Yesterday we looked at using social media automation tools for AltBritain. There are so many different ones out there that previously I just chose to leave them alone.
I always thought that I would have a lot more control if I took care of my social media pages without using automation tools. Posts on Facebook and WordPress can be scheduled; you can connect most social media pages together, so they post at the same time.
But it’s important to look at all aspects of social media if I am going to become a social media expert. I looked at IFTTT, so I’ll start with that one.
There are so many thing you can do using IFTTT, but I have to say a lot of it is completely pointless. Unlike other tools, which just schedule using time, it uses actions that set off a certain result. From syncing posts for multiple accounts to muting your phone when you get to work, it would take days to describe what this tool does.
If you like apps and gadgets, this is the automation tool for you (if you must use one). You can use it for personal and business purposes. Here are a few I found interesting:
My colleagues described this as similar to IFTTT in that it uses actions to trigger events. But unlike IFTTT, after 14 days you have to pay to use it. See below.
There is a free version, but it is very basic. They decided that overall it was too expensive for what it is, and it had too many pointless actions (we seem to have a theme starting here).
This is an automation tool just for Twitter – so why is it so expensive? You get 168 hours free (7 days), then it is around $18 a fortnight.
You can schedule tweets, repeat tweets and tweet different variations. Is that enough for your money?
This is one of the cheaper paid-for automation tools, and you can use it for free if you only want to work with three social media platforms and 10 feeds. It is basically a scheduling tool, which pushes RSS content to social media platforms. It has extras, like URL shortening, stats and insights.
But it’s slightly annoying that it says that it ‘distribute(s) new content to your socials almost as fast as you can post it on your site.’ Almost as fast? I’d like it faster please or I’d rather do it myself.
I haven’t had chance to look properly at this one yet. But from a quick glance, it is the one I am more likely to use. In fact I may do a completely separate post on it once I’ve got to grips with it. Basically it is a tool to create newsletters from content on your site. This can only be a good thing. Who wants to waste time creating their own newsletter from scratch every week?
I’m not completely sold on automation tools, especially because I am currently at the stage where I’m working on a small enough scale to do everything myself. But if I decide to work with larger companies, or maybe as I start to work with many people at once, I may find that my opinion changes.
If I had to use any of them (other than MailChimp – as I said I’ll look into it later) I would stick with IFTTT. Not only is it free, but it seems pretty easy to understand and work with. With the others, the free version seems to take more time to use than doing everything individually, and the prices really need re-evaluating.