Everyone shares their content on social media (well, 94% of marketers do) but not everyone does it the same way. Here’s the difference:
Most marketers wake up in the morning, decide which of their content to share, share it …then move on with their day.
Few marketers use analytics and automation to share the highest quality, highest converting content in the most efficient way.
This post will show you how to automate social media posting to make social sharing more efficient and effective. In the next few minutes, you’ll learn:
We’re going to fill our social streams with a consistent flow of well-timed posts. This technique will be especially useful if you…
This will also be useful for anyone who wondered how to automate social postings …or wondered how some accounts post so much so easily.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Quick Disclaimer: This is about efficient content promotion. It isn’t about spamming twitter with links or outsourcing your job to a robot. You still have to listen to people and interact if you want to be a good social media marketer.
Everything we choose here is going to go into automatic, heavy rotation on social media. So don’t just share anything. Share your best.
Here are four ways to pick the content that will be loaded into social automation.
Put your own site into BuzzSumo and see which posts have the most shares. Without a paid account, it will show you the top five.
Click on the social network you’re planning to automate to see the top performers for that network. I’m using Twitter and LinkedIn so I’ll sort for those sites.
These are the posts that are most likely to get reshared.
Put them on the list.
Next we want to find the posts that are most likely to be clicked because things that get shared don’t always get clicked.
This is easy if you’ve been consistently using Hootsuite (or similar tool) to share content. These tools have link shorteners with click tracking so they can show you reports of which social posts got clicked the most.
Note: to get this report, you’ll need HootSuite Pro, the paid version (or at least, the 30-day free trial). Set a nice long date range to get the most data.
These are the posts that are most likely to get clicked.
Put these on the list.
Now we need to find the posts that are most likely to inspire our visitors to act. This data is in your Analytics in the “Reverse Goal Path” report.
Set the report to show the newsletter subscribers goal (if you haven’t yet, set up your goals in Analytics) and set a filter to show just the blog posts. Now you can see how many subscribers each post attracted!
Note: for a more accurate number, calculate the actual conversion rate from visitor to subscriber. Do this by dividing the number of subscribers by the number of pageviews for each post. Pageviews can be found in the All Pages report.
These are the posts that are most likely to turn visitors into subscribers.
Put these on the list.
Some content takes a lot of time and/or money to produce. Original research, infographics and video are good examples. Putting this content into heavy rotation using automation will increase your return (visibility and traffic) on the investment (the time and cost put into production).
These are the posts that need the boost in ROI.
Put these on the list.
Social streams move fast. Even the best content will get missed if the timing is wrong. So our next step is to find the times of day that get the best results.
Here are three ways to get the timing right:
Hootsuite, Buffer or similar sharing tools have the data for you. These services feature auto-scheduling which analyzes your network and finds times when your followers are the most active. Everyone’s network is different!
So if you’ve been using one of these services, you can just go look at your own stream and see when they’ve scheduled social media posts. These are the best times of day to share your content.
Another approach is to enter your Twitter account into FollowerWonk. It will show you when your network is active.
To find this report, go to the Analyze tab and choose “Analyze their followers” and add your Twitter handle. They will generate a report for you with the information.
Here’s the one time of day that makes sense for a lot of North American marketers: 11AM Central Time.
But be careful about this or any best practice. What if most of your followers are in the midwest? Or what about your international followers? Keep in mind, this is a very general recommendation.
ProTip: Before you jump in when the pool is crowded, consider just before or just after the hour. If people have a minute just before an appointment (10:58), they’re likely to check out their social streams. Or if someone else is late for a call (11:02) they might check the Twittersphere. Credit for this tip goes to Jay Baer, who calls these micro-opportunity windows.
This is called counter-competitive timing. Since fewer marketers post on nights and on weekends, these times when it’s easier to rise above the noise.
Now we know the best content to share and the best times to share it. It’s time to load it into the tool. Here’s how we did it using Meet Edgar.
These might be personal or business. These might be Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
ProTip: Connect Meet Edgar to a bit.ly account (in Settings) for URL shortening and click tracking. This will give you more data about click-through rates, so you can go back, find the winners and better optimize your posts!
Eventually, you may have lots of categories (things like recent posts, influencer content or posts for a specific network), but this first one is your high volume, high value stuff. Remember, we’re building a cannon loaded with evergreen ammo.
Click on “Add New Content” in the top right. Then, select one or more social networks on the left, select your category at the top. Finally, enter your post into the box.
These posts are going to be shared many times, so make them good. We recommend using every trick in the book, including…
So put it all together and here’s what a post looks like when I create it in Meet Edgar.
|“A headline’s job is to capture attention with a relevant promise. Successful headlines show (1) What readers will get (‘promise’) and (2) Why they should read on (’emotional trigger.’) Use psychological trigger such as loss-aversion, curiosity, controversy, etc.” – Angie Schottmuller|
You’re not specifying which exact posts will be shared at different times. You’re just telling the tool which times to randomly grab a post from that entire category and share it.
So load in a scheduled timeslot for each of the times you selected in step two. I recommend at least five posts per day for Twitter (including at least one in the evening and a few on the weekends) and at least one per day for LinkedIn.
More is actually better. Take some advice from Jeff Bullas.
|“I experimented with frequency and discovered that sending a tweet every 15-30 minutes was effective. In fact research from Simply Measured discovered it increased engagement and traffic by more than 30% over tweeting every 30 minutes.” – Jeff Bullas, JeffBullas.com|
Here’s what my schedule looks like.
That’s it. You’ve loaded your cannon with the best ammunition and aimed it at the best times of day. It will now fire automatically until you turn it off.
Since I set up this process a few weeks ago, I save 15 – 20 minutes per day picking out content, writing posts, choosing images and scheduling shares. Now that my self-promotional, traffic-driving posts are all set up, I can focus on finding and sharing other interesting things.
If you’re willing to do this, you’ll find the return on investment very high.
Of course, social media is more than a dumping ground for links. It’s a place to have a conversation. If these automated social posts are the only thing in your stream, that’s not good.
|“A common misconception about automation is that it means you aren’t interacting live with your followers, but I’ve always found the opposite to be true — automating certain aspects of my social gives me the bandwidth to focus more on high impact live interactions.” – Laura Roeder, Founder of Meet Edgar|
A good social stream is a balance of three things:
As we often say about social media, if you’re not making friends, you’re doing it wrong!
What about you? Do you love this approach? Hate it? Leave a comment and let us know.