NCET Tech Bite | Amber Howland, Social Media Automation | Apr 2016

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Social Media Automation AGENDA

What is social media automation?UpsidesDownsidesPopular platforms

Social Media is ImportantSocial Media is important to your businessEngagement with customersCreate customer profilesHelps your SEO

What is social media automation?Social Media automation is a tool that marketers will use to schedule and monitor social media activity. There are many different social media automation tools available online that can range from free to hundreds of dollars each month. As a business owner, you need to decide if social media automation is for you and how complex of a program you need. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Benefits of AutomationCan organize your content for long term goals within social media.Ensure that you are posting regularly.Optimize your posting time so the most viewers see it.Post effectively across multiple social media sites.Monitor social media activity involving your brand.

Downside to AutomationNeglect: Set it and forget it mentality.Lack of personal touch with your customers.Some brands will brand the post so its obvious it wasnt you.

Popular platforms

HootsuiteFeatures: Hootsuite offers a dashboard that allows you to load in a multitude of social media programs. You can set time of day, add photos, and create automated reporting Benefits: Push content to many social media sites, ease of use. Inexpensive and free options. Has a mobile and table app for use on the road.Drawbacks: Basic reporting, limited usage and social media sites based on pricing, branding of Hootsuite in social media unless you purchase the Enterprise solution.Monthly Price: Free for basic and up.Up to three profiles, basic analyticsMost common package is $9.99/monthSuggested user: this is a good solution for a small business with limited needs.For More information: hootsuite.com

Dlvr.itFeatures: You can schedule data across multiple platforms. Dlvr.it also monitors websites and will automatically share new content to social media sites. Benefits: If you are a business that is often discussed online (in a positive way) you can share the conversation automatically. Can include up to 10 social pages and 50 feeds. This works well if you are an active blogger. Drawbacks: You will want to monitor the conversation to make sure you arent sharing bad data. Posting from your blog is not automatic. Updated every 30 minutes.Monthly Price: $9.99/month and upSuggested user: a business or individual who has active blogs and is reported on often that they want to share. This is a great solution for a local celebrity.For More information: Dlvr.it

SendibleFeatures: Custom dashboard for many customers that allows social media posting and monitoring across many sites.Benefits: Layered logins, fully white labeled with your brand both in the posting and reporting. Customized and recommended posting times. Custom reports, real time social media monitoring.Drawbacks: Customer service is in the UK, a bit expensive. It requires some expertise for customizationMonthly Price: packages start at $59/monthSuggested user: This is great for an agency or business with multiple locations and an in house marketing department.For More information: http://sendible.com/

ZapierFeatures: Create zaps by connecting apps for cross promotion of data.Benefits: Many app integrations for use across many platforms including website, apps, email and social media sites. The connections can be custom. For example you can connect your blog to Linkedin and your events to Facebook.Drawbacks: For the advanced business as it requires a bit of set up. Monthly Price: Free for 5 Zaps up to $125/month for 125 Zaps. Average plan is $30/monthSuggested user: Advanced company looking to integrate many CRM tools and apps for automation. This platform makes sense for the business who has a lot to say regularly on social media.For More information: https://zapier.com/

Sprout SocialFeatures: Dashboard for pushing out and monitoring content on the most used social media sites.Benefits: Well Organized Dashboard. You can assign tasks for other admins of the account. Monitor content based on keywords that you can then use in your posts. Publishing across multiple sites with customized posting times. Discovery feature which shows your customers who have interacted with your post. This allows you to decide if you want to interact better with them or create a customer profile. Easy to use analytics when connecting to Google Analytics.Drawbacks: Limited number of social media sites (only Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Linkedin. Linkedin does not integrate with message stream. PricyMonthly Price: $59/monthSuggested user: Small to medium size business who has multiple users and will take the time to dissect user data and monitor online activityFor More information: http://sproutsocial.com/

Final ThoughtsManage your social media for your business size and type. Decide how often you want to be posting to your customers. If you are restaurant and your customers rely on daily specials, social media automation can be very useful in organizing those specials and posting them in advance. If you are in the service industry like HVAC, your customers and potential customers may not need to hear from you daily. Maybe twice a week makes sense and you can focus on how to be a resource of education to your customers.