Don’t hate — automate.

The world of social media moves at lightspeed, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Staying current in such a fast-paced environment can be exhausting, but doing so is an absolute must in order to effectively promote your content.

Already posting links on multiple platforms, several times a day? Great! But that’s just the beginning: for brands to reap what they sow from social media, they must closely follow and capitalize on developing stories. Because most don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with the fast-paced world of social media, automation has become an increasingly popular alternative for small and medium-sized organizations.

What is Social Media Automation?

Social media automation is carried out with tools like HootSuite and Buffer, which allow brands to schedule posts to go live days or even weeks in advance. This strategy can be a real lifesaver when you’re crunched for time or out of the office but still want to maintain a consistent publishing schedule.

These tools also provide guidance on the times of the day, week, and year during which your audience is most likely to interact with your post — helping you capitalize on moments of peak social media interest.

Potential Fallbacks of Automation

The potential downside to social automation is that consumers expect their interactions with brands to be highly individualized. The key is to add a personal touch to each scheduled social post, or to create enough variations to make each post noticeably different from the last.

Automation is a great way to keep up with daily posting, but pure automation can also silence the human voice you’ve worked so hard to establish for your brand. That’s why you should always remember to balance automation with your own sensibilities when pursuing a holistic social media strategy.

Automation for Multiple Social Platforms

If you’re posting on several different social platforms, avoid treating them all the same way. Best practices for publishing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Plus vary, so be sure to do your research before scheduling posts for each channel. Use different hashtags for each post to boost your participation in as many ongoing conversations as possible. At the very least, keep character limits in mind as you develop content for all relevant social platforms.

Think of social media automation as a sneak peak into industry conversations about trending topics. These platforms are extremely personal, giving you an opportunity to foster relationships with and learn more about members of your target audience.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer social media management services to build a vibrant audience for your brand across all media channels. Learn more about social media and PR here.

Author Ami Foote

A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Ami is a staff writer at L&T. She has previously written for Ireland.com, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Britax Child Safety, and a variety of non-profits around the country. On a good day, you can find Ami obsessively consuming one or all of the following: folk music, NPR, black coffee, jeopardy, or Guinness.

More posts by Ami Foote