Posting on social media is essential strategy for increasing the number of visitors to a website or blog, or to drive sales of products and services,. Here’s how to automate it to save time and effort.
How do you get visitors to your blog? Are you getting enough people reading your posts or checking out your products or services?
Is your company website getting the attention it deserves? Are you engaging and connecting with your customers?
You can never have too many people visiting your site, but having too few can be a disaster. It is depressing seeing low visitor numbers and your website becomes a money pit instead of a source of income and sales.
Sharing updates by posting on social media services is just one of the many things you can do to promote your site, but it is an important one. For a lot of people it is the most important.
Where do you get website traffic?
Many successful websites and bloggers find that most of their traffic comes from one or more social media services. It may be Pinterest, it might be Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, or somewhere else.
There are more social media services, but those are the best for most people and they can bring in thousands of visitors each month.
Share updates on social media
At first sight it might seem that all you have to do is to visit each of your social networks and post an update, something that can be done in a few minutes. However, it is much more complicated than it appears.
With Pinterest for example, most people create not one, but multiple boards and pin lots of things to them. You could have 10, 20 or more boards.
With Facebook you have a home account, pages and groups. You could have a couple of business or blog pages and also have one or more active groups.
This means that there could be dozens of places you need to post updates to. To be successful with Pinterest for instance, many experts say you should be posting 30 to 50 times a day!
Some people also post to Twitter multiple times a day too.
Social media automation tools
It would take a long time and it would involve a lot of effort manually posting to each of your Pinterest boards, Facebook groups, Twitter, Google+ and other accounts. You need to automate the task to reduce the time and effort that is required.
Here are the benefits:
- Schedule automatic updates
- Recycle old posts with evergreen content
- Post consistently and regularly
- Save time and effort
- One login and one place to post updates
- Analyse the performance of your shares
Automation tools are web-based services that enable you to post to multiple social media accounts from one place instead of many.
You sign up for the automation service and connect all the social media accounts you want to post to. The benefit of these services is that you only need to sign in to one service and create one post. It is then shared across all of your social media accounts with a mouse click.
One update can be posted to as many different places as you want. This saves a lot of time and effort and there is no need to log in to to site after site and create the same post over and over again.
Another benefit is that you can schedule posts and they are shared at the time and date you choose. Even when you are not around.
Choosing a posting schedule is often automatic with these services and they can automatically select the best times to post based on your audience and past posting experience.
Many people spend an hour or so at the start of the week creating posts and scheduling them to go live at various times throughout the week. It is one task once a week and the rest of your time is free for other purposes.
Don’t share too much
If you share too much too often you might just annoy people instead of engaging them and getting them to visit your site or buy your products or services.
Each social media service is different and you need to use them appropriately. If you pin 50 times a day to Pinterest you will increase the number of followers. If you post 50 times a day to LinkedIn you will probably lose followers because you annoy them so much with your updates.
Here is a rough daily posting guide.
- Pinterest: 30 to 50 a day
- Twitter: 10 posts a day
- Instagram: 3 posts a day
- Facebook: 2 posts a day
- Google+: 2 posts a day
- LinkedIn: 1 post a day
These are not absolute rules and some people post more. Do be careful not to post too much though. There is a fine line between getting noticed and being irritating.
Share content from others
What you post is also important and sharing on social media works best if you share other people’s content too. It is counter intuitive promoting other people’s updates instead of your own, but it works.
Be nice and share other people’s updates and they will return the favour. In the long term this has benefits and you reach more people and ones that would you would not normally reach.
At the bare minimum you should share one other post for every post of your own. It varies from service to service and with Pinterest you might share 5 or even 10 posts from others for every one of your own.
If you find that you are not building followers as fast as you expected, try sharing more of other people’s content.
The best tools to automate social media
There is a large number of services that automate posting on social networking sites, so the following list is not a complete one, that would be very long indeed. Here are some of the most popular ones.
- Social Oomph
The downside of social media automation
Creating one update that is posted across multiple social accounts is a great time saver. However, different social accounts have different capabilities. For example, Twitter allows just 140 characters. In order to post everywhere you must limit the post to 140 characters, so every social update looks like a Twitter post.
If you post manually to each social account you can tailor posts to take advantage of each one, 140 characters for Twitter, 140 words or more for Facebook, and so on. Manually posting is better, but who has the time for that?
Another disadvantage is the cost. The ones listed above have free accounts, but they are limited. Often they allow just three social accounts for free. They also restrict the number of posts that can be scheduled for free.
Paid accounts remove these limitations and in some cases offer unlimited social accounts and unlimited scheduled posts. There are often several plans on offer. Paid accounts start at around $5 to $10 a month and a top-of-the-range paid account could cost more than $100 a month.
Get started with social media automation
A series of step-by-step guides has been created to get you started with social media automation. Each one looks at a different service and shows:
- How to sign up
- How to connect your social media accounts
- How to create a schedule for posting
- How to create an update and schedule it
- How to recycle evergreen content
Use this course to see how these services work and to see which ones will best suit you. Free accounts are available for all of the covered services, so it won’t cost you anything to try them and follow the examples.