Social media is a very cost-effective online marketing method, but it can also be very time-consuming. You could spend hours every day searching for content to attract and grow your ideal audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and whatever new platform crops up.
Social media automation tools capable of doing everything from recommending content to posting on your behalf (even on Instagram) make this process much more efficient.
So if you want to spend less time executing your social media strategy and get better results, then it’s time to check out the best available social media automation tools to see how they could meet the needs of your organization.
Best social media automation tools
For example, if your largely consumer-based audience primarily uses Facebook and Instagram, you don’t need a tool that posts automatically to LinkedIn. Conversely, if you’re marketing to a business audience, you’ll want to focus on tools that can post to Twitter and LinkedIn.
Here are seven tools that can help improve the way you engage with your social media audience in 2020:
HootSuite is likely to show up on a lot of lists for top social media automation tools, and for good reason. In one dashboard, you can monitor mentions of your brand, schedule posts for multiple platforms, and use analytics so you can find the best times to post content.
HootSuite integrates with 35 social media APIs, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and it supports Google Analytics. It’s also relatively inexpensive, with a 30-day free trial, and packages starting at $29 per month.
Agorapulse is worth a look if your goal is to take your social media engagement up a notch. With this social media automation tool, you can plan and schedule posts, analyze responses, run contests, and collaborate with your staff.
Agorapulse integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. You can schedule individual posts or publish your posts across all platforms at once.
However, Agorapulse is a little pricier. Users get a free 28-day trial, but after that, packages start at $79 per month.
If Instagram is the primary social platform you use for business, Kicksta can help you build engagement and grow your following. This social media automation tool likes and comments on posts based on rules you set for the profile types you’re targeting.
You can’t schedule posts on Instagram stories with Kicksta. This tool is strictly for engagement. Pricing starts at $49 per month.
Like HootSuite, Buffer lets you post on multiple platforms and schedule posts for each of your social networks. This social media automation tool uses a calendar view so you can see what posts are scheduled when, with suggestions on auto-scheduling posting times.
Buffer includes collaboration features so your social media team can draft posts for you to approve. You can also schedule first comments for your Instagram posts.
Buffer offers a seven-day free trial for its Pro plan and 14-day free trials for its Premium and Business plans. The Pro plan starts at $15 per month. At the end of the trial period, Buffer allows you to downgrade to a basic Free plan.
CoSchedule offers a lot of useful features for content and social media, making it ideal for companies pursuing a comprehensive content marketing effort. CoSchedule uses a calendar interface so you can see when posts will go live. You can schedule up to 60 posts at once.
CoSchedule includes analytics so you can analyze what content has worked well. Plans start at $150 per month after a 14-day free trial period.
SocialPilot, much like HootSuite and Buffer, lets you bring all of your social media platforms onto one dashboard. SocialPilot supports up to 200 social media accounts and lets you schedule content in bulk.
To help you schedule content you find across the web, SocialPilot includes a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and a mobile app for Android and iOS.
SocialPilot offers a 14-day free trial. Plans start at $25 per month.
While SproutSocial doesn’t support as many social media platforms as Buffer or HootSuite, this tool shines when it comes to automating content posting, engaging with audiences, and supporting customers.
SproutSocial offers features for social media listening and competitor monitoring. It also tracks keywords and identifies influencers, which is particularly important if your company does a lot of influencer outreach and marketing.
SproutSocial has an analytics feature to calculate the reach of your posts. It offers a 30-day free trial, and packages start at $99 per month.
The social media automation tool you choose will depend a lot on your company’s needs, whether or not you need to collaborate with others, and your budget. All the tools listed offer a free trial period, so it’s worth trying a few tools to determine which is best for you.
Social media automation is the key to posting consistently, better engaging with your audience, and achieving your social media marketing goals.