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How to Automate Social Media — Without Losing Your Voice

People often equate automation with robotic, but if you use social media automation effectively, you'll sound branded and polished to your followers. Here's how.

Alison Martin
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Sometimes automating your thinking can do wonders for your social media posts. Here's how. (Photo: magicatwork via Flickr)

When social media automation first came out, the posts were somewhat laughable. They sounded robotic, and it was easy to spot when a real person was actually doing the posting in real time. Nowadays though, social media automation has improved, and some platforms have even built automation into their posts.

If you're trying to follow our social media planner in the December issue, automation can make your planning days much easier. If you schedule your posts on Sundays, as advised, you'll have less to think about during the week, and you can concentrate on creating more in-the-moment posts that resonate with your audience. There also ways you can automate your real-time posts by changing how you think about social media.

Not sure how to embrace social media automation? Here's how to use social media automation effectively — and keep your voice in the process.

Schedule blogs, articles and website posts

You probably share all sorts of cool articles and blog posts — whether they're yours, Houzz' or a popular blog's — with your followers, and they probably take time to find, read and share. But these types of posts are usually pretty evergreen. They don't necessarily have a big news hook, and you're really just looking to engage your audience with them, not asking them to buy or sign up for emails from you.

These types of posts can be automated at the beginning of the week. Take some time on Sunday and pick out five design articles that you think your audience would like. Now write and schedule your posts, one for each day of the week. You can use built-in tools through platforms like Facebook or marketing automation tools like Hootsuite.

Doing this will ensure that you at least have one social media post going out per day. Showing up organically on your followers' Facebook feeds is pretty tough, but if you're only posting once or twice a week, you're going to have a hard time getting traction with followers. As long as you're consistently posting on social media, the chances of appearing in your followers' feeds will remain steady.

Theme your real-time showroom posts

Theming your post is an easy way to "automate" your live posts, but you're not really scheduling posts in advance like your articles. Theming your weeks helps you mentally automate the types of posts you'll be doing. You won't have to think hard about what to post, just choose product from your theme, take a photo, write a quick blurb and post. With a theme, you have fewer products to choose from, so you'll feel less overwhelmed.

If you schedule an article post in the morning, plan to post at least once from your showroom in the afternoon. 

This is a great chance to talk about your most popular products and share new products. Here are a few themes to get you started:

- Best sellers: Choose five products that have been top sellers and post one photo per day throughout the week. In your post, briefly explain why customers seem to like this product and where they want to use it.

- Staff picks: Your employees probably have their favorites. Have a different employee select his or her favorite fixture on each day. This gives your employees a chance to speak and show off their expertise.

- Best from manufacturers: You probably carry more than one fixture from Hinkley, Kichler or Quoizel. Choose a different manufacturer each week and post one photo per day of a fixture from that manufacturer.

- Room by room: Choose a room at the beginning of the week and post popular fixtures for that room.

- By style: If you sell more than one style — contemporary, rustic, modern — choose one style per week and showcase five products in that style.

Theming your live posts for the week can help you stay on track and give your posts more focus. You'll still have to do the posting yourself, but you won't feel like you're scrambling to create content and your feed will look branded and polished.


When it comes to social media posting, what's your biggest hang up Share with us in the comments!

(Photo: magicatwork via Flickr)

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