It used to be enough for online business owners just to have a presence on a couple of the most popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Nowadays, business owners are required to maintain a presence on Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest – and the list goes on.
The constant demand for fresh content has left marketers reaching for creative new ways to automate their publishing efforts and integrate them across a wide array of marketing tools and social media platforms. Automation, when done properly, gives smart marketers an edge on the competition, while freeing up time to focus on scaling their businesses in other ways.
There are a number of quality tools on the market to help business owners achieve this goal. Fortunately, many of these tools are affordable and user-friendly, making them accessible to large corporations and small business owners alike.
If you’ve decided to take your marketing campaigns to the next level through social media automation, these five tools are a great place to start.
One oft-neglected aspect of a well-balanced marketing campaign, especially among small business owners, is customer relationship management (CRM). Keeping tabs on customer data allows marketers to reach prospects with relevant messaging at just the right time in the sales cycle, as well maintain relationships with customers who have already made a purchase.
While customer data tracking may seem less pressing for a small business in its initial stages of growth, having a robust CRM system in place will become a necessity when sales start to climb. With this in mind, small business owners should consider keeping track of customer data from the get-go to avoid the hassle of backtracking in the future.
Salesforce is a cloud-based platform that enables business owners to manage all of their customer data, including contacts, campaigns, reports, and more, from a centralized dashboard. It boasts a 27% average increase in sales revenues and a 32% increase in lead conversion. Additional features include time management and task prioritization, syncing abilities with Outlook and Google Calendar, tools to facilitate collaboration with colleagues, and a “Chatter” feed much like the feeds you find on Facebook or Twitter.
SocialOomph comes with a wide variety of options designed to boost social media productivity and automate posting to popular platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and RSS feeds. It’s designed to be a set-it-and-forget-it tool, much like an e-mail autoresponder. It allows business owners to automate many of the tasks associated with managing a successful social media campaign, including monitoring relevant keywords, acquiring new followers, automating status updates and Facebook wall posts, and scheduling tweets.
Blog post management is made incredibly simple with this versatile tool. One of SocialOomph’s most powerful features is the ability to recycle your evergreen blog posts by adding them to a queue, which you can then configure to share your content with readers who haven’t been exposed to it before.
Spokal is an inbound marketing automation tool for WordPress created with small business owners in mind. It brands itself as an all-in-one solution comprising all the major elements of an online marketing strategy, from content marketing and social media marketing to search engine optimization. It simplifies the process of boosting traffic, building brand authority, and acquiring new leads, with the ultimate goal of growing sales.
Spokal streamlines the blog publishing process with its custom content editor, providing business owners with SEO advice and helping them understand which of their marketing efforts are working best. It also streamlines the content sharing process by automatically sharing content across a company’s social media accounts.
The tagline tells it all about this software: “Put the Internet to work for you.” This clever app comprises 116 “channels” to which users can apply a trigger and an action to produce a certain result under the specified conditions. These automation processes are called “recipes”, and business owners can create their own from scratch or borrow them from a gallery.
While this app was designed for savvy Internet users in general, social media marketers are getting creative and putting it to work to enhance their campaigns across various popular platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Drive, and even via other third-party venues such as Craigslist, BuzzFeed, and eBay. Examples of IFTTT recipes include the ability to automatically update your Twitter profile picture when your Facebook profile picture changes, greet new members to your Facebook group, and share your favorite YouTube videos to your Twitter feed.
Post Planner is a publishing tool designed especially for the Facebook platform, allowing marketers to link their Facebook account to other social sites and synchronize status updates. Post Planner also offers automated sharing of content on Facebook, and its content discovery engine allows business owners to find trending topics relevant to certain campaigns and queue them up to be shared at a later time based on a pre-set configuration.
A few of Post Planner’s most useful features include RSS feed automation, the ability to discover content by keyword, content distribution across various Facebook pages or groups, status update automation, and the ability to target certain demographics.
The common denominator between all of these social media automation tools is the focus on quality content. While automation tools can’t be relied upon to do your content creation and branding for you, they are invaluable assets in helping to ensure you’re consistently delivering the right message to the right audience at just the right moment. The most successful social media campaigns are not one-sided – they allow room for direct engagement with customers, and a good social media automation tool will help you achieve this goal and much more.