How to Automate Social Media Activity
Within many Social Media Management tools, you have a couple of ways in which you can automate some social media activity. First, you can schedule posts in advance, second, you can set up RSS feeds to be auto shared. The RSS option is a powerful one. With it, you can grab the RSS feed from any website, be it your own or someone else’s, and set it up to be automatically checked on a regular basis and share one or more posts if there is new content.
Automation Uses & Cautions
We’re not advocating that businesses put their social media on auto pilot. Simply using this RSS feature to automatically spam content to your social networks is not genuine and will do little to further your business goals.
However, there are certainly instances where automatically posting content can and should be considered.
Supplement Rich Content
The first instance where automation is great is when it’s used as a supplement to the great content and posts you’re already sharing. RSS feeds from trusted sources can be used to regularly share information with your followers that is helpful and interesting.
Be careful though. If all you do is share content from other sources, your followers won’t need you! They can go straight to the source. Make sure that your sources are fantastic, and make an effort to add additional value through comments and your other shares.
Maintain Activity During Off Times
One of the keys to a successful social media presence is consistency. Businesses need to be consistently active on their social networks. But not every business owner has the time to post every day, and smaller businesses will really struggle during weekends, evenings and holidays. Scheduling posts and using an RSS feed for selective automated activity can help a business remain active, even when the business owner or social media manager is off.
Be careful though. Businesses who have scheduled or automated activity must be mindful of what they have scheduled, and be aware of any circumstances that may require a change in what’s scheduled. A typical example is when a business has scheduled posts going out during a local or national crisis. It’s possible that such posts may be considered inappropriate, so they’ll need to be reviewed and perhaps postponed.
Sharing Old Content
Businesses that are actively creating content and participating in social media are going to develop two things:
- an archive of old articles
- a growing follower base that missed older posts
I think it’s a good idea for businesses to regularly share older articles. They will put those articles in front of new eyes, as well as offer businesses a way to share and introduce them that might be different than before. You can tweet a different title, or write a different commentary.
Be careful though. You don’t want to share too many old posts, and you don’t want to share old posts that are no longer valid or helpful. Marketeers refer to content that continues to be interesting and educating as “evergreen” content. If you use a bulk scheduler within your Social Media management tool, you can maintain a spreadsheet of your evergreen content. Be mindful of your audience, not only what they’re interested in, but what volume of posting they can tolerate.
These are just a few of the ideas for how you can use the scheduling features and RSS Feeds for your social media management.