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Content Marketing Authors: Greg Ness, Will Davis, Kevin Benedict, Pankaj Taneja, Ben Bradley

Related Topics: Content Marketing Journal, Marketing and Sales, Google

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We are in a bit of a quandary when it comes to social media management and automation. Brands need to interact and engage constantly with their customers via social to uphold their loyalty. If you want to turn your followers into paying customers, winging it daily is not a viable strategy either, nor is it sustainable. As such, automation on some level is more of a requirement than a suggestion, yet automating multiple social media accounts every single day can be time-consuming, distracting and extremely overwhelming. It can also be very dangerous, as you’ll see below.

With that said, we’ve put together 5 tips to avoid social media automation blunders, so you can remain timely and relevant without actively monitoring at all times.

Tip # 1 – It’s not (always) about you

Let’s be honest – all social media platforms are comprised of individuals competing against each other. When #tagsforlikes, #likeforlikes and #likes4like exist, it only validates the yearning people have for attention.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of scheduling posts ahead of time to talk about you – a product launch, a feature, a recent blog post. The reality is, you’ll lose people fast by continuously talking about yourself. The general rule of thumb is to spend as much time posting as you are listening. The Hootsuite search stream is a great way to scroll through interesting topics and hashtags that are relevant to your business. Comment and retweet on something that interests you – it’s your company and/or your account, after all. If someone else is managing your social account for you, help them out by forwarding stories that interest you, sharing your events calendar or new partnership agreements, or any influencers you may have met at a company meeting or conference.

You can also perform geotargeting searches to start conversations with a local crowd, especially if you plan on attending a conference or an event in a particular location.

Tip #2: Go light on the motivational posts

#MondayMotivation. #TuesdayThoughts. #WednesdayWisdom. There is no quicker way to incite rage in your followers than by automating posts with regurgitated motivational quotes. You can double up on the rage if you apply these overused hashtags.

If you actually give a motivational speech, have timely quotes from a recent webinar, or post an article on an interesting topic (i.e., something actionable) then motivational posts are fine, but even still, be selective when attaching your business to motivational quotes.

For example, for one of our client’s social accounts, we posted something motivational on Labor Day that resonated exactly with their blue-collar followers. For another client, we posted an inspirational quote on Solar Eclipse Day knowing their followers were interested in this rare event.

Simply put, don’t go overboard. Scientists have found a link between people impressed by wise-sounding, ‘profound’ quotes and low intelligence – so chances are, you’ll either impress some unintelligent crowd or look unintelligent yourself.

Tip #3:  Monitor automated posts every morning in Hootsuite

You’ve scheduled a post a week in advance, you’re traveling and then you forget about your scheduled post. Problem is, it goes out moments after a newsworthy event. Nothing can ruin a business or reputation faster than an ill-timed post.

Here’s an example: moments after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, a cleaning service company had this automated post go out: “Cleaning your house when you have children is like shoveling snow in a blizzard.” Talk about bad timing.

Like anything else, treat your automated social calendar like you would anything else. In life, nothing is a given. We recommend you schedule posts starting after 8 am so you can catch up on news – in many cases, you’ll want to pivot and post about something else anyway if you have the time.

Tip #4: Combine Automation with AI-services like IFTTT

Social media platforms have grown so popular that it’s next to impossible to catch people’s attention – even with a healthy dose of automation in the foray. Instagram alone has 700 million monthly active users that are vying for your attention. It’s getting more and more noisy, and good content alone won’t capture people’s attention. What’s a way around this? For starters, an easy solution is to set aside resources for social advertising, for example, boosting Facebook posts, but this makes social media management that much more expensive.

Instead, social media managers are beginning to use AI automation tools like IFTTT to get even more granular with their posts. With these tools, organizations can automate the posting of specific pieces of content or in some cases, interactions with other users. Certain tools are even able to search out strong content to automatically (automagically) send it to your users. Another service called Quuu integrates directly with Buffer, which shares your posts at the best possible times throughout the day. Another app,, creates custom short links and automatically integrates with Google Analytics. It then adds contextually relevant hashtags to your posts. Awesome of course, but as mentioned above, read before you tweet in the event that hashtag comes across as insensitive or irrelevant.

Tip #5 Choose Quality over Quantity

There are several bloggers that suggest mass tweeting – these are the same advocates for buying followers. What’s better – the allusion of 1,000 unengaged followers that you tweet to every 10 minutes or 300 followers that happen to be warm leads and brand advocates? We think it’s the latter, because we’ve tried both strategies and only one failed. Quality doesn’t begin and end with followers, however. You’re going to need better images that actually connect back to your text, and pictures that are in focus. Use Canva, Pixteller or another free service to create your own social media graphics.  Get creative with emoji’s and try using them in unfamiliar places.

Also, it goes without saying that your post has to make sense, be grammatically correct, and if you want to resonate with the younger crowd, make it as interactive as possible.

Leverage an Automated Social Media Marketing Funnel

Need help with some of the automated social media management programs we mentioned above? Macon Raine is a B2B marketing agency that looks at social media as an integral step to a bigger marketing funnel strategy.

You’ll be one step closer to developing a deeper connection with your audience, and ultimately, closer to conversions and sales. To learn more, visit us at


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More Stories By Ben Bradley

Known for wearing plaid and sweater vests before they were popular, Ben Bradley is managing director of Macon Raine, Inc. ( - a management consulting, marketing and demand generation firm for technology organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and was a member of the undergraduate Iowa Writer’s Workshop. His interests include the intersection of technology and marketing. Because he was never very good at sports and doesn’t have many hobbies, his primary interests include the role of marketing on internal technology adoption, micro-finance, military uses of technology and media, self-organizing networks, network and physical security, collaboration and groupware. He frequently lectures his children on a variety of topics. Bradley was raised in Wheaton, Illinois and currently resides in Glen Ellyn, Illinois with his wife, two children and a purebred Latvian Goathound named Stella.