Social media is becoming one of the greatest marketing tools out there, especially for small businesses. Between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube, you can reach and advertise to billions of people on any given day with just the click of a button. Small business owners no longer have to solely rely on traditional forms of advertising (such as print media and television) and can now work at growing their business themselves.

 
Automation Can Save You Valuable Time
 
Social media, though, can be time consuming. Whether you’re Tweeting regularly or just scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, it’s easy to get distracted and lose track of time. That’s where automation comes in. Now, you can automate your social media platforms for your business so you don’t need to spend hours and hours each day promoting your company.
 
So, how exactly do you automate your social media accounts? Well, it’s easier than it seems. The article “3 Great tools to automate your social media” recommends using software such as Hootsuite, Post Planner or Social Oomph. Hootsuite, for example, allows you to manage all of your social media platforms from one main page, also known as a dashboard. 
 
This simplifies your “to-do” list immensely by allowing you to only manage one platform instead of each individual social media platform. Social Oomph is similar to Hootsuite but has a few added features, as well. 
 
And if you love Facebook, Post Planner is something worth looking in to as it was designed specifically for that social platform. All three automation tools have a free version (or at least a free trial version) and a paid professional version. This is definitely something worth looking into if you’re trying to grow your brand and gain new customers.
 
Do It Yourself
 
You can also automate your accounts on your own, but it takes significantly more time than if you were to use software to do it for you. You can schedule Facebook posts and Tweets to go live when you’re sleeping, which means your business can be getting more leads and building a bigger brand while you’re snoring away.
 
Since everything can be automated, small business owners often wonder if there’s anything you shouldn’t automate. One thing you never want to automate is “thank you” notes.
 
While that may seem like the easy way to go, it’s always best to send a personalized thank you note to help solidify the relationship with the customer. Little touches like that can make or break your small business.
 
Since many automation systems are free, it’s worth giving it a shot. If you decide you prefer the hands-on approach and you don’t like automating your Tweets and posts, you can always go back to doing it yourself. You may find, though, that automation systems can really save you time so you can focus your energy on other aspects of your small business and let your social media platforms focus on growing your business.
 
Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including personal finance, small businesses and social media.