As a millennial, social media has been around since I was in elementary school.

Myspace was created when I was nine years old. YouTube was founded when I was 11. And Facebook became available to the public when I was 12.

Although using social media has been a daily habit for me since I was in high school, it wasn’t until I became a marketer that I understood the power of it.

When I worked for a marketing agency, I’d spend days thinking of the best content to post and writing copy for different platforms.

During that time, I learned about and used tools to manage social media for several clients, including social media automation software.

Below, let’s learn more about social media automation, including how to automate your posts and the best tools for social media automation.

Automating your social media can be useful for developing a content plan, so you’re always prepared.

However, it’s important to note that social media automation tools shouldn’t be used in any dishonest or unethical way. For example, automation tools shouldn’t be used to write your social media posts — they should just be used for scheduling, reporting, and content ideas.

Similarly, you should never use automation tools to buy followers. Not only is that dishonest, but it can also reduce your engagement rate.

These social media tools are meant to free up your time so you can engage and personally interact with your followers, have authentic conversations, and strategize about what you post and when.

So, now that we know more about social media automation, let’s go over how you can use these tools to automate your posts.

1. Look at social listening tools.

Many social media automation tools can be used for social listening. Essentially, social listening is the process of monitoring what people are saying about your brand or industry online.

With automation tools, you can see brand mentions across all platforms in one place. Additionally, you can follow certain keywords, topics, or hashtags to see what’s going on in your industry. Moreover, social media automation tools can be used to follow your competitors. What’s the latest news? What are people talking about?

Ultimately, social listening tools can help you come up with ideas for social media posts or even product ideas.

2. Use chatbots.

Another way to use social media automation tools is to create chatbots. Chatbots can be used with sites like Facebook Messenger to streamline your marketing, provide customer support, and improve the customer experience.

For example, you can create automated replies or suggested replies to customer questions or comments. When a customer asks for your hours, for instance, your chatbot can automatically respond.

Additionally, you can use a chatbot to let customers know that you’ll get back to them in a certain amount of time and provide resources.

Ultimately, a social media chatbot should help customers with small issues, but escalate larger issues to a human.

3. Gain valuable insights across several networks.

Most social media automation tools provide analytics that can be helpful to your social media strategy.

For example, after using and connecting these tools to your social platforms, you can use the analytics to determine the best time to post. You can answer questions like, “When does my audience interact more?” and “What’s my engagement rate?”

A large benefit to automation tools is that you can get analytics such as impressions, reach, and engagement on all your social media platforms in one place. These reports make it easier to compare the success of a campaign across different platforms.

4. Produce content curation ideas.

While not all automation tools provide content curation, some of them do. This means that you can choose industries or topics that you think your audience is interested in. Then, the software will curate content that you can share and post on your social media platforms.

Some automation tools might draft a social media post for you, however, those should just be used as a starting point. You should write all your own social media posts.

Additionally, using the tactics mentioned above should help you get to know your audience better, facilitating more content ideas.

5. Engage with your audience.

One of the most important benefits of social media automation tools is that they can help you engage with your audience across several platforms in one place.

With this type of software, you can monitor brand mentions, replies, and messages. With all of these gathered in one place, it makes it easier to connect with your audience and helps your team respond in a timely manner.

6. Achieve consistent scheduling.

Consistency is one of the best ways to earn your follower’s trust and improve your online presence.

With social media automation tools, you can keep a steady queue of posts. This can help you plan ahead and spend more time on creativity and less time on the tedious posting tasks.

Additionally, you can use this software to schedule posts in bulk. Many automation software can be used to input a spreadsheet of posts and schedule them.

These are just some of the top ways to use social media automation tools. However, a human should still be interacting with the community, and planning creative, exciting content.

Social Media Automation Tools

1. HubSpot

With HubSpot’s social media tool, you can save time and prioritize your social interactions. This tool was designed to make it easy to share content from your marketing campaigns to all your social media platforms.

Additionally, you can manually publish content directly to LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. By connecting your blog and social media accounts, your new blog content will be automatically shared as soon as it’s published.

Furthermore, this software will give you suggestions on the best times to post and help you develop a nuanced social media strategy.

2. Buffer

Buffer was designed with collaboration in mind. That means you can use this software to draft and coordinate with your team, so you can orchestrate brilliant social media marketing campaigns.

Additionally, you can assign social conversations to the person on the right team, avoid duplicate responses by seeing who else is viewing a conversation, and leave internal notes. Many of these tasks can be automated, from tagging a post to assigning it.

Moreover, your team can use saved replies to reduce the amount of time they spend answering common questions.

Plus, with its reporting and analytics features, Buffer will give your team recommendations on how to grow reach, engagement, and sales.

3. Hootsuite

Besides regular scheduling and report features, Hootsuite also provides content curation tools to help you come up with and post content ideas.

For example, you can use a content library to organize all your content. That means you can save time with pre-approved posts so the team member scheduling content has a pick of posts to choose from.

Additionally, with the Hootlet extension, you can instantly post and share content you find online while you’re browsing or reading content.

Plus, by creating a social listening stream with hashtags or keywords, you can find compelling content to share instantly.

4. Sprout Social

With Sprout Social, your social media team can solve the three basic problems with manual social media management: overflowing inboxes, missed messages, and time-consuming tasks.

Before you get started, you’ll learn how to leverage this tool with dedicated training and easy onboarding, so you can use the tools immediately.

Then, you can use the tools to manage and measure conversations that can improve your engagement rate and brand loyalty.

The collaboration tools are one of the best features because you can integrate your customer support platforms such as Zendesk, HubSpot, and UserVoice.

Ultimately, Sprout Social can eliminate engagement obstacles and achieve social success, from community management to customer support.

5. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is one of the best automation tools to help you find the content that will perform the best.

With the content discovery, content research, monitoring, and influencer tools, your team can generate ideas, create high-performing content, monitor your performance, and identify influencers to work with.

Additionally, BuzzSumo gives you content examples and helps you find the questions your audience is asking.

Overall, this is one of the best tools to help you improve your content on social media.

Social media automation is a great way to eliminate day-to-day tasks so you can spend more time interacting with your audience. However, these tools shouldn’t be used to avoid responding to or engaging with your followers.