One of the things that can be the most time consuming when it comes to online tasks is social media. While social media is best used to connect and build relationships with your audience, that doesn’t mean you have to be present all day every day. There are many different tools out there that can help you automate some of your social media time. Below we’ve highlighted a few of those options.
Free( basic plan) and paid ( click here for details)
This is a very popular social media posting automation tool. It’s been around for awhile and lots of people use it. One of the biggest reasons people love it is because it’s free, but one of the ‘complaints’ users have is that once content has been added and posted it’s gone. If you want a post to be shared more than once you have to re-add it again.
One of the things I really like about it is that when posting to Facebook (or even LinkedIn) you can have an image showing with the post. Now-a-days visuals are huge and all content needs them.
The screenshot below shows the dashboard of Hootsuite and what it looks like when you go to add content. On the left is where you would choose the social media platform you want to schedule the content to post to. You can see the image and arrows – use that section to find the proper image or click the camera icon to add your own image. Usually when you add a link in the big box area (‘this is where you would type…’) the image, title & description section will automatically populate. You can edit it and change that info though.
If you’re just starting out and looking for a low-cost option that’s easy to use, Hootsuite is a good candidate.
This one hasn’t been around as long as some of the other tools but it’s like social media automation on steroids. Yes it comes with a hefty monthly price tag but those that use it say the time it saves them is well worth the monthly cost.
What’s so great about Meet Edgar?
The main reason so many people are drawn to Edgar is because it gives you the ability to ‘post it and forget it’. Meaning, once you add the content to the library you don’t ever have to add it again. Ever! Edgar will post your content and then continue recycling it over and over and over until you remove it from the library (or remove it from the schedule for the social media platform and time you have it set up to post).
Because you can set up categories, this makes it nice if you have an upcoming product launch or podcast appearance, etc. Create a handful of pre-launch posts, set up a pre-launch category, add that content and then set the schedule. Once pre-launch is done simply remove that category from the schedule so it doesn’t post anymore. Then set up a new category with posts about the product that can be used and recycled over and over.
This option requires you to really think about whether you can justify the monthly expense or not.
IFTTT (If This Then That)
One of the biggest reasons people like IFTTT for posting to social media is because you can set up a ‘recipe’ so that it runs in the background making things partially hands off for you (once it’s set up that is).
What does that mean? This screenshot (below) shows that a recipe was set up to run in the background so that anytime there is a new post published on the website IFTTT automatically posts a link text to Facebook.
The problem with that (just posting a link text) and the reason I’m not a fan of using IFTTT to set up an automatic posting schedule to Facebook is because of what you see below in the screenshot.
You can tell it was posted from IFTTT (other platforms show this as well) which isn’t a big deal. What I have an issue with is how boring and bland the post is. Facebook has made so many changes to its algorithm and how many people see your posts, a boring text only post like this isn’t going to get seen by many. It’s been proven that images (and now videos) included in a post get seen more.
Think about your own Facebook feed for a minute. I don’t know about you, but when I’m scrolling through mine, very rarely do I ever stop and look at a plain text post especially something as little as this (there’s only one little sentence about the content) like this. However, if it had an image it would capture my eye and I may be inclined to stop, read it, and then click through.
And remember, above when the word partially was used? This tool only makes things partially hands off for you because sure it’ll post a link to that blog post once, but that’s it. If you want it shared more than that you have to manually do it.
These are just a few of the many automation tools out there that can help save you time when it comes to posting on social media. Just remember, you still need to be present, connecting, and interacting with your audience at times too.