Having to come up with new content every day to post on your social network can be a daunting task, and it often leads people to start out strong… and then slowly peter off. It’s just hard to carve out time every single day or even just a few times a week.
But what if I told you that you could set it and forget it? Okay, not entirely, but there are ways to make your social network updates post automatically so that you don’t have to worry about it if you become overwhelmed by other priorities for a few days or even weeks.
Connect them to your blog. Already updating your blog on a regular basis? Then you don’t need to worry about generating new content for your social networks. Just provide a link to the latest post. In order for this to work, you’ll need an RSS feed for your blog. Most likely, you already have one set up if you are using a content management system. Often, it is your blog’s URL followed by “/RSS.” But if you’re not sure, talk to your web administration. Then use a tool like Twitterfeed to sync that feed to your favorite social network!
Update all of your networks at one time. With a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, and other networks, it can be tedious to log in and post to each one. With HootSuite, you can update them all from one place. First, you have to add each network to their system. Then, when it’s time to post a message, all you need to do is select the networks where you want a message posted, and it’s done!
Schedule posts well in advance. Again, HootSuite is a wonderful tool for this. You can schedule each post individually, or you can create an Excel spreadsheet with many tweets to schedule at once. This is only available in the “Pro” version ($5.99 per month) but may be worth it if you prefer working in bulk. Also, in the upgraded version, you’ll have access to better analytics tools to track how your social networks are doing.
Send automatic messages to new followers. Want to say welcome to people who start following you on Twitter? It’s easy to do with SocialOomph. But be careful. Don’t use this message to directly advertise. Some people consider it spam. Make the message sound personal, even though it isn’t.
With all this automation, it can be tempting to just let it run without any live interaction from you, but that’s not a good idea. You don’t need to check it every day or every week, but be sure to pop in every now and then to answer questions or post replies. It’s important to let your followers know that you are engaged and make sure they feel like there is someone on the other end, so they don’t realize that you’ve got the whole thing virtually running on auto-pilot.