If you're looking to grow your brand's social media presence, it's worth investing in tools that take tedious and repetitive tasks off your plate and allow more time to work on high-value marketing activities.
Social media automation is a powerful and impactful way to amplify your digital marketing efforts. It helps you maintain consistency in your posting schedule, engage with your followers, and curate posts your audience would love.
This article answers every question you may have about social media automation. We'll explain what it is, its key features, and the benefits, challenges, tools, and steps to set it up to optimize your marketing workflows and campaigns.
What is social media automation?
Social media automation involves scheduling and optimizing your social media posts to go out at the best possible times to provide value to your followers and achieve your marketing goals.
It helps you get results far beyond the size of your marketing team by saving time and effort spent managing different social media channels. With social automation, you can curate content, select optimal times, and schedule posts in advance.
This helps you focus on your audience's behaviors and needs instead of your time and human resources. You're not constrained by time zones and the struggle to gather relevant content. Instead, you can work beyond your limitations and spend more time on other marketing tasks and goals.
Social media automation can manage many aspects of social media and content management. The most common are content scheduling and publishing, ad automation, and automated responses. Let's take a look at each of these.
Content publishing is one of the main functionalities of social media automation. Social automation tools make it easy to tweak and publish your content on different social media channels.
They integrate with various platforms and allow you to pull and compile data from each. You can draft your content in the automation tool, preview how it would look on your selected channels, and publish immediately or schedule for a more optimal time.
This is useful when you don't have the time to log into separate social media platforms or engage with notifications. It's also helpful for remote marketing teams managing the same social media accounts from different locations.
Scheduling posts is an essential function of social media automation tools. They schedule social media posts to be distributed at different times, regardless of your work schedule.
This allows marketing teams to plan and organize social media content for extended periods. It also encourages collaboration between in-house teams, marketing agencies, and third-party collaborators, e.g., graphic designers.
For example, a copywriter may write the first draft of social media content and tag a manager to review it. The copywriter may also tag the designer to create an image for the post before the social media manager schedules it for distribution. Social media automation allows time for the marketing team to collaborate, create, review, and improve their posts before sharing them.
Advertising on social media is an excellent strategy to boost the reach of your content and promote your products and services to a targeted audience. Social media automation helps to create, manage, and analyze social media ads effectively.
Social automation also saves the details of previous social media ads and reuses these details in new ads. This saves time spent recreating ads from scratch or looking for specific details. You can analyze your ad campaigns across channels, recreate the best, and focus on driving excellent results with insights from your previous ad campaigns and processes.
Creating automated responses to commonly asked questions can save your marketing team a lot of time. You can create canned replies or use AI and chatbots to respond to customer requests using social media automation tools.
Be careful, however, if you use these tools to create automated responses. Ensure you're always replying to your audience with the correct information and the right attitude. Only use automation to answer frequently asked questions or let customers know their issues are being routed to appropriate channels.
If a customer is stressed or has contacted your business more than once, it's best to have a customer representative respond and attend to their issue. Social media marketing managers should schedule time each day to review notifications and ensure no critical issues are being ignored.
Can social media automation save money?
Social media automation saves money when it's done the right way. Besides saving your marketing team and collaborators time, which translates into money, it also helps reduce hiring needs and costs.
Whereas a marketing team may need to hire more hands for the content team to curate content and post according to different time zones, they can now automate those needs and only invest in one social automation tool to streamline and manage the work. This augments the marketing team's available time and effort and saves the entire organization money.
What are the benefits of automatic social media posts?
Maintaining and growing your brand's social media presence requires significant time and effort. Social media automation helps make it quick and more straightforward. Other benefits of social media automation include:
Accurate data collection
Social media automation compiles data from your different social media channels into one platform, enabling you to use complete and accurate data to inform your marketing activities and decision-making. Data is gathered from social media posts, marketing campaigns, replies, and interactions. You can compare a campaign's performance across the different social media platforms it was executed on.
This provides insights that can direct your team to prioritize the most impactful marketing efforts. Accurate data and robust analytics form a solid foundation for improving your social media marketing and boosting your brand presence. Use both to optimize your social media performance and generate reports you can share with team members and stakeholders.
Social media automation helps to boost engagement with your audience. You appear more present and can engage with people on different social media channels from one platform.
Most social media automation tools enable social listening, which makes it easy to monitor your brand mentions, keywords, competitors, and products even when you're not online. This knowledge boosts your understanding of your audience and their sentiments about your brand. You can respond to interactions promptly and use insights collected in your automation tools to unlock new marketing opportunities and create campaigns that satisfy your customers.
Boosted online presence
Social media automation boosts your online presence by helping to create and share consistent posts and updates. This keeps your profiles active and increases visibility, incentivizing the social media platforms' algorithms to show your content to more people.
Some automation tools also curate content based on your settings. Simply choose your industry and a few topics your audience is interested in, and let the tool suggest and share valuable content they may enjoy.
A popular benefit of social media automation is helping to maintain consistency across multiple social media platforms. This goes further than just scheduling new social media posts. With social automation, you can also repurpose and share existing content, giving your audience more chances to engage with it.
