Social media marketers are busy people. Between testing different ad creatives to drive clicks, managing multiple campaigns across various platforms, and engaging with replies from followers, there’s also the task of actually posting content and building community.

This is where Facebook automation is super helpful for social media marketers looking to streamline their workload and save time and resources. Keep reading to learn more about Facebook automation and how you can use it to make your job easier.

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

What is Facebook automation?

Facebook automation is the process of using online tools and software to simplify some of the tasks involved with managing a Facebook Page. A great example of Facebook automation done well is scheduling posts in advance or leveraging automation to help analyze A/B testing results.

Think of automation as having an extra pair of hands that helps the day-to-day of running your Facebook business page, leaving you with more free time to focus on the other aspects of building a successful Facebook marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, Facebook automation tends to get a bad rep’. There’s some general misunderstanding and confusion around exactly what Facebook automation is — so let’s clarify.

Bad Facebook automation

Buying followers

Buying followers on social media is the IRL equivalent of paying people to hang out with you. Not cool at all.

Businesses and people (we’re looking at you, Ellen and Kim Kardashian!) buy followers on the basis that a higher follower count implies more popularity and suggests that your social media channels are worthy of being followed because lots of people follow the account.

However, automating your follower count by buying followers is a harmful practice for your Facebook page for a number of reasons.

  1. Purchased followers are simply bot accounts that don’t engage with your page or provide any value.
  2. Although your follower count will grow, other metrics such as impressions and click-through rates will be skewed because the data will be unreliable and inauthentic.
  3. Bots and purchased followers damage brand reputation and credibility.
  4. Ad budget and social media spend will be wasted on serving ads to fake accounts.

Luckily, Facebook has its finger on the pulse and removes spam accounts and purchased followers. In Q4 alone, Facebook removed 1.7 billion fake accounts as part of its push to create a safer Facebook experience.

So, think twice before buying your followers. At best, you’ll look spammy and tacky, and at worst, you could get your account flagged and suspended by Facebook.

Cross-posting automated messages from other networks

Cross-posting is the process of posting similar content across multiple social media channels. Social media managers use the tactic to help save time and resources. No more crafting a unique social media update for each channel every time you need to post, hurray!

When executed correctly, cross-posting is a significant time-saver, but when cross-posting is done badly, it makes your brand look like it’s got the top table at an amateur hour and comes across as stiff and robotic.

Automating cross-posting is a messy process that can easily leave your brand looking silly and your social feeds looking sloppy. Check out this #epicfail from FateClothing. (Someone forgot that different platforms have different character count limits.)

The reply to this ill-fated, automated cross-post says it all.

Automating engagement

Bots that automatically engage with your audience by leaving spammy comments and random likes are a huge social media no-no. Not only do they cheapen the user experience, but they’re also detrimental to the perception of your brand. Nobody wants to engage with a bot (unless it’s a customer service chatbot and actually serves a purpose in your business).

It’s best practice and less spammy to create customer engagement, build community, reply to comments, like status updates, and comment on images and videos with humans, not bots.

Good Facebook automation

Scheduling Facebook posts

There is absolutely no shame in scheduling Facebook posts in advance and automating this process to free up your time to focus on other aspects of running a successful Facebook page.

Using Facebook automation to pre-plan your social media calendar is a must-do for any busy social media manager looking to save time and resources across their week. This automation strategy is super easy when using Hootsuite’s built-in scheduling tool.

schedule Bread and Coffee Facebook post on Hootsuite

If you have a lot of content going out, it might be worth investigating bulk scheduling (and yes, we support that too!)

Automating replies to repetitive DMs

Automating replies to direct messages is a helpful tactic to free up your time to focus on other things. After all, how many times can you reply with your opening hours, whether you do takeout or share a link to your returns page, without driving yourself insane? Some businesses might get upwards of 2,000 DMs asking the same question, so automating this part of customer care makes total sense.

Use Hootsuite Inbox to send saved replies to increase your efficiency and consistency when communicating with audiences and customers. Saved replies also help ensure that your team communicates by following your brand and messaging guidelines, meaning that your DM replies will always be on-brand and on time.

