Social media automation tools can save you time, improve audience experiences, and help you prioritize authentic interactions. We’ll show you how.
Marketing is a lot of work. And social media marketing can easily be time consuming. Fortunately, social media automation software saves you time on repetitive processes or managing complex workflows so you can focus more closely on customer engagement.
Overview: What is Social Media Automation?
Social media automation uses tools and software that connect to social platforms and help with social media publishing, reporting and analysis, and social media monitoring.
Depending on your software, you can get customer or stakeholder approval and curate content right in the app to save even more time.
3 benefits of automating your social media efforts
By automating social media posting and using social listening tools, you can optimize your digital campaigns while reducing time spent on administrative work and repetitive tasks. In short, social media automation helps you do more with less time and money.
1. Improve returns on digital campaigns
Social media management tools help you plan, activate and amplify your online campaigns. Access to data on your audience and message performance allows you to adjust campaigns in real time. With preparation and the right measurements, you can experience:
- When your audience is online and active
- Which post formats do your fans prefer?
- Which timelines correlate with higher engagement
- The best platforms for specific campaigns
By using social media software to automate timing and provide data on your content, you can customize promotions to get the responses you want from your audience.
2. Plan time and resources successfully
Few businesses rely on a single social media platform. But once you add multiple accounts, managing them becomes complicated. Without social media marketing automation, you have to log into each channel multiple times a day, making it difficult to track time spent on social media.
In contrast, automated tools help you clearly understand the time it takes to plan your editorial calendar and upload content. Additionally, the automation software gives you a dashboard to view interactions from all social channels, reducing the time spent analyzing individual platforms.
It’s easy to schedule an entire campaign or a month of automated social media posts in just minutes when you use features like bulk upload. Knowing how much time you spend on marketing activities helps you plan labor resources and accurately calculate the costs of your efforts.
3. Improve the customer experience
Posting consistently online helps more customers find you because algorithms tend to reward regular updates. Fans appreciate consistency because they know what to expect from your brand and come to recognize or in some cases depend on the information you share.
Plus, social media automation gives business owners and marketers more time to actually engage with fans. Your digital campaigns will publish without a hitch, so you can join conversations, answer questions, and talk with your customers. All of this provides the authenticity your audience craves.
What to Look for in Social Media Automation Software
Software platforms vary widely. While many offer the necessities, like automatic social media posting, some are more user-friendly than others or offer features you might want or need. The best way to select your social media automation tools is to consider:
- Your overall budget, including time resources
- Existing workflows and how the new software fits into them
- Which social platforms you want to monitor
- What specific features you need, like chatbots or listening tools
Ease of use
You want the platform to be enjoyable and functional for those who will use it. Do you need to set up approval workflows? Do you want an organized content feed to curate new posts? Make sure your automation tool offers these features.
Then give it a try. Is the platform intuitive and easy to use? Can you access customer service tools and collaborate with team members? Technology should support your marketing efforts, not make them more difficult.
Content publishing and scheduling options
The most basic yet useful thing that social media automation tools do is help you schedule posts. However, the software options differ in functionality. For example:
- You cannot bulk download messages using Buffer, but SocialPilot, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite offer this feature.
- Only a few platforms support automated posting to TikTok, Tumblr, and Pinterest, and these options may differ depending on your plan tier.
- You may need higher-level plans to add multiple users, set user permissions, or create approval workflows.
Reporting and social tracking features
Having data is one thing. But if you can’t access it or view it in a useful way that provides information, there’s no point. Choose tools that:
- Provide visually appealing reports on social media metrics
- Provide audience sentiment insights
- Discover potential user-generated content
- Detect harmful activity before it damages your reputation
5 Social Media Automation Best Practices
Scheduling posts using social automation tools is the easy part. But your software also helps with social media management and engagement. Leverage your solution by using these best practices.
1. Prioritize your audience
While saving time and money is a benefit of using social media automation tools, none of that will matter if the customer experience suffers.
Ensure your target market is getting the best digital experiences by:
- Create a custom posting schedule: Base it on when your fans are most active, which differs by social media platform and audience segments.
- Vary your publications by channel: Customers have different expectations for Twitter than Instagram, so don’t use the same content for each channel. Instead, adjust post copy and hashtags while using correctly sized images.
- Monitor real situations: Prevent a humorous ad from turning into an ill-timed flop by staying on top of local, national, and global events while keeping up to date with audience sentiment around various related topics.
- Moderated conversations: Although the social media automation is excellent; it does not eliminate the need to be present online. Monitor your social feed to prevent negative bots, trolls or bullies from infiltrating a thread with hate messages or commercial advertisements.
2. Develop response models
Depending on your business, you may receive many of the same questions about your social media ads or posts. Some social media automation tools, like Agorapulse, allow you to create recorded replies or rules to guide replies.
This type of automation saves time and delivers a consistent message to subscribers. Your teams simply find the answer, personalize the message and click to reply. In Agorapulse, you can also flag specific terms and automatically send those messages to the right team, like customer service or sales.
3. Identify Engagement Opportunities
Regular posting doesn’t mean much if you don’t respond to comments or see your brand tagged in a complaint. Social listening tools help you monitor conversations on specific topics, brand mentions even without tags, and possible sources of user-generated content.
Instead of searching each platform separately, use your central dashboard to find opportunities to interact with users, troubleshoot issues, or gather new marketing materials.
4. Take advantage of automation software features
Different tools offer variations of functionality that you can use to your advantage. For example, Hootsuite offers advertising tools in its social media dashboard. You can identify top performing posts and turn them into Facebook Promoted Posts or LinkedIn Sponsored Content from one place.
Sprout Social provides a smart inbox to help you easily view and respond to messages from different platforms or assign users to one or more streams. And SocialFlow gives you an AttentionStream tool to monetize your content.
5. Adjust your strategy based on the information
Don’t set up your digital campaigns and leave until next month. Instead, use a combination of real-time and historical data to continuously optimize marketing campaigns, test post formats, and deliver satisfying audience experiences.
Improve your campaigns using social media automation
Turn your social media strategy into an action plan by automating social media. With the right tools, you can simplify posting and management while increasing engagement levels and building relationships with your customers virtually.