Are You Automated?
Are you automated? Are there systems and tools in place to keep your business running smoothly in your absence? Are you able to handle big picture work or are you stuck focusing on the day-to-day routines? The answers to these questions can make or break your business and your sanity. Automation is an essential part of owning and operating any small business.
This article is here to challenge your preconceived notions of what must be done manually and to provide you with helpful tools and tips that can get your day going from a jog to a sprint. These tools and processes will help you re-evaluate how you are prioritizing your time and energy. It will help you access how much you should be delegating not just to your team but to essential tools built to help automate your social media, website, and workflow.
Social Media Automation
Social Media is an ever-growing necessity for small businesses across virtually every industry. If you are not utilizing social media as a part of your marketing strategies, you are losing out on exposure, clicks, and sales. Managing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or even LinkedIn can seem like a daunting task to many. That is why automation can help you to manage services you may be inexperienced with while providing you with results that don’t require your full attention during the entirety of your workweek.
There are several ways that you can automate your social media. For example, scheduling is a great tool to help organize your content throughout the week. Rather than taking time out of each day to curate and post articles, text, or images; you can simply set aside time each week or month to input all of your content and schedule it for posting. This one stop approach to social media lets you treat it like a passive marketing tool rather than a daily task that needs to draw you away from larger projects. For small businesses that don’t have a social media department of their own, this simple tool can help save you time and get you greater engagement.
You can also automate what kinds of posts are made from your website or any other connected platforms. Make sure to utilize WordPress plugins such as JetPack that will automatically post your articles with selected excerpts to social media. This saves you time and extra work in cutting snippets from your posts and blasting them out instantly with a few on-page clicks. You can even do this for articles written in advance of their publication date.
The simple ideas that we talked about with social media also apply to most website hosting platforms. Planning and scheduling are simple concepts, but they are often overlooked despite how essential they are to success. Your website isn’t just the sales funnel for your social media posts and digital advertising, it is an essential arm of your marketing strategy. Only on your website can visitors and prospective customers see all that you have to offer and only what your business is offering. Make sure to keep these key ideas in mind as you curate the content, design, and flow of your website.
An important aspect of any and every marketing campaign is keeping your audience engaged. This means not just creating content that captures the attention, but content that is regularly put out in order to keep that attention. Just like you can schedule out social media posts, it is equally important to schedule out content for your own website. By planning ahead and creating content for multiple days or weeks at once, you can save valuable time by developing a plan of delivery. You can ensure that your audience is receiving frequent updates in any number of forms.
By taking the time to turn this daily chore into a weekly task, you can create an informal framework for your ongoing and incoming strategies. What this means is that when you schedule posts or content to drop on one platform, you can create collaborative posts, advertisements, and opportunities across all of your business’ marketing mediums.
In regards to the Sales Funnel, email is an easily automated source of recurring leads and lead generation. Email automation is easy to achieve and there are a variety of plugins and platforms that will create and deliver personalized email messages that go straight to your leads’ and customers’ inboxes. You can create effective and powerful campaigns without having to do the tedious work of writing and editing an email to every person who offers up their information. This lets you quickly and effectively promote your other content, products, services, and updates within your business itself.
In addition to computer automation within your marketing platforms, it is important to create systems within the workplace that are complimentary to automation. While you cannot automate your employees, you can create processes and frameworks that allow them to make decisions and deliver content without the need for constant oversight. You can also streamline communication by laying plans out ahead of time.
To understand these concepts practically, let’s create an example. Systems of automation can be complex, but in many cases, they can also be quite simple. For instance, creating policies and procedures for how to begin, work on, and end a project can streamline an employee’s ability to complete a task once it is assigned. By creating examples for the kind of marketing materials you list and creating templates or trusted sources of information, you can cut down on inconsistencies and equip your employees to write faster, create better branded content, and do it all in less time than it would take them as if they were starting a project from scratch with each article.
Giving your employees access to social media tools, website plugins, and detailed policies on how things are done in your organization can equip them to work efficiently and effectively.
Automation isn’t just something attainable through artificial intelligence. It comes from taking advantage of digital tools that can decrease the amount of input needed on your part. It is about utilizing the tools, policies, and teams around you to collaborate on work across platforms but using the same framework.