There’s no doubt that social media marketing can open up entire new markets for your venture, but you want to ensure it’s working for you, not the other way around. This is particularly important if you’re utilising multiple platforms. When it comes to getting results, automation and conversion go hand-in-hand. So, if you want to get on the road to success, you need to:

  1. Choose the right tools for automation
  2. Create the ideal automation schedule

Choosing the right tools for automation

Here at Birdbrain, we use Hootsuite to automate content across multiple social media channels. It’s inexpensive, user-friendly and, more importantly, enables you to manage a huge range of social networks. Currently, Hootsuite covers: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, WordPress blogs and more.

Ultimately, your budget and the amount of channels you need to schedule across will dictate your choice of system. Choose the right tool and you’ll save time and improve productivity.

Creating the ideal automation schedule

Different channels are used at different times of the day and week, while certain demographics exhibit different social media habits. If you want to make the most of your posts, here are some considerations when scheduling:

  1. What gender, age and socio-lifestyle background do the majority of your followers hail from?
  2. What time zone do they live in?
  3. When do your posts receive the most shares and likes?
  4. When are you available to get in the conversation and actively interact?

Depending on the channel you’re using, business hours may be the best time to get hits (LinkedIn, for example), while other channels may be better used on the weekends or evening – again, your target market’s habits play a huge part in defining this.

Some platforms, such as Facebook, allow you to analyse the engagement and demographic information of your current followers – no-cost insights worth taking notice of.

Staying in the conversation – for real

As with all forms of marketing, knowing your audience and how they behave is important. This is particularly important with social media. Here’s how you can communicate across social media channels to increase engagement:

  1. Make a priority of focusing on your audience rather than yourself – no one likes a continuous bragger
  2. Find ways to genuinely stay in the conversation – keep up with current events outside of your schedule
  3. Remember that unique, human responses are key – your followers will always appreciate a personal approach
  4. Quality over quantity – there’s no point posting for posting’s sake

Trial and error the creation of a social media schedule that converts. It’s also crucial to underline that scheduling should never suffice across the board – keeping up to date with daily world-wide and local events is important, as is responding to comments and messages in a timely fashion.

Whilst scheduling is a great way to streamline, the need to stay present and accountable in the moment remains paramount. This is how you’ll create maximum engagement. And convert partially interested followers into loyal customers.