Automating social media is kind of… not social. And I have mixed feelings about it. After all, if we’re all just loading up queues and looping content, but not actually going on social media, then it’s not very social is it?
On the other hand, you can’t possibly run a business and work with clients, if you’re stuck on social media posting as often as you’re “supposed” to post. You’d never get any actual work done.
So here’s how to automate your social media, while still staying social.
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Pinterest is where I get most of my traffic from. It’s always been a pretty high traffic referrer to my site, but after taking Pinfinite Growth my traffic exploded. I now get 82% of my traffic from Pinterest–which is kind of insane. But the truth is, Pinterest is where my audience is, and it would be silly for me not to leverage it and bring people in.
My favorite tool for automating Pinterest is BoardBooster. And the reason is simple: instead of just queuing up posts, it will “loop” them for you, meaning that it will keep recycling your pins over and over so if you can’t load up your queue, you still appear active.
The way I have BoardBooster set up, works like this:
I loop (re-pin) pins from my business-related boards. For example, five per day on my blog’s board, automated to be re-pinned to the same board at times when my audience is most active on Pinterest.
I also schedule pins from one board to the next. For example, my blog’s board re-pins pins from it, to my small business board. My small business board repins pins from it to related group boards that I’ve joined. I have multiple boards being funneled this way, so each pin makes it’s way through my boards, without me having to do anything more than pin it the first time to a board that funnels to others.
So BoardBooster both keeps my account active by looping/repinning content, but also funnels content through my boards to group boards. I don’t have to schedule a pin multiple times to multiple boards, it just goes automatically through the funnel and pins to the next board at a time that my audience is online and active.
Now, I do still use Pinterest. I try to add to my boards once per week, minimum. I’ll spend 15-30 minutes browsing Pinterest and adding pins to my top-level boards (that funnel to others). Or any time I find a great article, I pin it. But automating Pinterest saves me a ton of time, and setting up the funnels now means I only have to manually pin a pin once, and know it will eventually end up on every board I want it to end up on.
But how am I staying social? Well, Pinterest isn’t that social compared to other mediums, but I make an effort to browse through the group boards I’ve joined and share that content, respond to any messages I get, and provide content I know my audience will love. If you want to step up your Pinterest game, I highly recommend Pinfinite Growth!
Twitter is my favorite social media platform. It’s where I actually connect with people and have conversations with strangers in real time. I love it!
But I also automate it.
Not everything, obviously. I don’t have Smarterchild answering tweets for me. I do that myself. But to keep the constant-stream of content needed to stay in anyone’s feed on Twitter, you pretty much have to automate what you share.
To do that, I use Social Jukebox (formerly, Tweet Jukebox). Like BoardBooster, Social Jukebox allows you to loop tweets. So you’re not just loading up a queue that will run dry, your content will be recycled. Which means, you need a lot of content or it becomes pretty obvious, pretty quickly that you’re just sharing the same stuff over and over. But once you get enough content, you’ll always have something to share, and the sharing will happen automatically.
Here’s how I use Social Jukebox:
I currently have three active “Jukeboxes” which house the content I want to share. The first houses my content–links to my products, opt-ins, etc. The second jukebox contains other peoples’ content–great articles I think my audience will enjoy. The third is simply a bunch of quotes that go out on Monday–I didn’t make this jukebox, it was free as part of my account.
Anyhow, my content is set to go out less often than content from other people–that whole 80/20 rule that helps keep your audience from feeling like you’re spamming them. A tweet from this jukebox goes out about every 4 hours between 6:30am and 6:30pm (when my audience is most active).
I share content from other people about every two hours. This isn’t enough to balance out the amount of my own content I share, so that’s why I still use Hootsuite to queue up additional content each day, but that is more time-sensitive or not quite so amazing that I want to add it to my jukeboxes to be repeated indefinitely.
This setup allows me to step away from Twitter if needed–even if my Hootsuite queue runs dry–and still look active.
But Twitter is great for actually being social, so I make it a point to spend 15 minutes per day interacting with others directly. Since I don’t have to worry about hunting down a million links to share on Twitter, I can spend time actually using Twitter to connect. This is how I’ve made many friendships, collaborations, and sales–so while I don’t get a huge amount of traffic from Twitter, it converts really well for me.
This is still just scratching the surface of what’s possible to automate–and I only talked about the two social platforms that produce the best results for my business. You can automate Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and probably a lot more–but even with automation I think it’s important to not spread yourself too thin. Focus on the platforms that produce the best results for you, automate them, and then stay social on them.
It is called social media for a reason, so don’t ignore your audience or followers–use automation as a way to help free up time to be social. Not a replacement for being social.