We all know that social media is a huge part of the online presence of any business. Whatever your network of choice may be, you may feel like you’re missing opportunities with other social media platforms, or that you don’t have the time or resources to keep up with all of the different options out there today.
Fortunately, there are tools and tactics that can help you automate some of the steps and take away some of the headaches of dealing with multiple applications. Of course, there’s no way to take the time commitment out of social media entirely – but that’s not necessarily the goal either.
The time you spend cultivating your social media presence is time spent connecting with customers and prospects and, therefore, holds tremendous value. These tools will help you spend less time fretting over posts and give you more time to connect with your audience.
You’ve probably heard of Hootsuite before — it’s one of the most popular ways to integrate and automate multiple social media accounts. Compatible with Twitter, Facebook profiles and pages, Google+ accounts, and LinkedIn, Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts to multiple networks at once, keep track of multiple Twitter feeds, and even create multiple lists of who you want to track and interact with.
With free and paid opt,ions for different tiers of service, including multiple management accounts and detailed analytics, Hootsuite is one of the MOST popular choices out there.
Be warned, there are a few bugs from time to time, but that’s to be expected with such a broad solution. For the most part, Hootsuite works like a charm.
If This Then That (IFTTT)
If This Then That (or IFTTT, as it is more commonly known) is an amazing database of user-created “recipes” for, well, just about anything you can think of. The recipes allow you to setup automated “if this then that” commands for social media accounts, Evernote, RSS readers, Gmail, Craigslist and a host of other applications.
Users can activate “channels” (applications), and choose recipes that function between them. For example, there’s a recipe to change your Twitter profile image when you change your Facebook profile image, and another to post your Instagram pictures as native Twitter pictures (instead of as links). For more advanced recipes, there are options for automated posting from WordPress to Facebook pages, Youtube uploads to Facebook groups, SMS notifications for social media actions, and countless more.
And because the recipes are user-generated, there are always new recipes to explore, and if you can’t find what you need, you can create it.
IFTTT is simply an amazing collection of time saving, inter-platform solutions that may very well solve problems you didn’t know you had! Take some time exploring all it has to offer.
Zapier is very similar to IFTTT in that it allows users to set up “Zaps” for automation across multiple applications. Zapier, however, is a paid service, and that means that it offers more applications and more robust support than IFTTT. Zaps aren’t just limited to social media, and can help you streamline blogs, CRM needs, analytics, and nearly everything in between.
You can receive notifications for social media mentions, automate RSS feed to post to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, incorporate calendars and Google Docs, post across multiple Facebook Pages, and find thousands of other solutions among more than 250 supported applications. Find useful Zaps and learn more about plans at https://zapier.com/.
The more automation you can incorporate into your social media efforts, the less time you’ll waste posting the same thing in multiple places, the less likely you are to miss an important message or mention, and the more time you’ll have for actually interacting with your fans and followers. Social media is an integral marketing tool for most businesses today, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. Let the available technology work for you.