6 Great social media automation tools

Social media tools. 

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For strictly automation:

These tools are good for making it easier to post once see everywhere. So if you love twitter like our president does but you don’t want to post the same thing to Instagram, facebook, snapchat and tumblr you can use these tools to do it for you.

IFTTT
Pronouced IIFFFFT, this tool is free and if you have never used it I will be blowing your mind. It can automate anything. You can have it turn on all your lights, open your garage door, start the coffee maker, and turn off the kids tv when your phone is detected near your house or you can use it to send a tweet and have that tweet go everywhere. It is free too! It can cover 98% of automations but it is not as powerful as

Zapier
Pronouced unintuitively as Zap-ee-er (over the obvious french Zap-ee-ay) this tool is IFTTT for techies. It supports a lot more apps, has a lot of filters, rules and multi-step branching capabilities. I use this to automate WordPress and form management to route content to several different apps. It can be used for the same thing as IFTTT but it can support complex rules such as Reposting content to certain places only if it is a certain time of day or if the content has certain #hashtags, etc… The options are unlimited. There is a paid plan that gives you more apps and more control (as well as allowing you to run the actions more than the free version).

Buffer
Buffer blazed the trail of Social automation tools. It started out as just a simple website with a chrome browser extension that allowed you to queue and send tweets/facebook/pintrest/insta+more posts on a set schedule. SImple. Over the years a lot of other companies created similar platforms with more capabilities leaving Buffer in the dust. However, Buffer has held on to a loyal following and is still the bellwether tool for sending out “buffered” and queued content. My only gripe is that it is gimped unless you pay for it and I don’t have any more budget for web-apps. It’s $10/month so cancel the ad-free hulu and get your social media dialed in.

Content Origination:

Let’s talk about where to get content. Sure, there are tried and true methods: 1. Read actual websites on a daily basis. 2. Google Alerts. 3. RSS feed aggregators or 4. use a feed service that just happens to have social media integration as well.

Feedly
I like Feedly a lot. It has a slightly wonky interface with a sliding panel from the right that is annoying but it has some great content feeds. You can choose by category or site or any other combination of content and get the latest and greatest headlines and click-bait. You get limited posting capabilities for free and there is a paid plan that does queued and scheduled posts but I like this tool more for content creation. So if you need a great tool for finding good content check Feedly.

dlvr.it
Very similar to Feedly but more like Buffer. I am currently using this automation tool to send out content on 8150’s twitter. I like the content finder. Similar to feedly it can find content for your site based on keywords or particular sites. So if you are into fashion you can have it repost everything that Vogue has on their feeds, etc… We have it reading Entrepreneur magazine, Hustle and Grind and Inc:Entrepreneur feeds and we have it putting out 10x a day. The limits are much better than Buffer and I don’t even pay attention to it. Set it and forget it. This may not be good if you want to curate your own content or comment on the retweets.

SwiftSocial
A new tool I have been playing with that does all of the above (some better, some worse) is SwiftSocial. A few things this tool does well is user engagement. You can use the tool to find followers and follow others. You can search for followers by genre or it will load your competitions followers and tell you the odds of that person following you back. It also has more control over the articles it will post. You can bring in content feeds and see the headlines and cherry pick the content you want to queue. I plan on doing more with this tool going forward.

And yes… Hootesuite
If you are using Social media to make a living or run the Social media for an organization or company it’s hard to go wrong with Hootesuite. That being said you need to pay for it to use it fully. It can handle almost everything. Customer engagement (those nice thank you direct messages), contests and giveaways, automation and a ton of reports.

In conclusion…
Before you use any of these tools decide what you want your goals to be so you can choose the correct tool. Also, don’t use too many of these tools as your social media will look a little too robotic. Even if you get everything perfectly, nothing beats genuine content from the hands of the creator. So use these tools but do not give up on manually posting your cat My goal was to increase impressions and content for 8150. Here are the results. On the left hand side nothing was going on in mid-august. The feed was dead and I wasn’t posting. Now we are getting around 1000 organic impressions a day on average. Pretty tremendous considering I spent about 30 minutes setting this up.


 

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