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EPISODE 90

Don’t Quit Marketing; Automate it! (How I Put My Social Media on Autopilot)

automate-social-media-posts

Automate Social Media Posts

Committing to posting on social media consistently can take  a lot of time and it’s hard to know if it’s worth it. So should you suck it up and do it anyway, or outsource it to someone else? Well, it turns out there’s another option! I found that it’s possible to automate social media posts with a couple of really powerful tools.

Today I’m sharing how I automate social media posts using SmarterQueue and ManyChat. These tools have helped me stay visible on social media, grow my email list, and increase link traffic without having to be present on social media 24/7. 

These tools have been a game-changer for me by allowing me to focus on the things that move the needle in my business without sacrificing my social media presence to do it. If that sounds like something you want, give it a try after listening!

01:21 Why I decided to automate social media posts instead of quitting altogether

05:18 What sets Smarter Queue apart from other social media schedulers and how I use it to recycle posts on a set schedule

09:58 – Things to keep in mind when choosing your posting times

12:53 – How I’m using Many Chat to boost engagement and send DMs on autopilot

19:19 – Action steps to take today if you’re ready to automate social media posts

Kristen 0:03
Okay, TPT sellers ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place. Welcome to the Savvy Teacher Seller. I’m Kristen Doyle. And I’m here to give you no fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sale. Let’s get started y’all.

Kristen 0:22
Hey y’all, and welcome to this episode of the savvy teacher seller. I’m your host, Kristen Doyle. And today’s episode is all about how I have been able to automate social media posts and messages using a couple of really cool tools. If you’ve been around a while, you probably already know that I have always been all about hustling less, and automating whatever I can.

Kristen 0:46
And to be honest, posting on social media just really has not ever been a part of entrepreneurship that I really loved. So I decided to automate social media posts using two tools: Smarter Que and Many Chat.

Kristen 1:02
And today’s episode is a peek behind the curtain at how I am using both of those to stay visible on social media, and to keep growing my email list and my link traffic without having to actively post and engage and be personally present on social media account.

Kristen 1:21
Before we get into all of the nitty gritty details, I wanted to share a little bit of background on why I decided to automate my social media posts instead of just quitting altogether. Though, just to be clear, I am talking about automating my teacher seller social media accounts. So these are the ones that are tied to my teacher website, and my TPT store.

Kristen 1:42
And I do have a rather large following on those accounts. But in general, my social media posts on those accounts weren’t really directly resulting in a lot of sales. Most of my sales come from SEO, and the sales that I’m driving directly to my store are coming from blogging and email.

Kristen 2:02
Even though I’m not getting a ton of direct sales off of, for example, Instagram post, I knew I didn’t want to completely abandon the accounts, because I did have a lot of followers there. And those followers are expecting to see content posted. And you know, just in general, anytime that you’ve put in time and effort on building an audience somewhere, it is just not wise longterm to completely abandon them and give up on it.

Kristen 2:28
On the flip side, my to do list was longer than the hours in a day. And I’m sure plenty of you can relate to that. And I really just knew I could not commit to posting myself. So then my options are to hire someone or to figure something else out. And I really was struggling to justify hiring someone to manage my accounts for me when they weren’t directly translating into sales.

Kristen 2:53
No, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t hire someone, because there are a lot of ways to measure your return on investment outside of dollars, maybe it’s your time that you’re getting back. But for me, I was having trouble justifying the expense on something that didn’t seem to be directly affecting my sales. And I would rather find some other way to do it.

Kristen 3:12
Not to mention, anytime that you hire someone you do then have to manage that person. And you have to provide content for them and all of those sorts of things. And my goal here was really to reduce the amount of time that I was spending on my social media posts.

Kristen 3:26
I was talking with my friend, Laura, who you might have heard on the podcast last fall, she is always encouraging me to automate everything I possibly can. And there are a lot of times where I think something can’t be automated for whatever reasons. And she kind of helps me break out of that box and think, you know, outside the lines a little bit about how I can automate things.

Kristen 3:48
So with her help, I decided to try automating my social media posts instead of just putting all together or hiring it out. Now, I do have to give a little disclaimer, I really wanted to have this all finished and fully set up before I recorded this episode. But sometimes life just gets in the way. And I know you guys know how that is.

Kristen 4:09
So if you take a look at my social media accounts for Chalk and Apples right now, just know that at this time of recording, it is a work in progress. And I’ll share a little bit more about that as we get into the rest of the episode. Now there are tons of social media automation tools out there. I ultimately chose Smarter Que for my posting tool because I had used it in the past and I was really familiar with it.

