Social media is all around us. It is the driving force of modern-day marketing and companies are pouring millions of dollars into it. Just look into how much influencers charge for a sponsored image on Instagram and how many brands are competing for these influencers.
There are many different kinds of social media to choose from when trying to push brand messaging. This is where software development and automation can come in handy and the reason you should hire software developers to add productivity to your outreach efforts.
Influencers Engage Key Market Segments
Many companies use influencers to win the hearts of different user demographics. These influencers are gatekeepers to a degree to millions of followers they have and by wearing particular brand clothing or using certain products they make the company or its brand stand out.
Influencers are people across social media who have a huge number of followers, sometimes in the millions, and their voice is heard amongst many people. They often focus on a particular niche like hip hop or skating and if a company wants to be known amongst this demographic, the influencer could be that gatekeeper worth reaching out to.
An influencer has the power to affect purchase decisions and brand loyalty. They generally charge an arm and a leg to create sponsored posts on Instagram or similar content for brands. Sponsored posts may include an image with a good visual flair that will show a particular product or brand messaging.
Too Much to Handle at Once
Social media vary in style and content. Some, like Tumblr and Pinterest, focus on digital media and images while others, like Twitter, focus on written-word messaging and public discourse. Some are more company-focused and have bigger platforms for advertisers, such as LinkedIn, which actually offer companies their own individual pages to manage. Others, like Facebook, focus more on personal posts and connections. There are also some that focus on one thing or niche like Youtube with its video streaming platform.
Because of the amount of social media that exist and how varied they are in scope, companies often hire marketing teams or in-house marketers for social media management. However, there are automation methods that can make social media outreach much more manageable.
Automation Services and Web Apps
Examples of some of these automation tools include web apps such as Buffer and bitly. However, there are others that come and go including even social media bookmarks that will allow you to keep the site bookmarks across devices and operating systems. This is particularly useful for remote teams or where multiple team members want access to the same site content.
Buffer is very useful as it will allow you to post across various social media at once like Twitter and Facebook. You just have to connect your company’s accounts to the service, which also includes both free and premium tiers. You can add images and text to posts as well as links to video or other media.
Bitly is also a useful automation app and tool because it shortens links to make them smaller. This is useful for platforms like Twitter that have a limited amount of wording you can post in a tweet. It is also useful for other platforms because it allows you to add custom URL links showcasing your brand within them.
There are various companies specialized in social media automation and startups that aim to enter this niche but thriving market. An example of such a startup is 360dialog from Berlin. The company focuses on marketing automation with a heavy emphasis on social media for this purpose. It has a business platform that offers things like rich push notifications for Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Other startups have interesting automation tools available when it comes to chatbots. These are bots that communicate with users saving companies the effort to having to hire in-house customer service reps to be available at all times. An example of such a startup is ManyChat and it recently raised $18 million for its efforts to combine chatbot automation features within the messenger platform.
Implementing Custom Scripts for Automation
However, despite the variety in this industry, it may be easier for companies to implement their own automation scripts and create tools of their own to use in-house. This is because every company has a particular workflow and focuses on different media and content. What may work for one company may not work for another and certain automation tools, like Buffer, tend to focus on one-size-fits-all solutions in order to garner as many subscribers as they can.
Many companies also rely on content management services and chats alongside social media. I actually worked at such a company in Warsaw, Poland, called Radgost.
This company actually started with the idea of creating services with improved automation. The company started out as Radgost and decided to automate its invoice workflow because some of the founders were not satisfied with what was already available on the market. Then, they created their own invoicing service to use in-house and ended up spreading it to other companies from word of mouth.
It then grew into a Software as a Service (SaaS) with its own subscription model. They now have tons of thousands of users across Poland and are spreading internationally with off branches in Germany and Spain. It also offers web development a content management system with e-mail and other software that it is originally used for its own workflow purposes and also spread out.
Whether you choose to rely on outside tools or create your own for company use in-house, make sure you have a good software development team in place. Developers will be able to take advantage of the social media you want to invest time and implement ideas for your marketing teams in terms of scripting or other automation tools.
Social media is a great way to reach new audiences and keep your customers engaged in company messaging. It also allows you to showcase upcoming products or newly-released products. Companies that want to work effectively across different social media channels need to embrace both marketing and development without favoring one over the other. This is if they want their brands to shine and find the right channels to succeed in.
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