Social automation removes the manual, repetitive, tedious aspects of maintaining your accounts and posting regularly. You can sustain a posting frequency, maintain your baseline, and still have time to execute other marketing tasks.
Overall, social automation makes social media management easy. Instead of frantically trying to accomplish everything required – creating content and graphics, organizing and scheduling posts, and publishing and engaging with your audience – you can block out a chunk of time every month to tackle these tasks in a streamlined and organized way. This helps you manage your marketing tasks and teams efficiently and achieve more with less stress.
What are the challenges of automatic social media posting?
Despite the benefits, there are a few challenges with automatic social media posting to keep in mind. Some of these are:
Easy to make mistakes
If you're not careful, you can make mistakes and schedule posts to go out at the wrong times. This is especially true today, with real-time events influencing trending topics and conversations on social media. Ensure someone on the marketing team reviews your post queue before publishing to check that the right messages are posted at the right time.
Automation can lose the human touch
Social automation can fall flat if there's no one to review and improve the automated social media posts before they're published. Planning too far in advance without reviewing your content can make your brand appear tone-deaf, inconsiderate, or robotic. Ensure someone on your team is available to engage with your audience and tweak the scheduled social media posts if needed.
There's nothing more annoying for customers than being seemingly ignored by the brands they patronize. While automating your posts ensures consistency, you also want to be present to manage customer issues or other problems that arise. Supplement social automation with human oversight by checking in often to manage issues that need individual responses.
Missed posting opportunities
Unique events may occur that require your brand to communicate where it stands on social issues. Gone are the days when it was enough to say nothing and do nothing. These days, Gen Z and Millennial audiences are more likely to support and patronize brands that speak up about culturally impactful events. Seize these opportunities, which may sometimes be separate from the posts curated in your social media automation tool, to share your brand's principles and support your customers through different issues.
How to automate social media posts
You can automate your social media management easily using social automation tools. These tools enable you to organize and schedule your posts in advance. They also make it easy to collaborate with your team throughout the creation and distribution process.
Follow the steps below to start creating automated social media posts:
- Choose a social automation tool from our list below.
- Sign up and create an account on your chosen tool.
- Link your different social media accounts to the automation tool.
- Select your optimal frequency and posting times for each social media channel.
- Create a post and test the tool's publishing ability for each social media channel.
- Start scheduling your posts in advance and invite relevant team members to make social media management easy for the entire team.
Social media automation tools to consider
Below is our list of top social media automation tools to consider for easy yet impactful social media management:
Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media automation tools. It integrates easily with the leading social media platforms and many marketing tools.
Hootsuite provides social media streams to help marketing teams track several social media channels on its platform. You can find relevant content to share by creating a stream using your industry hashtags and keywords. You can also use the content library to curate and organize your content before scheduling it to publish. Additionally, you can share content you come across while browsing using the Hootsuite extension.
It's important to note that Hootsuite is relatively expensive, with its most affordable plan starting at $49 per month. The software offers a 30-day free trial and may require training to navigate it.
BuzzSumo is a great social automation tool for finding content that performs well in different niches. It offers content discovery, research, and monitoring tools to help your team generate new ideas and create high-performing content. You can also track your content performance and find influencers using the tool.
BuzzSumo helps you discover popular keywords in your industry without wasting time guessing, researching, and trying and failing. It provides insights into your competitors' focus and positioning. You can filter results using parameters such as duration and location.
BuzzSumo helps you find your niche's most popular or widely shared content across social media channels. The software offers a free plan that gives only ten searches per month. Its paid plans begin at $99 with a 30-day free trial.
Buffer is an excellent social media automation tool for small businesses, agencies, and individual creators. You can draft, review, and automate social media posts with your team in Buffer easily and affordably.
You can also leave internal notes and tag your team members in Buffer. Automating your tasks and posts is straightforward, so creating and adhering to marketing workflows is efficient, even with third-party tools. The software's reporting and analytics features are robust. It provides recommendations for amplifying your reach across different channels and insights into the best times to send out your campaigns. You can tweak the default settings to suit your needs better.
Buffer also has a browser extension that makes scheduling posts from other websites easy. The software offers a free plan with valuable features, while paid plans start at $6 per month with a free 14-day trial.
SocialPilot is a social automation tool for mid-sized to large businesses. It provides various functionalities, including post scheduling and calendar management.
SocialPilot integrates easily with leading social media platforms and offers users a social media calendar feature, which helps you monitor multiple social media campaigns. Simply drag and drop social media posts in your calendar to reschedule them. It also has a browser extension to make saving and curating articles and links seamless. SocialPilot pricing begins at $30 per month with a 14-day free trial.
How to use Wrike for social media automation
Wrike is a project management platform designed to help marketing teams plan and execute smooth and successful marketing campaigns. You can automate and simplify your marketing workflows and social media management by integrating Wrike with your social media automation tool.
Bring your marketing goals, strategies, and projects into Wrike and track your progress as you execute them. Wrike provides insights to show if you're performing as expected and what you can adjust to complete your marketing projects successfully. You can use Wrike's marketing and creative project management templates to reduce rework and duplicate your most successful campaigns.
Are you ready to enhance your marketing with social media automation? Get started with a free two-week trial of Wrike today.