One of the key challenges of any startup company is time. That’s why one of the key things you can do as a startup company is to automate everything that you can. There are many (but not all) aspects of social media that you can automate. Certainly I don’t recommend you automate all of your social media. You still need to be social on social media. However, there’s real value in automating things like blog posts you do.
The best solution I know to automate your social media is from dlvr.it. They are a lot of competitors that take an RSS feed and publish it to social media, but none are as well designed as dlvr.it (and trust me I’ve tried a lot of options).
One great part of dlvr.it is that it has a nice free service that works for up to 5 Feeds and 3 social profiles. That’s usually enough for a startup company that’s just getting started. Then, you can buy one of their paid plans as your company scales and you need to extend your reach.
One of the things that sets dlvr.it apart from the other services is the number of features that are available and how easily you can manipulate the various RSS feeds and social profiles. The number of options that let you customize how the RSS feed is posted, how often the RSS feed is posted, and where its posted is a key feature for my social media automation.
I’ve also found no other solution that can post to LinkedIn as well as dlvr.it. I’m still waiting for them to allow me to post jobs to LinkedIn groups, but I imagine that’s an issue with LinkedIn not providing that functionality. The good part is that dlvr.it is a LinkedIn partner and was one of the first that was able to post to Company pages and Groups on LinkedIn. You shouldn’t be manually posting your company blog posts to your LinkedIn company page. That’s a waste of time and can be automated by dlvr.it.
As a stats addict, I’m also addicted to the stats portion of dlvr.it. Sure, it integrates with Google Analytics and Omniture, but they have some built in summary features that are awesome. I wish they offered the option to look at a lot more historical stats data, but hopefully that’s just a matter of time. I’d also love to subdivide the stats reports a bit more than they can do now since I manage social media across multiple niches. Plus, it’s always fun to see a report that says you have 90k followers and have gotten 10k clicks on social media (dlvr.it doesn’t offer this feature out of the box).
The other problem with this type of automation is knowing if it’s actually working or not. A lot of dlvr.it’s competitors do a poor job reporting when a post failed or when a feed can’t be pulled. Many don’t report this stuff at all. You think it’s working and then check it weeks later and it’s not. dlvr.it will email you when something goes wrong and they have a history of what’s been done (or not done) so you can check.
They have other features like Qs (optimized post queues) and promoted stories, but I have yet to try those out. Of course, there’s only so many hours in a day.
There you go. Now you know my secret to automating some of my social media efforts. One final suggestion is to not necessarily automate everything up front. Spend a week manually doing it so you can test the best way to post your content to social media. Then, use the things you learn to setup those elements that can be automated.