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The Best Tools for Social Media Marketing Automation in 2020

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The Best Tools for Social Media Marketing Automation in 2020 - Social media is an essential part of 21st century life. And, that’s especially true for business owners who are looking to connect with customers, influencers and even potential investors.  Read Also : Best Investment Opportunities Guide for 2020 And How to get into Property Investment

While having a social media marketing strategy is a necessity, it can become extremely time consuming. Between updating your profile, responding to customers, coming up with content and sharing content, managing your social media accounts can become a full-time job.

Over the past six months I've really been dialing in my social media efforts for minimal time effort and maximum output. Thankfully, there are a few tools and strategies I've found that help automate social media so I can focus on growing my business. If that sounds like a plan, then give these seven techniques a try.

What is a Social Media Management Tool?

But firstly, let's talk about what a Social Media Management Tool actually is.

This is important because there are plenty of articles out there that are supposedly about social media management tools when they're not.
A social media management tool aims to do it all.

In Lord of the Rings speak, it's the "One Tool to Rule Them All".

Buffer and Social Champ are great social media scheduling tools, but they only really do one thing - schedule your social media posts. They're not true social media management tools.

And Brand24 and Talkwalker are both great listening tools, but they're not full social media management tools either.
A full social media management tool helps with all aspects of managing your social media empire.

This includes:
  1. Publishing: posting/scheduling your social media posts
  2. Calendar: Display all your posts (past and present) for all your networks in a calendar (and/or list) view.
  3. Social Inbox: interacting with your social messages
  4. Listening & Monitoring: Keep up to date with what people are saying about your brand and competitors. Track keywords and phrases as well as hashtags across all the social networks.
  5. Audience & Community Management: View insights into your audience. See who are the influencers and the most engaged. Have the ability to follow and unfollow, and add your own notes. Kind of like a simple social CRM (customer relationship management tool)
  6. Team Features: Have the ability for individual team members to log in with their own logins and have a team approval system.
  7. Analytics & Reports: Measure your social media success with reports across all your social networks. With the ability to compare with your competitors.

In this article, all the tools are either social media management tools or come close to being (partly because they're working on Social Media Management Tool features).

Read : 17 Free Apps That Can Earn You Extra Cash (Survey Money in 2020)

The Best Social Media Upgrades

Instagram TV (IGTV)

Since its inception, Instagram has proved to be one of the best platforms for advertising.

Some of the brands that have experienced crazy success through Instagram include Gucci, Audi, FedEx, Lego, Nike, Oreo, WeWork and many more.

On 20th June 2018, this site launched Instagram TV- a YouTube-like platform for posting long-form videos. The medium is helping businesses broadcast themselves in detail by sharing in-depth video guides and tutorials.

Have you checked it out yet?

Social Listening Tools

In order to take great care of their customers, brands no longer want to guess what their customers want. In 2018, many companies are using social listening tools to eavesdrop on client and brand conversations through target keywords or phrases.

This way, they are able to know all the complaints, praises and suggestions regarding their service delivery. These tools are essential in crafting spot-on marketing campaigns as well as enhancing the company’s image

Custom-Made Chatbots

In an era where companies get thousands of questions, requests, and complaints in a day, it’s virtually impossible for any social media team to provide immediate response to all those queries. Unfortunately, customers don’t care how stuffed your inbox is.

All they want is an immediate response to their problems and this should happen in no more than an hour. Taking longer to provide a response will result in customers switching sides. To avoid losing clients, you can let bots do some stuff for you.

Chatbots can take a huge chunk of activities off the shoulders of your marketing experts; answer some queries, execute orders, gather information and even provide customers with guidance on certain products or services.

However, since bots are made differently, it’s important to customize yours so they can handle specific requests.

Chatbots have been exploding over the past few years with 10x CTRs and open rates compared to traditional email marketing.

That's enough theory for today on how new social media updates are changing the industry. Let's now take a look at how to automate your social media marketing.

7 Worthwhile Ways to Automate Social Media

1. Social media automation software and apps 

The easiest way to automate social media is by using automation software and apps. These include Hootsuite, Buffer, SproutSocial, HubSpot, Social Oomph and Social Flow. Each tool may have unique features of their own, but essentially they all allow you to schedule social media posts in advance and monitor your accounts when someone mentions your brand or leaves a comment. 

If you’re just starting out, select just one tool and experiment with it by scheduling a couple of updates. I personally use Buffer and really like it. Most of the tools above have apps so that you can stay up-to-date with your social media accounts while on the go. 

