Social media can be a time-consuming and mentally tasking chore. Many small business owners just skip social media, but after spending years posting consistently on my personal social media accounts, I can tell you that it can work and it doesn’t take as much time as you think. Social media is a great way to drive traffic once you build a following, but for many small businesses, the question is, “how do you build a following?”

Step one is to consistently post relevant content on social media. It may take months or years to build up a significant following, but once you do, social media can be as powerful as an email marketing list for driving traffic to your blog, website, or side project. Not only will your followers see updates, most social networks have an amplification formula where popular public posts will be shared to an even broader audience. The only way to eventually make something go viral is to make sure people hear about it, and social media is a great place to start.

All that said, you don’t want your social media channels to be boring, spammy, or annoying. You want them filled with regularly published, interesting, relevant, and fresh content. Now, this is where social media automation tools can help!

By automating your social media efforts, you can queue up posts for the month ahead, get suggestions for new stories to post, or keep an eye on what your fans or followers are saying. The tools below help with one or all of those things, so if you’re getting started on social media, I highly recommend making your life easier by automating much of it.

All Social Media Automation Tools

  • 2  Zapier ($0) - Zapier can do much more than just social media - it’s a complete automation solution for non-developers. Link accounts, automatically post from RSS feeds, or set up complex filters with Zapier.

  • 1  Buffer ($0) - Buffer is great for scheduling posts on multiple social platforms or accounts. Plus, it gives you analytics about which of your posts have done the best.

  • 1  Delay for Reddit ($0) - An easy to use tool to target subreddits, optimize post timing and schedule your posts to reach more Redditors.

  • 1  Planable ($49) - Planable, the most visual platform to transform your creative ideas into social media posts, brainstorm right in the platform, get feedback, make sure the post is approved by your teammates and schedule the posts directly to social media.

  • 1  Recurpost ($0) - I switched from Buffer to Recurpost for my personal social media accounts because Recurpost automatically requeues posts after they’ve been posted. It’s also free to use.

  • 0  ContentStudio ($15) - ContentStudio helps you quickly find new content for your blog or social media channels and then automatically share it every day on your schedule. It also has a free plan that allows you to get started without a credit card.

  • 0  Coschedule ReQueue ($40) - Requeue works much like Buffer, but it continues recycling updates after the first share, allowing you to sit back and know that your social channels are full of content.

  • 0  F5Bot ($0) - A free service that emails you when your selected keywords are mentioned on Reddit, Hacker News, or Lobsters. Use it to monitor your brand, your projects, or just topics that you’re interested in.

  • 0  Hootsuite ($0) - Much like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite helps you manage multiple Twitter accounts, but Hootsuite takes it further. You can also schedule posts to other social networks, find new content automatically, and track your posts’ performance.

  • 0  How Does It Look on Social? ($0) - Preview your site, landing page, or blog posts on social media before publishing them.

  • 0  Hubspot ($0) - As part of Hubspot’s marketing platform, you get a social media management tool.

  • 0  Likeable Hub - Likeable Hub is a full-featured social media management platform.

  • 0  OneUp ($7.99) - OneUp will republish your top performing evergreen content to get more out of each post.

  • 0  PowerPost - Scheduling and planning blog posts, sharing them to all your social channels, and keeping everything organized with a team is challenging. PowerPost makes it much easier.

  • 0  Ritekit ($12) - My favorite social media automation tool because it will enhance your posts with hashtags, images, and mentions.

  • 0  SocialSprinters ($49) - Add professional applications to your Facebook Page and start collecting new leads, sales or just entertain your customers. Everything by yourself in a few minutes.

  • 0  Sprout Social ($99) - At $99/month, Sprout Social may be a bit pricey for most side projects, but it is one of the most powerful social media management and automation platforms available.

  • 0  TweetDeck ($0) - Twitter bought Tweetdeck as a way to help users with multiple accounts stay organized. Tweetdeck is great if you want to keep a personal and business Twitter, but you can also use Tweetdeck to schedule updates.

Did I miss a tool that you love? Submit your suggestions here, or email me to suggest an update.