Do you really need to use those automation tools to save you time on social media? After all, how long does it take to type out a status update? Let’s pretend for a second that I’m sitting down with you, taking a look at ways your business can be more profitable and you can spend less time working. Sounds good, right? I’m standing over your shoulder, watching how you use social media for your business.
You start typing an update to your Facebook profile and hit “post” to publish it immediately.
But then, after you type it out, you see in your news feed that your best friend just posted engagement pictures! Then, 15 minutes later (after you’ve clicked through, “liked,” and commented on all of her pictures), your computer dings because mom just opened a chat with you about dinner plans later this week. Before you know it, 3 hours have gone by and your “quick” status update has turned into a huge time waster. Weren’t you supposed to send out some invoices this morning?
This is why it’s important to automate as much of your social media content as possible! Thankfully, there are free & easy tools that will help you save tons of time on social media and keep you focused and productive.
This week, we’ll cover our LKR favorite, Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a tool that will help you in several ways.
1) Its easy-to-set-up RSS feed publisher will automatically post any newly published posts from your blog to whatever social media networks you prefer. Imagine writing a blog post, hitting publish, and never again needing to remember to post a link to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc!
2) You can schedule your posts to go out (to all of your social networks) in advance – helping you with product launches and any other content that is time-sensitive. Simply write your post once, select which account(s) where you want it published, and hit the clock icon to select the day and time you want the post to go out.
Don’t worry about trying to “stagger” your posts, meaning to publish the same thing multiple places, but at different times. It’s highly unlikely that:
a) at the exact same moment, your audience is logged into both Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn.
b) and, even if they are – it’s even less likely that they’ll judge you negatively, simply because you’re being productive with your time and posting the same content everywhere at once.
Just write your post, select your networks, and hit “publish” or “schedule” to send it out when you want it to go.
3) You can manage your conversations and engagement right from inside Hootsuite. Simply check your Twitter stream and Facebook notifications right on your Hootsuite dashboard and hover over the tweet or status update/comment you want to reply to. This helps minimize distractions that tend to arise when you’re on the actual social network sites.
4) You get instant analytic insight from Hootsuite into what kind of content is performing well (i.e. getting the most likes, RTs, comments, etc.). Don’t you want to be sure that what you’re sharing online is actually working to drive customers and prospects over to your website? Hootsuite has an easy-to-understand analytics page to show you exactly which updates are getting you the best results. You can even link up your Google Analytics account to Hootsuite and view Facebook insights to see all of your data in one place. Once you see what kind of content is getting the most response, you can share more like it!
So, using Hootsuite gets you:
- Automatically publishing links to your blog posts on your preferred social networks
- Scheduling your status updates in advance and keeping you away from the Facebook/Twitter time waste zone
- Engaging in conversations right from within Hootsuite’s dashboard
- Valuable analytic data to help you optimize what kind of content you share online.