Quite often I hear the question – How much time do I need to spend at social networking to be effective? Many of us sit down, open up Facebook and we are off and running. We start interacting with our friends – commenting, liking and sharing along the way. We click on a friend’s name to see what’s going on in their life, then another friend, and so on… Pretty soon an hour has passed and we haven’t really accomplished any marketing.
Social networking shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes a day if all you have to do is check your inbox and messages. And, in that period of time you will still have time ‘comment, like and share’, reaching out to friends and prospects. After all, that is what this real estate marketing idea is all about.
Post automation helps with this problem and it is a good real estate marketing idea. Once a week you set up all of your posts in a spreadsheet, then upload them (in bulk or one at a time) at either Hootsuite or SocialOomph, and then you can rest assured that all of your posts will be posted every hour or so through out the week.
Automation with Hootsuite
There are a couple of ways to send out these saved posts to your social networking sites…let’s start with the free tool-hootsuite.com. The free version of hootsuite allows you to add 5 social networking sites including; Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Ping, WordPress, Myspace, Foresquare, and Mixi. In fact, you could just cover all the bases at ping.fm.
Type hootsuite.com in the the browser bar. Click the Sign Up now, choose the Free version and then fill in the blanks and submit.
Now, sign in and click on Secure Login
In the next screen, click on the house icon way over in the upper left hand corner, then click on Settings and Social Networks. In the pop-up window click on +Add Social Network and then Ping.fm. Type in your Ping UserName, then click on the blue Application Key. This will take you to hootsuite and provide for you the key, highlight and copy the key then paste it in the hootsuite box and click Submit.
Go to your spreadsheet, highlight and copy your post, then paste in the Compose Message box. Click on the icons that you want this message sent out to, then click on the middle icon that says 30 (this is your calendar). Set the day and time you want your message to go out…then click on Schedule.
When you click on the social networking tab, at the top of the dashboard, and note that all the way over to the right you will find your Pending Posts that are scheduled.
Also in that same screen you can interact with some of your social networking sites. For instance, click on the Twitter tab…you can see and respond to Twitter posts, Mentions and Direct Messages. In the Facebook section you can ‘comment, like & share’ posts written by your friends.
For $5.99 a month, you can ‘Schedule in Bulk’. Just click on the paper airplane icon and sign up. You can try it for a few days for free. The format is as follows; dd/mm/yyyy, then hour:minutes, your message, and then your link with http://. You can upload 50 posts at a time in a CSV file.
Example message: 16/11/2010 17:35,”Your message here”,”http://website.com”
Another way to schedule in bulk is a bit easier…at socialoomph.com
Automation at Social Oomph…
For under $30 per month all you have to do is copy your file, paste it to Notepad, save it as a .txt file, then upload the whole file. Then Hootsuite will send your post out to all of your ping.fm social networking sites.
Click on Schedule Updates, then Bulk Upload Updates.
NOTE: Before you save the spreadsheet in Notepad, take a look at it and make corrections. Once your messages are uploaded into Social Oomph, take a look at them again and make sure your Posts don’t have errors in them.
That takes care of your daily posts…but what if you just posted a blog and you want to get it posted at your social networking sites. I’ve got that covered at TwitterFeed (or Social Oomph).
Thanks for taking the time to read this article on Post Automation. I would love to hear your comments, please add them below. BONUS! Would you like to learn more about how to grow your business with simple marketing ideas? Get instant access to a free Marketing Ideas video (a $47 value) by going to Free Training.