This article originally appeared on the PrinterBees.com blog.
There are many great tools you may not know about to automate your social media marketing, freeing your time up for more important tasks. I have my two favorite below and you likely wouldn't be reading this post if I didn't utilize these tools. I've had to find ways to make sure I'm consistent with my social media marketing and automating it was the only way.
Buffer: I don't know how I would do it without Buffer. Buffer actually got me back in the game with Twitter as I was really struggling to stay consistent and active. Being active on Twitter is really the only effective way to be on Twitter. It's about people seeing you and your posts regularly and frequently. It's about providing relevant links and information SEVERAL times per day to good and relevant content. With Buffer, you can schedule and queue up your Tweets so you aren't spamming and all at once. (spamming several tweets out at one time is a big "no no". Buffer also offers a great applet for your browser, making it so simple to tweet great articles you happen upon during the day. the best way to learn about Buffer is to use it, you'll see the benefits immediately. They offer a free account, though it was a "no brainer" for me to have a paid account when I saw how much time it could save me as I manage several blogs and twitter accounts.
If This Than That: This tool is nothing short of spectacular and will save you so much time. It may be the application that allows you to actually do your social media marketing. It truly automates everything that is important with social media. It's a website that allows you to create rules/tasks based on a SIMPLE set of instructions. Example: Everytime there is a new blog post on www.printerbees.com/blog (if this...), then send a post to my PrinterBees Twitter Account announcing the new post (...then that). When someone follows me on Twitter (if this...), send a note vie Twitter saying thanks.(...then that). The accounts are free, it takes about 30 minutes to set up and once you set it up, you will find hours of free time, you will find more new customers and you will have many more followers. IFTTT has freed up so much time for me, I can focus on what's most important....blogging and content.
IFTTT TIME SAVING TIP: Use the "recipes" created by others in IFTTT and save yourself a ton of time. Here's a link to the PrinterBees recipes.
I make sure to stay as consistent as I possibly can with blogging, content IS king and one of the most important aspects of social media marketing from my perspective. Um...and Google's perspective too! I need to make sure I'm continuing to create great content that's relevant AND timely and get it out to the social networks at the same time. By posting my blog posts out to the social networking sites, I'm creating links to my blog, rich in content. The content in my blog is filled with links to my main website, where our sales take place.
The sooner you put these two tools to work for you, the sooner you'll be better at social media marketing and have way more time. It's made a world of difference for PrinterBees and allowed me to focus on "this" and not have to spend time on "that" which can be automated! Happy marketing.