Social media has become a valuable and powerful tool for promotions and for communicating with your potential customers. It’s a living breathing organism that changes constantly; keeping up to date with frequent posts can be very time-consuming. So, save yourself the trouble and start scheduling out your posts in advance. This doesn’t mean you should start scheduling out all of your posts throughout the year, you’ll want to stay engaged and relevant with what’s happening in the social media space.
Related article: How Much Time to Invest in Social Media Efforts
Benefits of an automated social media calendar
Scheduling out social media posts not only spares you from having to carve out time every single day to post, but it also allows you to get a grasp of the bigger picture of your social calendar. Posting on a whim each day becomes overwhelming and begins to feel like it’s taking up most of your day every single day, not to mention makes it easy to forget certain posts or accounts.
An example of an automated social media calendar
If you manage multiple accounts, for clients or personally, scheduling out social posts will help tremendously in maintaining organization and making sure all the accounts you manage are being optimized to their fullest extent. When mass-creating posts, it’s all too easy to let something slip through the cracks. If you’re working in advance you can work slower and notice these mistakes before it’s too late.
It also makes it significantly easier to maintain a consistent tone for each account and get in the headspace necessary for each unique account that you manage. Social media is a place to promote your ideas, share your insight, and connect with others. Automation helps accomplish promotion which allows you to focus more on sharing and connecting.
Social Media Automation Tools
Don’t know where to start? The internet is literally filled with automation tools specifically designed for social media and customized to your needs.
When scheduling social media posts, you’ll find numerous software that can help you write and keep an organized social calendar. Most will link directly with all your accounts (even YouTube for some) to keep everything under one roof. HubSpot continues its all-in-one-place reputation with its social media tools which provide calendar views, scheduling in advance, and linking up with your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts. You don’t have to log in to each and every account but instead, you can do it all on one page.
Automation ≠ Hands-Off
Even though your posts are automatically posted throughout the week, there are perils to watch out for. Social media is a living thing that changes hourly. That hilarious meme-driven post you write today may be obsolete this time next week. Don’t be caught writing Star Wars memes when Game of Thrones memes are the current trend.
You must remain hands-on, even after you’ve scheduled out your posts, to remain on top of the social-verse which is never constant. Social media is not a place meant for complete automation, it's a place that requires you to stay human. While automation can help you stay relevant on a platform, it is still important to make human connections if you’re going to find any tangible success from it.
Keeping up with social trends
You never know what’s around the corner when it comes to trending topics. Things like breaking news stories, a brand-new meme, a sports game, or something as simple as a celebrity Tweet can drastically change the trending topics. Always have your eye on what’s currently popular to make sure you stay in the conversation.
Tools to track trends:
- Buzzsumo: If you want to see statistics for certain topics, which type of content is being shared, and what some of the most popular pieces are on that topic, then Buzzsumo will guide you there. This tool lets you search by topic, see the latest trending content and its social media statistics.
- Google Trends: Search topics and find out what people are searching, where they’re searching from, and other similar things that are being searched.
- HubSpot Social Monitoring: HubSpot’s monitoring tool is a great way to maintain some organization on what’s going on around your account. You can monitor conversations, interactions, and followers of your account, as well as specific topics and hashtag streams.
- Twitter’s trending topics: The easiest way to keep up with what’s happening on Twitter is to watch Twitter. All of the highest trending hashtags, topics, memes, etc. will be listed. Use this to find ways to join a conversation but be sure you fully understand the context of a hashtag or reference before throwing your own Tweet into the ring.
Tracking your mentions
Keeping track of the conversations specifically about you is one of the most important things to watch. Social media’s most valuable asset is the ability to have conversations with your audience and for them to get personalized responses from a brand or person. The good news is that scheduling out your posts in advance should free up lots of time to monitor your channels and keep up with your followers. We’ll talk more about this below.
Analyzing your social media
Another advantage of having more time after automating your social schedule is freeing up time to analyze the data from your posts. Take this additional time to see how posts are doing and find what is working and what isn’t in order to improve your next round of posts.
Databox boards showcasing each channels ability to drive traffic (left) and generate leads (right)
Tiny things can have big impacts on your future social posts. There are an almost infinite amount of metrics to track and examine. These are the basic metrics to track:
- Time of posting: The life of a Tweet is only about 18 minutes, so finding the right time to post is crucial since the window to impress your followers is so small. Find the time that works best with your audience and stick to it for future schedules.
- Impressions and Engagements: Though it doesn’t mean people are actually seeing your post, it’s still important to get impressions up to make sure it’s appearing as much as possible in people’s timelines. Simply including more hashtags, keywords, and mentions can increase impressions. Engagements encompass all clicks on your post: favorites, retweets, clicking on, sharing, etc. The rate of your engagements is almost an exact reflection on the quality of your content. You’ve produced something people like so much they feel that they need to do something with it.
- Site Visits and Leads Generated: These are the metrics you’ll want to be most closely tracking because these are the whole reason you’re doing this. Getting high impressions and having your posts seen is great, but if nobody is clicking on them and moving further in your buyer’s journey then what’s the point?
By checking in on these stats you can get a feel of what topics or content t work and which don’t, the best times to post, the ways you can get more eyeballs on your posts, and most importantly, measure how effective your posts are at driving traffic and generating leads.
Get Social and Communicate Better
Social media is a great way to reach your audience. It affords you the chance to talk one-on-one with potential customers, reach new audiences with hashtags, and promote your content on a wide-reaching platform. There are many ways to enhance your experience on these platforms and automating your posting is one of the best. Free up time to analyze and talk with your customers, keep a clean content calendar, and organize your accounts into one convenient place. Get automating now and change the way you communicate with your audience.