February 15, 2016

5 social media automation tools that won’t make you look like a robot

Tower-viewer
Chris Woodrich

Post by Adi Englander

adi-englanderSocial media automation is a doubled-edged sword. Done right, it can save you a ton of time and radically improve your ROI. Advanced features like scheduling optimization, automatic reposting and replies, content curation to fill up your queue, and audience segmentation enable it to excel where even an entire team of humans normally fail.

One the other hand, we’ve all seen where automation can go wrong.

When it does, automation makes you look like a disconnected, disingenuous, sleazy, self-promotional robot.

While it might sound obvious … that’s bad.

After all, they’re called “social” networks for a reason. The point is to actually connect: one human to another.

Luckily, there are tools that can help you ease your daily social media workload and automate tasks without falling into the antisocial trap.

Socedo: Generating Leads

1Like the old saying goes, success is business is about who you know, not what you know.

In other words: relationships. But not just any relationships, relationships with the right people at the right time fueled by the right message.

Effective social media automation lives and dies by this very human principle.

Socedo helps you to take the guesswork out of finding the right people to follow and connect with on social media … with a special focus on generating leads.

You simply plug in the criteria of the people you want to connect with and Socedo will return the social media profiles of those who meet your requirements. What’s more, the platform also helps you to engage with them and qualify them as leads.

The great thing about Socedo is that even though it automates finding people to follow and the initial messages, you still retain full control in who you actually follow and communicate with:  the best of both worlds.

Socedo ScreenshotImage Credit: Socedo

Key Features:

  • Find your target audience using custom criteria.
  • Automated engagement to qualify prospects.
  • Track your results and fine tune your approach with your Social Lead Performance Report.

Followerwonk: Scheduling Posts

2If you’ve been using social media tools for a while, you’re probably well aware of Followerwonk as a way to search Twitter bios. However, they have a lesser-known feature which is extremely powerful, particularly if you use Buffer for social media scheduling.

Their “Analyze” function allows you to plug in any Twitter handle and get a robust statistical report on their entire social network — both their followers as well as who they’re following – that automatically identifies an audience-specific schedule of best times to share your own content.

You can then automatically import these best times into your scheduling tool to make sure your updates get published for maximum exposure.

Follwerwonk ScreenshotImage Credit: Photocrati

Key Features:

  • Learn the location and the most active times online for your followers and people you follow.
  • Plug in the best times to tweet directly into Buffer.
  • Learn how often your followers tweet, retweet and mention others to craft your own regularity.

Quuu: Curating Content

3Content curation — collecting and sharing other people’s content — isn’t just how you avoid looking like a self-absorbed jerk on social media. It’s also good for business.

But there’s a big problem that most content curation tools simply don’t addressed. Naturally, they’re great at finding you content that fits within the broad category your business and passion, but since they’re done with algorithms, not only is quality control and maintaining relevance difficult, but key social media engagement tactics – like mentions, author attribution, and hashtags – are left out.

Quuu solves this problem by building its treasure trove of shareable and niche-specific content on the curation efforts of actual people.

Quuu Screenshot
Image Credit: ProductFest

Key Features:

  • Get hand-curated content scheduled to your Buffer account everyday.
  • Receive a Daily Review email each morning (paid accounts).
  • Choose from up to 5 categories with a free account and unlimited with paid account.
  • Submit your own curated content for paid social-media promotion.

SocialOomph: Promoting Content

4It’s really hard to sum up all the amazing automation features SocialOomph has in one article, so let’s keep the focus on their most sought-after features that are difficult to find elsewhere.

If your brand has a lot evergreen content — that is blog posts, white papers, ebooks, tutorials, video series, or webinars – or simply specific social messages that need to be frequently promoted, SocialOomph helps you to repost all of it as many times as you wish with very little input on your part.

The effect of reposting or recirculating the same social media post multiple times has been well documented. The rule is simple: the more you repost – at strategic times and intervals – the more engagement your content receives.

