Social media automation

We love social media. It has become one of our favourite tools to communicate our brand and share our views on technology and the world. As I’m sure you know, social media can be incredibly time consuming to manage. As communicating in this form has become vital, marketing teams are becoming overloaded. One solution is to expand the team, but at earthware we always ask ‘Why?’ and we explored an alternative.

Social media automation

The thought of using automated tools to communicate can be unnerving. What if it goes wrong? Wont it seem impersonal? That is of course true if you decide to try and automate all your social media processes, with automatic replies to every message and no real conversations, but there is no need for that. So how do you find the balance? The best way is to look at your social media strategies and see if there are tasks that seem to have become repetitive. For example, do you wish everyone a happy Friday every week? Do you send a thank you message whenever anyone follows you? These tasks are ones that can easily be automated, giving you more time for reactive posts and messages.

Tools

There are many great free tools out there that you can use to assist you with social media automation, here are some of my favourites:

Twittimer - This is a tool that allows you to schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This lets you to input a number of posts, manually or automatically pulled from a spreadsheet and set them to be posted at your chosen times. This is particularly useful for keeping your social media active when you are out of the office or unable to post. The free version of Twittimer allows 10 scheduled posts and 3 social accounts so it is limited in its capabilities but is still a great starting tool.

Twittimer logo

Crowdfire - This is only for Twitter and Instagram but is useful for finding and engaging with your most valuable followers. It alerts you to users who are inactive or who have unfollowed you so you can unfollow them if you wish. One of their most popular features is the ability to send automated messages to new followers, allowing you to thank them for following or tell them a bit about you. It also helps you find relevant accounts to follow and track how your posts are affecting your follower statistics.

Crowdfire logo

Twitter Analytics - Twitter has its own tool that automatically tracks tweet impressions and engagements as well as followers, profile visits, mentions and audiences. While this is not automating any communication, it is great for being able to easily see how your tweets are performing so you can adjust your social media strategy accordingly.

Microsoft Flow - This is the most complex automation tool, you can use and create a wide variety of features integrating with different programs. Here are some of my favourite social media automations-

  • Creates new posts from posts on other social media
  • Sends emails or notifications of posts with certain keywords or from specific people
  • Posts blogs to social media
  • Translates and reposts posts
  • Retweets or shares posts that match certain criteria (after seeking approval via notification or email)
  • Shares YouTube videos on other social media
  • Keeps track of engagements in a database or spreadsheet
  • Analyses mentions of you and takes different actions depending on whether they are positive or negative

These show how much can be done with social media automation. One of the best things about Microsoft Flow is that an approval step can be added to any sequence, helping to prevent any mistakes.

Microsoft flow screenshot

We think all these tools are great for helping ease the social media workload, cutting down repetitive tasks and allowing you to spend your time interacting with your followers, so you don't lose that personal touch.