Social media: To automate or not to automate?

Industry news

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, feeding the daily social media beast can be all consuming and resource intensive.

You may have a really great and engaging social media strategy but if it’s taking more time to implement than you or your team have then you might find it useful to consider some of the many social media automation tools out there in the marketplace.

Here are some of our favourites:

Social Oomph

Social Oomph allows you to quickly and easily schedule updates to all of your accounts and monitor the activity with some of the best automation features. It also gives you access to analytics and reporting, which some platforms don’t offer. 

Evergreen content (content which doesn’t go out of date) is also a key feature of Social Oomph and one that is particularly useful with the ever-changing algorithms and the likelihood of your followers seeing the content you post. With Queue Reservoir, evergreen content can be posted and scheduled regularly into your queue where you can specify how often you want the content shared. It even lets you create lots of different variations of your posts so that you are not repeating the exact same content each time.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a user-friendly social media dashboard that allows its users to both auto-schedule their posts as well as bulk-scheduling.

The AutoSchedule tool allows you to manually select the time you want to schedule your posts or you can use the tool to optimise and automate the scheduling process. Hootsuite says it wants its users to spend more time finding and sharing content and less time worrying about the best time of day to share it. The tool uses algorithms to determine the best time to post, per network, and schedules your post to take advantage of that timeframe. Bulk scheduling lets you upload a spreadsheet, creating up to 50 posts at one time. The spreadsheet can indicate the date and time of each post, the text to share, and a link to be shortened. When you upload your spreadsheet, you can choose multiple networks just as when crafting an individual post.

IFTTT

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a free tool that lets its users craft cause and effect-based automation recipes from a wide array of integrated web services and social networks.

IFTTT automation works from a recipe you create to trigger action from one social media channel to another. For example, if someone comments on your blog you can thank them automatically with an email. If you post an image on Facebook it can be automatically uploaded to Twitter. The recipes are personal tasks that can be automated, with more than 4,000 to choose from.

Don’t forget that social media is all about conversation. While automation tools are a great way to save time and take the repetition out of social media tasks, you should never under-estimate the power of real-time, social engagement with your audience.

When used in conjunction with your social media output and not as a substitute, you’ll find you have more time to create engaging, interesting content to share with your networks. 

Accompanying image by Jason A. Howie