Comprehensive automation appears to be the future trajectory of digital marketing. Email automation, for example, has become second-nature to many marketers. It’s nearly impossible to imagine writing unique emails to individual clients each day. Retaining information regarding our users in automated CRM systems allows for automation to be simplified.
This post is about social media marketing. The emphasis is on the “social” aspect, the part where relationships are built between your brand and its followers. People following your company on social media want a personal connection, not mechanically generated content cluttering their feeds and jamming their inbox! It increases your chances of success if there is a human being on the other side of every post that they view.
If you are geographically separated from a significant portion of your audience or clients, would it make sense to attempt to contact them late at night, to the detriment of other relationships? Waking up early in the morning or staying up very late at night will eventually interfere with the schedule you’re meant to keep with local clients, family, and friends.
The Case for Automation
Scheduling posts to go live automatically is an especially useful application for automation. A well-planned content calendar, with diverse content, may be the solution to lackluster relationship building and can increase brand presence and site traffic. Posting at optimal times of day can also significantly increase site traffic; it doesn’t make much sense to post while your audience is sleeping! You should also consider investing to boost posts or run more ads.
By automating your marketing, you can mitigate some of these challenges. This approach will also save you time and improve the impact of social media campaigns. Automation (and by this we mean loading up your social media calendar ahead of time so that you’re not manually posting) can only get you so far. You have a lot of things to think about when creating posts to share with potential fans and customers.
Building relationships with your brand’s consumers require creativity and continuing attention to the needs of the community. Some of the potential challenges that you will face as you develop your marketing plan for social media are listed below.
Getting the Right Visuals
In order to establish your brand, or build awareness for an existing following, you will need to create custom visuals. Sometimes this means modifying stock photos with logos or captions, or creating appropriate images from scratch.
Relatively young companies can benefit significantly by establishing strong branding early on. If you want these materials to be effective, they should appear professional and ideally contain recognizable colors, fonts, and logos. A professional appearance will create trust in your brand. It may not be necessary to hire a designer immediately or invest large sums of money.
Instead, you can create your own content with a drag-and-drop editor, easy graphic creation tool or something similar - we have recommendations if you want to seek out those options.
Try PromoRepublic (I work here), Canva, and Picmonkey to create professional visuals in minutes.
Writing Compelling Content
If you are short on time, and can’t invest in creating catchy captions or hashtags sure to go viral, you may need to work with a creative person to generate novel ideas. Some companies spend a lot of money on copywriters, but sometimes it can be hard for those professionals to hit the mark in terms of your brand’s audience.
By automating your social media marketing, you maximize the possibility to focus on building relationships with your follower base without straining to complete more routine tasks. Let’s look at an example social media marketing strategy and discuss how content impacts growth of engagement.
Building Efficient Content Plans
Now that we’ve covered some of the things you need to think about when creating a social plan,, it is time to put them into practice! It is clear now that posts can be scheduled to go live automatically, but it may be less clear how to determine when the best time to schedule them is.
This is an example of a balanced content strategy.
Posts meant to increase engagement should make up a significant (about 40%) portion of your total content. Examples of this type of post could include statistics or motivational quotes. They could contain polls or quizzes to engage the audience. The key features of these posts are that they grab the reader’s attention so they should be visually appealing and written well. Finally, it is critical that they reach your audience at an optimal time of day.
These posts should make up the core of your strategy because they are the content that people share with their friends and ultimately build your brand’s awareness. If this content is designed well it should inspire the strongest responses, so these posts.
Events, holidays, trends and more pre-made and ready to use. You can try content builders and schedule your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and even view analytics to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.
These posts are meant to communicate special offers or other company business. These posts are necessary and but generally less inherently interesting that engagement content. Followers will eventually become former followers if your strategy relies too heavily upon promotional content. Promotional content should comprise about 30% of your posts.
Educational content is often neglected in social media marketing plans. Blog posts are widely considered effective enough to communicate educational material. More-involved efforts represent too large a time commitment, … Curated content often edges out educational posts, but this is not recommended.
There are benefits of hosting content not generated by your organization, but these should not be over-valued. Your brand will not live up to its potential, and your audience benefit less if relevant educational posts are neglected. It is also likely that if you don’t love the content that you are considering hosting, your audience is unlikely to engage with it well either.
Visual material that has the potential to be informative or contains relevant information would serve as educational. Don’t limit yourself to blog posts!
Only 10% of your total planned content should be curated. Curated content might be used to fill spots on your calendar that have fewer scheduled posts, as well as increasing your number of followers. Potential new clients may evolve as your existing audience interacts with content that you have curated.
Another function of curated content is to project that you are aware of the trends in your industry. This can serve to build relationships with established thought leaders in the field, and can even improve your own reputation. Make sure to carefully choose what you curate based on your audience’s interests, otherwise the effort that went into reaching out to guest writers will be wasted.
Post at Strategic Times
What time of day does your audience engage most with your content? What hour would be most likely to find people shopping for gifts? When are exclusive offers or discounts going to be the most effective?
Holidays work well to frame your campaign as they are widely recognized, however, there is also potential in less-know events. For example, people are more likely to share special offers on pizza during National Pizza Day. Certain holidays that might be more relevant to your specific audience would be the perfect time to motivate them to pull a little extra weight by sharing or otherwise interacting with your seasonal content.
There are a lot of moving parts to a social media campaign. What to post, when to post and who to target are all part of the equation, but finding time to manually post shouldn’t be.