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Are you currently posting natively on each social media channel and only when you think of it? Consider streamlining your social process with social media automation and an editorial calendar.

Organization and Scheduling

Planning ahead and organization goes a long way when it comes to your social media strategy. Trying to come up with posts on the fly or under pressure usually results in subpar content, inconsistent messaging, and frustration. Not all posts can be pre-scheduled, but many can.

Decide on a theme for the month or even experiment attaching themed topics to each of the 12 months. Working on a monthly topic helps in having a starting point and base to begin each post. Take it one step further and theme out different days of the week.

Work ahead and create content for an entire month, and leave dates open for posts that relate to current events or announcements in your industry. Block out a few hours to spend writing and gathering images/assets that will be on brand and showcase your company appropriately.

Using a social media automation system for scheduling will help maximize your creativity, be purposeful, stay on brand, save time, and stress less about your social presence.

Visualizing and Adhering to Brand Standards

Many of us are visual people and looking at a calendar full of content feels affirming. Below is a snapshot of what Lately’s calendar view looks like inside of the software. In different calendar views, you can see how your posts work together, complement each other, see where you have holes in your timeline, and take in a 10,000-foot view of the overall social implementation.

With the ability to see your content on a high level it is more manageable to evaluate that you/your team is abiding by your brand standards and style guide.

Sample: Lately Calendar View

Dashboard Monitoring

Wouldn’t online marketing be so much easier to have one dashboard for social media statistics, content calendar, and monitoring? Many software tools offer the ability to view all your channels, engagement, upcoming posts, reactions to previous posts, view what’s trending, see who’s mentioned you or your hashtag, and to comment back without having to visit each social channel individually. This type of system keeps you on top of your social game and drawing attention to what is and isn’t working with your audience.  The image below takes a peek at a couple of the fields that can be managed straight from the Hootsuite dashboard.

My Tweets – Mentions – Inbox Messages – New Followers – Plus More

Sample: Hootsuite Dashboard

Software Options and Features

Decide which functions/features are most important to you, verify support to your desired channels, and read user reviews. I recommend comparing a few of the social media automation software tools on Capterra.  Hootsuite, Buffer, AgoraPulse, MeetEdgar, Sprout Social, and Lately are just a few of the options to choose from. Hootsuite offers a free version of their package that is very limited (1 user, 3 platforms max, and max of 30 prescheduled posts), however, almost all of the other companies offer a 30-day free trial.

Reviewing the reports and statistics of your overall campaigns is extremely handy for identifying if your strategy is working and how to move forward. With social media automation, you can evaluate audience sentiment (neutral vs. negative), discern best performing posts/ content to mimic and replicate. Below is an example of one of AgoraPulse’s data graphs showing engagement over a one-month period on Instagram.

Sample: AgoraPulse Reports

New and beneficial features on the market:

  • Automatically shortening links or vanity URLs
  • Exporting engagement reports directly into PowerPoint presentations
  • Recommendations for the best day and time to post per your audience
  • Suggested Social Post content based on blog post text
  • Consistency Scanner
  • Hashtag reminders/ list
  • Keyword enforcement
  • Online social training
  • Automated social postings based on RSS feed
  • Listening functions
  • Ability to upload bulk posts and ease of reposting

Learn More About Social Media Automation

If you are looking for more help with your social media strategy or a specific channel join the experts and attend Social Media Day Denver.   This one-day conference is held at Mile High Station in Denver on Friday, June 29, 2018.  Lastly, check out our blog post, 3 Quick Tips for a Cohesive and Branded Instagram Feed.

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Written by guest blogger: Shawn Teasley

Hello readers, I am Shawn, a Denver freelancer working in social media management, strategy, and content creation. I geek out in social calendaring, identifying customer avatars, and the trial and error aspect of engaging with audiences. Feel free to connect with me using the link above.