Using a customer service chatbot

There are 24 time zones in the world, and you simply can’t be awake throughout all of them — without a virtual assistant, that is. Enlisting the help of a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help automate replies to customer queries and concerns means that your business will be operating 24/7/365 without destroying your sleeping patterns.

Any Facebook Messenger chatbot worth its salt will not only answer customer questions but also support logistics and operations by tracking packages, making product recommendations to help your audience on their journey, and even closing a sale.

11 Facebook automation tools that will save you tons of time

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite gives you the power to take complete control over Facebook automation and offers top-tier integrations to help manage your Facebook page with ease.

As if being able to schedule up to 350 Facebook posts in advance isn’t enough, Hootsuite also offers social listening tools to help automate research and automatic analysis and insights into how campaigns are performing. Phew!

2. Hootsuite Inbox

Within Hootsuite, you’ve got access to Inbox, a super helpful tool for managing all your social conversations (private and public!) in one place. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, the whole gang is here.

Tag or categorize messages, assign responses to your team, and most importantly, release that constant anxiety that you’re letting something fall between the cracks.

3. Heyday

Heyday is an AI chatbot for retailers that integrates your online store with your social media channels. It allows you to automate as much as 80% of your customer support conversations. When customers reach out to you on social media with questions regarding your inventory or order tracking, the chatbot assists them in real-time (and passes more complex inquiries over to your support team).

Heyday can also help you boost sales by automatically sending out back-in-stock and price-drop notifications to customers who have previously expressed interest in a product.

4. AdEspresso

AdEspresso is a Facebook ad automation tool that auto-generates a variety of ad sets based on the elements you’re testing, or you can test a preset combo. It’s pretty much the ultimate A/B testing tool for your Facebook ads. You can also select single or multiple audiences for trying out your sweet new ads. Whatever way you go, it’s a real power player.

5. Facebook Business Manager

This is a “one-stop shop” for handling your business assets — the place for tracking and reporting on Facebook ad performances. Here, you can also give access to partners or coworkers.

6. Mentionlytics

Mentionlytics is like the ultimate gossip, but in a good way: the monitoring engine scans the world wide web (including news sources and blogs) for instances of your brand, competitors or keywords and pulls them right into your Hootsuite dashboard.

7. BrandFort

Think of BrandFort as your bouncer… the muscle to shut down the haters. The AI-based content moderator detects and hides public complaints, hate and spam. It takes “positive vibes only” very seriously.

8. Magento

The Magento Facebook Product Catalog Synchronization plugin pulls catalog products onto Facebook, automatically formatted neat-and-tidy for the platform.

9. IFTTT

Get your various accounts, platforms and technology to play nicely together with the help of IFFT (“If This Then That”). It’s programming stripped down to bare bones: just build a “recipe” of chain reactions that will kick off with a single action.

10. Pictory

Need social video, but don’t have the time, skills, or equipment to produce it? You’ll love Pictory. Using this AI tool, you can turn text into professional-quality videos with just a few clicks.

How does it work? You copy and paste text into Pictory, and AI automatically creates custom video based on your input, pulling from a vast library of over 3 million royalty-free video and music clips.

Pictory integrates with Hootsuite, so you can easily schedule your videos for publication without ever leaving their dashboard. Double social media automation!

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

Get the free guide right now!

11. Lately

Lately is an AI copywriting tool. It studies your brand voice and your audience’s preferences to build a custom “writing model” for your brand (it accounts for your brand voice, sentence structure, and even keywords relevant to your online presence).

When you feed any text, image, or video content into Lately, the AI converts it into social media copy, reflecting your unique writing style. For example, if you upload a webinar into Lately, the AI will automatically transcribe it — and then create dozens of social posts based on the video content. All you have to do is review and approve your posts.

Lately integrates with Hootsuite, so once your posts are ready, you can schedule them for automatic publication with just a few clicks. Easy!

Learn more about how you can use Lately with Hootsuite:

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