In fantasy sports, social media drives big decisions – decisions that make the difference between winning a season-long league and virtually being eliminated in Week 4. It’s something that takes a lot of time and focus and is an integral part of your marketing strategy. That being said, you have a business to run. And a fantasy sports business doesn’t stop at 5 p.m. or on weekends or holidays. As long as there are games on the calendar, you are working. At the risk of not burning out, you look for any possible efficiencies to shave a few extra working minutes from your day. And when it comes to social media, those efficiencies can be found through social media automation.
Social media automation is simply the writing and scheduling of posts that can appear on multiple social platforms throughout the day. It’s meant to save you time and allow you to focus on other parts of your marketing strategy. But be cautious in your approach here. Automation should never replace engagement, and technically, shouldn’t look automated. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Choose the right tools
Marketing automation is a huge buzzword/trend in the industry. So you can imagine that there are many companies that offer social automation. There are some services that just automate specific social feeds, such as Post Planner for Facebook or BundlePost for Twitter. But the best bang for your buck are automation tools that syndicate most, if not all, social platforms, such as Hootsuite, Sendible, Buffer or Spokal.
You can also partner with a reputable marketing agency, such as (insert shameless plug here) FantasyMeter that offers an automated solution package. A knowledgeable agency can fully implement the automated components of your social media strategy for you, freeing you up to focus on the breaking news posts that are also important to your social media plan. A warning here…not all good marketing agencies have a strong understanding of the fantasy sports world. Choose wisely.
2. Know what kind of content to automate
FantasyMeter recently focused on the 5-4-1 Rule of social sharing for fantasy sports sites. Technically, all content generated by this rule can fall under the realm of social automation. So to review:
Created content – Any content you create for your site should obviously be incorporated into your social feed. Blogs, infographics or videos are perfect examples. They should become part of your automation stream as soon as they are published. And if the content isn’t overly timely (i.e. projections, impacts of injuries, best matchups to play), then you can schedule this content days in advance. In addition, many CMS systems allow for automatic posting of articles and blog posts directly to social media sites, or may offer an RSS feed that can help in the automation process. You should definitely take advantage of these features.
Curated content – Curated content comes from other reputable sites and are relevant to your followers. A good fantasy sports article from ESPN or a nice statistical article from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association can go a long way. Good curated content supplementing your expertise provides additional credibility to your social presence. Setting aside 30 minutes to an hour a day to curate and schedule content throughout the day will save you tons of time in the end.
Humanizing content - Humanizing your content shows that you can truly relate to your audience. And the best part - your “personal” tweets are not usually time sensitive, making them perfect to automate. Feel free to stockpile a list of #QuoteOfTheDays or put together some witty posts to reflect on the NFL weekend ahead.
3. Know the best times to automate
Fantasy sports is a 24/7 industry. Coming up with the right formula for the best time to automate is a bit tricky. (To start, take a look at FantasyMeter's Fantasy Sports & Social Media Infographic.) But here’s something to think about. Avoid automating any post that occurs 1.5 hours before the start of a game slate. This time slot should be completely dedicated to breaking news that would impact a lineup decision. Once the slate begins, automate all you want. In our industry, you’ll find that most engagement occurs after games start. So plan your automation accordingly.
4. Don't automate and forget
Social automation requires. It’s a tool that willandyour social marketing efforts, but is not meant to replace it. Automation can take what would be hours of social media work throughout your day, and condenses it into just 30 minutes to an hour worth of work.
5. DO NOT automate customer interactions
Engagement is crucial to the success of any social media plan. This is one area that you should never automate. If someone comments on a post, you need to personally respond. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a canned response to posts on your social media sites. You can find many examples of this mistake online, and all are pretty cringe worthy.
Automation shouldn't remove the 'social' from social media
If you’re into automating your social media, know that it does take constant care. Going too automatic can cause problems and distrust in your fantasy sports site. You can schedule a week’s worth of tweets and posts with automation tools, but if you’re not actually interacting with your followers, you’ll likely lose them.