Are you on Twitter? Are you on Facebook? What about Google+? Instagram? Tumblr? LinkedIn? Pinterest? As a social media marketer you will more than likely be answering yes to all of the above. And that’s not to mention YouTube, Vine, your email campaigns or your blog either.
Online marketing has become a game of so many pieces that it seems that only an octopus would be able to handle it comfortably. When you’re replying to a post on Facebook, are you missing a Twitter trend? As you upload your latest behind the scenes pic to Instagram, are you forgetting to favourite a reply on Pinterest?
Juggling your social media accounts can indeed be more than tricky – it might even be literally impossible to successfully catch and throw every single ball that drops your way.
And, whilst you’re getting lost in thank yous, replies, and follows, you can often realise that the best time to send out your tweets just ticked by 45 minutes ago.
If we had to do it all ourselves then no doubt none of our companies would be in the positions that they are today. But, thankfully, we don’t. Just as the world of marketing has evolved to place heavy and significant emphasis on the social side of the equation, so too have the online tools to help to make the management of our social accounts so much easier.
Yes, scheduling tools are the godsends that we can all count our lucky stars for. Now we can spend half an hour setting up a line of tweets to go out at regular intervals for the next 6 months or more, click the button and forget about them. There are even tools that can sync together all of our social media accounts so that we can monitor, manage and update them all from one very convenient location.
If you haven’t started to tap into these online tools and resources yet, then you must be on the verge of a very serious breakdown, and so I urge you for your own sanity to take a look at some of the scheduling tools that we have outlined for you below – they will save both your time and your brain no end. Here they are…
The Top 5 Best Scheduling Tools
Where would so many companies be without HootSuite? It has to be one of the very best management tools, especially for Twitter (though it will help you no end with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and others too). From a single dashboard you can start scheduling your posts months in advance, and will even be able to produce some pretty smart looking analytics reports ready for presentation.
HootSuite is a freemium tool, so if you’ve got fewer than 5 accounts to manage then you’re good to go with the free version, but to be honest the pro and enterprise plans won’t set you back too much either. Definitely worth checking out.
SocialOomph is a great tool if you’re looking to save time on some of the more laborious tasks of your social media marketing routines, and therefore increase your productivity in other areas.
If you’re just after Twitter scheduling, then SocialOomph is available to use for an unlimited amount of accounts for free – and you will also be able to take advantage of some of the software’s other offerings such as keyword tracking and extensions of your Twitter profiles.
But, if you upgrade to the pro version, you will unlock Facebook features, be able to configure the system to follow your new followers, and much more besides.
Buffer is a great tool that allows you to queue up all of your posts to go out one after another at set intervals across many of your social network accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Similar to HootSuite (and indeed preferred by some), Buffer is the tool that will help you schedule a long series of posts across all of your social platforms in one hit, negating the need for you to continuously go back to micro-manage your publishing times.
IFTTT will save you hours of time on your scheduling and sharing and other social media tasks that you just cannot avoid. Any major network can be connected or channelled together so sharing across your social media accounts can be automated.
For example, you can configure the system so that a tweet is sent out every time you publish a new blog post. IFTTT also works very well in sync with HootSuite and Buffer, and even enhances those already hard-working tools for you, and therefore an absolute must-have in your social media marketing arsenal.
A lesser known scheduling tool, but nonetheless still an incredibly effective one. Simply sign in using either your Facebook or Twitter account (or ideally both) and from there you can start scheduling your posts to both platforms instantly.
For Facebook, you can set up a queue of status updates – complete with links and images if you wish (you do) – for the coming days in one sitting, and then let LaterBro do the rest (though don’t forget to do the same with your Twitter account as well).
One drawback to LaterBro, however, is the fact that it imposes a limit on the word count of your Facebook posts – so if you’re prone to cases of textual diarrhoea (I think there’s an app that can cure that) on social, then this might not be the right choice for you.
What’s your favourite scheduling tool? Let us know in the comments below.