What are the best tools to schedule social media with?
There are a lot of apps in this world so it makes sense that people aren’t sure which ones are worth the trouble of figuring out…connecting to all their social media accounts…troubleshooting…. It also makes sense to ask around about what others are using to schedule social media posts. If something is working, why not cut out the trial and error and get on with scheduling already!? I get it!
Last year I wrote up my roundup of 15 best apps for writers and some of those apps are social media schedulers but today I’ll expand a bit and list a few more of my favourites. And I’ll also note all the apps and services I’m mentioning have free plans, which is great when you’re not 100 per cent sure you’ll want to stick with it for the long term. A great get-to-know you, no strings attached, coffee date kind of relationship.
Schedule Social Media with These Free Apps and Services
There’s a lot to love about Hootsuite. I used to use it for all my social media but now the free plan limits your scheduled posts to 30 so I’m limited in my working ahead. Although I’m disappointed with the recent change I’m still team Hootsuite for all of my Twitter management. I schedule posts, track analytics, and keep an eye on the Twitter lists I follow. It’s easy to organize and keeps me sharp. I’m also testing it for my Instagram posting but it’s too soon to say how I feel about it.
I have used Hootsuite teams (paid account) for working with clients and I’m impressed with the analytics capabilities and the ability to co-ordinate with team members.
This is one of the newer schedulers in my arsenal but I think it’s a keeper. This is a “productivity enhancement tool,” which is a fancy way of saying you can manage your social media for multiple platforms from its dashboard. In this way it’s a lot like Hootsuite but where it has a leg up is the content library. Here, I can add evergreen posts and create a schedule around the different libraries. What does this mean? I can not only schedule my social media but I can have it repeat on whatever schedule I desire. I have all my evergreen blogs set up in Recurpost and they now drip out to my chosen social networks on the schedule I set. It is awesome!
You are limited to 100 posts in your content library in the free account, which means you’ll have to upgrade if you’re a content behemoth. And with the stricter Twitter regulations of no identical Twitter posts you now have to create “variations” of your Tweets before the app will schedule them. This does put a damper on my enthusiasm, as I was using this for Twitter the most. And I haven’t sat with these new restrictions long enough to know how I feel about my content strategy or how to deal with it yet.
Like Hootsuite, this is a social scheduling and planning tool. Unlike Hootsuite, it’s a visual planner. What does this mean? You can plug in your social media posts for the next week, month, whatever, and see how it looks as a collection—this is especially powerful for Instagram. You can also save images, captions, and hashtags in the tool for easy re-use. Once your post is scheduled it either publishes it for you sends a push notification (on Instagram) when it’s time. The visual plan helps me see how each image works together and helps me stay on brand.
The free plan limits users to 30 scheduled posts and I’ve found I’m quite capable of maxing it out on Instagram. Also, you’re limited to only the past two weeks of analytics with the free account so if you’re relying on Later for your IG metrics it’s something to keep in mind.
Buffer is a great all-around social media scheduler. You can schedule posts across your social media accounts from this one hub as well as manage Twitter (likes, retweets, etc.) and set up optimal scheduling, which analyzes and suggests the best times to post on each platforms. I use Buffer for a few client accounts and also for my personal Twitter account (more on that in the next tool) and find it straightforward and streamlined. There are also analtyics, but only for the posts published through Buffer.
The free account limits your scheduling activity to 10 posts per social network. It’s because of this teeny tiny amount I can’t recommend it higher. Also the paid plan limits your scheduled posts to 100, so although I like Buffer I wouldn’t go all-in.
This is the craziest app in your schedule social media toolkit. I heard about it a while ago but couldn’t wrap my head around how I could use it. However, a friend re-introduced it to my last autumn and I decided I’d try it out. And you know what? I love it! Quuu is a hand-curated content service, which means they line up your social media content for you and schedule it on your chosen social media platforms. Curating content is a big part of social media marketing, although it’s tough for many people to get on board with (and I get it!). They wonder how promoting other people’s content is going to help them. And I know it’s a mind warp but this upside-down approach of promoting others to grow your platform IS legit. But curating content takes forever. That’s where Quuu comes in.
You are limited to two posts per platform per day and you cannot change the posts with the free plan. In the paid accounts you have more flexibility and say, so if that’s important to you then pay attention. My biggest concern was the curated content wouldn’t match my brand or interests but I’ve been quite pleased with how spot on Quuu has been, even to the point of writing the Tweets how I would. Now that…is freaky.
BoardBooster is a Pinterest scheduler and allows you to loop your pins, which means repinning older posts to the top of your boards and deleting duplicate posts. It’s a great way to keep your Pinterest activity constant even if you don’t have new content. You can also schedule new content to post on boards and set up auto posting to group boards. Other features I haven’t tried yet (I’m still working on understanding Pinterest) are tribe management tools, test pins for broken links, duplicates, etc., split boards and remove unwanted pins from the platform, and optimize your strategy through analyzing the best time to pin.
With the free account you’re limited to 100 pins although I’m not certain how firm they are since I’m over 100 and still on the free account. The paid account is $5 btw so…not a bank breaker.
This tool helps you automate your social media marketing with triggers (called Applets and Services), which are amazing and yet overwhelming since the options and combinations are endless. It works like this: IF an action happens on your service (say, on Facebook) THEN the applet runs and does your desired action (say, posts what happened on Facebook to your Pinterest board). It’s tricky to explain but I can tell you, it’s a time saver because it takes out the mundane repetitive tasks and automates them for you. You just need to know what you need.
I like all the different options IFTTT offers but I’m limited by my imagination—which recipes will work best for me? Which combinations of services and applets will move my marketing forward? How much should I schedule social media and how much should I be in the moment, live and authentic? These are the questions. I learned about IFTTT from a friend and has a better explanation of its power so if you’re curious, check it out.
This list isn’t comprehensive but it is what I enjoy using these days. If you have any favourites I haven’t mentioned please enlighten me! I’m always looking for tools to help schedule social media and would love to try something new.