Automation rules the world. Smart tools, today, take away all the manual burden and boredom of performing repeat, routine jobs. Human beings no longer have to stress about being present 24/7 to respond to a customer in wee hours. They don’t have to sweat over shafting and manually scanning each social media comment to find out which ones need urgent attention. Things have been taken over by intelligent machinery, and this is just the beginning.
In the realm of social media marketing, automation has brought about a tremendous shift (for good). Business largely runs on marketing fueled by automation. As per stats highlighted in the infographic by Invespcro, marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. The numbers speak for themselves about the power of automation. That’s why most companies are applying automation to each function, each aspect of their business.
In the digital age, content and social media marketing have become a norm. And, with automation tools to rescue, every marketer’s job has become ten times simpler. Though there of hundreds of such social media marketing automation tools in the market, a few of them simply stand out because of their features and capabilities. I’ll be taking up five of the most popular social marketing automation platform tools and discussing them in detail in this post. The five tools that I will talk about today are Agorapulse, Sendible, Socialpilot, Leadfuze, and Loomly.
Well-equipped to be titled an all-rounder, Agorapulse is on every marketer’s ‘must have’ list. The tool offers robust social media automation capabilities that make it the right automation tool to add to your marketing strategy if you want to win over the right audience and to one-up your competition. In the context of how Agorapulse can make social media marketing really efficient and effective, here are its features and capabilities:
Increasing user engagement
Acquiring the right audience is only half the job done. The remaining half is keeping them engaged. Having a huge number of followers or fans on social media doesn’t guarantee purchases or conversions. But, when you interact with them regularly, send them offers that motivate them to interact with your social media campaigns, and post content that is engaging, the likelihood of making a sale increases. With Agorapulse’s notifications, you as a marketer can keep a tab on each comment or interaction that a social media user or follower makes. In case you have a huge following, using this feature means you can timely respond to that interaction, easily skimming through all the clutter and chaos! A timely response from you translates to respect, love, trust, and loyalty from that user.
Easy campaign management across channels
If you are an eCommerce business or a blog, chances are that you are running your social media campaigns on various channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Keeping sync can take a toll with so many accounts to handle. However, with Agorapulse you can schedule and publish posts across all the social channels from a single dashboard. Multiple-platform management with Agorapulse is absolutely hassle-free and gets across your communication seamlessly.
If you are not listening to what your fans and followers are discussing or talking about you and your competitors, you aren’t taking full advantage of social media. With automation tools, you can always find out what’s being said in your favor or in a negative light about your brand. This is the best way to get and respond to user feedback.
With Agorapulse you can monitor every hashtag, keep a check on what influencers are saying, and find out interesting conversations happening around your product. And, engage. When you listen to what’s happening socially, you have better chances of managing your reputation.
Better team collaboration
Agorapulse enables you to coordinate and collaborate better with all team members working on the same or on different campaigns. With Agorapulse you can easily view who is working on what, who needs to be allotted work, and allocate responsibilities accordingly. Every member has an idea of who is working on what so that there is no work collision or stepping on each other’s toes.
Tracking the right metrics
Facebook barometer and Twitter Report card are two special offerings for Agorapulse users. Using these features, Agorapulse users can dig in deep into their campaign stats for Facebook and Twitter. You need not manually dig into analytics to make your reports. When it’s time to show the results of your campaign to your investors you know you can pull the numbers out from Agorapulse.
Intelligent segmentation is the key to running campaigns that successfully win you conversions. When you are able to deep dive into your audience’s interactions and behaviors, and can understand them fully, only then you can create campaigns that interest and motivate them. With Agorapulse you can run segmentation based on audience characteristics, demographics, annual spend, etc. Personalization becomes smarter and better with this capability.
At par with Agorapulse (and Hootsuite), Sendible is a sensibly priced complete social media automation tool. In fact, Sendible is a much popular Hootsuite alternative for marketers looking for a compact, comprehensive deal. Pitching itself as a social media ‘productivity’ tool, Sendible offers the following features and capabilities:
Within Sendible’s dashboard there is a social inbox – a feature that can help organize social streams easily and in a matter of minutes. The social inbox keeps you notified about any engagement such as ‘comments,’ ‘likes,’ ‘shares,’ etc. on your campaign. It also allows you to run a sentiment analysis and identify mentions that need to be responded to immediately. Moreover, with a feature called priority inbox you can mark,sort or segregate any activity that is urgent and important and would like to keep up-to-date with. Another important feature inside Sendible’s dashboard is advanced content recommendations that allows you to share recent and fresh content with your social media fans.
