Should social media be automated

3 rules for social media automation

Social media automation using tools can save tons of time, effort, and resources on your daily social media tasks. The benefits are multiplied when you manage multiple social channels. Social media automation tools promise to do all the work for you. But automation can also backfire and damage your reputation if you do it wrong. If you neglect the unwritten rules of the social web, automation will turn your feeds into lifeless content streams and drive your followers away.

Here are 3 important rules to keep in mind with social media automation.

Social media automation rule number 1: Don't be a robot - customize your social media post

Don't be a robot. Customized #SocialMedia posts get more likes Click to tweet

There are a number of tools with which you can automatically share and cross-post your blog posts on social media. However, most of the tools do not offer you the option of customizing the social media posts for the networks. As a rule, you give up control and the tool automatically posts the same content in all networks.

The effect: You sound like a robot and you can often see the automation in the posts. The postings are poorly formatted and this means that you do not achieve the desired effect.

Your social media posts will be more successful if you adapt them to the options of the various networks and communities.

Don't share the same content in the same format across all social media

The various social networks provide you with different options for the optimal presentation of your posts and essentially differ in terms of:

  • Purpose of the network (private / business)
  • Addressing target groups (formal / informal)
  • The number of characters allowed for posts or comments.
  • Size and number of images that can be posted.
  • Text post, link post or image post formats and what works best.
  • Activation of emojis to show feelings and mood, #hashtags for keywords, or @Handles to address specific users directly.
  • Preferred times when social communities are most active.
  • Post Frequency: The number and frequency of posts that lead to more engagement or anger from the community.

And the communities react very differently to the different formats: For example, by using #hashtags on Twitter and Instagram you can get more users excited about your content, while #hashtags on Facebook have a rather negative effect on the performance of the posting. For this, posts with pictures and short comments work best on Facebook.

If you want to take these differences into account and still want to make it easier for you to publish your social media posts in the various social networks, then choose social media tools that allow you to customize your social media posts.

If you share your content in several social media networks and communities, then do not share the same content in the same form, but adapt your social media posts to the respective options of the networks. On Twitter you now have 280 characters for your tweet and the almost unlimited characters on Facebook for your comment. There's also a difference between what works best on Twitter and what works best on Facebook to increase your organic reach.

Tip: This is how you can optimize your social media posts

I will now show you how I personally proceed to optimize my social media posts:
  • Twitter: I use my keywords as #hashtags and add @Handles when I address other Twitter users directly. When I publish my post on multiple Twitter accounts, I use different times. I repeat my tweets with different comments.
  • Facebook Profile: On Facebook I add a short personal comment to the post. The text can contain up to 10,000 characters, but experience has shown that short comments on a blog post work better than longer ones, because after all, we want to draw attention to the post. It is more important to place questions or statements in the comment. I usually invite readers to comment on the article or to add their own suggestions.
  • Facebook site: On the Facebook business pages I use the comment or I formulate my statements a little more formally. In addition, I make sure that the post is published on the Facebook page at a different time than on my Facebook profile. If I publish the post on several business pages, I plan the post on different days.
  • Facebook groups: I also publish my posts in different Facebook groups, but on different days and at different times. I also adapt my comments to the different group rules.
  • LinkedIn profile: I use the same text on my LinkedIn profile as on my Facebook page.
  • LinkedIn page: The text can also be a little longer on the LinkedIn page. For LinkedIn Pages and Groups I use the same strategy as for Facebook.
  • Instagram: On Instagram, the text can be up to 2000 characters long and contain up to 30 # hashtags. Hashtags work best on Instagram. Many posts consist almost entirely of images and hashtags. Nevertheless, I keep the comments rather short, integrate hashtags and the link to the post, even if it is not activated on Instagram.
  • Pinterest: Up to 500 characters and hashtags are allowed on Pinterest. I use this for a short comment and set hashtags and a link to the blog post and choose a specific pin board for the picture. Just like with Instagram, I share all of the shareable images from my post on different days to share my blog post repeatedly.
  • Flickr: On Flickr I can post my entire blog post on the text, or just a comment or a summary. I vary that depending on the contribution, mostly I only use a summary. Here, too, I use hashtags.
  • Medium, Tumblr, Torial, Bloglovin ‘, LinkedIn Pulse: I use these networks to reuse my blog post and publish the full post in a slightly modified or shortened form with a link to the original post. However, I plan to publish it on these networks 5-7 days after the publication of my blog post in order to give the search engines the opportunity to index my original post first.

The individual adjustments sound like a lot of work. I work with the Blog2Social social media automation to guide my work, because the tool takes over most of these adjustment steps automatically. I will show you how this works below.

Social Media Automation Rule # 2: Post to Social Media Networks at the Best Times

Social media success is also a question of timing. Whenever you publish a post on social media, only a fraction of your fans and followers will see and notice this post. Timing is critical when it comes to reaching more readers for the post. If you share your posts on all networks at the same time, your post will most likely get drowned in the endless stream of social media messages. However, if you specifically plan your blog posts in advance and publish them at the best social media time, then the chance that your posts will reach more interested readers increases.

