If you ask a small business person why they are not active on social media, the answer is typically that it is too time-consuming. If you are running almost any business, from a construction company to a law firm, your time is too valuable to spend posting and tweeting. However, the benefits of having a substantial social media footprint are extremely valuable for growing your business. Chances are, your clients are seeking information on social media before making a decision. Consumers want to evaluate what people are saying about you, and how you engage online. Short of hiring an agency to handle your social media efforts, what can a busy business person do? The answer is using automation tools.
However, this is not a set-it-and-forget-it solution. Automation tools empower a small business to share and curate content on social media, leaving you with time to authentically engage with customer questions and feedback. The increase of smartphones and mobile device use, and what Google calls micro-moments, has created the expectation that companies are connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Automation tools will give your prospects and customers the impression that someone is manning the store, even when your schedule has you out of the office.
Moreover, effective social media marketing requires consistency. If you are posting on Facebook or Twitter, here and there, once or twice a month, you are not getting the attention you deserve. Statistic Brain reports there are 58 million tweets per day. Online users are bombarded with content all day long as companies try to get their attention. This means if your message is not seen by your target audience within about 15 minutes, the organic benefit disappears and you will need to use paid social media promotion.
Regardless, there are some things a business should not do using automation.
- Private or Direct Messaging - Social media users interpret marketing messages through private or direct messaging as spam. This is the fastest way to get users to stop following you or block you out.
- Non-personalized Posts - Your social media content should focus on all consumers, at every stage of the customer life-cycle. Social media is not just about attracting new business, but also maintaining customer relationships.
- Overlooking Analytics - You need to know what is working and what is not, and when are the best time to schedule posts. There is a lot of information available about the best times to post, but every company and industry are different.
- Not Reading Curated Content - Many social media automation tools empower you to share the content of others. Curated content is an effective way to enhance your own content. However, know what is getting posted under your name.
Ultimately, social media automation tools will free you from your computer. You can effectively manage your time, while still effectively engaging with prospects and customers.