I also like using Brand24 to find out who is talking about my company online. This is a social listening tool that shows me every person that mentions my brand both on social media or a blog post. They don't do any social posting but the social listening feature is amazing. You can then acknowledge these mentions and thank people publicly.

2. Fill in the gaps  

Automation tools like Hootsuite can be a real timesaver. But, you can take that automation to the next level by using tools like Zapier and IFTTT. Basically, these resources make it possible for apps, systems and websites to talk to each other. For example, you could create a "zap" that automatically posts new WordPress posts into your Facebook page. 

IFTTT gives you the ability to create "recipes" so that you can sync your online profiles or Google Calendar with social media so that you never forget a birthday. The possibilities are endless. Check out this Buffer post to help you get started with IFTTT.

3. Sync your blog 

You’ve worked pretty hard on that blog post or creating that infographic. Why not ensure that it’s going to be seen by your friends and followers on social media? If you use WordPress, this is pretty easy to do since there are more than enough pluginsthat allow you to add social share buttons onto your page or automatically post on social media whenever you publish a new article.

However, you can also sync your blog content and social media updates in advance with a tool like CoSchedule. This handy service lets you plan out your editorial calendar in conjunction with the social media channel that you want the content to be shared on. Remember, 

not all types of content will work on all social media channels. Share content on the channels where you know your fans will see it. I find that the content that does super well on Twitter doesn't do as well on Facebook for my audience. My Google+ audience likes more in depth articles while my Twitter likes short nuggets of advice. Test out and see what your audience likes and then automate it as much as possible.

4. Recycle evergreen content 

Unless you literally started a blog last week, there’s a very good chance that you have some old blog posts in your archives. While it wouldn’t make much sense to share an article that discussed the hottest marketing trends of 2010, you could share evergreen content. 

Evergreen content is timeless content that is still relevant. You could go through your archives, or you could also use a WordPress plugin like Revive Old Posts to simplify the process. There is also a killer tool that I use called MeetEdgar that allows you to publish a post and then automatically recycle your top posts several times on a schedule.

5. Tweet multiple times 

While you don’t want to be the person who is flooding your fans' feeds with the same link to a recently published article, there’s also no rule saying that you can’t post that multiple times. In fact, the most effective Twitter users tweet 3 times per day. Even if you only send out the same content, you’re increasing your chances of it getting noticed by a different audience. 

If you look at your audience and get to know them you'll find that they are from all over the world. This means that whenever you tweet, you'll have followers online. I like to setup a schedule for tweeting several times a day at specific times. I then go online and find the best content (mainly motivational quotes as they do super well as you can see from my Twitter stream) and schedule them out over the coming months. This allows me to spend two to three hours once every three months finding good quotes. Keep in mind that you can always post something important to social media whenever you want. This is just scheduling out so when you get busy, you don't look inactive.

6. Curate content 

Social media isn’t just about sharing content that you’ve created. It’s also about sharing other people’s content. Thankfully, curating is easier than ever with the help of those automation tools that you’ve been using. For example, Hootsuite gives you the option to discover suggested content that you’re interested in based on keywords. Buffer allows you to create a posting schedule based on updates from within your network. 

Newsfeeds like Feedly, dlvr.it and Scoop.it can also be used to curate and share relevant content. But, if you need a more robust content curation tool, there’s no better option than Curata.

7. Focus on one task when you have down time 

Finally, you have to realize that you can’t automate 100% of your social media activity and have it be exactly what a dream account would look like. If you want to have a huge strong following, automation won't ensure this. There needs to be moments when you have an actual interaction with customers, fans or followers. And, trust me, people can easily notice when an account is basically a robot. Instead of getting overwhelmed, focus on accomplishing one task whenever you have some down time. 

This could be anything from responding to or leaving comments, personally sharing updates or refreshing your profile. You don’t necessarily have to do this every 30 minutes, but try finding a little bit of time each day or each week to give your account a human touch. I find that the more personal touch I give my account the more real I am to my followers. This gains their trust and with their trust you can make a more powerful impact online.

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Automate Your Social Media

The Best Tools for Social Media Marketing Automation in 2020
As a business owner, you’ve probably been told time and time again the importance of social media. It comes as no surprise that many practice owners choose to make social media a part of their marketing strategy.

With nearly a quarter of all online views happening on Facebook, and an estimated 65% of American adults are now active on some form of social media, extending your marketing efforts into social media is a worthy strategy. But is simply posting something everyday truly a worthwhile venture?

While posting regularly is the first step of an effective social media strategy, it misses the mark of how and why social media is an effective marketing tool. Social media is powerful because it starts conversations, engages potential clients and facilitates both conversion and customer loyalty. How? Because it puts your practice a cut above the competition by starting a conversation with them well before they’ve walked through your office doors.

