If your business is online (which it most certainly should be!), it should also be on social media. Social media can be absolutely instrumental to the growth of your business by raising your followers, growing your audience, and building a strong, clear brand that your customers can instantly identify with.
Many social media experts recommend that you post on your channels every single day. Needless to say, that can add up to a lot of time spent writing and publishing posts! It’s for this reason that automating social media is so helpful.
Check out our review of some of the top-performing automation tools below to see how to make your social media strategy run like clockwork.
Social Oomph has some great automation features to seamlessly manage your social media. This tool focuses on sharing your evergreen content (content that does not go out of date) consistently on your social media, without boring your followers with the same repetitive posts.
Social Oomph enables you to do this by adding content to your queue, and specifying how often you want that content shared. You can also create multiple variations of a post or tweet to make sure you’re not repeating the exact same post every time it is automatically posted.
Other features include monitoring your followers/ who you are following, purging Tweets, adjusting scheduling times and shortening URLs.
SOCIAL OOMPH PROS
- Saves a lot of time scheduling social media
- Helps to drive more traffic to your site
- Queue reservoir is a very useful feature.
SOCIAL OOMPH CONS
- Not a lot of flexibility beyond simply managing your social media – other tools below have more services on top of this
- The free version lacks most of the features you’ll need to make Social Oomph worth using.
Buffer is great for automating all your social media for the week in one sitting, saving a lot of time spent scheduling posts for the optimum time manually. You simply need to add your posts to the queue, and they will be published at times determined by Buffer to be peak times for you to post, or at a custom time that you’ve previously established.
Buffer is also well known for providing great analytics of your social media posts, so you can see what types of posts are doing well, what time works best for you, and what you may need to improve on.
- Great analytics tracking – particularly for the best times to post on your channels
- Has the option to schedule posts for all channels at once, or to tailor them per channel for a more genuine effect
- The Chrome extension lets you quickly add new content to your queue.
- The free version has a limit to how many posts you can schedule in advance, which may not be ideal for companies looking to post multiple times a day
- Business plans are expensive.
IFTTT stands for ‘if this then that’. The service is excellent for automating a chain of specific events. IFTTT works using triggers and actions: your social media can be periodically updated (automatically) as soon as a blog post is published, for example. Each trigger and action is called an “applet”.
One of the biggest pros to using IFTTT is how many services it can integrate with. Actions can be trigged by a number of things, from blog posts and social media updates, to posting to Evernote, and your calendar, so you can automate social media creatively by creating new combinations of actions and triggers. You can even combine fairly random triggers and actions, such as flashing your Hue lights when a tweet gets a Like!
- IFTTT is completely free to use
- Applets can be used immediately, or you can create your own
- Many channels, social media platforms, and IoT devices are supported
- Very easy to build applets from scratch.
- The system itself can be a little overwhelming initially, particularly due to the thousands of recipes on offer! Start with one or two until you get the hang of it.
- Be careful not to go too overboard; unpicking things is difficult when applets do unexpected things.
Dlvr.it helps save a lot of time when it comes to automating social media across many different channels. Writing and scheduling posts for multiple platforms can be extremely time-consuming, so it’s this factor that Dlvr.it completely takes of your hands.
With dlvr.it, you simply specify the source that you want to pick content up from (e.g. your blog’s RSS feed) and select the channel you want to post it on. When you create a new post, dlvr.it automatically sends out your updates!
Dlvr.it has both a free version and a paid version with more features and flexibility.
- Free account supports 5 feeds and 3 social profiles
- Supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, App.net and Delicious
- Provides analytics tracking
- Flexible, time-saving tool with several customisation options.
- The free version is limited to updates only every 30 minutes – this can only be reduced with the paid versions.
- The free version does not have scheduling options so no control over when updates are automatically posted.
Which is Best?
All of the tools mentioned above are popular for a reason, and they all do slightly different things. The most important thing to consider when you automate social media: where do I need to save time? If you want a seamless operation where you only need to check in on your social media once a month, the paid version of Buffer may be a great option for you. But if you are running an important B2B marketing campaign, these tools all have their benefits.
If scheduling isn’t your biggest concern, IFTTT is free and extremely useful for triggering automatic events for almost every social media platform you operate on. Trying one or two services and seeing which feels most suitable for your needs as a business may be the best way to go.
Don’t Over Automate Social Media
As a final note, no matter what tool you eventually use, it’s important to remember that social media automation tools are there to save you time and create a more effective social media system – not to completely replace a human input. Over-automation is easy to spot, and could leave you with far fewer followers and lower engagement than you started with. Automation is key, but can’t replace the benefits of engaging with your audience a few hours a week and putting a human-touch on your posts.