Kristen 4:33
On a side note, I really cannot say enough about how great their customer service is. I won’t go down the rabbit trail of starting to share some of the stories with you. But I have had some really great customer service experience with them and some of my clients have as well. So just know that if you choose to go with them, they have a really incredible Customer Service. I’ve been really pleased.

Kristen 4:53
Now like I said, this is a work in progress, but it is already showing some really positive results in terms of link clinks that I am getting from those posts and the email opt ins that I am getting to grow my list and it is saving me time and money. So everything is looking fantastic so far. And I can’t wait to see where it goes when I really have this fully fleshed out and implemented on my accounts.

Kristen 5:18
So like I said, we’re using Smarter Queue and Many Chat together. And I’ll talk about each of them separately. Smarter Queue is the social media scheduler I’m using, that allows me to recycle posts on a set schedule. And you can do this on a schedule that you determine. So you can plan months in advance. And you can even create just a few months worth of content, and let that continue to be reposted throughout the year.

Kristen 5:45
My goal is to eventually have a full year’s worth of content in smarter Que for all of my categories, so that it really only repeats posts about once a year, but we’re not quite there yet, like I said, work in progress. The way that Smarter Queue works is, it is all based on a weekly schedule, where you set different categories to post on different weekdays and at different times during the day.

Kristen 6:12
And you really are pretty wide open. As far as how you want to do that. If you want to post on Monday and one on Tuesday, you can do that you can post different times each day, really completely up to you as far as how you want to schedule those.

Kristen 6:25
And I have chosen my categories based primarily on the action that I want my audience to take. And then kind of the secondary way I’m categorizing is based on the type of content, a lot of people might think about this a different way. And they may try to create categories based on the different types of content. But when I did that, the problem I ran into was I had more categories, then days of the week.

Kristen 6:48
So I decided to narrow it down and really focus on what are the actions I want my audience to take. And I want to cycle through those so that I don’t have three straight hosts leading to a blog post, and then all of a sudden one to a product, I want to cycle through them so that those different actions are spread across the week.

Kristen 7:05
Essentially, I have four main actions that I want my audience to take when they see one of my posts on social media. I want them to either go to a blog post, go to a product, join my email list, or maybe just engage with the post. So for products, I might be posting images of the product itself, I might be posting testimonials or reviews from buyers, or I might be posting tips about how to use the product, there are lots of different types of content that fall under my products category.

Kristen 7:35
Same is true for blog posts, maybe I’m posting a quote from a post or a tip, and sending them over to read the rest of the blog post. I also have a specific category for email opt ins, and for engagement, I post lots of different things, tips, encouragement, anything I think that my audience would be likely to engage with.

Kristen 7:53
Now everything in those categories is evergreen, meaning that it can be posted at any time of the year, January, December, July, anytime of the year will work. I know you’re probably thinking yeah, but I have so much seasonal stuff. And to be perfectly honest, my seasonal products and blog posts were exactly why I thought I couldn’t do this on an automated schedule. But I have figured out a solution.

Kristen 8:19
So one day of the week for me, and maybe it’s two days or three days for you depending on how many seasonal products you have. But for me, one day of the week is set to be my seasonal categories. And then I have multiple different seasonal categories depending on the season. And how you do those will really depend on how you are creating products.

Kristen 8:38
Do you have January products, or are yours more specific? Do you have you know certain holidays that you have products for so you may need to do your categories, different ways, based on what kind of products you have. Generally speaking, I do a category per month with a few exceptions here and there depending on the season.

Kristen 8:55
So for example, my back to school posts are scheduled for all of August and part of September. I may even try this year, starting them late in July, just to see how that works. So that season happens to be a good bit longer. My Valentine’s Day things kind of run just a couple of weeks really because that’s when that season is. So think about your products and when people are buying them and you can set those up however you want.

Kristen 9:22
Within Smarter Que, essentially what I do is I create a category, we’ll just stick with the back to school and I create a category called back to school. And within that category, I plug in lots of posts that can get recycled. They might be links to blog posts, they might be links to products, there might be testimonials about products, but lots of things for back to school season that can get recycled throughout that season.

Kristen 9:44
And then I set it so that that category is only active from say August 1 to September 10. And then that category turns off and on September 11, I start the next category and so on throughout the year.

Kristen 9:58
When it comes to choosing your posting times. I know that that can be really intimidating, whether you’re posting live or you’re automating things. But keep in mind that you can always adjust the schedule as you go. Just continue to look at your data. And you can always shift and adjust the schedule, it is as easy as just drag and drop to move a post earlier or later in the day, or even to change the day of the week for a certain category. So don’t feel like you’re stuck with it forever, you can always change this.

