Social media is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing. Simultaneously, it can also be time-consuming as marketers may spend hours creating posts for individual social media platforms, trying to analyze their performance, and making appropriate changes. This is where social media automation tools help them automate certain tasks.
According to statistics by InstapageOpens a new window , automating social posts and ads can save more than six hours per week for marketers. Marketers can use this time to improve their relationship with customers. Having said that, there are numerous social media automation tools in the market today, and new tools emerge every year. So, how do you select the right ones for you?
Here are the five best social media automation tools we believe you should check out in 2021 to achieve your social media goals. These tools have some great features that help you schedule posts more efficiently, build better conversations with the audience, and generate insightful reports.
Hootsuite is one of the earliest social media tools popular even today due to its constant updates. It is also a comprehensive social media management and automation tool. It is best suited for SMBs and enterprises. The tool has a wide range of features. For example, you can curate content from a pre-approved library. You can map out your campaigns and fill the content gaps. You can plan and schedule posts on multiple social media platforms. Hootsuite integrates with more than 35 social media APIs enabling you to schedule posts on all these platforms.
Hootsuite provides a single dashboard where you can manage many social media profiles simultaneously. Besides content scheduling, Hootsuite has a social listening feature, which helps you monitor your brand mentions on social media. The tool further offers a Google Chrome extension, Hootlet, which enables you to share your web pages across social media quickly. The Hootsuite Academy, available in the tool, offers courses and certifications in social media marketing.
The tool has different price ranges and is affordable for small and medium businesses.
- Scheduling and posting media-rich content on more than 35 social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Management of multiple contributors
- Social analytics reports
- Optimized delivery
- Data collection by listening to brand mentions on social platforms
Buffer is another popular social media marketing management and automation tool. The tool was initially developed for content scheduling on social platforms but has grown into a social media tool offering various features. Like Hootsuite, Buffer allows you to curate content, collaborate, plan, and schedule posts on multiple social media platforms, manage multiple user accounts, and analyze your posts’ performance.
The tool offers you a single dashboard where you can create and view all your performance reports. The tool provides both broad and in-depth insights into your post’s performance on specific social channels. You can further share the reports with different stakeholders.
Buffer provides a calendar view where you can see all your scheduled posts. It also provides suggestions on auto-scheduling posts and recommended timings. The tool further offers a few features specific to Instagram, such as planning and scheduling posts, a shopping grid, and first commenting option.
However, unlike Hootsuite, Buffer supports fewer social networks at the moment. While Hootsuite enables you to publish posts on 30+ social platforms, Buffer unlocks up to 25 platforms. However, the tool provides a cleaner user experience. Simultaneously, it is also a cheaper option for SMBs.
Key featuresÂ Â
- Rich analytics on social post performance
- Simple and customized scheduling of posts
- Team collaboration and management
- Social profile sharing and management
- Android and iOS support
- Browser extension
3. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is another social media marketing tool that has become popular in recent times. It offers a few features similar to Buffer, Hootsuite, and a few other social media automation tools. Some of these features include planning and scheduling posts, organizing content from an asset library, and a content calendar. It also provides a single comprehensive dashboard for gaining performance insights and generating reports. Further, it allows you to manage your team functions and collaboration. Similar to a few other tools, Sprout Social also offers social listening features.
Having said that, the tool offers a few unique features. One of the best features is its seamless publishing system. Besides post scheduling, the tool provides you extra data with its audience discovery function. This function offers suggestions about the people you should follow and accounts you should avoid on social platforms. This is specifically useful when you want to identify influencers.
Further, the tool offers a few excellent social engagement features. One such feature is a social inbox to communicate and engage with your audience. The tool enables you to monitor social activity and organize incoming messages. It also offers a few other features like review management, automated chatbot builder, message tagging, and help desk integration.
Similarly, when it comes to team collaboration, you can divide the tasks into general, sales lead, and support. The tool also has features to avoid duplication of responses on the same post during collaboration. The tool offers a powerful reporting feature that allows you to see group reports, compare your reports with those of competitors, and track team productivity.
- Third-party integrations
- Social inbox
- Social CRM
- Post scheduling and publishing
- Team collaboration and task assignment
- Analytics and report creation
- Social listening
Agorapulse is a fully-integrated social media management and automation platform. It has many features similar to other tools such as post scheduling, queuing and publishing, visual calendar, analytics, and team collaboration. The tool integrates with Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. You can either schedule an individual post or publish posts across platforms all at once. The tool also enables you to perform competitor analysis. Further, it offers Power Reports to create and save customized reports and share them with team members. It also allows you to synchronize all your social profiles in real-time.
Where the tool really shines is in terms of its social engagement features. For example, it offers a social inbox. The option captures organic and paid conversations such as direct messages, reviews, comments, and mentions. You can label, review, assign, or reply to these messages. The inbox further allows you to retrieve older conversations when you need them. You can also set up automated moderation rules. The feature additionally helps you keep your social media content fresh.
Another engagement feature enables you to gain more information about your followers and fans. It helps you segment them so that you can send appropriate campaigns and communication to them.
The tool has a few Facebook-specific features such as contests, boosted posts, adding photos to Facebook albums, and ad comments capturing.
- Facebook analytics
- Instagram monitoring for brand username and hashtags
- Twitter management
- Advanced PowerPoint reports
- Advanced queuing and scheduling options
SocialPilot is a cost-effective yet comprehensive social media automation platform, primarily suited for SMBs and agencies. Initially restricted to post scheduling and analytics, the platform now has many features such as social inbox, team collaboration, content curation, bulk scheduling, RSS Feeds automation, and more. With SocialPilot, you can schedule and publish your posts on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Furthermore, you can schedule posts according to different time zones and activity periods.
In addition to these features, the tool has a user-friendly design. The tool has brand management and advanced content rescheduling functionality and features. These features enable you to filter only the most relevant data to reschedule posts. SocialPilot also has browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox to help you schedule content easily. Further, the tool has a mobile app for both Android and iOS. The tool allows you to create workflows, create custom reports, and share them with stakeholders.
SocialPost enables you to understand your audience better. It helps you analyze growth patterns and find top influencers. The social inbox brings together conversations, such as comments and messages across all Facebook pages under a single view. Further, you can boost posts and generate high-quality leads with Facebook ads. The tool also allows you to share those conversations with the right stakeholders in your team for a quicker response. Further, the feature enables you to use images and gifs in your conversations.
- Advanced social media scheduling calendar
- Social inbox
- Custom Facebook branding
- Client management
- Single social network dashboard
- Android and iOS app
- Advanced content rescheduling functionality
The Choice Is Yours
Every social media automation tool comes with its own features while lacking a few others. They also have a few benefits and limitations compared to other tools. However, some of them are adding new features to help marketers keep up with the evolving social media marketing landscape. Hence, choose the right tool that suits your unique marketing needs. Also, make sure that the tool you select automates a significant percentage of your required activities and workflows, if not all. This will save time and help you achieve your social media goals faster and efficiently.
What according to you are some of the best social media automation tools we should look out for this year? We would love to hear on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .