Keeping on top of all the social media platforms can be a hard task for a small business owner that constantly has other tasks to worry about. As a result it normally gets moved to the side and forgotten about. So I’ve put together this post to help business owners to automate their social media efforts.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networks for businesses to take advantage of these days, so I’ll start there.
I think one important app that isn’t utilised very often is the Facebook Pages Manager application, this is developed by Facebook and allows people that manage a Facebook Page to post content and view insights around their page all on their mobile device. This is great for a few reasons, it allows people to easily share content and photos etc while out and about. It makes it much easier to take a picture and quickly share it to Facebook. I’ve met lots of business owners that take a photo on their smart phone, then email to them self, then go on there computer access the image, login to Facebook and then share the image. Using this app makes it much much easier!
Just search your App Store or Market Place on your mobile device or you can find them here for iOS (iPhone, iPad) or here for Android
Another great feature that Facebook offers that people often miss out on is the built in scheduling feature. This is for when you’re accessing your Facebook page through a web browser on a desktop or laptop. When you write a status update, next to the ‘Publish’ button there is a downward arrow. If you click that arrow you can then see the option ‘Schedule’. See the image below.
scheudle a facebook post step 1
Once you click that button, you will then see a popup (image shown below). You can then set a date and time in the future and then click the ‘Schedule’ button. Then when that date and time comes around your post will automatically be shared through your page.
schedule a facebook post step 2
This is a great feature to learn how to use because you can spend a little amount of time one day a week or fortnight and then schedule a post for each day over the next week or so. You can also schedule posts around certain days like Christmas or New Year where you want to make sure you share a message but don’t necessarily want to be spending time on the computer. Likewise you can schedule posts around special events, sales or milestones in your business.
Now if your business is taking social media marketing to the next level and utilising more than one platform, for example Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Facebook all at once then it can take up far too much of your time to actively monitor and share content across all of these platforms.
There are 2 platforms that we primarily use to help us keep on top of and automate all our social media efforts. The first one we use a lot is called Hootsuite, this one has an app available for mobile devices so you can keep on top of things while you’re out and about. It also has an online platform you can access through their webpage. One great thing is it allows you to see messages, timelines, up coming scheduled posts and share content across Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and so on all from one platform. You can also configure it to automatically check a RSS (aka blog) feed on your website everyday and automatically share new content through your social media platforms.
Another one we recommend is called Buffer App, this one also has a mobile device app and an online platform like Hootsuite. This one also has some other great features like a Google Chrome extension which allows you to easily schedule a webpage you’re visiting to be shared. This one has a great free platform that only allows you to add up to 3 social media accounts at once but it’s great for people getting started. This one operates a bit differently to Hootsuite. Basically you just add posts to a bank of content and it then automatically shares the content across the various networks you have attached depending on the schedules you have defined for each network. For example you may have Twitter configured to share 3 posts a day but for Facebook to only share 1 post a day. So you just keep adding content to your ‘bank’ and then the content gets shared automatically depending on your predefined schedules. We really recommend checking out both of these apps, using the free versions for a while and see which one suits your needs and then if necessary upgrade to the pro versions.

One last tool people often aren’t aware is available is that if you login to your Facebook account and then visit the following page, link facebook and twitter it will allow you to automatically share posts you put through your Facebook business page onto a twitter account.

Like or share if you got some good advice out of this or leave a comment below 🙂