Kristen 10:25
But I chose my posting times based on the audience insights that I found inside my social media accounts themselves. So I’m looking at the insights in my Instagram data and my Facebook data. And you can set it to post at the same time on both or you can set it to post at different times on the different platforms totally up to you.

Kristen 10:43
Now, as far as loading in your content, you can manually add new posts to Smarter Queue anytime, it’s essentially the same process as manually adding a post to your Facebook feed itself or to your Instagram, or using any of the other scheduling tools. You add in your caption, you pick your photo, and within smartercare, you’re gonna tell it if it needs to be posted on a specific day, or is it an evergreen and what category it goes in.

Kristen 11:09
So it’s really easy to do that. But you can also have Smarter Que pull in past posts from your social media accounts. And that is a really good way to quickly load in a lot of content into your accounts. And once you pull those in, you’re not stuck with reposting exactly the old thing, you’re totally able to adjust the captions and even change out a photo if you want. Maybe you like the caption but you want to put a newer photo, you can do that as well.

Kristen 11:36
Another thing I really love is that you can have variations of the same post. So maybe you want to post about a certain product. But you don’t want to post about it five times in a row, you want to cycle through different products, you can have multiple variations of the post on that one product, so that it’s kind of mix and matching captions with photos, and your feed doesn’t feel repetitive, even though it is cycling through these posts.

Kristen 12:00
One thing that a lot of people ask about is what about date specific posts. So you know, maybe we’re having an event or there’s a sale, we’re running something like that, you can absolutely schedule those out in Smarter Queue as well. Of course, you can always just manually post those like you would have done before using Smarter Queue, you can create them as a one off post and just tell it I want to post this one on Tuesday at 6am.

Kristen 12:23
Or if you want it to post in a slot, maybe I always post an email opt in on Tuesdays at 630. But today, there’s a big sale going on. So on this Tuesday, I want to post a sale post. You can just create this post, tag it as an email opt in because you know then it’ll go out on Tuesday at 6:30am. And you can just set it not to repeat just to post that one time, and then it will post it and remove it from your queue. So that’s a good workaround as well.

Kristen 12:53
That is how I’m using Smarter Queue. Let’s talk about Many Chat. That is my secret weapon for engagement on my account and for sending specific links to people that are interested in a certain post. So what Many Chat does is it is set up to automatically send DMS to people direct messages to people based on a comment that they make.

Kristen 13:16
And there are lots of different ways to set this stuff up. It can be super simple, or it can be super complicated, but I’ll tell you kind of how I am using it. I use Many Chat to direct message someone the link to a product or a blog post when they comment on my social media post with a certain keyword.

Kristen 13:33
You might have seen it in action on my Kristen Doyle social media accounts @kristendoyle.co since I do use Many Chat there as well. I don’t use Smarter Queue on that account. So you’re not seeing the cycling through of posts there. But I do use Many Chat. So you may have seen it in action when I post something and it says comment SEO for the link.

Kristen 13:54
And anytime somebody comments with that specific word, then a direct message is sent to them from my account, including whatever I have to say it can be just the link. It can be a paragraph and the link. It can even be multiple choice questions and things like that. So lots of options. But it just sends them that link right in their direct messages where they are able then to click on it and open it which is a big deal because on Instagram, we can’t put clickable links in the actual posts.

Kristen 14:24
This is really good for a couple of reasons. It’s great for engagement because it gets people commenting on our posts. It also helps to open up a conversation in the DMS and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve connected with someone in my audience purely because instead of just saying head to the link in my bio, I said comment this thing and I’ll send you the link and when I sent the link they replied back and said thank you.

Kristen 14:47
And if someone if someone just hearts the link, I don’t respond again. But if they respond back with actual words, no matter what they say, I’m going to respond in some way to them. Depending on what they say, I may just, you know, give them a little heart or say one or two words back, or I might open up a bigger conversation. So it’s a really good opportunity to connect with your audience.

Kristen 15:08
And even though I said, I don’t love posting on social, I really do love connecting with my audience on social. So this has been a good workaround for me where I’m opening up conversations in the DMS, where I feel more comfortable. Now, it is really easy to set Many Chat up, you basically just create an automation that says if someone comments on any post, this is the way that I do it anyway.

Kristen 15:32
If someone comments on any posts with this word, then send them this message. And you just write out the message that you want, including any links that you want to send them. You can do lots of complicated workflows with multiple choice questions and follow up responses and all sorts of things. But most of mine are simple automations with just those two steps, here is the trigger when they comment on a post with this word, then here’s the action send them this message.

Kristen 15:58
I tend to use a single automation in many chat and a single key word for each destination link I am sending people to so for example, if I have five Instagram posts about a certain probability products, then the keyword might be probability. But every time I post about that product, I’m gonna say comment probability for the link, instead of putting a new keyword in every single time.

Kristen 16:25
This makes it a lot easier because you only need to create the Many Chat automation one time for that link. When you’re doing this, try to use unique keywords that you won’t use again, pick things that are really easy for people to spell and I try my hardest to use one single word as opposed to phrases, because I’m just nervous that you know someone will put spaces when they shouldn’t or not put spaces when they should, and then they won’t get that link in their DMS.

Kristen 16:52
Another thing I do is I add common misspellings of words into the Many Chat trigger. Because we all know, especially when we’re on our phones, sometimes we just typed the wrong things with our fat thumbs, right. So I also added some common misspellings. And if I happen to know that my autocorrect always changes this word to that other one, I’m gonna put that other one in there as well, just because I want to catch people who might have had a misspelling or an autocorrect error.

Kristen 17:19
And you can definitely pop your keywords into a tracking spreadsheet, whether you’re using you know, air table or something else to keep track of all your blog posts and your TPT products, you can drop those keywords in as a column on that tracking sheet as well.

Kristen 17:34
Don’t forget, as you’re doing these to use UTM links in your Many Chat triggers so that you can track them and see how they’re performing on the different platforms, whether it’s your website or in your store. But Many Chat does also show the click through rate and conversion rates inside the dashboard. So you’re able to see how that direct message is converting.

Kristen 17:56
Keep in mind when many chat talks about a conversion, what they mean is that you’ve done the thing that you wanted them to do. So if there was a link, they clicked on it. So it’s a little different from what we usually think of as a conversion, which would be a purchase event. Now, as far as how I’m prioritizing things, Instagram is where I get the most engagement, the most audience interaction. It’s also where I have the bigger audience. So I am making that the focus. And when I’m creating posts, I’m clearly thinking about Instagram.

Kristen 18:22
But I’m also scheduling them to post out on Facebook at the same time. In many chat, you have to duplicate the automation. So you’ll have one automation for Facebook and one for Instagram. And what I always do is I create the Instagram one first. And then I go to my list of automations and I duplicate it, and then I just change it from Instagram to Facebook.

Kristen 18:42
On Smarter Que, when you create a post you can just choose to have the same post go out on both platforms. So you don’t have to do any duplicating there.

Kristen 18:49
Alright, there you have it, friends. That is that the inside scoop on how I have put my social media on autopilot while I still managed to engage with my audience and I drive traffic to my products and my blog posts. Using smarter que combined with many chat has really been a game changer for me in terms of engagement on my accounts and allowing me to just focus on the things I love, and the things that actually move the needle in my business without having to sacrifice my social media presence to do it.

Kristen 19:19
So if this is sounding intriguing to you, and you want to take an action step today, then I would encourage you to start by brainstorming what are those actions you want people to take from your social media posts? What do you want them to do?

Kristen 19:33
You want them to visit your blog, check out our product, sign up for your email list or whatever else. Think about those categories that you might use. And then be thinking about what types of posts you would put into those categories. I would set a goal for having seven categories. So you have one thing posting a day and don’t forget to leave space or any of those seasonal posts and products that you need to be able to put in a different hops throughout the year.

Kristen 20:01
Remember, the goal here is to make sure your social media stays consistent and engaging and that it’s ultimately serving your business goals. But to also give you back some much needed time and energy so you can focus on those things that are moving the needle more for you.

Kristen 20:15
Now, don’t let the idea of setting up a bunch of automations overwhelming you though. It really is simple. Once you get started, just take it one step at a time. And remember, this is all about making your life easier in the long run by putting a little work today, if you get stuck, or you have questions about how I’m setting this up, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @kristendoyle.co. I love to talk through things like this with people. So I would love to hear from you there.

Kristen 20:41
Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, and you want to hear more about eliminating the hustle from your business, then make sure that you follow the show on your favorite podcast app so you will get a notification when new episodes are released every Tuesday.

Kristen 20:56
While you’re there, take a second to rate the show and leave a review. I really appreciate it and it helps the show to do better in the podcast apps so that I can reach more sellers like you to help you limit the hustle and focus on those things that matter. Talk to you soon friends.

Kristen 21:17
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on growing your TPT business, head to kristendoyle.co/TPT. Talk to you soon.

Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.