Having an organic social media presence is just as important as advertising, but the struggle comes from having the time to create and publish your expertly crafted content. Being able to create your social posts on one platform and selecting the day, week and hour is crucial when publishing your content. Luckily for you, there are plenty of tools that can help you do this and so much more!
The main reason in having an active social presence is to create trust with your potential customers. Creating a strong community that thrives in conversation and discussion will improve brand awareness, trust, and loyalty – leading to more sales.
However, it can be difficult to plan your day to post content on social media at the optimum time to gain maximum exposure, one way to make this process easier is to plan and schedule your content promotion.
Using your social media and content strategies becomes a lot easier as you can plan exactly when to launch relevant promotional campaigns. These tools are designed to help by allowing a marketing team to plan what content they want to promote and when, without having to manually set reminders and log in to social media at specific times.
The following tools cater for all the major social networks including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. The tools below also have paid versions that could help your social efforts achieve scalability as your company and social following grows.
Buffer’s free version allows you to connect up to 3 accounts making it a useful tool for in-house social media scheduling. You can use Buffer through a web-based app, browser extension on Chrome, Safari, Firefox or smartphone app on iPhone and Android.
The greatest part of buffer is the ability to set up a predetermined schedule for consistent promotion at optimum times. This works for all the social networks. The tool also allows you to easily distribute your content promotion across multiple accounts by simply clicking ‘additional’ on the additional profile accounts whilst writing out a post. However, for the best results, we would recommend creating different content for different platforms as this will give your audience an incentive to follow each social profile. Buffer also includes some great features such as hashtag Manager which makes it easy to create and save groups of hashtags, such as creating new ones or reusing your top-performing hashtag group. You can also look at a full history report of all your posts giving you the ability to see what’s working and what’s not.
Hootsuite is another big player in social media management and includes a range of tools that are helpful to post, monitor and analyse your performance on your main social networks. Hootsuite is perfect for customising reports so you can get to the granular details of your posts. It’s also helpful that it stores recently used images making it easier to create your schedules in advance.
Hootsuite has the ability to bulk schedule many posts at once, giving you more time to work on your calendar and less time repeating the upload and publish process.
The Hootlet chrome extension lets you schedule updates whilst browsing relevant information, with the ability to automatically schedule a social update to appear at an optimum time. Hootsuite can also be used to track Twitter chats with the ability to add a stream that allows you to monitor every tweet using a specific hashtag that you specify.
Later for Instagram lets you visually plan, schedule and analyse posts for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, much like Buffer and Hootsuit – but Later might be extremely useful for visual and creative people. You can plan your feed with the simple drag & drop feature allowing you to preview your feed before it goes live.
Later lets you directly upload to Instagram without needing to be sent a notification saving you even more time! This is also a great tool to find and repost user-generated content giving your followers extra content to lay their eyes on. Much like Buffer and Hootsuite, you can also analyse your post-performance to identify what your audience engages with the most. Later identifies when the best time to publish your post making it easier to get the best results most of the time.
Although not free, SproutSocial deserves a mention especially for larger brands looking to monitor social interaction and engagement. The tool connects to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and gives a clear overview of response rates, follower demographics as well as the ability to schedule posts. You can also create in-depth social performance reports that are perfect for agencies or in-house marketers with multiple accounts. Sprout Social also provides info on top-performing time scheduling, making it easier to know when the best time to post is, and when you’ll achieve the best results.
There’s also the Twitter-owned TweetDeck. This provides a stream of your Twitter account including sections for your news feed, interactions, direct messages and activity. The tool allows users to write messages as they would on the website or through a mobile app with the main difference being that tweets can be scheduled to appear sometime in the future.
Most of these tools have similar features but it all comes down to how you work. If you’re creative, Later is the perfect tool for visual workers. If you’re analytical, then Buffer and SproutSocial are for you. If you want more topic-based content, Hootsuite and TweetDeck are great for diving into related posts and ideas. These tools will help you plan and implement your schedules and strategies making your life just that little bit easier to manage.