WordPress offers the ability to schedule blog posts to be published in advance. This is very convenient and makes it easier to plan blog posts better. The WordPress plugin Blog2Social also offers you this option for your planned blog posts in order to plan the social media posts in advance and publish them on social media at certain times. We'll show you how you can plan both in one step, but more on that later.

[Tweet "Post blog posts about the best #SocialMedia times"]

Scheduling your social media posts is a great way to get your social media channels updated regularly and evenly and at different times. You can also post contributions outside of office hours, but also on weekends, public holidays and during the holidays.

Make sure, however, that you don't plan your content too far in advance. Keep your schedule on a monthly basis and always leave space for news and current events. If you plan too far in advance, it's easy to lose track, and current events can make your content look out of date or inappropriate.

A social media calendar and editorial plan helps you to keep track of your planned posts so that you can adjust and reschedule your planned social media posts as required.

Social media automation rule # 3: Share your social media posts at the right frequency

Whenever you share a blog post on social media, it only reaches a fraction of your followers and potential readers. Repeated sharing can increase the visibility of your posts. But the rules for repeated sharing of posts vary greatly from network to network and also depend on the lifetime of the posts.
Tweets and Instagram posts have a very short lifespan, just like posts in the stream on personal profiles, while posts on business pages or in albums such as Pinterest or Flickr are organized and are therefore more specifically available over a longer period of time.

Social media automation: how often should you post on social media channels?

  • Plan the posting frequency for the posts according to the criterion of the respective lifetime, for example on Twitter up to 4x within the first 36 hours and then weekly and monthly at different times and on different days and as evergreen content every 2-3 months, mixed again with other relevant content and re-tweets.
  • The lifespan of a Facebook post is 4 hours. Pin particularly important posts to your timeline to extend its lifespan and increase awareness. Distribute your Evergreen Contents every 2-3 months, but only on your profile and use a different or updated focus.
  • Posts on business pages and in groups should only be shared once and the publication should take place on different days and at different times. Since users use the networks at different core times, this increases the chance that the contribution will be visible in the various communities over a longer period of time.
  • The lifespan of a picture post on Instagram is much shorter than on Pinterest. Most interactions take place within the first few hours of posting. Despite the focus on hashtags, pictures are forgotten much faster on Instagram.

How often should you post on social media networks? Click to tweet

This is how you implement social media automation correctly

  • Twitter
  • Facebook (profiles and pages)
  • LinkedIn (profiles and pages)
  • XING (profiles, pages and groups)
  • Instagram
  • Flickr
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • medium
  • Torial
  • Bloglovin ‘
  • Diigo
  • Reddit
  • VK
Blog2Social automatically converts your post into an adapted format for each network, with pre-filled texts, comments and hashtags in the respectively optimized form for each network. Hashtags are also automatically generated from the tags of your blog post and filled in the comment fields.
You can choose different post formats (link post or image post) per network and select different images per post. You can even edit the meta tags for Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Cards.
You have the choice between:
  1. Social media auto-posting: You can publish your posts with just one click or automatically by default in the networks you have selected as soon as you publish or update a new blog post, immediately after publication or according to a defined schedule.
  2. Customize and plan social media posts: You can use the preview editor to customize and schedule your posts for all networks.
I personally prefer the second option. Because the individual approach and time control ensure more visibility and reach in social media. Thanks to the automatic formatting by Blog2Social, the customization process is very simple and takes no more than 5 minutes for all selected networks. The network preview of the plugin gives you an overview of how the contribution will be displayed in the various networks. In the edit fields you can edit the pre-filled text, individualize it with personal comments, #hashtags, @Handles or emojis.
For the blog networks Medium, Tumblr, Torial and Bloglovin ‘, your blog text is output in an HTML editor so that you can change, shorten or reformat your text here directly.
At the same time, you can plan when the article should be published in which network. With the predefined Best Times Manager, the time planning for the various networks is created automatically. Alternatively, you can define your own desired times and save them as the best times scheme. All time settings can be edited for each network at any time.
In addition, you can specify whether you want to share your post once, several times or in a recurring rhythm.
The social media calendar helps you to maintain an overview and allows you to change your planned social media posts at any time using drag & drop, move them to a new date or add further posts.

[Tweet "Use #SocialMedia Tools, which enable the individualization of the posts"]

In the free version of Blog2Social, you can customize your posts and publish them directly on the various social media. With Blog2Social Premium you can use the Best Times Manager and Social Media Calendar to publish your posts at the best social media time. The premium version also offers you more individual setting options, more user licenses and sharing on multiple pages and groups.

Conclusion: Despite social media automation, social media posts have an individual touch

Social media automation is important to support your social media marketing and ensure regular content on your social media channels. With social media tools that allow you to customize and plan your posts for the respective networks, you can automate blog posts in social media without losing the human touch. You save time and resources and ensure an even flow of content on your networks.

June 15, 2018Melanie TambléBlog Marketing, Social Media Automation, Social Media Marketing, social media toolsBlog Marketing, Social Media Automation, Social Media; Social media tools