Social media is a part of most people’s lives, but few of us truly recognize its power. Marketers are in a rare position to understand how fundamentally social media can impact all of us – but only when used thoughtfully and efficiently.
Chances are you don’t have time to put together daily posts that resonate, monitor analytics, track campaigns, and consistently come up with new content for your followers. The best way to make the most of the social media tools at your disposal is to create a social media automation program. In this post, we’ll tell you the steps to take to automate your law firm’s social media marketing.
What is Social Media Automation?
Social media automation involves using automated tools to improve your social media presence. Marketers can use automation to curate content and schedule social media posts in advance. These tools can help to reduce the amount of resources spent gathering content at the last minute, leaving you more time to engage with your followers and grow your audience. Essentially, automating your social media efforts allows you to spend more time on what really matters: strategy and interaction.
Automating Social Media Posts
You’ll need to choose one or more tools to use for your social media automation. No matter which tools you use, there are certain steps you can follow.
- Use social listening tools – Social listening is the process of monitoring what people are saying about your firm. By using automation tools, you can see brand mentions across all platforms online. You can also follow certain hashtags, keywords, or topics to get a feel for what’s happening in your industry or with your audience. Many marketers also use social listening to better understand their competitors. The goal of this exercise is to understand how you’re being viewed and also to come up with new ideas for social media posts.
- Leverage chatbots – Many people automate social media through the use of chatbots. They can be used with sites like Facebook Messenger to provide client support and streamline other marketing efforts. A good example of this would be automated replies to popular questions, like what hours your office is open or which attorneys work there. You can also use a chatbot to let people know you received their message and someone will get back in touch with them. The goal here is to help people with small issues and escalate bigger questions.
- Collect insights across networks – You can use automation tools to collect data that can be analyzed to optimize performance. Use the information that the tools provide to figure out where your audience spends time, what posts they engage with, the best time to post, etc. View impressions, reach, and engagement on all your social media platforms in order to make decisions on strategy.
- Curate content ideas – Not all tools provide content curation, but some do. You can choose the topics that your audience is interested in and then the software will develop content that can be shared with your audience. It’s worth noting that any posts created by a tool should be a starting point only – you’ll want to review and tweak everything so it’s most relevant to your followers. We suggest always writing your own social media posts.
- Engage with your followers – Using automation software, you can monitor brand mentions, replies, and messages. With information gathered for you, you should be better able to respond to comments and participate in conversations. Spend the time that you previously spent cultivating ideas and pulling data on real engagement and your following will grow.
- Schedule consistently – Consistency is one of the most important principles in successful social media marketing. By using automation software, you can keep a stable of posts ready to go. Then you can spend more time being creative and coming up with new posts. Many people use the software to schedule posts in bulk and maintain a spreadsheet of what’s been done and what’s to come. This is especially helpful if you work in a team and everyone needs to be aware of what’s being posted.
Social Media Automation Tools
We keep mentioning “tools” but that doesn’t give you the full story. Which tools are most effective? What is worth the investment? Here are some of our favorites and what to know about them.
- HubSpot – With these popular social media tools, you can prioritize social interactions and share content from marketing campaigns to social media platforms. You can also publish content to LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. When you connect your blog and social media accounts, your new blog content will be automatically shared as soon as it’s published.
- Buffer – This is a great tool for collaboration. You can use the software to draft and share content with your team. Users also like to assign social conversations to the person on the right team, avoid duplicate responses by seeing who else is viewing a conversation, and leave internal notes. You can also use saved replies which can save a lot of time.
- Hootsuite – This platform offers regular scheduling and reporting features, while also providing content curation tools. Users are able to organize a content library and save time with pre-approved posts and scheduling options. It’s also handy for posting and sharing other content that you find online.
- Sprout Social – This software was designed to deal with overflowing inboxes, missed messages, and time-consuming tasks. You can use the tools to manage and measure conversations that can improve your engagement rate and brand loyalty. Most users really appreciate the collaboration features because they also integrate with platforms like ZenDesk or UserVoice.
All of these tools offer functionality like scheduling and reporting, but their specific features are best suited to different groups based on needs. For example, if collaboration among your team is most important, you might want to look at tools that specialize in that vs. content creation.
Social media automation can help you to make the most of your time and limit some of the mundane day-to-day activities that take up so much energy. Leverage social media automation so that you can spend more time on the activities that truly move the needle. For more tips on social media engagement, reach out to our experts.