Effective social media marketing is more than just posting great content regularly. It requires closely monitoring your messages and providing timely responses. This aspect of social media management can be grueling and time-consuming. That’s where social media automation tools come in.

These tools allow you to automate social media tasks that would’ve taken you hours to get through. So you can focus on other tasks like analyzing data or coming up with better strategies to grow your social media presence.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the best social media automation tools—free and premium. You’ll learn features, use cases and who would benefit the most by using them.

What is social media automation?

Put simply, social media automation is using tools and software to schedule, manage, and sometimes even interact with people on social media without you having to do it all manually.

It helps keep your online presence active and engaging, even when you’re not directly overseeing these automated actions.

Social media automation automates repetitive social media tasks and intelligently optimizes content delivery, engagement strategies, and audience targeting.

Not to mention, the use cases of social media automation are ever expanding.

At the moment, social media automation predominantly includes scheduling social posts ahead of time or republishing popular articles.

As such, automation helps you stay on top of your social media calendar and publishing schedule.

Many social media automation tools even come with analytics features that suggest the best times to post on social media. This saves you the extra step of strategically deciding the best time to schedule and automatically publishes your posts when your audience is most likely to engage.

In addition to social media automated posting, you can use automation for effective chatbot marketing. Depending on which tool you use, social media automation can easily curate customer responses to ensure timely interactions.

Twitter/X inbox showing a Sprout chatbot providing a user with options to learn more about the key features such as analytics, automation and engagement

Let’s get into some of the best social media automation tools of 2024 to see which ones can best serve your needs!

Top social media automation tools

1. Sprout Social

Sprout Social publishing calendar week view with a compose window on the right-hand panel and a pop-up window showing approval workflows

It’s no surprise that Sprout Social is our favorite solution to automate social media tasks. We developed it with your best interests in mind to unlock the potential of your social media strategies.

Here are three areas of our tool that will help you automate your social media efforts:

Social management

Sprout’s social management features focus on publishing, scheduling and reporting to aid your day-to-day social media activities.

Key features:

  • Content Creation & Management: Schedule up to 350 posts and campaigns with a content calendar that spans all your social media networks. This feature also recommends proven times to post and generate engagement.
  • Conversation Management: Get messages from all your social media networks in a Smart Inbox and reply from one platform. You can delegate these messages to specific team members and automate canned responses.
  • Data Reporting: Analyze your performance across all your social media networks. Create custom reports and see graphics of your growth.

Customer care

Sprout Social’s customer care features help you better the experience of your customers or social media audience with your brand. With us, you can build stronger relationships and provide a responsive service.

Key features:

  • Bot Builder: Create chatbots to automate your customer support. This feature helps you provide information 24/7 for Twitter and Facebook.
  • Social CRM: Generate customer profiles and add relevant information to help your customer support team. Check conversation history from customer profiles to provide a custom experience. Sprout integrates with Salesforce, Zendesk and Hubspot so you can work across platforms to track the end-to-end customer experience.
  • Review Management: Get notifications from Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook and Glassdoor. This helps you manage your reputation on social media and other online platforms from one dashboard.

Sprout Social Listening and Analytics

Sprout Social’s Listening and Analytics tools give you business-critical insights to help you make strategic decisions. Get deep insights and data about the general sentiment around your brand, topics your audience is interested in and specific keywords you want to monitor.

Measuring performance data across your social networks, and integrating listening data, enables you to get the big picture of your brand’s health quickly. Plus, you can automate reports using the graphs and charts Sprout creates for you. With this, you can see what people are saying without having to manually search each social platform.

