Apart from within some particular industries, any business that has not taken the time to craft and cultivate a social media presence is potentially a long way behind the competition. Prospective customers expect a certain number of social accounts as a baseline, and there are numerous possibilities for reaching out to them across different platforms. At the most basic level, a potential client will use the presence of social accounts to gauge whether a company can be trusted, and something as simple as the most recent posting date can make or break acquisition.
However, businesses face many challenges in this area, especially if they are not already large and established. Resourcing is often the main one. While larger companies have dedicated media teams, smaller companies might not even have someone whose sole role is marketing. That is where automation can come in – and even if you already have team members working on the social side, automated support can lead to greater reach and engagement with minimal extra investment.
Social networks seek to make it as easy as possible to post content. They thrive on user numbers – if any social network could guarantee that everyone in the world had an account, they would take up that offer without hesitation.
Simplicity means accessibility, which is fantastic for the general population. However, it does mean that, by default, businesses and power users miss out on functionality that could set them apart. This often involves using a third-party tool, and the benefits are numerous. Software can automate many of the most repetitive, if not strictly challenging, social media management tasks, such as tag and hashtag suggestions, pulling in relevant images, tracking engagement, and much more. In short, if you have social media success in mind, think outside the confines of the default posting view.
Whether through live chat or direct messages, most social networks enable users to communicate without the typical post and comment chain. Few things look worse for a business than inbound communications that go without a response. While you cannot beat human interaction here, most people will be happy with an acknowledgment.
Chatbots can receive and understand messages and, in many cases, provide a worthwhile response. This could mean sending someone to your website – checking off a goal in the process – or merely telling someone your opening hours and that someone will be in touch. Without any manual intervention, your company now has a direct, open channel to someone that has expressed an interest in what you do.
Another challenge facing companies with fewer resources than the competition is establishing something worthwhile to publish. Regular posts are crucial for growing an audience, but uninspired, repetitive content can easily have the opposite effect.
The way we do business is changing thanks to AI and other intelligent technologies. Incorporating it into your social media strategy is one of the best ways to remain ahead of the curve. You could utilize AI to scrape news and search engines for specific keywords at the most basic level. Commenting from an authoritative position on something that otherwise has nothing to do with you ranks among the best ways to leverage the content of others for your growth and appeal.
While you can use chatbots to provide information and updates, as outlined above, you could take your social media automation a step further and use automation tools to handle the conversion process.
If you receive plenty of views and interactions on social media, you can position the start of the funnel front and center across your accounts. From there, you can begin to direct users to where they are most beneficial to your business. This could be an email registration form, sales page, or anything else helpful to your operations. The more you automate, the lengthier and more in-depth the process can be as your needs evolve.
Automation on social media cannot yet replace the human touch entirely, but it can make corporate life easier. If you want all the benefits of social marketing without spending any time at all, get in touch with us for results without the headaches!
Rick writes extensively about the latest marketing and social media trends and how they can help small and medium-sized businesses to get the most bang for their buck in their online operations.
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