Unfortunately, the power of social media for lead generation and conversion is sometimes lost when put into practice. When businesses should be committed to using social media as a tool to start conversations about the content they are creating, instead it is used simply as an online billboard unlikely to get anyone excited about their message.

One such pitfall is the use of automated social media tools, which claim to save both time and money by posting to all of your social media channels from one place. And on the surface, this seems like a great way to save precious time when posting to social media – but what it often causes is sloppy and ineffective social posts that do little to engage.
So why do automated social media tools miss the mark on social media strategy? From our experience, these are our three top reasons:

Reason #1

Awkward, One-Size-Fits-All Language

Every social media platform is like its own community or ecosystem. What language works in one community might sound awkward, out of place and sloppy in another. Posting the same thing across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram might seem like it saves time, but it also assumes that every community speaks the same way.

The reality is that posts designed for a certain platform – and posted carefully – are what drives engagement from a community. Automated programs almost rely on this messy and haphazard way of posting. Doing so means you’re losing out on important opportunities to tailor language to a certain audience – and missing out on valuable engagement in the process.

Reason #2

Strangely Formatted Posts

Just like each social media platform has its own language and community, it also has its own rules and limitations for posting. While Instagram does best with short captions, plenty of hashtags and square photos, Facebook looks messy with hashtags and only uses rectangular photos. Twitter has a 140 character limits, while Facebook has a limit of 63,206. Do you really want to craft the same message for each?

While automated social media tools might be able to post to each platform, it simply isn’t smart enough to reformat things like image sizes, text and length for each platform. This can only be done manually and with a keen eye for detail. Anything else risks unprofessional and sloppy posts that might hurt your reputation rather than help it.

Reason #3

Bad Timing and Unintended PR Disasters

The biggest draw for automated social media tools is the ability to save time with scheduling. Rather than committing a few minutes each day to posting on social, these tools allow you to schedule far into the future – sometimes days, weeks or months ahead.
This might sound like a good idea, but if you consider the consequences of planning public messages so far in advance, the idea is less appealing. Tragedies, unforeseen events and disasters could equal your well-meaning messages scheduled weeks beforehand now sound insensitive or tactless. A little planning ahead is always good, but automation makes social media a sticky situation waiting to happen.

Reason #4

It Doesn’t Foster Real Engagement

So if social media really is so important to an online marketing strategy, how do you do it without automated tools? At AuDseo, we don’t automate your social media because we value quality over ease (as we’re sure you do, too). Spending a little bit of extra time means better return on time investment in the form of better engagement, and more opportunities to turn followers into clients.

We do it because we believe it’s the only way to achieve the ultimate goal of social media: connecting and communicating with your clients in a way that will keep them walking through your doors again and again.

Lastly, we’ll leave you with a great quote from RocketPost, who wrote a great article on the pitfalls of social media automation.

“Automating your social media isn’t a genuine way to foster engagement and conversations. It’s basically broadcasting, and that’s a very inefficient and ineffective way to use social media. Instead, you should be looking to inspire conversation, engage your followers, and build relationships – and you can’t do that with your finger on the big, red, shiny “Automate” button. Think twice before you schedule that tweet, friends. Reconsider before scheduling that post, amigos. Learn from the past – and make sure your social media is authentically you.”

9 Top The Best Tools for Social Media Marketing Automation in 2020

1. SendinBlue Facebook Ads

The Best Tools for Social Media Marketing Automation in 2020

If you ever wished that it was easier to reach a wider audience with your marketing campaigns, then SendinBlue could have the answer. Sendinblue is known worldwide as an efficient and easy-to-use email marketing tool, ideal for nurturing the leads that you gather online and turning one-off visitors into repeat customers.

Not only does SendinBlue help you to develop stronger relationships with your audiences through email marketing, but it also offers the option to automate your Facebook campaigns too. All you need to do to get started is sign up with an account with Sendinblue and build a custom Facebook ad creative within the simple UI. Because you're managing your Facebook ads through Sendinblue, there's also the option to combine your social media marketing with SMS advertising, email promotion, and even instant chat customer service strategies too.

Design your Facebook ad using the intuitive tools available from Sendinblue, complete with unique ad text, a corresponding CTA, and a stunning design that draws more eyes to your social media material.
Choose to target a specific list, or find new people: With Sendinblue, you can even target a particular list of people who have already shown interest in your product or find a unique selection of customers using the exceptional Facebook lookalike audience connected to your Sendinblue account.
Set up your ad parameters: Decide on the limits for your ad campaigns, including your budget and how long you want to ad to run. Sendinblue will handle the hard work on your behalf, optimizing your spend according to your budget.

