The automation of social media has a bit of a bad rep. We’ve seen a lot of small business and overworked social media peeps just automatically cross-post content between social networks, hoping that if they get their message out on every social network, it will result in more business.
The classic case of this is “push my Facebook posts to Twitter” or “push my Instagram to Twitter”. We know this is bad practise because it neglects the audience on the “automated” social channel (looking at you, Twitter.)
The reality is that different types of people use different social media platforms. If an audience is on Facebook, it’s possible they’re not on Twitter. If an audience is on Linked In, they might not be on Facebook. It’s about knowing who uses your business, and which social network they are on. Just manage a few social networks and nail it.
It’s just not even worth setting up an automated feed if that community isn’t going to be engaged (and it’s possible that that community isn’t even there.)
The other risk of automation is when things auto-post beyond our control. There’s nothing worse than posting a Facebook post which has a typo or incorrect info – only to discover it’s already been sent out to Twitter and Linked In too. Damage control can be tough when you don’t remember to pull it down fast enough.
Now that we’ve moved on and tackled the bad boy side of automation of social networks – let’s look at it the way how automation can be a kickass tool to help manage social media more effectively.
Recipes For Awesomeness
IFTTT is a user-friendly site which connect the APIs of various sites together in ‘recipes’, so that “if” a certain task happens “then” this action happens. IFTTT stands for “If This Then That” – so it’s kind of in the name!
Now, each recipe does just one thing – so if you want many things to happen, you will probably need to set up multiple recipes.
The other thing is that you can create your own recipes. If these aren’t quite what you’re after, they’re pretty easy to set up and customise.
Below are a few recipes which might be useful in helping you manage your social media!
DIY Social Media Monitoring
Want to see if someone mentions your business or account across social media? Pull that into a Google Doc. You could then do an audit to see how often people are posting, the kind of comments, the frequency and what kind of things people respond to.
IF someone uses a Twitter hashtag, THEN pull it into a Google Doc | Check it out
IF someone mentions you on Twitter, THEN pull it into a Google Doc | Check it out
IF someone mentions you on Instagram, THEN pull it into a Google Doc | Check it out
IF someone mentions your site on Reddit THEN pull it into Slack | Check it out
Find Your Super Fans And Build Community
It’s essential to get to know your loyal customers and engage with them. Building a relationship with them is Marketing 101 to increase their likelihood of returning. These tools will help you find your community.
IF someone sends you a Twitter @mention, THEN add them to a Twitter list. | Check it out
IF people follow you on Twitter, THEN add them to a Google Doc | Check it out
Archiving Your Gold
Don’t trust the intern and want to keep an eye on what they’re posting? Pull all your social media posts into Google Docs to you can look like you’re working on spreadsheets but you’re really stalking them. Just kidding – as if we have interns!
But seriously, though, this is a useful set of tools for archiving your content. If you have evergreen content, you could even consider re-serving the content later.
If you are posting content for a sales client and you need proof of posting, this can be a great way to record your activity.
IF my brand Twitter account posts something, THEN archive to Google Docs | Check it out
IF my brand Instagram account posts something, THEN archive to Google Drive| Check it out
IF my brand Facebook page posts something, THEN archive to Google Docs | Check it out
IF my WordPress blog posts a new blog, THEN create a backup in Google Drive | Check it out
IF my bit.ly account created a Bitly link, THEN record all the details in a Google Doc | Check it out
This one might not be for everyone. With the flexibility of tools like Hootsuite which can manage multiple social media accounts, using Google Calendar to do it might be a bit redundant. However, I can totally see how someone creating a content calendar THEN copying and pasting content to schedule it can be exhausting and a bit of a time suck, so this might be the perfect set up for some.
Obligatory warning: beware the typos and sending out automated content if you’re not sure exactly when and where it’s going out in order to monitor the responses.
IF post is in Google calendar, THEN post to Twitter. | Check it out
IF post is in Google calendar, THEN post to Facebook. | Check it out
This isn’t for the faint-hearted or pages with a lot of traffic. But if you’ve got a small business and want to respond to customer comments or queries on the go, get notified via SMS when someone gets in touch.
If you run a big page or community – don’t to this. Switch off your computer, have a bath and some downtime!
IF someone sends a message on Facebook THEN get an SMS | Check it out
IF someone sends a message on Twitter THEN get an SMS | Check it out
Update profile pics across your network
If you’re the kind of person who creates novelty avatars for Halloween and Christmas (I secretly am!) then this is one which might be handy – update all your social network profile pictures in one go, based off what your Facebook page has. Just remember to save a copy of the original! ;)
IF my Facebook Page profile picture changes, THEN update my Twitter Profile | Check it out
IF my Facebook Page profile picture changes, THEN update my Google Plus Profile | Check it out
Boost your SEO
Let’s be honest – the only reason people use Google Plus is to help increase their SEO, not as a social network. For this reason, I’ll let this auto-posting recipe slide! ;)
IF you post to Facebook, THEN post to Google Plus | Check it out
IF you post a WordPress blog, THEN post to Google Plus | Check it out
Pin your Instagram photos to a board
If you’re a big Pinterester, it’s pretty likely you post the photos you Instagram to a Pinterest board manually as it is.
This recipe just pops those shots straight on Pinterest. Use this recipe if you actively maintain other Pinterest boards and this saves you posting things you’d manually upload anyway!
IF you post to Instagram, THEN post to Pinterest | Check it out
Are there any additional recipes you’ve created? Share them in the comments – I’d love to check them out!