social media solutions

Respond to Your Customers: Automate Your Social Media Solutions

Managing one social media account, let alone many, is time consuming but incredibly valuable for your small or growing business. Logging man-hour after man-hour into those accounts can all go to waste if you don’t do one simple thing on a daily basis.

Respond to your customers questions and interact with them directly.

Canopy Media has covered social media on more than one occasion on our blog. We’ve told you what accounts work best for which business situations, what accounts are the most important and how to manage those accounts individually.

Keeping in touch with your social media visitors is important, but out of sight is out of mind for most humans. Everyone’s business day is full to the brim with tasks and to-do’s so it’s pretty easy to forget your social medias and not sign in to monitor activity.

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew when you had new messages without signing in?

Well, the future is now. All of the ‘big four’ social media clients have some automation features you can use to keep you in the loop and responding to customers without wasting needless time signing in and out every hour.

How to Automate Your Social Media Notifications

First things first. You need a central email that either already is, or will be, associated to each of your personal or business accounts. It’s easiest and the best practice if you use the email address you answer the most.

Crowding your inbox with more messages may not be desirable but missing possible sales due to online inactivity is even less desirable.

*Note – Segregate your personal life from your professional one. An email account for home and work life keeps you from working at home and playing at work. It’s also the easiest way to group two sets of inbound messages. *

Once you’re squared away get ready to automate!

If you’re creating a new account simply use your predetermined email account during the account creation and verification process. For those of us bringing all of our accounts into harmony follow these steps:

Twitter: Twitter is a hotbed of social activity. With short messages being the main avenue to communicate on Twitter it’s no wonder why the volume of messages is much higher than other social media clients. The user actually has a lot of control when it comes to notifications for account activity. Simply sign in to your profile and click on the settings tab found underneath your profile name and picture in the top right corner of the page.

Once you’re into your settings click the notifications tab. Here’s where you can pick and choose what gets emailed to you. Both messages and general activity can be ‘pushed’ to your email, keeping you in the loop.

Facebook: There’s a lot of choice to be had in your Facebook account. You can automate most aspects of your account to send you push notifications if you know where to find them. Sign into your account and click on your account tab, again in the top right corner. You’ll be sent to a page with a few options along the left-hand side of the page. Click notifications, under general and security.

There are close to 100 options to toggle on or off. Make the choices that best reflect your ‘need to know’ and have those items pushed through to your email account.

Linkedin: Linkedin by comparison has less users than the two afforementioned social medias but it has a benefit that the others don’t. This is social media for businesses and professionals. The traffic may be light but they are actively looking to do business, so make the most of Linkedin’s audience.

Setting up email forwarding from Linkedin wasn’t as obvious as the others, due in large part to it’s initial setup process. When you sign up for the very first time you are prompted to choose your email and forwarding settings. Most of us simply roll with the defaults which sends notifications directly to your associated email’s inbox.

You can turn forwarding and notifications features on in the account panel found in the right hand corner at the top of the page by your account options.

Google+: We’re still figuring this one out ourselves, but it does have value and it’s growing daily so there’s really no reason not to get involved. Google+ is unique in that it is already tied to a Gmail account by nature.

Notifications can be configured to send you messages based on account activity. If the Gmail account associated with the Google+ account isn’t your central ‘catch-all’ email simply set up email forwarding from the Gmail account and again, you’ll see all your messages in one place.

It’s also a great idea to have your website’s contact page, blog and comment stream hooked up to the same email so all you have to do is check one inbox and respond to everything all at once.

Managing all those account by your lonesome is tough, we get it. Here’s a little more help to get your social media organized and driving sales.

Social Media Management Software

Setting up email auto-forwarding and equivalent services isn’t the only way to stay organized. There’s a host of software and services that help you manage all of your social media accounts and your staff.

Tweetdeck – Certainly one of the best known social media management tools, Tweetdeck makes posting to your various pages easy.

All of the main social medias are accessible from the same spot. Easy in and easy out.

Hootsuite – This is our go-to software service. This panel can do just about everything in terms of social media management, especially if you spring for their premium services. Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts can all be integrated into the Hootsuite panel.

You can also add multiple accounts, say for additional businesses or clients. Posting, watching your message feeds, scheduling your messages, and quickly switching between Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin makes Hootsuite a winner.

CoTweet – Some businesses manage their social media accounts collectively. Each employee gets access to your accounts including Twitter. One by one they make posts to your feed with everyone signing in through the same panel.

This works for some businesses to be sure, but others with a large volume of employees desire a more comprehensive way to see who has said what and when.

CoTweet allows managers to see who has made which post and when, keeping your workforce accountable for their messages, all in one place.

Now that all your social media notifications are filtering to one centralized email or social media suite you don’t have any excuse to miss a message, tweet, shout out or online comment.

Staying connected with potential customers means more sales in the future.