Say that you manage the social media activity of a company. Assume that the company is present on ten social networking sites and posts two posts on each site on average. It makes it twenty posts. Depending on the type of website and position, you can expect there to be media, hashtags, links, keywords, titles, and many other elements.
Even if you dedicate only an hour to each post, you can expect to have to live like a vampire to accomplish that. Not to say there will always be special announcements, deals, and offers, collaborative posts, retargeting and drip campaigns, responses to customer engagement, reviews and revisions, targeting, analytics, and a ton of other matters to take care of.
There is no way a person or even a small team can accomplish all of these within business hours. And there is no point in hiring a huge team or outsourcing these tasks at a high cost because that will only reduce the ROI. So what can you do? The answer lies in social media automation.
What Is Social Media Automation?
Social media automation can be defined as the practice of delegating the more straightforward, more regular, and basic tasks for maintaining and updating the profile of an individual or a company on social media platforms to be taken care of by tools and applications without requiring constant and handheld human intervention.
These tools perform various functions, like scheduling posts, responding to customer engagement, creating reports, collecting and analyzing data, targeting the right customers, automating trigger actions and follow-ups, setting alarms, and more.
Why Use Social Media Automation Tools?
Social media management, if done manually, is a hugely exhausting and time-taking task. There is no guarantee of the post garnering the optimum response either. Having these tools allow you to not only automate the menial jobs so you can concentrate on the specialized tasks that need your attention, but you can also derive better results due to accurate and adequate information.
An exciting piece of information is that while 80% of companies are delighted with the social media experience they provide, only 8% of customers agree with this. This gaping disparity in the belief and reality of social media marketing on Instagram is disturbing. It goes on to show that the perception of satisfactory performance differs significantly from provider to receiver.
This mismatch in social media activity quality is mostly a result of marketers not focusing on what needs it. This state can be improved by using social media automation tools. These apps enhance social media posts’ quality and manage the repetitive tasks to free up the employees’ time. There are many areas where this time and effort will be better employed.
Social Media Automation Tools To Drive Exceptional SMM
When it comes to the most useful, practical, and popular social media automation tools, the following are the top picks to use for making your social media marketing job easier:
Buffer is the most well-known scheduling tool to publish posts on various social media sites from multiple sources. It has a mobile app for on-the-go working. Besides that, it has an in-built analytics tool and an option for bulk queuing of posts from a CSV file using Bulk Buffer.
Hootsuite has a bunch of automation clubbed under one umbrella. It’s scheduling, analytics, and advanced search features are its main attractions. This suite of tools also allows you to curate and organize content, analyze the competition, keep track of your ROI.
The USP of SocialPilot is its ability to support large teams and work with many accounts. Moreover, you can manage social media posts in bulk from this tool. Despite bulk management, it allows you to target your followers accurately.
IFTTT is the stylized version of “if this then that.” It automates tasks by defining conditional statements that perform a job when the specified trigger is set off. These statements are called recipes on the app. It allows you to connect actions across a large number of other tools, sites, and apps.
Sendible is a social media automation tool marketed mainly towards agencies that provide social media management services to businesses. Its most notable features are scheduling, auto-response, analytics, and team collaboration. It integrates several tools for easy management of tasks.
Later focuses on Instagram automation, but it can connect to other social media sites. It has some unique features like Instagram comments management, visual content calendar, and a link addition tool to add links from Insta posts to any page of your choice.
Tailwind deals mainly with Instagram and Pinterest, both of which are sites that revolve around visual and audiovisual media sharing. You can schedule posts, get recommended posting times, leverage performance analytics, and keep track of social site conversations, all from this app.
From the name itself, it can be deduced that this tool is mainly for scheduling and task management. CoSchedule allows you to schedule posts in bulk up to 60 and for many social media platforms. You can also make analytics, re-queueing, customer support, audience response, and more from this single tool.
Post Planner does everything one needs to plan and post good content on your social media sites. It helps people curate good-quality and relevant content, schedule their posting, target the right audience, and post regularly. It, too, allows bulk queueing.
Agorapulse is for the entity that focuses on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+. You can publish and republish content on the site based on a schedule, schedule posts, perform analytics, respond to customers, collaborate with others in your SMM team for the best results.
Originally, Crowdfire was meant for use on Twitter and Instagram only. But now, you can do much more than that, including cross-platform posting and extracting the best posting time. Its main features are removing long inactive Twitter followers from your list and curate high-quality content.
Socialert automates social listening. You can curate content, track keywords and hashtags, identify others in the related field, and perform in-depth analytics for all your social media posts.
This tool’s BuzzSumo primary use is to ensure the quality of your content across various platforms. You can find trending topics and related experts and influencers, analyze performance, monitor your brand, and more.
Another content curation tool Scoop. It, it helps you find trending topics that best reflect your brand. It can also measure the ROI of your marketing and content and uses a smart content calendar to auto-post content.
Pocket is a repository tool for saving exciting content that you find on the internet to access, read, and use it later in any way you like. It is like a Notes app for curating content manually to post later.
Sprout Social, like Hootsuite, is a suite of tools but less expensive and, therefore, more suited for individuals and small businesses. It has quite a few useful features like post scheduling, automated publishing, competition monitoring, customer support, audience engagement, keyword tracking, networking, social listening, etc.
Mention is a monitoring, social listening, and networking tool meant to help you stay informed at all times regarding how people are talking about your brand. You can use this tool to track mentions of your brand, find relevant keywords, analyze the competition, get in touch with influencers talking about you, post responses, and find new audiences.
MeetEdgar is an accurate automation tool. Not only does it queue and post scheduled content across a variety of social media platforms at the specified time points, but it also makes repeat posts by recycling old ones with variations and updations so that your social media interaction never stops. You can simply create a library of content, and it will time the publishing according to categories by itself.
Unlike the other scheduling tools that require you to manually specify time slots for publishing after researching your data analytics reports for the optimum posting time, SocialFlow punches these two actions together. It automatically leverages engagement data to decide the best time to post and schedules content for publishing accordingly.
Sprinklr is also a toolkit or suite that enables social media marketing automation across at least 25 social networking platforms. It is an enterprise tool and has collaboration facilities. Besides scheduled and automated content posting, you can also provide end-to-end customer service and drive engagement using this tool.
Despite being a twenty-long list, the above do not encompass all the influential and in-demand applications and tools for social media automation available in the market.
Many of these tools are free or pocket-friendly, while others are more suitable for enterprise-level usage. What you choose depends on your budget, the kind of work you do, and the results you expect.
When using any social media automation tool, it is vital to keep in mind that an app does not entirely replace a live agent, at least not yet. You still have to keep track of your campaign and manage and update it. If you simply treat these tools as your full-time deputy, you will fail miserably.
The trick here is to maintain a balance between human and digital fulfillment of responsibilities. By letting the machine take care of effort-intensive, repetitive, and subordinate tasks, you get to expend your time and energy on specialized tasks that need your attention.