While juggling the dozens of tasks of growing a business, social media automation tools are lifesavers for maximizing the use of your time. Certainly not all of your social strategy can, or should, be automated or gaffes and a sterile voice are sure to result. However, a good portion can be and a half hour of planning can be much more efficient than stop-and-go. We’ve experienced the truth of that at the startup level, where everyday is a landmine of challenges and opportunities. Here at Jebbit we utilize various social automation tools for purposes of marketing funnel management, content dispersion, and tracking, but social automation can trim the fat off any digital marketer’s plate.
To help trim the fat of the task of analyzing the plethora of tools in this space, here we profile 4 popular social automation tools and platforms that we’ve determined to be helpful as well some rules of thumb.
Inbound marketing and sales software to drive business growth: attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. The core of their inbound strategy is content marketing.
Useful social automation features:
- Social publishing section allows Hubspot customers to integrate and condense their social presences to one dashboard – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on
- You can publish and easily schedule a post to any or all channels in one place (without retyping text but retaining editing capabilities), with recommended or custom publish times
- Easily attach images and landing pages
- The traffic and engagement with each post is integrated and monitored on Hubspot’s platform
- Analytics are available on best performing posts and channels (individual & aggregate), which are extremely helpful in assessing what types of posts and content resonate with your audience
- All conversation around your brand (messages, mentions, and retweets) is all monitored in Hubspot’s Social Inbox and you can follow back, favorite, or retweet directly from Hubspot’s platform
- If you are utilizing Hubspot as your marketing platform, you can track and manage the entire customer journey
- Social is a feature in a suite of services, rather than an all-encompassing value proposition for Hubspot (unlike many of its competitors). However, Jebbit has opted to disperse social messages via Hubspot for the convenience of having contact data readily accessible and integrated with our main marketing platform
- Analytics and other information is somewhat embedded so it takes some time to learn to navigate
- Does not offer targeting or sponsored social management
Comparable Companies: Spokal
Central dashboard for managing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress, FourSquare, and other social platforms.
Useful social automation features:
- HootSuite is the most popular social media management tool for people and businesses to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks like Facebook and Twitter from one web-based dashboard.
- You can schedule updates and monitor conversations
- Highly specialized so vast range of social networks (more than any other dashboard I’ve come across)
- At higher price strata, advanced analytics in relation to business sector, geographic region, etc. are available
- Used for teams to collaborate and delegate for multiple profiles / networks
- Bulk scheduling
- Built-in URL-shortener: Ow.ly
- Information not directly accessible for lead-nurturing via Hubspot and other marketing platforms
- Only 3 networks allowed for the free level, premium for access to wider range
- Lots of activity on the interface, which can quickly get confusing
- Depends on size and goals of the organization, but for smaller businesses and startups there is an excess of features
Connect apps with one another to create a call-and-response chain of action. You can link your blog feed to your Twitter, Facebook, G+ and LinkedIn accounts so that each time a new blog post is published, social accounts get updated as well.
- Automatic Triggers
- Useful if you are using various separate technologies, or want to opt for the control and flexibility of a more “do-it-yourself” strategy
Socedo discovers the social prospects that match your custom criteria (i.e. keywords and organizations or people they follow) then further qualifies them via predefined engagement workflow.
- Socedo helps you identify quality new prospects, expanding your social strategy from just broadcasting your message and engaging with existing followers
- The technology connects your business with customers on an individual basis, rather than with a huge audience perspective
- Once you approve a prospect, Socedo automatically looks up their other social profiles and engages them, leading to an influx of new qualified leads each day
- See the performance of prospects and finesse your approach
More Tools to Try
The key to a successful social strategy is to engage and offer value to your followers in three inter-related realms, your product, your industry, and your brand. The 5-3-2 rule of social media sharing, proposed by TA McCann, boils this down to a formula. For every 10 updates you post to a social media channel:
- 5 should be content from others, relevant to your audience
- 3 should be content from you, relevant to your audience—and not a sales pitch
- 2 should be personal, non-work related content that helps humanize you or your brand
Overhanging this is the challenge of remaining consistent and engaged, while avoiding the stigma of over-sharing and over-posting. Users will follow and keep following brands that are interesting and offer valuable insights or links to valuable insights.
Lastly, a couple of the dos and don’ts of automation:
- Non-urgent posts
- Your content calendar for the week or the day (i.e. blog posts)
- Posts before you go on vacation or a long weekend
- Customer interactions (can, and has, lead to unintentional inappropriate and unsympathetic responses)