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Within the digital marketing world, “marketing automation” continues to be one of those industry buzzwords that attracts the most attention. The basic idea behind marketing automation is that you can automate all the mundane daily tasks that take up so much time, freeing up your marketing team to focus on all the high value-added activities that result in sales.
Automating your social media posts
When it comes to social media, there are two ways of thinking about marketing automation. One is by thinking of all the ways that you can automate all the social media posts you are putting out each day. This is a time-consuming task, and one that’s made easier with the use of social media automation tools like Buffer, HootSuite or HubSpot. You can be having dinner with a potential client while your social media tools are posting content on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can think of this as the most basic case of marketing automation.
But let’s ratchet it up a bit. Marketing automation is about more than just scheduling social media posts throughout the day or week – it’s also about automatically posting other content that you’ve generated elsewhere within your business. For example, say that you have a corporate blog running on WordPress. Well, there’s a WordPress plug-in that allows you to auto-post to social media every time you add a new blog entry. And there’s another WordPress plug-in that enables you to recycle your most popular posts on a regular basis.
You can start to see how all this automation can free up time while providing immediate value. After all, it takes a lot of time and energy to cross-post content across a variety of social platforms. So marketing automation is really about making all this cross-platform marketing as efficient as possible.
Combining social media and email marketing automation
But there’s one more way to really super-charge your marketing automation – and that’s by fully integrating your email marketing automation tools with your social media automation tools. When you do this, you now have a much more comprehensive view of what appeals to your customers and social media fans. For example, you can get insights into which social networks are generating new leads, and you can get insights into which marketing messages are resonating on which social channels.
If you are already using marketing automation tools to send out email messages, you now have a way to create triggered email messages with the highest potential to win over new customers and boost sales.
Social media marketing automation at work
For example, say that you’re a fashion apparel company and you’ve just released a fun new video on social media promoting a new summer dress from an up-and-coming designer. People are clicking on and sharing this video more than you ever anticipated, and that gives you all the information you need to know to really turbo-charge your e-commerce sales for the week. It’s time to send out email marketing messages featuring links to buy this dress on your e-commerce site!
Ultimately, the goal of marketing automation is to send out the right message to the right person at the right time. When it’s done correctly, you’re literally making money as you sleep. That’s the real future of marketing automation.