Keeping in Touch with Customers Over the Holidays – Automating Blog & Social Media Posts

A guest post by Gina Smith

You have big plans to take some time off during the holiday season. One problem – you don’t want to lose the momentum of your blog and Social Media posts you’ve worked so hard throughout the year to build. No worries – you can still wake up Christmas morning without having to worry about posting to your blog or social accounts. Below are some helpful tips to consider:

Automate Blog Posts
First, if you aren’t already doing so, set your blog to replicate across your social networks. Each blog provider is a little different, so consult the help section or ask your webmaster how to integrate with your Social Media sites. While you are looking into this, check the steps of how to automate your blog posts. Most blogs, including WordPress and Blogger, include this capability. Once you integrate and automate, you can set up content to post automatically throughout the holidays.

Establish a Calendar
Pre-plan what and when you want to post. If you will be on vacation, consider posts which are less likely to generate comments you will need to immediately address. Also, perhaps think about including posts which are less “business” related. Do you have a favorite recipe to share? Or, how about a list of last minute gift ideas. And, of course, don’t forget a fun greeting Christmas morning and a Happy New Year at midnight on January 1st.

Become Familiar with Facebook Scheduling
Did you know Facebook offers a scheduling feature right in the application itself? Here’s how to use it. First, write your post and attach any tags, photos, videos, etc. Next, look to lower left corner of your post. You will see a clock symbol. Click this to set the year, month, day and time. You can schedule posts up to 6 months in advance, and even backdate posts in your timeline.

Explore Third-Party Providers
There are a number of third party providers which you can use to automate your Social Media posts. One of the most popular is HootSuite, which is used by a number of larger corporations. There are both free and paid versions. Both allow you to manage and automate posts for a number of Social Media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+ Pages, and even WordPress, among others. The paid version includes analytics, additional social profiles, and other neat features. Buffer and TweetDeck are also popular third part providers to consider. Always be sure to thoroughly research the options, features, terms and conditions, etc., of any third party provider and choose one which best fits the needs of your business.

So, no need to fret about your blog and Social Media posts over the holidays. With a little pre-planning, you can easily sustain momentum with your customers all the way into the new year!

Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications on behalf of a number of companies, including Global Response. Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.

Just because I LOOK as if I'm wasting time, doesn't mean I am

I saw an interesting post in a forum the other day – the original poster was complaining that one of his suppliers hadn’t been able to complete his work, but was blogging every day, was posting on Facebook, tweeting etc, so they couldn’t be too busy, could they?

The reason I found the post interesting, even amusing, was because the person being complained about is one of my clients, and I know how busy she is. So busy that she pays me to do her blogging, tweeting and Facebooking while she gets on with the work in hand. She also hires a VA to deal with her email, and accounts, so she’s not ‘wasting time’ there either.

I think it’s easy to look at someone’s Facebook page or blog and presume that they’re wasting all their time on their own business and perhaps not supplying your service quickly enough, and of course there are extremes, but don’t presume that because you’re seeing activity from someone, they’re wasting time.

For example, I wrote this blog while I was on holiday – I had no internet connection, so I saved it and a few others as there was nothing else workwise I could do with my time. I scheduled it when I got back, so I’m not actually in front of my PC while you read it – I’m probably on a conference call or working on someone’s site.

I schedule a lot of tweets too (@nikkipilkington) – so just because you see me on Twitter doesn’t mean I’m there right at that moment.

Our NikkiPilkington Facebook page is administered by 3 different people, as is my personal account on occasion.

Of course, I keep a check on things and any replies or interactions you see are from me personally, but I don’t spend my life hovering over FB, Twitter and my blog, and neither does my client – something worth thinking about when you see someone Tweet and wonder why they haven’t yet replied to an email you sent yesterday 😉

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