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Localized Social Media Automation: The Owner’s Manual

Localized Social Media Automation: The Owner’s Manual

If you are like most business owners, including myself, you find it difficult to stay consistent with social media. We know we need to be more active, but there is too much on our plates.

Unfortunately, our customers are having conversations all around us on social media and we aren’t joining in. We recently started working with a specialty coffee shop. One of our top priorities was to get them engaged with their customers on social media while in their shop.

So we came up with a strategy. We decided to join in on the conversations their customers were having at their shop using social media automation.

The following is a guide on how you can set this up for your own location.

Setting Up Your Social Media Automation

Our tool of choice for automating tasks is Zapier. I was first notified of the potential to use Zapier for social media automation when David Mihm spoke about it at LocalUp, and we decided we could give it a shot. I have taken screenshots of the steps so you can easily setup your own campaign.

Step 1: Decide What to Do When Something Happens

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 9.55.34 PMBecause we are dealing with a physical location, we only want to trigger the automation while in our location. Additionally, we want it to be about a particular conversation we are passionate about…in this case, coffee.

Next, the way we want to get involved is with a tweet of our own. So, when someone in our store is talking about something our business is passionate about it’s time for us to tweet ourselves into the conversation!

Step 2: Get Social With It

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Now that we have established our trigger and action, it’s time to link the appropriate account. If you have multiple twitter accounts under management just make sure you are logged into the correct account on twitter before hand.

Step 3: …Get Extra Social With It

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We now have both our trigger account and our action account setup. It’s important that both of these are the same account.

Step 4: The Finer Details

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We now have our trigger, action, and accounts established. Next, we are going to define our trigger and action. We want to be a lethal mixture of general, specific, and relevant. (yes…it’s a bit contradictory…)

We chose the search term “coffee” because it is what they are most passionate about and what’s most relevant to their business (We also have the whole automation process setup for their branded terms like their name as well).

Then with a quick Google map search, we want to find their longitude and latitude.

Here’s how to find it:

  • Find your location on Google Maps (if you are not on there, get on there :))
  • Right click on your marker and click “What’s here?”

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  • Mouse over to the top left corner and copy your longitude and latitude.

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Now that we have our longitude and latitude, we insert it into our Zapier. Next we set our radius. The goal with the radius is to keep it as focused as possible so we do not accidently react to irrelevant tweets.

Step 5: Generally Specific Content…That’s Also Personal…

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We are almost ready to go. But first, we must craft our message.

As mentioned before, we want to be relevant, while flirting between general and specific. The tweet should be general enough to fit almost all conversations related to our trigger word “coffee”, but relevant and specific enough to encourage engagement. We used @username to be personal and engage with our fellow coffee fan. Lastly, we added a second hashtag for branding purposes and to start a conversation about the meaning of their name.

Don’t forget to add a space after @username. 

Congratulations. You are now a social media automation guru!

Real Customers. Real Engagement.

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  • This is great Garrett, thanks for taking the time to put it together! Many cool things to be had with geolocation and tweets, especially for local businesses and events. This is a great resource, I’m sure it will be super valuable for many.

    • Thanks Alison! I would love for as many people to be involved with the customers in their store as possible. Thanks goodness for Zapier. It would be cool to Zapier tweet about it or let their audience know about the power of your tool 🙂

  • Garrett, this is a great idea. Iv’e heard about this in the past but haven’t ever really tried it. Your How To guide is simple and to the point which is great for business owners trying to get actual work done. Very tactical!

    Thanks for getting my brain running today. Now to come up with some clever ideas myself using this method 😛

    • Thanks Casey! We like to keep it simple. I’d love to see what comes of this for your clients!

  • Thank you for this writeup! We’re really considering using this setup, but there are some potential problems that we’re wondering about.

    First, what if someone mentions your keyword with a negative connotation. If a user tweets, “This coffee sucks” when they’re at your location, and you respond “Coffee lovers unite!!” we have a problem. How do you prevent that?

    Also, what if the user immediately responds, “No seriously, this coffee sucks,” and you automatically respond again “Coffee lovers unite!!” Now not only do we look insensitive, but our fan base knows we’re automating.

    My concern is the end result is bad social strategy. But I want this to work! Because it could be amazing! Tell me more about how you deal with these issues.

    • Hey Erik!

      Yes…this could be a real problem

      But, you can actually use filters to screen this when you set it up. I didn’t add that due to the increased complication for most business owners; however, Zapier has a great filtering option that can help mitigate these issues.

      • Filters! I love filters! You’ve put my mind at ease. We’ll have to give this a go!