The suggested posting frequency for Facebook is 3-5 times a week. Instagram is 3-7 times a week. For Twitter, it’s multiple times a day. With numbers like that, it’s almost impossible to manage a social schedule manually. If you are managing your company’s social content calendar, there’s a great chance you are already using a social management platform.
If you’re already in love with your platform, then great! If you are constantly wondering what else is out there, and what your social media strategy is capable of with the right functionalities, then this may be the list for you.
All of these plans can schedule posts – but each one has a specialty or unique functionality or strength. So, it just comes down to which strength is most important to you!
For many small businesses and businesses just starting, whether it’s free is the most important aspect of a social management tool. Thankfully, there are several free options to choose from, and while they are certainly limited compared to paid options, they can get the simple job done.
Facebook business pages now have social scheduling capabilities built right into the platform, and it’s getting more and more functionalities with every update. It used to be that Facebook allowed you to post in the future, without much more beyond the scheduling aspect. Now, you can schedule to both Facebook and Instagram, and tailor the message to each platform. On top of that, you have a comprehensive and visual understanding of what’s set to schedule. But, as it is such a small aspect of the enormous company, it has major limitations compared to other options. as it is constantly evolving and growing, bugs are inevitable. Facebook scheduling has been known to drop posts, schedule twice, or not at all. So, if you need perfection every time, this may not be for you.
If you want free as well as slightly more freedom than what is offered on the Facebook platform, many paid platforms offer free options. For example, both Buffer and Hootsuite have the option of the “forever free” plan. These plans will give you the functionalities you need to set up a basic strategy, but not much more. The only slight downsides to sticking with the free plan are the constant and not-so-subtle requests to upgrade, and the fact that the most exciting and cool capabilities are saved for paid plans.
One sneaky but important growth strategy is always be responding. To posts, to retweets, to any engagement that happens on your platform. When your listeners feel heard, they feel good! The problem is that that engagement can happen any time of day, and chances are you can’t sit on platforms all day waiting for them to happen.
For companies that prioritize (or want to prioritize) communication, here are the platforms for you!
SproutSocial is great at a lot of things, and social listening is one of them. Their social listening tool allows you to track hashtags, mentions, and keywords so you can pop in with your comments on the right posts at the right times. This tool also helps you find important conversations your customers are having about your brand or industry so you can gain new insight into current opinions and trends.
On top of that, SproutSocial creates lovely and completely understandable reporting, so any insights you gain from social, you can simply export and share as-is.
Hootsuite is a great tool for communicating with your followers, especially if there are many cooks in the kitchen. You can not only see, monitor, manage, and respond to messages in real-time, but you can also assign specialty messages to other people who may have a more in-depth understanding. Got a technical question that you can’t speak to? Assign the message to someone who does. This allows you to get the best information to share with your customers that are asking hard-hitting questions. It even has a functionality to assign the response for review and approval by management, so nothing leaves the platform without a green light.
Some people want a step above free, but don’t need all the bells and whistles to navigate. You just want what you want, and nothing more. That’s where niche, easy-to-use platforms shine. What they lack in functionality, they make up for in simplicity and price point. (The less functionality, the smaller the price tag.)
Social Pilot is a no-frills social scheduling platform that boasts a much more affordable price than its competitors. While there may be less to do, they allow you to connect several accounts and not worry about hitting a ceiling on posting limits. While the platform is simple and easy to navigate, it still has some tricks up its sleeve in regards to curating social content, collaborating with your team, and managing a social inbox.
If you’re a new business catering to younger adults, chances are you are focusing on Instagram or TikTok for your main outreach. You may not even bother with other platforms at all! If you want a platform that is easy to use and created specifically for the platforms you focus on, Later is the way to go. It allows for simple and quick social scheduling so you can get a month’s worth of Instagram content scheduled in a matter of minutes. It also has user-generated content, Instagram story, and TikTok scheduling, so your Gen Z content is covered!
So you can post schedule your content, but where can you find inspiration for your content or even create your content? If you’re no whiz in photoshop and don’t have a team dedicated to creating lovely graphics, that can be rough. So, design and content-oriented social scheduling platforms can help you generate ideas and see them come to life!
Sendible wants you to find or create amazing visuals to knock your social strategy out of the park. That’s why they include a Canva graphics editor integration and royalty-free image searching so your design strategy can thrive. They also provide templates and guides, so you are always up to date on the latest trends and best habits!
This one comes at a jump in price, but if you’re #1 priority is coming up with new content, Likeable Hub boasts of thousands of tailored content ideas to choose from. You don’t need to spend the brunt of your time coming up with ideas and acting on them – you can just choose, point, click, and schedule. However, it’s important to note that this platform only integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – no Instagram, Pinterest, or TikTok!
So, you want all the bells and whistles. You want to schedule social posts, nurture leads, organize contacts, organize emails, generate and promote content past social, and stay with potential customers to the purchase. That functionality can come with a hefty price. But when leveraged well, it can lead to a huge payoff.
Coschedule is a platform that offers affordable plans and functionalities that span past social media. With Coschedule, you can manage, collaborate and organize your social, email, content, and events details in one place. It is a powerful calendar that can house any aspect of your digital marketing. This calendar allows you to assign tasks to different team members, so nothing falls through the cracks.
And now, Hubspot. You’ve probably heard of it – from its impressive blog to the full-on Hubspot Academy. Hubspot has its hands in essentially every aspect of digital marketing from website setup to outreach. So, if money is no option and you are committed to learning and leveraging every opportunity Hubspot provides, it will become an integral part of your overall marketing strategy.
The last option I offer is not a social scheduling platform at all. Like the idea of a beautiful social media strategy, but don’t want anything to do with the implementation? Reach out to our team! We will take on all of the hard decisions and create a social strategy tailored perfectly to your brand. Not a platform, but definitely the easiest option for you!