There is alot of debate about social media automation. Some people are adamantly against it, others swear by it.
I personally use a mix of automation, and just doing it the good old fashioned way. You just have to figure out what works for you.
For example, one of my rules is to not use automation to get my blog posts on my Facebook page. Given the nature of Facebook, I like to ask questions to go with my posts, or create a message that will hopefully get some discussion going.
In terms of tools, Hootsuite is awesome for managing your Twitter account. You can schedule posts, keep track of lists and have save searches. Very useful!
Hope that helps