Sendible’s interactive calendar is called interactive for a reason – the ability to drag-and-drop your posts in a sequence in which you want to post them. This ‘interactive’ ease allows you to easily schedule and re-schedule campaigns as need be. You can also add graphical elements to your post in seconds with drag-and-drop capability.
Sendible is smart enough to let you add visual elements to your posts with ease. When talking about design capabilities how can I skip not sharing my love for ‘compose box’! You can design your own graphics in Canva right within Sendible. No switching tabs and no uploading troubles. You get to design graphics right within the dashboard.
Team and client collaboration capability
With the interactive calendar at your team’s disposal they can view all scheduled tasks, reschedule tasks that are not on priority, pre-pone campaigns based on urgent, decided goals, as well as allocate responsibility collectively. All this can be done using a single dashboard. Collaboration with clients is also as easy as with team members. Your clients can see and review your scheduled campaigns and give instant feedback or suggestions. This feature that is designed for clients is called custom workflows.
As we’ve pointed earlier if you aren’t keeping a tab on what’s being said about your brand you are missing out on vital feedback and on important instances to engage. Just like Agorapulse, Sendible too enables you to keep track of what customers, fans, and influencers are saying about you. You can keep a tab on and become a part of interactions and discussions trending online or mentioning you. By reacting and responding to brand or product related conversations, and becoming an active social listener you can keep negative publicity from pulling you down.
Sendible’s report hub gives you complete access to nine social media reports that give a comprehensive picture on social media analytics. You can pick from over 250 modules for your reporting. Isn’t that awesome? And, you have ready to present reports personalized for each of your clients! What’s more? You can email these insights and reports from within Sendible.
To be truly interactive you need to go mobile. With Sendible you can reply to your users from mobile. You need not be logged in from your laptop to access the dashboard to take charge of your campaigns. With intelligent notifications, you keep informed about any important messages coming in from your user base and respond to them on-the-go, in real-time.
Earlier known as Calendy, Loomly is a smart social media automation platform that emphasizes on user-friendliness.
As a Loomly user, you will be glad to be able to easily use all its features without having to wrap your head around complicated interface or definitions. It’s really simple to understand how to use this tool and deliver outstanding results. Let’s get to discussing the capabilities:
All your work managed under a single roof
With an intuitive library at your service, you can easily manage all your content for social media at one place. Be it photos, videos, notes, or post templates, you don’t need to maintain all your material to build a fantastic social media post on Google Drive or on a folder in your laptop anymore. Manage it all from the intuitive library.
Content creation is a breeze
Creating content and copy that converts for social media is easy with Loomly. And, it is really effective to do so as well. Loomly gives live optimization tips as and when you are crafting your post so that you get a large number of interaction and engagement on your posts. From post ideas to subject lines to copy optimization, you can do it all with Loomly.
Be 100% sure with post previews
With post previews, you save yourself the time and trouble of having to republish in case you mistakenly miss out adding an important element to the post or misspell a word. Be sure that your post looks good before hitting the publish button. Edit and publish only if you are absolutely satisfied with your copy and image.
Effective collaboration with team members
Loomly’s collaborative review and approval workflow allow all team members to be on the same page regarding work. Your team members don’t have to struggle to find out what is to be taken up urgently or to know who is working on what. All lined up work, posts in approval and review can be seen by everyone.
You have the choice to schedule your posts for publishing or to send them to Buffer, which is great because it gives you so much freedom to manage your work and time. Automation is enabled by intelligent integrations so that you can manage publishing on multiple platforms without stretching at work for hours.
Marketing is meaningless if it fails to engage and convert the right audience that shows interest in your product or brand. With targeting, you can reach out to those users who are highly likely to engage with your social media campaigns, share them and spread the love, and purchase from you. With Loomly you target better with Facebook Preferred Audience, Facebook Post Sponsoring, etc.
