As a small business owner, you probably feel as if your time is stretched to its limits. With so many tasks to complete, you might see your marketing efforts fall by the wayside.

Marketing automation changes this, giving your time back to you and a much-needed boost to your marketing. These tools let you schedule your social media posts ahead of time and schedule them for when your audience is most active.

So how can marketing automation tools help you nurture relationships on your social media sites?

Divide and conquer
Some marketing automation tools let you divide up your customers’ demographics, thereby allowing you to create more targeted content. Let’s say you design and sell clothes online and you just created a new line of scarves. You could go back through your contacts and target buyers who purchased coats recently and create an ad that encourages them to buy a new scarf to go with their coat.

The text on your emails would be less general, and your tailored landing pages would give viewers that VIP feeling. It would seem as if the ad was created specifically for them and their needs.

Minimise your marketing needs
One of the biggest reasons why small business owners do not use social media is because it is far too time consuming and there is not enough capital to hire a marketer or a team of marketing people. Marketing automation tools fix this problem as well.

For the business owner doing the marketing, these tools make marketing quick and easy. Even if you are not a social media wizard, you can easily learn to use marketing automation tools and link up all your accounts. Whenever you want to post or schedule a post, you can post on each site at once or just on one or two.

For the small business owner with one marketing person, marketing automation makes this person extremely efficient. He or she can focus more effort on creating content rather than posting it, and with the ability to target certain sectors of your buyers, your marketing person could target certain buyers more easily.

Constant and consistent
While much small business might have social media accounts, chances are they aren’t posting very much. Customers are not engaged with them online, and their profiles and pages look more like ghost towns.

Marketing automation lets users schedule their posts ahead of time so they never forget. Their pages look fresh and appear active so followers will remain interested. A small business owner would only have to devote maybe an hour or two of time one day per week in order to schedule a post for every day.

As mentioned before, these posts could be scheduled so they hit as many viewers as possible, but this will also help you target followers in different time zones. If part of your audience is on the other side of the world, you can schedule posts for their working hours without getting up at 3 am.

Observe and report
One of the best features of marketing automation is that it provides you with reports on all aspects of social media activity as well as email marketing activity. Want to know how many like a post on Facebook got? Your marketing automation tool will tell you. How many people shared your Instagram photo? Just let your marketing automation tool tell you.

Different tools use different methods to show you your progress. Some use graphs, charts or statistics to give you a clear picture of how well your marketing efforts are working. This will help you create more tailored posts and show you which posts get the most attention.

In many ways, marketing automation takes a lot of the guesswork out of marketing. It simplifies the process so even the smallest of small businesses can take advantage of social media marketing and permits you to focus on what marketing is really all about: creating meaningful relationships with customers.