Managing multiple social media channels to promote your event can seem like an endless task and, with everything else you have to juggle, can put real pressure on your time.
It’s true that you get out what you put in when it comes to social media, however automation can be an incredibly useful part of the mix if you need to ease the load.
In an ideal world, all events would have a dedicated social media manager to craft bespoke messaging for each platform. For those without those resources, automation can help maintain online communication and amplify the content you do create.
Here are 10 tools that will save you time and increase your reach, taking your event news to more people, more frequently.
Social Jukebox is so-named because it acts like a jukebox that you fill with records (posts), which it will then randomly and repeatedly ‘play’ across your social media channels. The idea is that it eliminates the need to schedule posts, which in itself can be time consuming.
You can specify how often you would like Social Jukebox to post (from 1 to 100+ times per day!) and, if you’re short on posts, borrow some generic content to make up your playlist.
If you want to interact with users on social media but struggle to find the right conversations to join or individuals to follow, Socedo can make the search process far simpler. Input keywords that your target audience is using (such as industry topics or terms) and it returns a list of prospects.
When you approve a prospect, a number of actions can be automatically undertaken including: following them, adding them to a list and liking their post. When they follow you back you can automatically send them a direct message (Socedo also offers the ability to A/B test these messages.)
Scheduling posts means you can administer your social media when you have time and then forget about it. It’s also especially useful if you have followers across different time zones. Buffer lets you schedule posts for later in the day/week and will send them out at the optimum times for engagement.
To upload hundreds of messages at once, use Bulk Buffer to import from a text or csv file and Buffer will place them in a queue for publishing. You can also use Buffer to easily share content you discover across the web – simply use the browser extension button to put anything of interest in your queue (you can even select which image from the web page you’d like to use in your post).
Post Planner is a useful tool for helping you find content to share on Facebook and Twitter. Its content discovery engine allows you to discover the most popular content in your industry. Search using keywords, hashtags, Facebook pages or Twitter handles and then choose from articles, photos, quotes and funnies – each piece of content displays a star rating showing how well it has performed on other Facebook pages or Twitter feeds.
You can then add it to a queue for later delivery, specifying how many posts you want made per day and at what times.
When you publish a new blog or news story on your website, Dlvr.it can automatically sync it to all your social media platforms. The tool continuously scans your website’s RSS feed and automatically populates a queue of content to share, saving you from having to set up multiple individual updates. Better still is the fantastic analytics it offers through shortened links that enable you to track who clicks on them. It even adds relevant hashtags to your posts, without you having to do a thing.
Revive Old Posts is a plugin for WordPress blogs that automatically posts both new and older content to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds. This tool is great if you have an extensive archive of evergreen content (not date sensitive), enabling you to populate your social media channels without having to create anything new.
Just specify the time intervals you’d like it to publish and Revive Old Posts will pick a random post to share (crucially you can exclude any you don’t want recycled). It can automatically include photos from your blogs as well as hashtags based on the blog’s category or tags.
Conventional wisdom tells us we should keep our social feeds fresh with a constant flow of new posts, but Meet Edgar argues we should actually post the same messages again and again. The logic is that any post we issue is likely to be missed by the majority of our followers, only to be seen by a small percentage.
To make sure your messages get the attention they deserve, Meet Edgar recycles old posts, exposing them to a new audience and increasing traffic for content you’ve worked hard on.
Instagress is designed to help the time-poor ‘interact’ on Instagram by automatically liking and commenting on other users’ posts. It describes itself as, “Like creating a small robot clone of yourself, with the same interests and style, and then letting it work for you on Instagram.”
The idea is to attract a bigger following by interacting with target users (you like and follow them and they follow you back). It’s especially useful for finding an audience local to your event since you can use geolocation targeting to communicate with people based on the location tags from their Instagram photos.
However, use this tool sparingly – go too crazy and Instagram will twig you’re using a bot and you could get banned.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That and enables you to automate actions based on any number of triggers. It’s not just for social media; it can take care of all sorts of tasks for you, but here’s an example of some useful “applets” in the context of this article:
Share your Instagram photos across your social media
Share new WordPress posts to Facebook
Post your Tweets to Facebook when using a specific hashtag
Share popular articles from the New York Times with your LinkedIn followers
Sync your new Instagrams to a Pinterest board
Zapier is similar to IFTTT in that it can connect a vast array of online applications in order to automatically carry out tasks. The best ‘Zaps’ for automating social media include:
You can never fully automate your event’s social media (handing your online persona over to bots is not particularly social, after all), but you can use these tools to free your time for more meaningful interaction. Having to spend less time thinking about content means you can focus on replying to comments and messages, and actually engaging with other users.