Key features:

  • Competitor Reports: Compare your metrics against your competitors to understand your brand’s health. This feature allows you to filter topics by competitor, content type and sentiment, helping you identify trends to benchmark your social media performance. Sprout does the work for you, gathering the insights that matter to you and cutting out the need to manually audit each competitor’s social performance.
  • Paid Performance Report: Analyze your social media advertising across networks. Instead of monitoring performance within each platform’s ad dashboards, Sprout pulls your data into one place so you can easily see how your paid efforts are performing. You can select the accounts and campaigns you want to include during a specific period. The reports give you metrics and graphics for Paid Video Views, Paid Web Conversions, Paid Engagement and Paid Impressions. All of these can easily be repurposed into a report for stakeholders, enabling you to focus on making strategic and timely optimizations.
  • Social Listening: Rather than digging through millions of online conversations manually, quickly get business-critical insights from thousands of unfiltered thoughts, opinions and feedback to impact your current strategy and guide future action.

Who is this for? Enterprise companies, mid-size brands, small businesses and agencies that want a full package of tools to make data-driven strategic decisions, build lasting relationships with customers and grow their social media presence.

Free or premium? Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial or a demo. Then, it becomes a premium tool.

2. Sendible

sendible's visual content calendar month view

Image Source: Sendible

Sendible is one of the social media automation tools that has all the features you need to run your social media daily activities.

Key features:

  • Publishing: Schedule a month’s worth of posts either individually or in bulk. With this tool, you can create content queues to maintain a consistent publishing schedule.
  • Collaboration: Add clients and team members to create workflows with approval and custom permissions.
  • Analytics: Get insights about the social media networks that drive the most traffic to your website. Find optimal posting times and top-performing posts. Generate and automatically send reports to your clients.

Who is this for? Agencies, brand managers or social media marketers that manage social media presence for clients or their own.

Free or premium? Sendible offers a free 14-day trial or a demo. After that, it becomes a premium tool.

3. Agorapulse

windows showing agorapulse various features including compose window, customer messages, team assignments and moderation rule creation window

Image Source: Agorapulse

Agorapulse is an all-in-one social media automation tool for those just starting to grow their social media presence. It comes with all the basic features to manage and automate social media activities.

Key features:

  • Social Inbox: Manage your messages with the Inbox Assistant, which organizes or labels your items. With this feature, you can create canned responses to address the same questions multiple times.
  • Social Publishing: You can use the AI Writing Assistant to enhance your social copy. Then schedule and approve content with your team and clients. Agorapulse also offers a mobile app to publish on the go.
  • Social Listening and Reporting: Use parameters to focus on conversations about your brand and competitors. Get custom reports of gained or lost followers and social media interactions.

Who is this for? Freelancers, agencies, small businesses and enterprise organizations that want to manage their social media presence from one platform.

Free or premium? Agorapulse offers a 30-day free trial or a demo. Additionally, it offers an individual plan with limited functionalities for free.

4. ContentStudio

contentstudio visual content calendar with post composer, publishing queues and best time to post windows

Image Source: ContentStudio

ContentStudio simplifies social media publishing with AI-generated captions and images. Plus, this tool covers the basics of scheduling and analyzing social media posts.

Key features:

  • Publishing & Scheduling: Schedule and approve content with your team or clients. You can also use the Chrome extension to share content with your audience easily.
  • Analytics: Get demographic information from your followers and publishing behavior data from competitors. You can schedule weekly or monthly reports to automatically deliver into your inbox.
  • Social Inbox: Categorize your conversations and assign them to the right team member. You can reply to messages with canned responses and see if a teammate is already replying in real time.
  • Discover: Search high-performing content and analyze it so you know what topics are trending. Then automatically share your favorite curated content across various channels. Then automatically share your favorite curated content across various channels.

Who is this for? Agencies, brands or marketers that want to grow their social media presence while boosting productivity.

Free or premium? ContentStudio offers a 14-day trial or a demo. After that, it becomes a premium tool.

5. Brand24

brand24 homepage showing the tool's brand mentions summary under a title that reads "measure your brand awareness"

Image Source: Brand24

Brand24 is a social media automation tool that focuses on checking the general sentiment around your brand. With this, you can manage conversations with your clients and better their experience with your brand.

