Guest post by Lilach Bullock.
With so many different social media scheduling tools to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Every business has its own set of goals when it comes to social media marketing, so it makes sense that they’d use different tools based on those objectives.
What are your goals from social media marketing?
Different goals mean different requirements.
For example, one of my biggest goals with social media marketing is to drive more traffic to my business blog and website, especially with Twitter. Because of this, I post a lot of link updates, so I need a tool that allows me to queue up all my content—otherwise, I’d spend hours every week scheduling all the posts I want to publish.
What are you goals from social media marketing?
- To drive more traffic
- To boost awareness and engagement
- To raise your social influence + become an expert in your niche
Based on your goals and overall social media strategy, there are going to be software options that would be better suited to your needs and help you make the most out of your work (and, of course, save you time).
Among the other aspects to consider when getting a social media scheduling software are how many updates you post in general. Here are some tools to consider.
Perfect if: you want to boost your social influence and engagement
PostPlanner is all about helping you boost engagement on social media and sharing quality content with your audiences.
As a social media content curation and scheduling tool, its aim is to help you find quality content to share on your profile.
You can use the ‘find’ feature to browse through the latest and best articles in a variety of categories (top news, interesting, marketing, technology, quotes, and so on):
As you can see in the screenshot above, each article gets a star rating to help you find the absolute best—the star rating is calculated based on the posts’ overall performance and engagement.
When you click on one to share it, you have the option to customize your update with your own thoughts on the subject, as well as with an image. The tool integrates with popular image design tool Canva to allow you to create images in-app:
Once you’re done customizing it, you can add it to your scheduling plan to have it published.
Additionally, you can also search for content yourself, with keywords, hashtags, or specific Facebook Pages that you know.
Another cool thing about PostPlanner is that it allows you to engage your audience with interesting status updates, questions, fill-in-the-blank updates, and all kinds of other types of social media updates:
Perfect if: you want a tool for all your social media management, work with a team, or post a lot of content
As a full-suite social media management tool, Agorapulse pretty much does it all: monitoring mentions and comments and responding to them, social listening, analytics and reporting, social CRM, as well as, of course, scheduling.
One of my favourite features is that you can set up queue categories, which is a huge time-saver if you post a lot, but also want to still have control over what goes out when.
Many tools and competitors offer a unified evergreen queue where you add all of your evergreen content to be published and re-published. While this is definitely useful, I prefer having more control over my social media schedule: for example, a motivational quote first thing in the morning, blog posts at noon, promo updates in the afternoons.
With Agorapulse, you can create categories for all of your content and upload your updates (in bulk, if you want):
Once done, you set up the time slots for each category:
Not only does it save you a lot of time to schedule things this way (unless you don’t post updates that often), but it also allows you to generate better results from your updates.
If you have any updates in your queue that need to be stopped after a certain time (so they don’t keep getting published), you can set an expiry date to individual updates, or set specific number of times to be published.
Once done, you can visualize all of your planned and scheduled content in the social media calendar.
Another very cool feature is that you can schedule to Instagram, too. Previously, you could upload and prepare your posts, but you’d have to get notifications on your phone via the app to let you know that it’s time to post—now, you can just enable direct publishing directly from the web dashboard.
Perfect if: you don’t schedule that many updates
IFTTT is not a social media scheduling tool, exactly; standing for “if this, then that” this nifty tool allows you to connect your different apps and channels and create all kinds of automations (called “applets) in a variety of categories.
Each major social network has its own set of applets designed to help you save time and generate better results.
Some of the best ways to use IFTTT for social media marketing/scheduling:
- Post your latest blog posts directly to Twitter, Facebook, and other major social networks
- Connect different social media accounts to share the same content; for example, if you’ve shared a photo on Instagram, you can set up applets to automatically the photo to a Facebook profile or Page, or add it to one of your Pinterest boards
- Share the links you post on one social network on a different one, automatically
These are just a few examples of automations you can create with IFTTT; you can easily search for more by using the search bar—just type in the social network you want to see a complete list of applets (there are a lot of them – prepare yourself to spend some time exploring and trying them out!).
Perfect if: want a simple, easy to use scheduling tool
Buffer is a great solution if you’re looking for a tool that’s all about scheduling. It’s very easy to use, especially as a beginner, and it also has a queue feature.
However, you don’t have that much control; the way it works is, you can set up time slots for when you want to publish content:
Once done, you’ll be able to see on the front page if there are any gaps in your schedule that require your attention; then, start adding your content. Click on each time slot to add your update and schedule it:
Additionally, you can also draft updates to edit and use later, as well as add RSS feeds to curate content from your preferred online sources, automatically—you just need to click on “add” once you discover a post you like.
I also like the fact that you can connect your Buffer account to your Google Analytics one – this way, you can track your social media traffic in-app. Overall, a very good tool—but, because I tweet a lot more, I definitely prefer one that offers queue categories.
Perfect if: you post a lot of evergreen content
MeetEdgar is all about the queue; it doesn’t have a lot of features, but it’s a good option for those who schedule a lot of evergreen content and find themselves scheduling the same updates again and again.
The way it works is pretty much like Agorapulse—you can create queue categories of all your evergreen content and then simply use the calendar to add the time slots for each category:
The idea behind this tool is that you can create “an unlimited content library you only fill once”—once you’ve set up the categories and time slots, the updates will keep getting re-shared.
The only other major feature is that you can also add RSS feeds to your queue; simply enter the links to your favourite online publications and MeetEdgar will automatically add their latest content to your queue to share it.
Social media scheduling shouldn’t be just about saving time or for posting content for when you’re not around your computer or phone; scheduling software tools have grown so much over the years, with so many new and useful features being introduced that are not just about time-saving but also about boosting results.
What are your goals from social media marketing? How can scheduling help you achieve them?
Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.