New social media automation companies are popping up every day. Hardly a week goes by that we don’t get a pitch from one of these vendors asking us to join a beta program or take a meeting to learn about a new offering. With so many tools out there, we wanted to better understand which applications have gained traction among in-house PR teams.

So we asked a randomly selected group of 30 corporate communicators at leading companies (all big brands and household names) which social media automation tools they us in their everyday communications workflows to update, manage and monitor corporate Twitter handles, Facebook accounts and other social platforms.

The results: 86% of those surveyed are using some type of social media automation tool. Usage gravitates toward the three major players: TweetDeck 35%, HootSuite 25% and CoTweet 18%, with other providers filling out the ranks. Many are using multiple tools. In addition to automating social communications output, nearly half (46%) are using Radian6 to track their social media signal.

Please Note: This was not scientific survey. It’s not statistically significant. At best it’s a runic inscription etched along the labyrinth of social communications. We do not represent or endorse any of these vendors although we like, use and respect them all. We recommend you conduct your own analysis and due diligence prior to implementing any of these tools for your team or your department.

So what social media automation tool(s) do you use? We plan to showcase successful campaigns in future blog posts, calling out how which tools work best.