What's more, Sendinblue also offers in-depth reporting and analytics, so you can continue to keep track of the performance of your campaigns and implement changes according to what you learn.

2. Hootsuite

The Best Tools for Social Media Marketing Automation in 2020

Hootsuite is a simple yet powerful social media automation tool that lets you schedule posts in advance to be published on different platforms. With over 10 million subscribers, this tool provides social account holders with a single dashboard from where they can run all their accounts effortlessly.

The platform integrates well with over 35 social media APIs including Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and the rest. It also supports Google Analytics.

This tool provides real-time updates of all the activities taking place on social sites like when your brand has been mentioned and what exactly has been said. This can help you know what consumers want and avert possible crisis. Its analytics section allows you to know the best time to post content and lets you generate in-depth reports.

Despite having many features, Hootsuite is inexpensive and thus suitable for average social media marketers. Starters can enjoy the brief free trial period and then pick a plan from the affordable choices available.

With it, you will be able to find, schedule, manage and report on social media content a lot faster even with a small team of marketers.

Now, why is posting important?

To a large extent, the attract phase of the ACD funnel (Attract, Convert, Deliver) in your sales funnel starts with attraction. Sharing updates and providing value to target customers on social media is a great way to atrract people to your brand.

3. SharpSpring

The Best Tools for Social Media Marketing Automation in 2020

If you’re running a marketing agency, you might want to check out SharpSpring (read our SharpSpring review). Although it also serves a wide range of small and mid-sized businesses, SharpSpring is particularly optimized for agencies seeking a rebrandable cloud-based platform that can handle numerous client projects concurrently.

Now, SharpSpring comes with multiple powerful features for building leads and managing marketing campaigns. One particularly outstanding thing here is its behavioral-based marketing automation capabilities, which come in handy when you need to target specific lead demographics by their actions.

If a lead likes, comments, mentions, replies, or even retweets one of your social media posts, for instance, you can rely on SharpSpring Social to automatically handle the subsequent set of triggers. Apart from notifying you, it can launch an email to follow up on the lead, or alternatively, proceed based on your selected pre-specifications.

Ok, hang on a minute. Which social media platforms are we talking about here?

Well, SharpSpring Social is quite versatile since it connects to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles. You can then take advantage of its scheduler to publish your series of posts at just the right time for increased engagement.

And no. You don’t have to log into the respective social media platforms to monitor your feeds. You can handle that directly from SharpSpring, thanks to its social listening functionality. As a matter, you can even customize it to view feeds and updates at the same time.

An in case you’d like to see the overall big picture, SharpSpring’s Content Calendar extends to cover all your campaigns. It provides an overview of everything, including blog pieces, emails, and social media posts.

Ultimately, you can confirm the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns from their corresponding reports. SharpSpring uses its analytical tools to keep tabs on the metrics and subsequently assess the corresponding numbers accordingly.

That said, the overall workflow here is pleasantly simple and intuitive. SharpSpring allows you to visually manage your automation actions, social media segmentation framework, plus the consequent activation process.

And since you’ll essentially be handling many clients at a go, SharpSpring offers a comprehensive multi-client management console, complete with branded interfaces, white-labeled URLs, and sales functionalities.

Sadly, SharpSpring is not the cheapest software when it comes to marketing automation. In fact, it’s far from that. Don’t get me wrong though. What you get here is certainly worth every penny you pay.

4. BuzzSumo

The Best Tools for Social Media Marketing Automation in 2020

We just took a look at how to automate social media engagement.

But how fo you find good content to engage your target audience with?

Enter Buzzsumo.

If you want to have a deeper understanding of your social footprint and come up with smarter content strategies, BuzzSumo is the tool you need.

Rather than guess what content within your niche gets a lot of eyeballs, this tool (through the use of keywords) lets you discover the most popular posts as well as the influencers who wrote them.

From here, it’s up to you to link up with those individuals and build a worthwhile relationship with them. BuzzSumo is majorly a research tool with a search bar where you scout for anything you want using a keyword or phrase.

You can filter the results obtained by geographical location, domain, platform, duration, etc.

This tool collects data from major social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and several others. It’s capable of providing analytical data as well.

Since knowing exactly what to post can be valuable to businesses, you will find BuzzSumo to be a little costly. However, if you can use the tool wisely, there is nothing to lose.

Find what content works in your industry, and then try to tap into the audience of industry influencers.

