Managing a social media presence across multiple platforms can become overwhelming. Maintaining a cohesive brand and voice, responding to followers, and writing great content can feel like a big mess. Luckily, there are some amazing tools out there to help you make sense of the chaos. By scheduling posts in advance, you can have a consistent social media presence without being chained to your computer 24/7.
First, a side note about scheduling ahead for Facebook: Posting natively with Facebook’s own scheduling tool is always your best bet, as Facebook’s algorithms are designed to limit visibility for content from 3rd party schedulers. This means they’ll show the pre-scheduled posts from these platforms to less people, they’ll probably get less engagement and your other posts will suffer the consequences as well. I’m not saying to never schedule your posts elsewhere, just keep that little tidbit in mind! With the most recent changes, an even better bet is focus your Facebook page posts on going live on the platform, or asking questions since you know those posts will get engagement.
For Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and even Pinterest, here are some good options to help make filling your timelines a little less stressful! (Remember, pricing mentioned here in this blog post is as of the time I’m writing it, and may have changed!)
Buffer is a very intuitive, straightforward option for social media scheduling. (It’s my current favorite.) With both iOS and Android apps, you can schedule posts on the go. The free version manages 3 social accounts, and stores 10 scheduled posts in your queue, as well as giving you access to an image creator and a video and GIF uploader. (One important piece of this is that you cannot choose the day and time for individual posts with the free version-I learned this the hard way!) For $10 per month, you manage up to 10 accounts and store 100 posts in the queue. This plan offers calendar access as well as link shortening and tracking. Teams and agencies may be better served by the higher priced plans, currently from $99-$399/month, which give access for anywhere from 25 accounts and 5 team members on the low end to 150 accounts and 25 team members.
Hootsuite allows you to manage all your accounts and reply to messages, mentions, and comments from one dashboard. Analytics reports show you what’s working and what isn’t, and give you information about your audience so you can improve your campaigns. The free version allows 1 user to manage up to 3 social profiles. The Professional Plan (currently $19/month) offers more robust tools like bulk scheduling and real time analytics for up to 10 social profiles. The Team Plan ($99/month) accommodates up to 3 users, 20 social profiles, and unlimited scheduling. The Business Plan ($499/month) allows management by 5-10 users of up to 50 social profiles, with robust social management tools, 24/7 support, and custom branded URLs.
Later, formerly Latergramme, was originally just for posting to Instagram. Now, they’ve added Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to their list. The fun part about the Instagram scheduling tool is that the preview looks like an Instagram cell phone feed-which I love for planning the overall aesthetic of your feed. You can sync up from your computer, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Bulk uploads save time, and the labels function keeps your content organized. The Chrome extension allows you to share content from around the web, and you can even make your feed shoppable with Linkin.bio integration. Bonus: Later is free for 30 posts per month (all I really recommend anyway for most accounts.) And you can pay for additional posts if you need them.
Coschedule is a full-serve social media management option that is a WordPress plugin. Coschedule is integrated with not only WordPress, but also Google Analytics, Evernote, and Google Docs. With Best Time Scheduling, you can post content at optimal times of day for audience engagement, and once you’ve built a social sharing plan you can reuse it. If you have gaps in your social schedule, ReQueue will fill them with reposts of your most relevant content. The Essential Plan allows one solopreneur to manage blog posts and social campaigns for $40/month. The Growth Plan, $60/month, includes 3 users and analytics reports. For $300/month, 7 users have access to various workflows and a dedicated Success Manager. Established marketing teams can sign up for the Enterprise Plan, at $2,200/month. 14 users can control absolutely every aspect of their social strategy and reporting, as well as accessing 24/7 support. This is the most robust of the options, and it may be too big for your needs, but it may be perfect for a larger business with a lot of content to manage.
As with any new tool, getting your materials organized the first time may feel like a ton of work, but once you have a smooth workflow in place, you’ll find scheduling your social media posts will free up a ton of time.
Are you currently using a scheduling tool, or in the market for an upgrade? I’d love to hear what you’re using or looking at using in the comments!