Managing and growing your different social media channels can take an incredible amount of time and effort if you decide to shoulder that burden yourself. Alternatively, you can delve into the world of social media bots to automate and streamline your channels. This doesn’t mean bots should be running your accounts exclusively as you still need to meaningfully engage with your audience but it can help free up some time. After all, major companies tend to hire individuals to run their social media as a full-time job – it would be very hard to go it alone.

But what exactly are social media bots?

Broadly speaking, a bot is a software program designed to automatically perform a certain task or number of tasks, often with set parameters or schedules. Social media bots are designed and geared to aid in growth on your social media channels.

Bots can be as simple as programs allowing you to schedule posts around the clock or even used to act like a real person, such as chatbots. For example, you may have other unavoidable ‘life’ things to focus on, such as a job, sleep, or social activities that keep you away from your social media channels. But if you schedule posts, for example, you can still maintain a presence online which may result in more people viewing your content. Before we delve into how to add automation to your social media, you need to ensure you aren’t flooding the feeds of your followers with constant content as that can drive people away.

While there are many online bots you can levy, it’s important to make sure you’re using them responsibly and in a way that it isn’t going to negatively impact your audience. Using the post scheduling example again, if you decide to send out a large number of promotional posts, it can be viewed as spamming, which you definitely don’t want to do. While it can irritate your followers and drive away potential new ones, it can also sometimes violate the TOS of some social media websites. While your bots can automate and ‘run’ your social media, meaningful content and interaction are still required when building an audience. So you really have to determine the pros and cons when it comes to different types of automation software.

Why Automation?

Today, most people on the internet are active on multiple social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc, with a variety of different projects running at the same time. Managing all of these simultaneously can become time-consuming at best, and at worst, a chore, which is why automation is an increasingly popular addition to social networks.

First, you have to identify your specific needs and why you need/want automation in the first place. Do you want to alert all of your social networks that you’re going live with a new stream or have a new video up without having to manually craft a new message for each of your networks? Do you want to find out the best time to post for maximum reach? Something else?

Identifying the reason why you need social media automation is the first step to efficiently automating your networks. With that firmly on your mind, let’s take a look at some popular and effective social media automation tools.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media management tool that brings your social media accounts into a single dashboard for easier and rapid control. You can directly post on multiple platforms at a single time and even schedule posts for a later date. To add a new update, you can use the Hootsuite dashboard to compose a post, then select the social media accounts you want it to be posted on. The same occurs when you wish to schedule a post. Say for example your stream goes live at the same time each day; you can schedule ‘going live’ posts for up to three social media accounts (free plan) from the Hootsuite dashboard.

Hootsuite even enables you to establish social media streams that monitor keywords, allowing you to view who’s talking about particular content and when. This, in turn, gives you more power when determining where to focus or double your efforts. Known as social listening, this allows you to stay ‘on the ball’ when it comes to building your audience, your brand, or your stream.

Buffer

Buffer is another social media management tool that works similarly to Hootsuite, except on a smaller scale, great for when you’re starting out or if you don’t particularly need all the analytical bells and whistles. Buffer features an auto-scheduling functionality, known as Buffer Queue, that allows you to specify certain times when you want to post on your different social media accounts. Say, for example, you wish to post at 12 pm, 3 pm, and 6 pm each day, you can set those scheduled times and create an assortment of posts that will be automatically slotted into those time frames. If you’ve already filled your auto-schedule slots for the day, they will be added for the following day.

Of course, while this automatic scheduling will work in the background, you can still schedule updates or post at any time. Buffer Queue can be great for streamers, especially if you have fixed days and hours each week. Say you go live at 7 pm every night, you can set up an automatic schedule and populate it with the ‘Going Live’ posts along with the game you’ll be playing.

Mee6 Bot For Discord

Not a social media bot in the traditional sense but Mee6 is great for streamlining community building and chatting in Discord, which is only growing in popularity. Mee6 allows you to moderate your Discord servers by setting up filters, preventing spamming, automatically banning/unbanning people, protecting your server from ads, and more. You can automatically greet new additions with a welcome message and/or the rules. With the Level Up feature, you can even reward active members of your community with new levels (grind baby, grind) which can automatically unlock previously hidden channels, assign new roles, and make members of your server feel valued.

One of the most valuable features of Mee6 is the ability to set up alerts when streamers go live on Twitch or a new video is uploaded to Youtube. This can allow you and your community to easily keep tabs on streamers you enjoy or for content creators in your community to spread the word and further build their audience.

Botisimo

A great chatbot that works with Twitch, Discord, and Youtube, Botisimo allows you to elevate your stream with improved social engagement with your audience as well as providing analytics so you can stay apprised of user activity, any trends, and audience loyalty. You’re able to filter out spam or particular words from your chat giving you improved control and can establish polls and voting to stimulate conversation and activity. And to get those precious links up without having to distract from your stream, you can schedule timers to automatically post your social profiles in the chat.

The key to finding the best bots for social media automation is to first identify what you wish to achieve and seek out a bot with those goals in mind. Designed to increase your efficiency, bots can save you much-needed time allowing you to devote more energy to crafting fantastic content your audience will love.

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