using HootSuite + Socialoomph for a couple of months before I turn to BUffer for a cheaper solution.

      Now, everything seems good and let’s see how it goes on from there on right :D

      Of course, thank you for dropping by and have a blessed Tuesday.
      Reginald recently posted…Maximizing Google Keyword Planner as a Keyword Finder ToolMy Profile

  8. says

    Hi Reginald,

    Wow, that’s a complete tutorial you have here. One question I wanted to ask you is HOW do you know why your twitter followers follow you? I don’t really know :)

    I use some automation, but not to the extent that I should. I have to get better at this.

    Thanks for this great post :)
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…Thankful Monday!My Profile

    • says

      Hi Sylviane,

      Good question. I have a few routines which are following the people of the same niche on Twitter (according to hashtags), the tweets they shares and of course, their blogs. Honestly speaking, I couldn’t be sure if they are really into the niche but simply by checking these tedious stuffs can actually lead you quite a few good hits. I actually used Socialoomph for friend friender with the same tags and interests. I heard Tweet Adder is good too but hey, they are all premium tools.

      If not, you can just search manually and the best way is through Triberr (right now as we speak) :D

      Thanks for dropping by and have a great week ahead!
      Reginald recently posted…Maximizing Google Keyword Planner as a Keyword Finder ToolMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Irish,

      Thank you for commenting! Socialoomph is good and some of my buddies who had old accounts with them get those free DM facility. However, tested with new accounts and seems like they disabled it.

      Anyway, Socialoomph is very cool especially when you can schedule everything just once :D Of course, there’s a fee you got to pay for that. Haha!

      Take care and see you around!
      Reginald recently posted…Optinskin vs Hybrid Connect – Best Mailing List PluginMy Profile

  9. says

    Reginald Chan, love your article on social media tools, there is one other tool I think is so splendid though its mostly for analytics.

    It’s called the twitonomy tool- it allows you to analyze your competitors tweets. This gives you an out look on the tweets that do well and also gives you an idea on how to craft clickable tweets.

    I also use buffer, it’s so simple a tool, its simplicity is what made me fall in love with it.

    Reginald, on the side, which sign up form are you using? Will be happy if you could share it with me.

  10. says

    Hey Reginald,

    These sound like some great automation tools. I was using socialoomph about 2 yrs ago, but I had switched over to TweetAdder for the fact that you can use it to target specific people.

    Everything keeps talking about Hootsuite and quite frankly, this post will get me to look further into it. Right now I’m always looking for something that does automation since I don’t have a lot of time.

    Buffer sounds very interesting. I especially will use it for facebook.Will it also analyze the traffic from different facebook groups as well?
    sherman smith recently posted…Is Monetizing Your Blog Really That Bad?My Profile

    • says

      Hi Sherman,

      I heard about TweetAdder but short of using it. I think you got to have the computer turned on for using it?

      Now you said about automation. HootSuite and Buffer are great especially with one off automation while Socialoomph is more towards ‘schedule once and forget’ thingy. Of course, Socialoomph is twice the price but I believe it is the service you are using.

      Personally, I rather use Buffer because it is cheaper for my pocket. And for your question, yes. Buffer does give you a report like the number of likes and comments on Facebook groups. The only thing Buffer can’t do is to post updates to your Google+ profile.

      Hope this helps and drop me a line if you need any other help.
      Reginald recently posted…3 Easy Ways To Add Twitter Cards To WordPress BlogsMy Profile

  11. says

    Hi Reginald,
    I must say we can never look down on the power of social media in driving traffic to our blogs, Social media sharing is sure a good way to even get new visitors to your blog, A friend ones told me that he normally ask his female friends who have a large number of followers retweet his tweets and also share his posts on facebook and he is always surprised at the number of visitors he gets through those means.
    I use buffer and hootsuite and easyretweet and justretweet go well as well. It is also very necessary to use relevant #tags during tweets, it sure helps.

    Thanks for sharing
    Olili Bob recently posted…How To make Your Blogging More ProductiveMy Profile

  12. says

    Hi Reginald,
    This is a really comprehensive post on a topic that is discussed often…and with good reason. (Thanks for the detailed overview of social automation tools as well!) But the big question remains. When does social media automation become excessive? Engagement is also important, so how do we avoid putting social media on autopilot with our community and make sure we are still really talking to them? I’d love if you could talk about this in the BizSugar comment section as well for the benefit of all our members.
    Heather Stone recently posted…Use Pop-up Shops to Drive Holiday Foot TrafficMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Heather,

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I think it all boils down to moderation. Personally, social media on autopilot could possibly be the best thing for us bloggers (those who are short of time etc).

      Of course, always try to put a human on those automated stuffs such as when you receive a reshare or tweet, I make it a point to try reply to that. You know, at times, a simple “thank you” goes a long way.

      Hey, will drop a comment there seperately too! Why not :)

      See you around and have a great weekend.
      Reginald recently posted…Does A Mailing List Plugin Increases Conversion Rate?My Profile

  13. says

    Reginald,

    These are all great tools to use for social media.

    I think I use all of them but Followerwonk. I have not used that one in the past but will look into it. I am using something else that tracks when people are on. I will have to see how this compares with what I am using.

    Automation is most definitely helpful in order to make the most of social media.

    Dee Ann
    Dee Ann Rice recently posted…Virus and Phishing Warnings on BlogsMy Profile

  14. Grace Savides says

    Hey Reginald,

    I came across this entry by chance. Thanks for all the information. I recently started managing a bunch of social media sites, so this was right up my ally.

    I’ve got a question for you. How would you compare Buffer to Hootsuite? Currently, I am using a Hootsuite Pro account to manage social media. I’ve been really happy with how it works, but want to make sure I’m not missing out on something better.

    Let me know what you think. Thanks again for the great post!

    -Grace

  15. Grace Savides says

    Thanks Reginald. That does help! It’s always hard to know if you’re using the right tools online, and now I feel very validated in my choice of social media. :)Thanks again for the post!