Meaningful analytics and reporting
Loomly’s analytics helps you keep a real-time tab on how your posts are performing. In a glance, you can find out which posts are working well with your social media fans and which ones aren’t. You can use these insights to improve and optimize your future campaigns. Smart capabilities such as data filtering, period comparison, URL metrics, post metrics, etc. give a quick overall view of your social media marketing performance.
This tool has been one of my favorite on the list of social media marketing tools for a very long time, and it’s not budging anywhere from it anytime soon. The reason why I love SocialPilot is that it provides a whole bunch of features that allow me to do anything and everything related to social media. I simply don’t need anything else if I am using Social Pilot. Also, it’s extremely cost-effective. Some of the best features that SocialPilot boasts of are as follows:
Post on over 50 accounts
If you have an account on all social media channels or even multiple accounts on each, Social Pilot is the tool that’s got you covered. You can manage and connect over 50 accounts and schedule your campaigns on all of them in a single click. This ensures serving seamless communication over a variety of social media channels for the type of audience that ‘hangs-out’ on their preferred media.
With Social Inbox you can discover conversations happening around your product or brand, and become a part of that interaction. Responding to comments, shares, messages, etc. on your social media accounts becomes easier with Social Inbox.
Plan your work together and execute it better with SocialPilot. All your team members get to know the status of their work and have a better picture of how to manage tasks when they are working on a single, shared dashboard. Also, as a manager, you can review work properly before approving it.
Meaningful content curation
SocialPilot curates content that appeals to your audience and is highly likely to get shared. You can use this content in your social media campaigns and schedule it to be delivered to the intended audience at the right time. Best thing – you can put can automate sharing your favorite blog posts using RSS feeds.
Plan better with Social Media Calendar
When you are on a social media marketing roll with multiple posts to be published across multiple platforms, you need solid planning. Having a social media calendar can prove to be a lifesaver at such times. With a calendar in place, you get a better picture of where you are headed and know exactly if you are going overboard or doing too little for your month’s social media marketing.
Bulk scheduling saves time
Are planning a week-long vacation and don’t want to spend even five minutes on your leave to post on social media? Don’t know if anyone else will be able to do the job well? With Bulk Scheduling, you needn’t worry as you can bulk schedule up to 500 posts! Later on, you can also edit, delete, or reschedule your posts just in case you need to.
Get complete insights into your social media campaign performance across all platforms. Find real-time insights on how your content is performing and use this as feedback for your future posts. Export all data into presentable reports in a single click to share your contribution with the Head of the team or with clients.
A little different from others in the league, Leadfuze is more than a social marketing automation platform. It is quite a popular choice for marketers when it comes to lead prospecting. So, if you want to go a step beyond simple social media campaign management, Leadfuze is your tool. With Leadfuze you make sure that the leads that your team is warming up are of quality. And, no time is wasted on those leads who have very little chance of ever making a single purchase. Some of the capabilities that Leadfuze offers are as follows:
Data collection and verification
Gathering contact information with Leadfuze is easy as pie with various free tools at your disposal. However, gathering relevant and verified information isn’t. This is where Leadfuze stands as a winner. With verified contact information at your disposal, you can at least be sure that your emails are landing in the right inbox.
Lead gen with social media
You can use social media to extract contact information pretty easily with intelligent tools like Leadfuze. For example, if you are running a contest on Facebook you’ll be able to fetch email IDs of participants. Same is possible if you run a discussion on Twitter or on Google Hangouts. What is cumbersome though is documenting these contacts and then nurturing them further. With Leadfuze you can create a list of these contacts or leads and even send emails right from your Leadfuze account. Makes life so much simpler!
Wrapping it up
Other than Leadfuze, all the four tools I’ve discussed are ‘core’ social media campaign management and marketing tools. Leadfuze, however, shifts the focus to social selling and outreach. If you are a marketer trying to sort out your social media marketing efforts and want your plan to show results you must convince your boss to apply automation to the process. This will not just save time and effort but also ensure that your campaigns are reaching out to the intended audience at the most appropriate time.
When optimized and personalized campaigns are run using automation, their conversion capability automatically increases manifold. You skim and skip anything that won’t work based on data and past analytics. You focus on campaigns that have shown results. Undoubtedly, social media marketing automation adds to the quality of work that you deliver alongside maintaining a good quantity of work done.