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How to automate your social media marketing while you are on vacations

How social media automation can  help you go hands-free on your solo trip, family gatherings and more

You are on your vacation, sitting near the poolside, shooting the breeze but somewhere in your mind, you are concerned about your social media strategy.

Going completely off the grid from social media is next to impossible as the efforts you have put in to create your brand are immense. Without the engagement, there are chances your subscribers fall away which can affect the sales margin. As a content marketing and social media manager, you very well know that unlike humans social network don’t go on vacations and this becomes a tough situation when we need to implement a certain level of automation.

According to social media stats, the average time internet users spend on social media is 2 hours per day which makes consistent engagement imperative to drive traffic. Fortunately, we live in an era of digital Darwinism which makes our lives less complex and we can operate almost anything on the go by automation.

Using proper tools, optimizing and maintaining consistency can help you go hands-free on your solo trip, family gatherings and more! All you need to do is follow a simple regime while having your classic Margarita.

Find Engaging Content

Prepping up your social media platforms with the most relevant and engaging content can drive traffic to a great extent. Right from maintaining consistency to giving you more control over your strategy, automation helps you in tracking the nature of readership. But what people fail to understand is that the automation strategy does not shed all the tasks but rather helps you to work more efficiently in less time.

When it comes to content sharing, you can always experiment with different tools and techniques. According to social media experts, there is an interesting thumb rule which when followed can impact your social media engagement. The technique is 5-3-2 rule of social media sharing which means--

5 – Number of content to be posted from others with similar interests

3 – Number of content from your side which is more informative and less promotional

2 – Some personalized posts that can give a human touch to your brand i.e. more of personal connection with the audience in layman terms

While you can always share and retweet the content from others, you also have to look out for the quality posts from your end. First, you need to think about the type of content you want to post and accomplish your motive. Whether it is about sharing news, blogging or promotional content, make sure to stock up all the possible resources which deal with the same.

For starters, you can try CrowdFire, Mashable, Flipboard and Feedly which help you in discovering some great content online.

Before Scheduling, you might want consider the following points

1. Search for the informative content of your niche

2. Create content which is the recent trend amongst your followers.

3. Review the content once before publishing

4. Check the best possible hours of posting the content

5. Include some motivational and interactive posts using media files like infographics. Sites like ThingLink, Canva, PiktoChart help in creating some stunning info graphics in a few minutes.

6. Vouch for evergreen content as they are timeless

7. Use calenders and reminder apps to track your content activities

8. Get help from analytic tools to measure you actions

9. Use social media tools and embrace content curation

Scheduling content at the Right Time with the Right Tools

Publishing the right post at the right time can definitely impact your social media management. You might have already planned your content strategy before you step out for your trip. The next crucial step is to broadcast the content to your audience at the right time. To do this, there are many social media tools available in the market which takes care of this task like a charm. Following are some of the free and premium tools which will require not more than 10 minutes of your time:

1. Buffer -  This tool is best for almost all the platforms with statistic updates for every post on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

2. ViralWoot - Most popular analytical tool for Pinterest.

3. Tailwind - It helps you manage content and monitor the scheduling on Instagram and Pinterest.

4. TweetDeckThe most useful tool you can find on Twitter. This tool allows you to schedule your posts and also lets you add media files. Definitely a must-try!

5. SocialRank-This tool helps you with a summary report of your Instagram and Twitter followers including their distribution, top locations and more.

6. Hootsuite- Add your social platforms, set up the dashboard and you are all set to get every possible details and activity. This is the most favorite tool amongst the professionals as this tool provides analytic insights of the progress, campaigns, and management of your network.

7. SociAlert- Helps you to track analysis of your twitter handle mentions. You can know valuable information about people who mention you or your brand.

Entrepreneurs and marketing heads prefer scheduling the posts using such tool which saves their time for other tasks. For instance, Ryan Short from MoDassic Marketing opts Hubspot which can monitor, publish and get detailed reporting data.

Forbes top 10 marketers and bestselling author, Neil Patel vouches for tools like Later for Instagram scheduling which allows you to post up to 30 feeds absolutely free after which you can switch to premium service.

Also, consistency is the key! As we set a consistent track, our followers will get the grip on the timing and the kind of content we focus on as a brand.

According to the recent study on social media engagement, the ideal time to post a content on Twitter is between 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and maximum tweets receive is on Sunday. For Facebook, weekends are the ideal choice and the post published at night gets maximum interactions. For Instagram short video clips and GIFs, you can get the maximum response between 2 PM - 3 PM EST.

