Best Practices

HootSuite, Buffer and TweetDeck: How Sales Reps can Use Social Media Automation

Christopher Tuttle

Social media is a powerful tool, but sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Even the automation tools that are supposed to help often seem even more confusing than the social platforms they help automate.

If you’ve found yourself dabbling in the social-automation world, the most important rule to keep in mind is to not abuse and overuse the automation to totally replace real social interaction.

Remember, social media is about real social engagement. Otherwise, it isn’t effective. Social-automation should be used as a supportive tool to help you provide interesting content to social media users who have chosen to receive your content.

This blog is going to focus on helping sales reps understand how to use social media self-automation in a good way, rather than as bots.

There are many automation platforms. The most popular, to name a few, include HootSuite, Buffer, and Tweetdeck. The whole purpose of these tools is to help monitor social media posts, view analytics, schedule posts or pictures, and shorten URLs so they are easier to share. Additionally, you can use these tools to get targeted information out to clients, prospects, and leads. It’s also an ideal way to feed those tire kickers leads – leads that may need additional nurturing through education.

Here are the benefits of using various types of social-automation tools.

HootSuite is perfect for you’re the type of sales rep who is looking for customizable reports and ways to neatly organize the results of your social media efforts. It has a sleek interface and is easy to use. The free version allows you to have several different accounts of social media platforms to keep track of.

Buffer is the “middle-child” of these three automation tools. It’s not as advanced as HootSuite and doesn’t offer the same reporting capabilities (though it does have analytics). If you’re a sales rep that doesn’t care about fancy reports and all you want is to see is how people are interacting with what you’re posting, then Buffer may be your best option. A small negative with Buffer is they only give two social platform integrations for free. For example, you could only connect your Twitter and LinkedIn for automated posts.

TweetDeck is the most basic of the three social-automation tools spotlighted. TweetDeck is perfect for re-tweeting content while seeing all your interactions on Twitter in one place. It’s completely free and you can have multiple accounts listed and arranged on the program. The downside is there aren’t any metrics or analytics, but you can schedule tweets. Also, TweekDeck only integrates Twitter and Facebook.

Best Practices of Social-Automation

As these tools become increasingly popular with busy professionals who also want a social media presence, the danger is that these users never actually interact with their followers. Commonly, they just fill their automation tool with content and forget about it. They don’t respond or interact when people try to engage with them. Obviously, that isn’t very social. And it doesn’t work.

Social media automation is meant to help you, not replace you. When using automation, make sure to interact with people. If you’re on Twitter, re-tweet someone in real time. Post a tweet without scheduling it. Ask questions and respond when leads and clients answer you.

In other words, use it to promote the products you represent and your company’s brand. Use it to engage with disgruntled customers or, better yet, fans of the products.

How have you used social media and automation to help sell and promote the business you work for?

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