You can also use SocialOomph to set up an auto feed between your site and your social media accounts so that every time you post new content it’s automatically shared.

SocialOomph Screenshot
Image Credit: SocialOomph

Key Features:

  • Save draft tweets, frequently used text snippets and URLs and reuse them in your scheduled tweets.
  • Use RSS feeds to automatically create updates that are scheduled or queued.
  • Create a reservoir of tweets that will be drip-fed to your accounts, no scheduling needed.

IFTTT: Customizing Everything Else

5Each of the above tools specializes in one area of social media automation.

For everything else, there’s IFTT.

IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That, connects to your favorite browser, desktop and mobile apps and bring them together in ways you never thought possible.

This tool gives you social media automation recipes that make you much more productive by eliminating the things you would do manually between apps, like posting new Instagram posts to Twitter as a native image (rather than a link) or changing your Facebook profile picture automatically when you change your Twitter profile picture.

If you’re looking for great recipes to use for social media that will cut your work time, you can check out Buffer’s Big List of IFTTT Recipes.

IFTT creenshot
Image Credit: Ed Social Media

Key features:

  • Currently works with 271 services.
  • Provides tons of recipe recommendations in different categories.
  • Includes GPS based recipes that send out automatic updates for real-world activities.

Automate … but stay human

There’s no need for a debate on whether to automate or not.

At the rate at which social media is developing, if you’re not taking advantage of automation tools, you’re not only wasting time and energy, you also aren’t taking full advantage of engaging and building relationships with your audience.

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  • Great list of tools, thanks for sharing it!

  • Thanks for this list. I will have to spend a bit more time to investigate these, since I have not heard of them. If there was a tool that fed individual posts to social media accounts, one by one as they are posted, how would you know that was an automated tool and not done manually? I am curious, if the automation is good enough, it seems to be that you would not know, right?

  • Thanks for sharing this! One thing that I’ve found in the last 10 years of dabbling with social media tools is that they aren’t complete. You would always be looking for something more.

    That’s one reason why we set out to build Zoho Social – a social media management tool for growing businesses. Apart from scheduling, monitoring, analytics and collaborations, you would actually be able to track revenue from your social media efforts (yes! With our upcoming CRM integration).

    Give it a spin. There’s a free 15-day trial (no credit card needed) and a forever free plan if you aren’t ready to pay.

    I’ll be happy to answer any questions and grateful for your feedback.

    Cheers,

    Praval

    Product Manager – Zoho Social

    http://www.zoho.com/social/

  • cristina Wilson

    Hi,
    There is also one more and that is Blog2Social. So far i have faced no issues. Not only you have a single dashboard which will help you post across platforms but also it requires no cron job done. You just have to simply install and activate it.

  • Thank you for this awesome collection of tools. I did not now Quuu, but I will definitely look into this tool.
    I absolutely agree with you, that the biggest problem of social media automation is, that automated posts tend to look robotic. They might work to fill your streams, but they don’t work für social media communication and engagement. But without automation your will very soon feel like a slave to all your social media accounts. So the best choise is tools that allow you to taylor and custimize your posts so that they fit network specifications and your audiences preferences.

  • I really like IFTTT but you have a good list of some other tools as well. I will try Quuu as the posts needs to looks natural and as you said should not look like its been auto-posted.

  • Mike

    Balance is key I think. I’ve been suggesting RoundTeam, a lot lately. It’s a pretty great tool for sharing specific and also really diverse content. It’s all up to you. You can retweet specific users, hashtags, keywords and Twitter lists. https://roundteam.co It just helps keep your followers engaged, which saves a ton of time, especially during the really busy seasons!

  • I would like to appreciate your efforts for the article. Thank you for bringing the list to us.
    It is fact that there should be proper balance between human and robot approach. However, I would like to add SocialPilot ( https://socialpilot.co/ ) It is the finest combination of human and machine approach. More useful features, less robotic approach and 40,000 users in less span of time! It is giving tough competition to others!