What’s a simple way to improve your day if you’re a social media manager (besides magically making all your tweets go viral)?
One suggestion: Free up your time by automating and streamlining manual tasks tied to your social media calendar.
Social media marketing is already tough enough, with a steady stream of comments that need near-immediate responses and new TikToks and Clubhouses popping up every few weeks. The last thing you need is more tedious work. Social media automation can help you get organized, save time, and steer clear of drudgery.
It’s never too late to automate, whether you’re running social media on one channel or ten.
It’s never too late to automate
What is social media automation?
Social media automation simply means using technology, apps, and integrations to streamline your social media program. Social media automation tools make it possible for teams to post content automatically, view and analyze content metrics, optimize posting schedules, and scale a wide variety of campaigns.
Post content automatically
Let’s say you run a small company that only posts on Twitter and LinkedIn. Every post, response, and story is uploaded and published manually. But there’s a better way. First, streamline your workflow and keep it organized with an Airtable template that helps you manage your content calendar. The beauty of managing social posts in Airtable is that you can write copy, attach images, schedule posts, and anticipate what’s coming in the weeks ahead without leaving your Airtable base.
If you run campaigns for a large company and find yourself juggling 100 posts a week, the road to streamlining work is paved with automation. Airtable helps you make every post as high-impact as possible, so you know you’re serving up consistent content on the right channels. You might create a pre-publication checkbox to prevent all 100 posts from going live with broken links or poorly sized photos. Or build a post-publication view of all the posts containing a certain keyword.
Whether your social media operation is large or small, in Airtable, you can queue up Tweets automatically, sending them out whenever you schedule them. Or they can be posted according to any other triggers you choose. The setup takes just five steps:
2. Create tweeting triggers.
3. Choose your actions.
4. Update your social media calendar status.
5. Turn it on.
You can also use Hootsuite to schedule your posts—and it works mostly the same. If you're automating with Hootsuite, you might set up a similar trigger that’s tied to a content calendar. For example, once an article’s status in Airtable is “Approved,” you can automatically set a corresponding social media post to be scheduled in Hootsuite. Read more about that process here.
Create workflows that scale
Automating workflows around post creation, content curation, and scheduling frees up time so your team can focus on bigger-picture issues, like building a social media strategy that proactively anticipates cornerstone events throughout the year.
Once you’ve built your basic social media plan, you can use Airtable to see what’s been published, what’s in the queue, and what’s still waiting to be reviewed. Check out posts in a more traditional grid view, or scan each post in a gallery view. The gallery view gives you a quick visual sense of each post and its attached image. This can help you assess, for example, how your photography is evolving over time or whether the design is consistent on each of your channels.
Optimize your posts
Airtable views can also help you test any theories about your content. For example: if you suspect your most popular posts on Twitter also gain traction on Instagram but aren’t well-received on Facebook, you can check that by integrating data from all those platforms into your base (see a Twitter tutorial here, Instagram here and Facebook here). Then build a simple formula in each column, or field, that references other fields in your base, setting the content you post on Twitter to automatically post on Instagram.
Maybe you think tweets posted before 9:30am get more likes than tweets posted after 1:30pm. Airtable can display these analytics in a customized grid view by filtering the most popular posts by their platform or their timing.
You can also set up an automation that notifies you when the number of likes meets a certain threshold. For example, let’s say you’ve designed a record in Airtable to be auto-populated with information every time you get a like, or certain kinds of likes (from specific followers, or likes that contain a search term). When your two batches of tweets go out into the world at 9:30 and 1:30, Airtable will automatically send you an email once one batch or the other meets your predetermined criteria.
Over time, you may notice that one particular kind of post is gaining traction at a specific time on every channel. Now you know to repost similar styles of content at that time, or showcase that content in another way (by emailing it out to your database, for example).
Analyze data in more ways
Plenty of social media platforms offer pre-packaged dashboard views that show how your company’s traction and reach are changing. How many new followers this month? Which posts or pages had the longest engaged time?
Airtable lets you integrate data from a number of sources, like Hootsuite or Salesforce, and port it into Airtable, where you can create ultra-custom slices of that information. Social media experts across the world rely on Airtable to see which social media campaigns were also linked to sales deals or TV ad campaigns. Or they can analyze how a campaign stacked up compared to their top 3 competitors.
In Airtable, you can pull in more data and present it in a multitude of ways. Whether you’re showing your leadership team the top monthly social media posts in a kanban view or reviewing Tweets with designers in a Gantt chart, Airtable lets you go beyond readymade metrics to see your progress more clearly.
How our users automate social media
Whether you run your own business, run social media programs for a large company, or just happen to be an avid social media user, here are 5 ways to use Airtable to automate your social media life.
1.Build a content and social media calendar
Airtable’s Aron Korenblit assists Rebecca Fenn of Village Enterprise with social media automation tools in a recent episode of Automate All the Things.
2. Use views to track posts
Content strategist Nancy Casanova discusses her favorite views for producing, designing, and planning social posts on various channels.
3. Automate social post planning
In a recent webinar, data analyst Erin Hardy discusses social media analytics, along with planning and scheduling.
4. Schedule posts on multiple channels simultaneously
Dimitris Kamaritis walks you through how he built a social media scheduler using Airtable and a low-code automation tool, Integromat.
5. Sync social media plans with your personal calendar
Follow along with Lauren Pryor as she discusses how she uses social media, aligning a social media calendar with her Google calendar.