5. Mention

The Best Tools for Social Media Marketing Automation in 2020

Having a subscription with Mention means you will always know when your brand gets mentioned in social media conversations. The amount of information you can get from this remarkable tool will help you perform competitor analysis, brand monitoring and many other things.

Mention links you directly to the individuals discussing your brand. This will compel you to get in touch with them and answering their queries right there and then. Such high engagement levels earn you new leads and keep your sales at the top.

While there are a ton of listening tools out there, I've found Mention to be one of the best ones- they provide more data and loop in more social converations than most other tools.

This tool has one of the simplest interfaces and everything happens from a single dashboard. Keyword monitoring, influencer scouting, competitor analysis, crisis management and discovering unhappy customers happens in a few clicks.

Pro Tip: You can also use mention to build links. Track mentions of your brand or content across the web, reach out and ask if they'dmind linking to your content/brand so that users can easily find them!

6. Agora Pulse

While Hootsuite is similar to Agora Pulse in several features, I've felt that Agora Pulse is the best way to engage with your customers.

The tool allows you to plan posts, schedule them, perform analysis, run contests, promotions, quizzes and effortlessly collaborate with your social media staff.

It goes further to compare your marketing campaign with that of your competitor so you can see where you stand. It’s a huge time saver for super busy business individuals.

Some of the media platforms Agora works with, include Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. You can schedule your content to go to one, several or all the accounts at once. Its smart analytics system is spot on and reliable. Their pricing favors average marketers and there’s a free 14-trial as well as a few free tools to play around with.

Agora Pulse has a preview button that lets you see how your content will appear once published. This can showcase typos, unwanted characters and improper formats that need to be fixed.

The calendar feature provides you with a bird’s eye view of all your posts (usually color-coded) which enables you to see the posts that are queued, published, scheduled or awaiting approval.

7. Buffer

Buffer is the ultimate social media scheduler for anyone who deals with a lot of content and several social media handles.

This tool handles scheduling just like Hootsuite, but the best part is this:

They have enough analytic data to suggest the best time to post content!

It doesn't end there:

Its analytics mechanism provides useful insight into how your social media strategies stack up against those of competing brands.

They also provide unique advantages from an automation and UX perspective- adding content to it is easy peasy; especially with a browser extension. There’s a panel that guides you on what you need to fill in next like description, image, the social networks to post to and the specific times the post will be dispatched.

The interface is user-friendly and sports only the necessary tools. Buffer upgrades itself regularly to keep up with the ever-growing social media demands.

Their pricing comes with various packages that customers can choose according to their needs. The Buffer is available for windows and phones (iOS and Android)- which is an advantage for those who are always on-the-go.

8. Social Oomph

If you have a lot of evergreen content on your website then Social Oomph is the tool for you.

It's a social media management tool but doubles as an automation platform. It has great features, particularly, the queue reservoir that works best with evergreen content. Since evergreen content remains relevant a couple of years down the line, it’s important that you promote it whenever you can.

When you add your content to Social Oomph’s queue, you can specify how often the content needs to be shared. You can choose to publish it after an hour, two, three or even a day.

Every time an item on the queue gets published, Social Oomph sends out a tweet informing your followers about the post. Since the same evergreen piece will still be on the queue, the following tweets will vary a little to create some difference.

For instance, you want to promote an article on “5 ways to reuse plastic,” here is how Social Oomph will post the tweets:
Tweet one: 5 ways to reuse plastic – http://bitly.loak73h
Tweet two: Top 5 ways to put the waste plastic back to use – http://bitly.loak73h
Tweet 3: Is plastic lying around in your home? Here are 5 ways you can put them back to use – http://bitly.loak73h

So if you don’t want to bore your followers with the same string of tweet but wish to keep your marketing efforts at the top, try using Social Oomph.

9. SocialFlow

Wondering how the biggies automate and manage social media?

SocialFlow tracks conversations in real-time and gathers insight. Based on the insight gathered, this app will determine the best time to publish in order to capture the attention of the audience. Here’s how its dashboard looks like:

This automation tool is a favourite of big brands like The Washington Post, Mashable, and National Geographic.

So what’s so good about Socialflow? First and foremost, it makes campaigns more efficient and this usually translates to increased revenue.

Secondly, this tool shows you the content that works and this not only paves way for excellent writing but assures the posted content will gather engagement and attract more interest (ACD cycle folks!)

Additionally, the analytics you get from this program is based on past findings and thus quite accurate.

So, instead of hiring data scientists and paying them a lot of money for playing around with data, you can simply subscribe to Socialflow’s friendly plans and save yourself plenty of time and money.

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