Once the social media account creation tasks are complete, the next stage involves growth, building and interaction. To give you some assistance in determining what tools and strategies you could be implementing to build your customer base, your social media growth and your brand image, here’s a tip: automation. By automating parts of your social media campaign, you can save yourself a large amount of time and money.
Word of warning: if you automate your entire campaign particularly Twitter then you will eventually lose your client base. Never forget that Social Media is all about engagement and connecting with people. Try ‘listening’ to help your Social Media strategy before automating as that will help improve your overall campaign.
Here are some suggestions for automating your Social Media campaign:
Twitter to Facebook – Facebook to Twitter. When you post on Twitter, you can automatically re-post content to your business Facebook’s newsfeed. Equally, you can make it so that when you post something to your Facebook Business page, it will also post to Twitter (including your business Facebook newsfeed).
Link your blog to Facebook. Click on the NetworkedBlogs application in Facebook (apps.facebook.com/blognetworks) and inlcude your blog details when asked. You will also have to complete the verification process to make sure you’re the owner or author of the blog.
Link your blog to LinkedIn. If your blog is run on a WordPress engine simply just go to ‘Applications’ in your LinkedIn account and click on WordPress. Similarly, if you use TypePad choose the Blog Link instead. LinkedIn will walk you through the rest of the process.
Third Party Tools to Enhance Your Social Media Automation and Productivity
One of the best and most simple to use social media marketing automation tools today is Ping.fm. Ping is a free service that allows you to update your social networks very quickly. It support a very wide range of online services like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, NING, MySpace, Tumblr, Yammer, FriendFeed and many many more.
Another extremely important tool to incorporate into your social media marketing campaign is to connect your Facebook page, Twitter page and your blog. You can do this by signing up with Twitterfeed.com. Twitterfeed will automate this entire process for you so when you do something on one of your social media networks, it will automatically post to the other social media networks, which will save you a large amount of time.
This is perhaps the key tool for any serious user of Twitter. Hootsuite allows you to have multiple accounts for many different Social Networks like Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace etc and it even lets you post directly to your WordPress blog. As a company you can also have several contributors on the same account, track clicks and analyze stats. Hootsuite also provides you with other powerful tools such as ‘scheduled tweeting’, URL shortening and many other great features. There’s is a free version and Premium. Upgrade if you can.
One of the best strategies for marketing through social media is using video and hope that goes viral. One concern many managers have is to determine the return on investment (ROI) of actually creating a marketing video. To track the success of your marketing videos properly take a look at TubeMogul. TubeMogul will provide you with a powerful tool of measuring the ROI of your marketing video. TubeMogul will allow you to see what demographics are viewing your videos, what geographical areas are viewing your videos, and how long they are viewing your videos and where they have embedded them.
A word about Auto-Tweeting
Automating your work online can be a real time-saver if executed properly and professionally. Some companies push out their content using clever online tools such as SocialOomph so they can tweet every minute about their products without having to engage with their customer or readers. Auto-Tweeting can be useful and productive whilst not losing readers, customers etc depending on how you use it. If you decide to launch a competition, new promotion, discount or blog update, then auto-tweeting might just work as long as your Tweets directs them to another interactive area e.g. your Facebook business page and if you regularly monitor feedback to such Tweets.