On an average, the interactions skyrocket on Thursdays and reach its peak during the lunch hours.

Merits of content scheduling:

1. Saves your time and efforts as it is a one-time task

2. Constant engagement with the audience

3. Perfect for post outside your business hours

4. You can temporarily go offline

5. No distractions

6. Sets expectations for the followers

7. Mobile apps are enough to schedule

8. Strategic keyword planning

The frequency of the posting:

Now that we got an idea of when to post, the question shifts to how often we should post. To streamline your social media strategy, it’s essential to know the graph of your content and its response. If your niche demands more posts, you need to start working on that. On the contrary, if such bulky posts yield nothing other than meager response, frequent posting should be stopped immediately as it is nothing but a waste of time.

Let’s look at the posting frequency across various platforms for some clear perspective

These stats give the total engagements per post and as long as you are providing your audience with genuine, well-curated information, you can thrive for a very long time.

Handle Real-Time Posts Carefully

While automation lets you put some task in autopilot mode, sometimes it becomes crucial to engage with your customers. Automated Direct Messages or DMs is the latest trend which needs to be swept under the carpet as it doesn’t give a reliable feeling.

It is suggested to avoid posts which ask questions or suggestions since no one would like a robotic response. So, even though you are in the midst of your family getaway, it’s imperative to skim through and spare not more than 10 minutes to avoid the overwhelming routine when you get back to your desk after your holidays.

Ensure there is a backup person who can handle in case of immediate actions and provide a personal touch to the posts if required.

Rather than promoting automated replies, go for teamwork. Choose a person or team who can reply to the messages and queries. Prepare some content in advance and assign the team members different tasks. Make sure you have wifi at your destination through which, you can easily coordinate with your team.

The real-time actions like replying to queries, commenting on posts, re-tweeting the tweets can be handled by your team members, letting you some free time! Share your social accounts while coordinating with your team members when needed without granting them the complete access! There are multiple options such as HootSuite teams to coordinate easily.

Dos and Don'ts

Once you have scheduled the social media don't forget to ensure whether your strategy meets the following points:

Dos

1. Schedule engaging content using tools like Hootsuite, Crowdfire, Buffer, Sprout Social etc.

2. Do connect with your customers with real-time messaging.

3. Setting up automation between different media with tools like IFFTT, Cloud HQ, Elastic.io etc

4. Curate content with tools like Post Planner which lets you select content based on your niche.

5. Monitor, analyze and audit your profile on regular basis.

Don'ts

1. Do not post unless you are aware of the content you tend to publish. Doing so can portray ‘you-don’t-care' attitude which is absolutely not healthy for your brand. Also, while scheduling is a good practice, over scheduling should be strictly avoided.

2. Do not automate direct message as most of the time these messages are left unread and won’t give a personal touch.

3. Don't commit the usual mistake of posting same content across all the social platforms. Modify the structure of the content based on the kind of platform you are into. For e.g. include media in Facebook, precise information on twitter, professional and interactive content on Linkedin.

4. Scheduling in advance is healthy, but don't go too far as the digital medium is an ever-changing medium.

5. Does not post just for the sake of it, but keep an eye and track the changes whenever you get time. Investing a couple of minutes can save your vacation as well as your business.

Conclusion

Today digital world has woven a path for the marketers and business professionals to achieve their targets and capture the audience without even pitching in-person. Technology today has laid a foundation to stabilize your marketing strategy even if you are not available and also made it feasible to work from anywhere and anytime. Automation tools are certainly the key aspect of such smooth journey! You can now monitor, optimize, and track your performance with just a few clicks and you are good to go!

There are ample of ways one can use to automate their social media content. Availability of free as well as premium services let enthusiast, from beginners to thorough professionals reach their audience in the most convenient way. So why to wait? Pick your tool according to your business requirement and get going!

Do you have any such experience to share? Are we missing some promising tools on the list?

Do let us know your view on automating social media content in the comments.

This is a YourStory community post, written by one of our readers.The images and content in this post belong to their respective owners. If you feel that any content posted here is a violation of your copyright, please write to us at mystory@yourstory.com and we will take it down. There has been no commercial exchange by YourStory for the publication of this article.
social media marketing enthusiast, Pankaj is determined to shape his ideas into perfect products. CoFounder of Socialert - Hashtag Tracking Tool, he believes in coming up with engaging tools to redefine the face of digital marketing. Know more about him at his blog http://blog.socialert.net

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