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Social media can be time consuming or it can be nice and easy. Both strategies are valid, but as we mentioned on a blog post titled "On Social Media, the Middle Ground is No Man’s Land", there really is no in-between. Note: what I'm about to show you is based upon the use of our social media posting tool. However, the strategy will work using other posting tools as well. Ours is designed specifically for use in the automotive industry, so there are several things you can do with our tool that you cannot do with resources like Hootsuite and Sprout Social. The goal here is not to automate social media. That's not an effective strategy. We prefer to simplify the content finding and posting methods so that the act of maintaining a strong social media presence is streamlined and efficient.

Step 1: Find Content Sources

One of the biggest mistakes that dealers and even vendors make is to isolate their social media content to a couple of sources. We've seen dealers who post nothing but their own occasional blog posts and YouTube videos. Variety is important. Not only does it break up the monotony of posting from limited sources, but it also has an algorithmic value. On Facebook, the algorithm rewards posts from a diverse range of sources, giving them more reach within news feeds. We recommend using your own blog, YouTube channel, and inventory as your base. Then, you should add a few feeds that you check regularly to post content that mixes it up.

Step 2: Set a Schedule

Depending on who you ask, the range for posting frequency can be very wide. Some dealers and vendors post several times per day. Other post a couple of times per week. We believe in 1, 2, or 3 posts a day. It keeps it consistent without being overwhelming. Once you know the frequency, select the times you want to post. If you decide to post three times per day, a morning, lunch, and evening post might make the most sense for your dealership. It doesn't have to be complicated.

Step 3: Set Reminders

With the strategy that we recommend, you'll learn in the next step that you will be scheduling a certain number of posts ahead. If you do so on a consistent basis, you'll want to schedule reminders for yourself to continue to fill your queue. For example, you might schedule three or four days at a time, which would mean that you'll want to refill on Monday and Thursday or some other similar spread. Set it up in your calendar to remind you so that you don't have a gap in your posts. Of course, with our tool, you can skip this step altogether. It is designed to never run out!

Step 4: Fill the Queue

Your available time will determine how far in advance you fill your queue. For some dealers, it's a simple day-by-day task. You schedule your posts for that day or the next day and then return to fill again tomorrow. With most tools, 5-minutes is plenty of time to make this happen as well as the next step. If you want to fill your queue less frequently, you can always schedule well in advance. This is another step that our tool eliminates. Once set up, it handles the queuing for you!

Step 5: Monitor Daily

Even if you're queued well ahead of time, you'll still want to check daily on your posts. Comments, reviews, and wall posts should receive replies within one business day. Thankfully, it's something that takes just a couple of minutes once you get into a routine. An alternative to this is to set your notifications on your smartphone. If you're letting Facebook and Twitter tell you when engagement happens on social media, you don't have to check the pages themselves.

Step 6: Get in the Groove

Once you get comfortable with the process, it will become easier and happen more quickly. It's important to stay consistent on social media. You don't want to be a "binge poster" who goes days or weeks without posting anything before throwing up a handful of posts all at once. Social media is important, but it doesn't have to be time-consuming. With the right strategy and tools, you can turn it into an efficient process.

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