Two of the most important rules of social media are posting consistently and considering each post. Social automation services meet at the intersection of those two rules to provide maximum convenience to social media users. Social automation services allow you to plan posts and emails and other forms of communicating with your target audiences, and schedule them for certain times so you do not have ever have to worry about messing up your perfect posting schedule and you can thoughtfully create content when you have time. We’ll run through the basics of social automation services and which one you should use!
“Social Automation Tools” is actually a pretty extensive group. There are tools specifically to automate sending emails, and tools specifically for posting on certain social media sites. So, when considering which tools to use, it's important to take a few steps back and consider what your goals are.
There are some comprehensive social automation tools, but more likely than not, you will end up using more than one tool. This may seem stressful, but some tools are so specialized to their specific service and you will gain more benefits from using more specialized tools for each goal you are trying to accomplish.
The Most Important Thing
The most important thing to remember about social automation is that it is not a means of going completely on autopilot on all of your social media platforms. Its purpose is to meet at the need that exists at the intersection of the two previously discussed rules. It is so important to be consistently engaging with your followers by replying to their messages and comments and adjusting your posting schedule based on the responses you are receiving.
Email Automation Tools
There are an abundance of email automation tools to choose from, but two of the most prominent ones are MailChimp and Constant Contact. I would recommend checking out each site, seeing what features and plan best suit your needs, then compare pricing. The platform that is best for you will largely depend on your individual needs as payment plans will fluctuate.
Social Media Automation Tools
There are more tools for social automation than you could count these days, each one continuously refining to meet user needs, so it would be hard to go completely wrong with any automation site but the best way to choose is to decide which features are most important to you, and see which social automation services excel in those. Here are a few common important features to consider:
Scheduling - This is likely the most important factor you are considering. It is not really a matter of whether or not a social automation service offers this feature, but rather, it is important to consider how user-friendly the post scheduling is. Is it a complicated process? Can you schedule posts for multiple platforms at once? AgoraPulse and Hootsuite are two of the top-rated, user-friendly social automation tools that excel in this feature.
Platforms- Consider which social platforms are important to you, do you need to be able to post to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Make sure the social automation tool you are using supports all of the platforms you need it to! Most automation tools support a number of platforms, but before you enter your payment information, make sure the tool services what you need.
Analysis and Reports- Do you want your social automation service to also report analytical insights into how your audience is interacting with your posts? Many social automation services also offer insights into engagement from your audience. Sprout Social is one of the top social automation tools that also places a high value on analytics and insights.
Industry Insight- Some social automation tools will also give you insight into how your posts are performing against posts from others in your industry. If it is important to you to gain insight from your competitors and see how you stack up to improve your own posts, this would be an excellent feature to consider. Sprout Social also offers this feature.
As was mentioned earlier, it would be really hard to go wrong in picking a social automation service. Make a list of the features that are most important to you, find the services that provide those features, compare pricing with the plan that best suits your needs, and select a platform!