3 Social Media Tools That Free Up Your Time

3 Social Media Tools That Free Up Your Time

I'm busy. You're busy. 

Heck, we're all busy. 

You know that blog post you sweated over a few weeks back - writing, publishing, and promoting - what's happened to it? 

When did you last tweet? Are you keeping a steady flow of content running through the system? 

When you're running your own business you need all the help you can get. 

And unless you have a VA doing your legwork you're going to need some form of marketing automation. 

More...

Marketing Automation

A couple of months back I was able to attend the Big Social Media Conference in Manchester. It was a great experience from which I learned a lot.

In and amongst the various presentations there were also some more informal discussion sessions where a group of 'experts' discussed a topic.

One of these sessions featured Ian Anderson Gray, Emeric Ernoult and Susan Dolan discussing, "Marketing Automation: Should small businesses be doing it?"​ 

One of the points that Susan made was:

If you do not get somewhat automated you will get left behind.

It's a fair point. It would be a total drain on your time if you had to manually post every article or tweet or update across all of your chosen social media platforms.

​If you're a solo entrepreneur or small business, then I don't see how you can manage without some marketing automation? For example:

  • Email Marketing: Autoresponders like Aweber, GetResponse, MailChimp, etc.
  • Social Media Marketing: Management tools like Manage Flitter, Buffer, IFTTT​, MavSocial, etc.

You are most likely using some already...I know I am!

​Here are three of the tools that I use to free up my time...

1. Buffer

By using Buffer I can load up 10 pieces of content per account (free version) that is scheduled to go out over a certain time-frame. I try to publish a couple of pieces of content a day like this - content I have consumed and liked and is worthy of sharing.

Things I like about Buffer:

Education

Kevan Lee on the BufferApp blog shares great tips and strategies. I highly recommend his recent series: Amazing, Actionable Social Media Strategies!

Chrome Extension

This simple add-on makes adding content to my Buffer queue so simple!

iOS App

As I do a lot of my 'consuming' on the iPhone this App makes it easy to add content to my Buffer queue, along with adding to my Pocket App of course...

IFTTT

There are a few recipes on IFTTT integrating with Buffer. For example, I use one to save all my posts that have gone out via Buffer as I then have an easy reference guide to dive back into.

2. Revive Old Post

I came across Revive Old Post a few months back after reading an article by Eddie Gear. I decided to give it a go. Basically this is a WordPress plugin that publishes your old posts on a loop. Like it says on the label: it revives them!

I'm using the free version which allows you to publish to Twitter and Facebook. If you upgrade to the Pro version you can also publish to LinkedIn, Xing and Tumblr.

If you don't revive your old content and publish it again, it's just going to gather dust. Plus you have a chance to reach a new audience. The rate at which Twitter turns over new tweets means you need to tweet your content again and again to try and catch fresh eyes. 

Things I like about Revive Old Post:

Tracking

Enabling this option allows me to track how well the revived post has done by adding Google Analytics Campaign Tracking.

Exclusion

This feature gives you the ability to exclude certain posts by selecting categories or tags.

Hashtags

This feature allows you to add hashtags to the twitter message using category, tags or custom fields.

So, I have Buffer that is predominantly sharing other people's content across Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

And I have Revive Old Post which is sharing my old content to Twitter. 

But I also wanted to gain some more traction on Twitter by posting more content with a higher posting frequency.

Enter Social Jukebox...

3. Social Jukebox

Social Jukebox is perhaps not so well-known as the previous two tools, so I'll give you a little more background first. 

Social Jukebox was created by 'Chief Tweetologist' Tim Fargo back in 2013. Initially he was just building a tool to help him in his own business as he was tweeting and scheduling content over and over again. In his words:

I just wanted a tool to save me the time of scheduling tweets.

Having created the tool for himself and seeing how beneficial it was he decided to release it to the general public in January 2015. The tool started as Tweet Jukebox and only worked with Twitter. Now it's been upgraded to Social Jukebox and integrates with LinkedIn and Facebook, too.

Social Jukebox gives you at least 10 jukeboxes, depending on your plan, that you can fill with posts. You just keep adding content as and when you want to. 

To help you get started, there's a jukebox containing 200 quotes. It's up to you if you wish to use it. Plus there's a growing library of other content you can load into your jukeboxes.

Things I like about Tweet Jukebox:​

Jukeboxes

Each jukebox has its own scheduling system so you can decide how frequently the posts go out. Once they've all 'played' then the jukebox turns over and starts again. But here's the cool part - it plays them in a different order to mix-up your content.

Mentions

Social Jukebox has a built-in Mentions feature which just runs automatically in the background. It allows you to see mentions over time in a graph format, see who your top "promoters" are using two different metrics: volume and reach.

Thank You

Social Jukebox has an optional Friday Feature where it will automatically thank your top Twitter users that mentioned you during the week. It's a way of giving a public shoutout to those who are engaged with you. 

This is not an excuse to stop engaging with people manually. Rather, it is an additional feature to highlight your top interactions! 

Chrome Extension

Social Jukebox also has a Google Chrome Extension. This is a great little add-on and allows you to quickly add text or images to one of your jukeboxes from a webpage.

Tutorials

One of the best things about Social Jukebox are the amount of Video Tutorials. It's a simple system to use, but Tim not only shares the 'how-to' he shares the 'why'. For example, why is it best to share every 13 minutes rather than every 15 minutes. This is based on his experience and best practice of using Social Jukebox.

Marketing Automation: Good or Bad?

There may be some purists out there who think automation is a bad thing.

Personally, I don't believe there is anything wrong with using automation as long as you get the balance right. 

Social media is all about building engagement​ - if you just switch on scheduling and automation and don't bother to engage with users then you may as well not publish anything at all.

I think this paragraph from Susanna Gebauer sums it up nicely:

Marketing automation does not mean you turn over your account to a robots completely. It means you use tools and marketing automation software to make your life easier for activities which need to be done, but do not help with holding up the conversation: Cleaning up inactive or spammy accounts, keeping the account active all day long with scheduled posts, etc. You still can and should personally handle at least some of the activities. For me that means I try to personally check all mentions of my Twitter handle and direct massages – I often fail to check all, but I try!

Wrapping Up

What's your take on marketing automation?

Can you, or do you, manage without it?

Or have you embraced it like ​we have embraced automatic devices in the rest of our lives?

Should we only be sharing brand new content or is it OK to repeat our messages?​

What tools are you using to free up your time?​

Let me know what you think in the comments below.​

When you're running your own business you need all the help you can get. In this post, you'll discover 3 social media tools that help free-up your time, so you can get on with other tasks.
#timemanagement #socialmedia #tools
David Hartshorne

I'm a freelance writer working with business owners and marketing teams to create in-depth, actionable content that resonates with their audience. When I'm not writing about digital marketing and technology, you’ll find me chilling with a thriller in Spain.

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