3 Social Media Tools That Free Up Your Time
I'm busy. You're busy.
Heck, we're all busy.
You know that blog post you sweated over a few weeks back - writing, publishing and promoting - what's happened to it?
When did you last tweet? Are you keeping a steady flow of content running through the system?
When you're running your own business you need all the help you can get.
And unless you have a VA doing your legwork you're going to need some form of marketing automation.
A couple of months back I was able to attend the Big Social Media Conference in Manchester. It was a great experience from which I learned a lot.
In and amongst the various presentations there were also some more informal discussion sessions where a group of 'experts' discussed a topic.
One of the points that Susan made was:
If you do not get somewhat automated you will get left behind.
It's a fair point. It would be a total drain on your time if you had to manually post every article or tweet or update across all of your chosen social media platforms.
If you're a solo entrepreneur or small business, then I don't see how you can manage without some marketing automation? For example:
- Email Marketing: Autoresponders like Aweber, GetResponse, MailChimp, etc.
- Social Media Marketing: Management tools like Manage Flitter, Buffer, IFTTT, MavSocial, etc.
You are most likely using some already...I know I am!
Here's three of the tools I use to free up my time...
By using Buffer I can load up 10 pieces of content per account (free version) that is scheduled to go out over a certain time-frame. I try to publish a couple of pieces of content a day like this - content I have consumed and liked and is worthy of sharing.
Things I like about Buffer:
This simple add-on makes adding content to my Buffer queue so simple!
As I do a lot of my 'consuming' on the iPhone this App makes it easy to add content to my Buffer queue, along with adding to my Pocket App of course...
There are a few recipes on IFTTT integrating with Buffer. For example, I use one to save all my posts that have gone out via Buffer as I then have an easy reference guide to dive back into.
2. Revive Old Post
I came across Revive Old Post a few months back after reading an article by my friend Broke Bloke. I decided to give it a go. Basically this is a WordPress plugin that publishes your old posts on a loop. Like it says on the label: it revives them!
I'm using the free version which allows you to publish to Twitter and Facebook. If you upgrade to the Pro version you can also publish to LinkedIn, Xing and Tumblr.
If you don't revive your old content and publish it again, it's just going to gather dust. Plus you have a chance to reach a new audience. The rate at which Twitter turns over new tweets means you need to tweet your content again and again to try and catch fresh eyes.
Things I like about Revive Old Post:
Enabling this option allows me to track how well the revived post has done by adding Google Analytics Campaign Tracking.
This feature gives you the ability to exclude certain posts by selecting categories or tags.
This feature allows you to add hashtags to the twitter message using category, tags or custom fields.
So, I have Buffer that is predominantly sharing other people's content across Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
And I have Revive Old Post which is sharing my old content to Twitter.
But I also wanted to gain some more traction on Twitter by posting more content with a higher posting frequency.
Enter Tweet Jukebox...
3. Tweet Jukebox
Tweet Jukebox is perhaps not so well-known as the previous two tools, so I'll give you a little more background first.
Tweet Jukebox was created by 'Chief Tweetologist' Tim Fargo back in 2013. Initially he was just building a tool to help him in his own business as he was tweeting and scheduling content over and over again. In his words:
I just wanted a tool to save me the time of scheduling tweets.
Having created the tool for himself and seeing how beneficial it was he decided to release it to the general public in January 2015. The tool is very much work in progress and is constantly being developed. At the time of writing it exists as a FREE version, but a paid version with additional features is planned for the future.
Tweet Jukebox gives you 5 jukeboxes that you can fill with tweets. You just keep adding content as and when you want to.
To help you get started, Tim has created a jukebox containing 200 quotes. It's up to you if you wish to use it. Personally, I do, and I've been pleasantly surprised to see my Twitter engagement grow as a result.
Things I like about Tweet Jukebox:
Each jukebox has its own scheduling system so you can decide how frequently the tweets go out. Once they've all 'played' then the jukebox turns over and starts again. But it plays them in a different order to keep the 'randomness' factor going.
Tweet Jukebox has a built-in Mentions feature which just runs automatically in the background. It allows you to see mentions over time in a graph format, see who your top "promoters" are using two different metrics: volume and reach.
Tweet Jukebox has a nice Friday Feature where it will automatically thank your top Twitter users that mentioned you during the week. I think this is a nice feature and gives a public shoutout to those who are engaged with you.
Tweet Jukebox also has a Google Chrome Extension. This is a great little add-on and allows you to quickly add text or images to one of your jukeboxes when you are trawling the Net.
One of the best things about Tweet Jukebox are the amount of Video Tutorials. It is a simple system to use, but Tim not only shares the 'how-to' he shares the 'why'. For example, why is it best to share every 13 mins rather than every 15 mins. This is based on his experience and best practice of using Tweet Jukebox.
Marketing Automation: Good or Bad?
There may be some purists out there who think automation is a bad thing.
Personally, I don't believe there is anything wrong with using automation as long as you get the balance right.
Social media is all about building engagement - if you just switch on scheduling and automation and don't bother to engage with users then you may as well not publish anything at all.
Be real - use tools to help you, NOT replace you!
I think this paragraph from Susanna Gebauer sums it up nicely:
What's your take on marketing automation?
Can you, or do you, manage without it?
Or have you embraced it like we have embraced automatic devices in the rest of our lives?
Should we only be sharing brand new content or is it OK to repeat our messages?
What tools are you using to free up your time?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.