Social Media Automation Strategies for Startups

Social Media Automation
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Attracting attention and being “seen” is one of the hardest problems new business startups face.

With so much competition for attention today, we have a lot to think about and consider.

It’s important that you do all that you can to stand out from your competition.

Without a long-term reputation or a client list to speak of, you’ll need to find other ways to encourage people to try out your business.

If that sounds like a problem, then you will need to enlist the power of social media.

Without a doubt, social media is your most powerful tool when it comes to building your startup.

Developing yourself directly in the eyes of potential customers naturally makes sense.

However, one problem with social media is that it can be quite confusing to set up. And, all it takes is one mistake to scuttle all of your hard work.

This is why social media automation should be among your most useful tools in your quest to avoid such issues.

That being said, building a strong social media automation platform either takes a lot of planning, or a lot of money.

If you want to ensure that you avoid wasting valuable resources, then we recommend that you try the following steps when setting your automation up.

Each of these should help you make more informed and professional decisions about your business immediately.

So, what social media automation strategies will work best with your startup?

  1. Identify the right tools

First things first – you need to work out what tools would benefit your actual business. What industry are you in, for example?

You might decide to start using Twitter if it best suits your business model.

Tools such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite will make it easy for you to set up automated postings to go out at previously determined times.

This allows you to set up a weeks’ worth of promotions, and then take a step back as they are rolled out for you – hopefully with good results.

Be sure to pick tools that complement the social media channels you will use. Many people try to dive right in and use every social media platform.

Don’t make that mistake. It’s better to concentrate on one or two major platforms.

Does your business have much in the way of media or imagery to show, for example? If not, then Instagram might not be as useful for you just now.

You’ll find that Instagram is a better fit for businesses focused on things like arts and crafts, for example.

Social media automation can be done for any social media channel. You’ll find that your bigger challenge is determining which channels you should be using in the first place.

  1. Publish your posts at the right time

Timing matters, too. If you are intent on getting the maximum value out of your social media efforts, then you need to post everything at the right time.

How can you know when the right time is for each post? It depends on your target audience and when they will be interested in seeing your messaging / tweets / status updates.

For example, do you target people in security?

Then it naturally makes sense to try and post messages in the time they would be most likely to see it: what is ‘morning’ for someone who works nights, though, is not ‘morning’ for someone who starts work at 7:00 AM.

Think about who you are targeting and when they might be most accessible. For example, you would do well to time your LinkedIn posts – targeting professionals mostly – at things like lunch time or after hours – starting around 6:00-7:00 PM.

With a bit of research, you can often find out when people will be most receptive to your message.

Take a look at some of your competition for starters. Observe when they make similar posts: what kind of responses does each post get? When was it posted?

There very well might be a correlation.

  1. Target your audience appropriately

You will need to get used to being smarter in how you speak to your audience, also. Many people waste a lot of resources when targeting, as they try to be too broad.

Instead, you will do better to work out who your ideal client is – look into things like age, location, gender, earning potential, and hobbies.

Most social media sites give us the opportunity to target people based on their social media likes and profile data. This is a huge opportunity for you if you play your cards right.

This advanced way of targeting can help you approach your audience more intelligently. It will also help you target the right people. Make sure that any automated messages are as personal as possible.

You may have to run many concurrent campaigns to make the most of these capabilities, but it help improve the way you speak to your various customers.

Instead of trying to talk to everyone with one catch-all message, take the time to appreciate the importance of a more specific message.

It might mean running five campaigns instead of one, but each campaign is more likely to have a positive impact.

  1. Understand the style of each social media channel

Every social media platform is different. For example:

  • Facebook is the most natural, allowing for a happy mix of long-form writing, videos, imagery and links to other sites.
  • Twitter is about being fast and cutting to the chase, linking people to the content they need off the social media page itself.
  • LinkedIn is about meeting other professionals and doing so in a courteous manner.

At the same time, you should look to better understand every channel that you intend to use.

As mentioned above, not every channel is going to be so useful for you. Some channels will give you more, others less.

If your business won’t be able to promote itself with imagery and video, then tools like Snapchat and Instagram will be of little use to you.

Or perhaps you don’t want to target businesses in specific industries. In that case, LinkedIn probably isn’t what you are looking for.

Keep all of this in mind as you build out your social media strategy. It will likely play a significant role in helping you to understand the style of your social media needs: not every channel is needed, but some will be necessary to set-up.

  1. Place content in its natural habitat

Always make sure that you look to post your content in a place that is going to get it seen.

For example, posting a video to your LinkedIn page might not get as much traction as it would if it was on your official YouTube channel.

A 50-slide presentation is not likely to get as much traction anywhere other than SlideShare.

By the same token, you should be using tools like iTunes to help you submit Podcasts and/or your own music.

Whatever you do to promote your business, be sure to distribute the content on the platform that fits the format the best.

This means that taking a screenshot of your most recent article and posting it on Instagram won’t result in much good for your business.

Instead, find an image that relates to the article. Then, use that image to help create a link on IG to promote that article.

The smarter you can be with your content placements, the more likely it is that the content will actually build traction.

Research from Euromillions in their “internet of realtime” tool shows just how many people use social media today.

There is no point posting all of your content to all of your platforms. For every type of content, you’ll find that there is a platform which is a natural fit.

  1. Get your post included in a link roundup

If you want your content to get seen and consumed, then you need to start working and collaborating with others.

Try to build your social media automation around earning links from sources who are looking to curate worthwhile content.

You can accomplish this via link roundups from other bloggers within your industry.

You can set up parameters to target only the top roundups in your industry, meaning that you will be much more likely to get positive results.

If you do this right, you will bring in a lot of traffic, since people trust roundups.

Roundups give readers access to multiple expert viewpoints, and they are more likely to share this format than many other types of content.

It will help you make sure that you are being seen and heard by those who you wish to target. Roundups will also help you start bringing in more links from outside of your website, which will also help you rank better over time.

Always make sure that you create worthwhile content which solves a problem that your customers might be having.

If you do that, you should start to see some pretty impressive results in the near future.

Conclusion

Social media automation is tough to get right, but the above points should definitely play a role in improving that.

While it might still take some time and research, if you stick to the above criteria then you should get a lot more correct than you do wrong.


Feature Image Credit: CC 0; Public Domain, sourced from flickr.com.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.

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Alice Mackenzie

Community Manager at Betipy
Alice Mackenzie is the community manager at Betipy and has a interest in web design for mobile uses and user experience. When not working she enjoys swimming, rugby and gym workouts.

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