There are literally hundreds of resources out there to help you automate your social media. I’ve chosen a selection of nine of the most popular services—but remember: A tool is only as effective as its compatibility with your unique goals, needs and comfort level.
TIP: Most of these tools have some kind of free trial, so take advantage of that and try a few of them to decide which one will be right for your business workflow. Also, service is king – contact their customer service with any questions or challenges you have during your trial to see how responsive they are to your needs.
MeetEdgar is a one of the most high-powered social management and content solutions, a completely new concept in content creation and sharing.
MeetEdgar automatically categorizes and organizes your content into your own custom, powerful library; then publishes it at regular intervals. You can add bulk content or connect your RSS feed. You can publish to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, plus ten more channels of your choice; and if you have a premium account, you can add up to twenty-five more channels.
MeetEdgar is “designed to work” in Chrome, Firefox and Safari and does not need additional plugins. It includes a bookmarklet tool too.
You can schedule updates at specific times, and check your daily MeetEdgar queue to ensure that what is going out is ideal. And it bills itself as both newbie-friendly, for those just getting started with content marketing; and perfect for pros with advanced sales funnels.
You can store unlimited updates and images up to 3mb and 1,000 pixels on their longest sides. You can also do all your post scheduling from Edgar, specifying which categories to glean for updates, and leave it up to Edgar to start recycling your older updates to new audiences.
Starter plan: $49 per month with a free month if paid annually.
Helps you find influencers and automate your outreach. It’s an alternative to BuzzStream that some are saying is much simpler to operate. It costs more for a single-user starter plan than BuzzStream, but instead of 1,000 contacts allowed and 30 prospecting searches, you get 1500 contacts plus unlimited emailing and searches.
Helps in effectively performing the following:
Price: Plans start at $52 per month if paid annually or $69 per month.
14-day unlimited free trial.
There are several dashboard-run social media management suites active at the moment. Hootsuite is one of the oldest. It has been going strong since 2008—and it is still one of the most reliable, handling the most social media channels, and is available in either iPhone or Android App form, in addition to website form. It integrates with 150+ free and paid apps including MailChimp, Twitter, WordPress and Zendesk, and boasts strong security protocols.
There are two potential drawbacks, however: It contains no autoresponder function (though it does integrate with MailChimp) and you are forced to use its native Ow.ly URL shortener—which is notorious for on and off popularity with major social networks; even itself banned from LinkedIn for a while.
You can upload bulk posts via .CSV files.
Price: Plans start at $19.99 per month when paid annually but there is a free forever limited plan
SocialOomph is one of the latest contenders in the world of dashboard-based, social media managers. Many prefer it to Hootsuite for its simpler, easier and some say more powerful, analytics. Plus it notifies you of retweets and @mentions. It does contain an autoresponder, and offers strong telephone and online support.
If you work mostly from your mobile or Google+ is one of your major channels, you might prefer to stick with Hootsuite: Unlike the latter, SocialOomph has no mobile apps and doesn’t yet include Google+. Security seems to be lacking too.
One advantage if you prefer MS Word to MS Excel: You can upload bulk posts via .DOCX files via an easy, WYSIWYG system.
Price: $17.97 every two weeks. 7-Day free trial.
If you have multiple Instagram accounts, and Instagram is a big part of your online strategy, you might want to check out Schedugr.am. It supports multiple accounts and allows you to upload images or video to be scheduled for later. Manage all your logins with one simple click. Easy-to-use image editor. Integrates with Canva.
Price: Varies on your needs, but averages out to $20 per single Instagram account.
7-Day free trial.
This time-saving social media tool really does simplify your social posting. Practice content curation; customize, schedule and publish posts; perform social analytics and even collaborate with team members using this powerful tool. Share quickly across multiple platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr.
Pricing: Free account for one user (pay with a Tweet). Paid plans start at $9.99 per month.
14-day free trial.
This tool allows you to automate information between your various web Apps, saving time and simplifying functions. Linking your web Apps is simple: Enable them with “just a few clicks” to share information back and forth, helping you to build seamless workflows.
Works similarly to IFTT: You specify a trigger action and assign a command, so that it performs an action—and then sends it to the appropriate online service or social network.
When you need an URL shortener, Bit.ly is still one of the most reliable and glitch free. It’s easy to use and (the real advantage) gives you powerful stats about your shortened URLs. Plus you can customize them, if preferred. (Free!)
This powerful alternative to MeetEdgar allows you to:
- Create a content library of your best posts, promotions, links, videos, quotes
- Add, delete and edit your content library at any time
- Set your schedule for reposting your content at the most optimal time intervals for you and your audience
- Track, tweak and test
- Create reports
- Manage feeds
- Use your editorial calendar
(There is also a Chrome plugin at the Chrome web store.)
Finally, do take the time to research and create a targeted social media plan first, determining your main goal and listing all the networks you want to share across. That will make it easier to filter out and choose the tools and Apps that are just right for your individual needs.
Remember, it’s not just about the tools: It’s how wisely you use them to automate your social media.
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