The top 3 social media scheduling tools you need to try…
We understand that for many businesses, remembering to post social media content consistently can be challenging. While we all know how vital social media communications are for successful businesses, it is this consistency part where so many people come unstuck, and it can have a big impact on your business.
However, it doesn’t need to be an issue thanks to scheduling. There are a range of different tools available for you to use, each with their own benefits and disadvantages.
When looking for a scheduling tool, it’s important that are able to find it easy to use on your phone and your computer. Hootsuite’s biggest perk is the fact that it is easy to manage all your social media accounts under one roof across multiple devices. They are also quite generous with their free subscription, giving you the ability to schedule 30 posts in one go. If, for example, you use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and you wish to schedule one post per day for a week, that’s 21 posts scheduled for free!
You can schedule a whole raft of platforms through Hootsuite, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, WordPress and Google+. You are supported throughout your time in Hootsuite, and they also have an education tab where you can find yourself inspired to create content and beat Instagram’s new algorithm, which is no longer in chronological order. If you’re new to the world of social media, you can use Hootsuite Academy to learn the basics of social media through their online courses.
In terms of the membership, you can upgrade at any time. The professional membership allows you to manage 10 social media accounts, unlimited scheduling and gives you a £400 per month advertising spend limit to boost posts for only £25 a month. This is really affordable for any small to medium-sized businesses. On top of this, they also offer three other upgrades that are for any sized team and organisation. The benefits include more users, higher number of social profiles per account, and much more. The prices range from £99 to £520 a month.
But what about reports? With scheduling social media comes increased knowledge of what is going on in the background. You want to see your hard work paying off. Hootsuite’s reports are simple enough that they show the key results. On the other hand they look quite dated, but this does depend on your personal preference for what style you like.
In terms of looking great, Sprout Social wins that medal. It sports a well-organised dashboard, making it easy to navigate through the site’s scheduling tools. When it comes to scheduling posts on Sprout Social, each post goes into one streamlined queue. This will show all of your social media platforms in one space, but what’s really great is when you just want to see one feed. Say, for example, you just want to look at your Pinterest, you can tick this box to see all your scheduled content for this social media platform, making it a lot easier and less cluttered when managing various feeds.
Like Hootsuite, you can create reports. However, Sprout Social’s reports look less clunky and more up-to-date. This is where Hootsuite tends to show its weakness with the dated looking reports. If you’re looking for social media scheduling and great reports that are easy to look at and absorb data from, Sprout Social is for you.
On the discussion of pricing, Sprout Social does tend to be on the pricer side. However don’t let this put you off immediately. The first plan they have to offer is their premium membership, which is for those who are professionals. Coming in at $99 (£75) a month, this includes 10 social media profiles, monitoring of profiles and keywords and much more. The second plan costs $149 (£113) per month under corporate. This plan includes everything from the first plan, as well as trend and engagement reports, campaign tagging and reporting and much more.
While the price may feel limiting for many newly established businesses, it is worth the cost because you can schedule a lot more than with Hootsuite, including Pinterest, which is often a big one for many visually-led companies. It is much easier to use when scheduling content and, as mentioned before, the reports are better presented.
Next we have Buffer. This scheduling tool is easier to use on your phone as opposed to on the computer. We predominately use this with Twitter. If you are a producing lots of content, you want to be repurposing it so you don’t lose the time you’ve invested in creating it. With Buffer, you have the ability to go into past scheduled posts and simply re-buffer them. That way your old content isn’t being forgotten about.
Again, if you are new to social media, Buffer offers you the options of different times to suggest scheduling your content, which eases the stress. Buffer also has a free image creation tool called Pablo. This can help you create images for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
Buffer comes in at the cheapest for pricing. However, while it is only $15 (£11.50) per month for the pro plan, you get 8 social media accounts but only 100 scheduled posts – that’s a small limit. In our eyes, what you see is what you get, but you can get much more for your money with Hootsuite and Sprout Social. Even the highest plan coming in at $399 (£303) a month only gives you the option of 2,000 scheduled posts per social media account. Ok it might seem a lot, but it’s not unlimited like Sprout Social and Hootsuite.
Each scheduling tool has its pros and cons. These often depend on what your business wants to achieve with social media. It really is beneficial to try out which one will work best for you and your social media needs, as ultimately you need to get on with your final choice.
If you aren’t already using a social media scheduling tool, then you really need to jump on the bandwagon and prepare to see your work load change for the better! You can turn an arduous daily task into a quick job one morning of the week – and then forget about it for the following days as your social media manages itself.
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