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In today’s social orientated marketing landscape most business have taken the leap of faith into social marketing. If you are one of these business you know how time consuming and resource intensive social marketing can be.

Fortunately there are ways to dramatically cut down on the time spent trying to grow your social communities and spreading your brand awareness throughout the numerous social networks.

In this post I will cover four smart ways you can automate the growth of your communities and drive fresh, qualified traffic to your store so you can spend more time on other areas of your business.

Implementing the tactics covered in this post will result in more traffic driven to your site, more sales and faster growing social communities.

1. Use smart scheduling for maximum engagement

Content marketing is the way of the future for online marketing and should be embraced by most online retailers.

The internet masses have become used to discovering highly entertaining, high quality content and media through social networks, content discovery services like Flipboard and via word of mouth.

As an online business you need to compete on this front which means that sharing or creating highly relevant, high quality content is critical for success.

There are numerous tools out there to help with the discovery of quality content deemed shareable and to help with scheduling this content to be shared with social communities.

My favorite service in this space at the moment is Swayy which helps you kill two birds with one stone. Swayy recommends highly relevant, quality content based on the interests you select from its list.

Once you have identified an article you feel your community would enjoy, you can schedule it for publication within two clicks.

Using a service like Swayy or Buffer will increase your productivity, allowing you to share more quality content each week which will result in more engagement and more fans and followers.

2. Spread the workload among your staff

All social media management tools and even some social networks themselves allow for multiple moderators and admins. Add all your staff to which ever solution you are using and teach them the basics of how to manage your social profiles.

Designate time slots to each individual and spread the workload among your entire team. The more your team gets involved with your social marketing the more likely they are to feel connected to your brand and be able to provide important insights on how you can improve your business.

If you have a large business and want to add many moderators then the best option would be to contact your management tool provider and try and get a bulk rate. They will be happy for the business and you should be able to drop the price per moderator.

This approach is especially powerful if you have multiple offices in different continents. By adding multiple moderators which are spread around the world, you will essentially be able to provide 24/7 support via your social channels which could be a very strong competitive advantage for your business.

Hootsuite is one social media management suite which allows for multiple teams and moderators

Hootsuite is one social media management suite which offers multiple teams and moderators.

3. Be aggressive with social buttons

One of the easiest ways to increase the growth rate of your social communities is by increasing the number of potential impressions of your social profiles. The more people that see your Facebook page, Twitter account or Pinterest profile the more fans and followers you will get over time.

Every day you and your staff communicate with a wide range of leads, customers, partners and random individuals who inquire about your business. Use these opportunities to increase the number of potential impressions of your social communities.

Automate the growth of your social communities by placing social buttons linked to your social profiles within emails, newsletters, coupons and other marketing material.

Make sure you have social buttons within your site. Ideally within the header and footer of every page.

Make sure you don’t overdo it and affect the overall layout of your site and/or customer experience.

Example of social buttons within an email signature.

4. Open your blog up to guest bloggers

Using a blog to increase traffic to your site is very important for most small/medium businesses. The problem with operating a company blog is that regularly writing quality content and marketing this content is very time consuming.

If you plan to publish two posts a week (the minimum in my opinion) then choose one of these slots and open it up to guest bloggers from your niche. Every niche has many bloggers and these bloggers are always looking for guest blogging opportunities.

In addition to cutting down on the time needed to run your blog, allowing guest posts is a great way to take advantage of the existing following of your guest bloggers.

Make sure you encourage your bloggers to share their guest posts with their online communities and this will result in a nice boost in traffic to your site.

Make sure you aren’t cutting too many corners and be strict with the quality of the content. A good idea is to draw up guidelines that you can share with interested bloggers to help them refine their content around your requirements.

Conclusion

Marketing your online store doesn’t have to take up all your time. These four tips will save you valuable hours every week which can be used to focus on other areas of your business or to run more out of the box, complex marketing campaigns which will help you push a head of the pack in your industry.

If you use other tools or have your own strategies for automating your social marketing then please share them with all of us in the comments section below.

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Published 17 June, 2013 by Justin Butlion

Justin Butlion is the Content and Social Marketing Manager of Yotpo and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow Justin on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, or contact him directly at justin@yotpo.com.

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Comments (4)

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Scott Caldwell

I think if you're just starting out, particularly with blogging, one post a week is enough, which you promote the help out of. Then once confident with the style you are after, invite guests and provide them with very clear guidelines.

Also, thanks for the swayy recommendation, very helpful :-)

over 3 years ago

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Justin Butlion, Product & Marketing Hacker at Yotpo

Thanks for the comment Scott. I agree that if you're starting out one post a week is enough, some of my blogger friends want to publish more content but simply don't have the time. Inviting guest bloggers or doing "quick" style posts like interviews, resource posts and roundups are also a great way to get more done.

over 3 years ago

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AZ

To be honest, there's no real automation in social marketing, you still need human to do all the work as this is why social campaign is more personal and engaging.

However I do agree planning ahead is important. I update my blog at least once a week but most of my blog posts are prepared one or two weeks in advance. If there's some interesting topic coming up I would write something very short on ad hoc basis.

over 3 years ago

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Justin Butlion, Product & Marketing Hacker at Yotpo

I agree with you AZ that there is no complete automation to social marketing. I'm actually very against that idea. With that being said I still think there is place to use processes and tools to dramatically increase productivity and automate certain processes.

over 3 years ago

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