Key features:

  • Discussion Volume Chart: Check graphs of your brand mentions online. When you spot a peak, you can analyze if it’s the result of your social media efforts or a sign of an issue that needs investigating.
  • Sentiment Analysis: Brand24 uses AI to determine if online brand mentions are positive, negative or neutral. Set up alerts so you can act if you receive a negative mention.
  • Data Exporting: Automate the generation of reports on PDF, Excel and even infographics.

Who is this for? Solopreneurs, agencies and enterprise companies that want to track their online reputation.

Free or premium? Brand24 offers a free 14-day trial. Then, it becomes a premium tool.

6. Oktopost

Oktopost visual calendar with a pop-up window for LinkedIn posting

Image Source: Oktopost

Oktopost is a social media automation tool that comes with integrated AI to save time and simplify social media management. The platform lets you scale B2B social media with a People Database to get more leads.

Key features:

  • Social Publishing: Create multiple social media posts in seconds with AI. Then approve or reject these posts using workflows with tier permissions.
  • Employee Advocacy: Oktopost lets you filter your posts by topics so your team can share content they care about on their social media.
  • AI-powered Social Listening: Monitor your brand mentions across major social media networks and websites. You can also get information about influential profiles that address relevant topics.
  • Social Analytics: Oktopost adds UTM parameters to every link you share. This assists you with your analytics by letting you attribute success to specific activities.

Who is this for? B2B companies that want to scale their social media presence and show its impact on business goals.

Free or premium? Oktopost offers a demo, becoming a premium tool after.

7. Loomly

Sample Facebook post on Loomly with the option to select where to post and a pop-up window showing post optimization tips

Image Source: Loomly

Loomly is a social media automation tool that offers content management features for both organic and promoted posts. And, it provides live optimization tips for your content.

Key features:

  • Social Publishing: Schedule auto-generated posts from your RSS feeds to keep your calendar filled. Get step-by-step guidance to create organic and promoted content on Loomly. Then receive notifications (email, Slack, push or Microsoft Teams) every time a team member edits or comments on your content.
  • Ad Campaigns Creation: Create campaigns and boost sponsored posts from Loomly and schedule the date you want them to go live.
  • Analytics: Analyze all your social media posts, even the ones that weren’t posted from Loomly. Get insights with automated UTM codes added to your URLs.

Who is this for? Enterprise companies, agencies and small businesses that want a simple and easy-to-use tool to manage their social media presence.

Free or premium? Loomly offers a free 15-day trial. After that, it becomes a premium tool.

Automate your social media success

Social media offers a lot of opportunities to understand, entertain and communicate with your audience. But often, managing your presence across various platforms can seem like a lot for one person or even a small team.

That’s why it is imperative to use social media automation tools. These tools help with social media automated posting to save time on publishing. They also enhance customer care with timely responses.

Sprout’s automation tools make it easier to manage your presence across leading platforms including X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook. If you want the full experience of managing your social media accounts, customer support and deep insights into your audience, sign up for a free 30-day trial from Sprout Social.

Social media automation FAQs

What is the best social media automation tool?

Sprout Social is the best social media automation tool with features to automate your publishing and social interactions. It comes with a content calendar to maintain a steady queue of posts and automatically posts them at the desired time. It even suggests optimal post timings by analyzing how your audience engages with your content.

Sprout offers additional analytics insights on your post performance. So you can quickly identify your top-performing posts to inform your content strategy.

Moreover, Sprout even comes with a chatbot builder to automate your messages and improve your customer care. You can manage all your conversations in one box and respond to common questions using canned responses.

What can you automate in social media marketing?

You can use social media automation to publish posts during peak audience times, maintain a steady queue of posts, analyze social data and set up automatic responses to customers.

How do I automate my social media?

You can automate your social media by scheduling posts to go out at the right time, using chatbots to respond to customer messages and generating automated reports to analyze your social data.