Managing social media for your insurance brokerage can be enormously time consuming. The problem is that in order for a social platform to feel “social” you need to generate regular content and ensure that it drip feeds at the right level to your audience. This is compounded by the problem of most social media platforms offering no scheduling options – e.g. with Facebook you hit the post button and the content goes live immediately, you can’t ask it to hold the data until Saturday for you.
Fortunately it doesn’t have to be that way. There are several automation tools that can help you ensure you’re always connected to your audience without being always connected to a seat in front of your PC.
Hootsuite is the grand-daddy of all automation products for social media. You can manage Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Myspace, WordPress, Google+, and countless other networks using their App Directory.
The good news is that it is free to try. However, you’ll almost certainly want to consider a paid option so that you can upload Excel files to do mass scheduling of posts rather than creating each one individually.
The learning curve can be a little sharp for non-technical newbies but once you’ve mastered Hootsuite your social media scheduling becomes a piece of cake.
Buffer is similar to Hootsuite and some folks swear by it. It’s a very simple way to upload posts, pictures and videos to the main social networking sites on a schedule. It works as a browser extension so you’ll be very familiar with the controls.
You can try if for free and the long-term outlay is only $10 a month which is pretty good value for taking all those headaches away.
If you’d like to grow your audience quickly and through relevance then Triberr might be the answer. It’s essentially a blogging network that lets you link with communities (by invitation only – but you can request an invite). Then every time you put up a blog post the rest of the community is notified. It’s a great way of extending the reach of quality content to the right kind of reader.
This free to use tool allows you to track what people are saying about you online from multiple different sources. If you want to stay on top of conversations so that you can enjoy the positive feedback and protect your reputation when things aren’t so positive – Social Mention’s the perfect tool, and it’s extremely simple to use.
IFTTT means “if this, then that” and it allows you to create rules that work between social media platforms. For example; if someone follows you on Twitter it could generate a quick response thanking them for doing so and point the way to your Facebook profile. Or it could ensure that every video you upload to Youtube or image you place on Instagram is then backed up automatically in DropBox.
It’s a much more complex tool than the others but don’t let that put you off – there are dozens of user created recipes you can use for free that will have many of the rules you want already developed for you.
There are many other automation tools for social networking but these are the main tools that will get 95% of the job done with much less effort. Once you’re up and running you can then concentrate your social media efforts on engaging with your audience and building up your sales and customer care platforms around them.
Don’t forget: Just because you’re automating some of the hard work – it doesn’t mean you should take a cookie cutter approach to content. It needs to remain interesting and engaging no matter how it is uploaded.
If you’ve enjoyed this article you can catch up with the rest of the series here: