Is it Time to Use Social Media Scheduling Tools?

Is it Time to Use Social Media Scheduling Tools?

If you’re a marketer, chances are you’ve already thought about using social media scheduling tools.

 

Social media can get pretty overwhelming if you don’t have access to the right social media scheduling tools.

 

Managing social media goes beyond just taking a picture, uploading it to a social media platform, captioning it, and hoping a lot of people interact with it.

For digital marketers, social media management entails a myriad of activities, from creating content, scheduling posts, engaging with followers, repurposing content, to analysing data insights we could go on and we haven’t even touched the surface!

 

Whether you’re running your own business or managing the social media accounts of your clients, you need to find the best way to save time and effort in managing an important part in the promotion of your services and products through digital marketing.

Social media scheduling tools have revolutionised the process of social media sharing. Click To Tweet

 

Social media engagement levels are at an all-time high, and in order to keep up, the use of social media scheduling tools is essential to improve efficiency, get you better engagement with your audience, and potentially improve sales.

 

We decided to survey the VAs within the fastest growing area of The Virtual HubSocial Media Content Management – VAs that handle a variety of clients from all over the world,  and asked them what their best picks are when it comes to social media scheduling tools. Through this short study, we hope that we can help you decide which social media scheduler is the most suitable for your brand.

Here are the top social media management apps based on our survey:

 

1. Hootsuite

We love it because:

  • It’s pretty straightforward and easy to navigate once you get used to it.
  • It can manage multiple social media accounts at the same time. (For one thing, the free version offers a maximum of 3 accounts.)
  • It offers a real-time stream of content of your social media account feeds.
  • It has the lowest price
  • It’s good for interaction on social media.
  • Offers a Google Chrome extension, Hootlet, which allows you to share links, pictures, and videos from wherever you are on the web.
  • Offers basic social media analytics with the free version and a more in-depth analytics tool with the Pro version.
  • Allows bulk posting.
  • It has RSS feeds integration.

 

Some things to consider:

  • The free version requires manually checking every post for image attachments.
  • Instagram integration requires mobile registration which can be a hassle.
  • The interface is a bit messy and overwhelming. Redesign may be necessary.
  • Only supports owl.ly shortened URL.

 

2. MeetEdgar

We love it because: 

  • It has a library where you can categorise your scheduled post per social media platform with your preferred title.
  • A team of 3 to 5 users can use the same login at the same time.
  • It features a real-time stream of content of your social media account feeds.
  • The interface makes it easy to edit, manage & create content.
  • Edgar conveniently shows each of your posts in an organized timeline, and allows easy editing.
  • It allows group posts into specific categories.
  • You can schedule content from categories to post to select accounts.
  • If you run out of content, MeetEdgar automatically reposts your content stored in the library. The queue will auto-populate and preview your ready-to-go posts. Edgar recycles your posts intelligently by pulling out the next lineup so you won’t publish the same post consecutively.
  • Meet Edgar’s content recycling system will save you a huge amount of time.
  • It has a basic statistics feature (perfect for people who are not wholly fond of social media analytics) that gives a quick snapshot of what types of posts get the most attention.
  • If you have a bit.ly account, connect it, and Edgar will automatically shorten links.

 

Some things to consider:

  • It has no Free Trial. It’s pricier compared to its older counterparts.
  • If not scheduled correctly, the posts get duplicated.
  • It’s only limited to Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.
  • It’s not as interactive as it cannot manage online conversations (such as retweets, comments, etc.). One-way control, no interaction.
  • It limits the amount of posts that can be added to the library. 1000 for the entry level at $49/month and 5000 for the second level at $99/month. That is for the total number for accounts you have added on to the scheduling app. The more accounts you need to manage, the larger the plan you are going to need to have.

3. Post Planner

We love it because: 

  • It’s easy and straightforward. 
  • This social media manager has the ability to brand your posts with your business logo or other images.
  • It is also cheaper than other social media scheduling tools, if compared, the cheapest plan with other companies, you can already have multiple features that are not in the other social media management tools.
  • It has a powerful feature called ‘Discover’ where you can search for Hashtags and keywords from across other profiles.

 

Some things to consider:

  • The app’s UI is slow to load.
  • The scheduling app experiences a lot of site or server downtime, and after sales support is disorganised and often slow to respond.
  • There are numerous cases of unauthorised charges due to its lack of customer support.
  • It only allows for Facebook and Twitter integration.

 

4. Sprout Social

We love it because:

  • It has a well-organized dashboard as it separates subject matter into six distinct areas: Messages, Tasks, Feeds, Publishing, Discovery, and Reports.
  • It has a Smart Inbox which is a single unified stream for messages across social media accounts.
  • This tool has a great reporting system as it connects with Google Analytics. It does not charge additional fees for reports unlike other social media scheduling tools.

 

Some things to consider:

  • Limited number of social networks. Integration is limited.
  • Higher cost.

 

5. Buffer

We love it because: 

  • It has a clean and simple layout. 
  • Scheduling is easy and super quick with one easy click.
  • It has a free image creation tool, Pablo.
  • It buffers your updates on the best times to post to get maximum engagement.
  • It lets you select your default link shortener like bit.ly, buff.ly and j.mp.
  • It offers a Google Chrome extension, which allows you to share links, images, and videos from wherever you are on the web.

 

Some things to consider:

  • It’s not as interactive as other social media scheduling apps as it cannot manage online conversations (such as retweets, comments, etc.). One-way control, no interaction.
  • No Instagram integration (limited to reminders).

The use of social media management tools improves efficiency, gets you better engagement, and potentially improves sales. Click To Tweet

Before you decide on a Social Media Scheduler, here are a few things to take into account:

 

1. Pricing options

Not all social media scheduling tools are created equal. Some scheduling apps have free trials which give you an opportunity to test if they’re the right fit for your business, while other tools that offer more premium features don’t. Look at the billing options and limitations as well as their plan cancellation agreements and take advantage of the free trial offer if there is any (some apps even have free plans). Ensure that the plan you are considering will suit your needs and work well for you and your business.

 

2. Integration

We all want a social media scheduler that not only performs how we want it to but is also a bang for our buck. When choosing a social media scheduling app, know the full list of social media platforms that you can integrate with it. Based on our VAs’ experiences, chances are you’ll find that you’ll need one social media manager that integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and another tool entirely for Instagram. If you’re not amenable to invest in two schedulers, choose one that works best with multiple social media accounts.

 

3. Support

For any kind of paid online service, we expect a certain degree of support. Customer support comes in handy when things don’t go well with their service. When looking for the right social media management tool, after sales support must be included in the account plan you choose because you’ll need it when issues with the tool arise.

Final thoughts

This list is just a small fraction of all the social media scheduling tools you’ll find out in the market today. The main purpose of using scheduling apps is to streamline your social media experience, so many of the apps available out there have the same common features.

 

When looking for the best social media scheduler for your business, study the pros and cons of each app. Once you’ve built a considerable list of features that you want (or don’t want) from a scheduling app, think about the long-term benefits of these tools to your brand. Would the investment be worth it? Would the returns justify the cost? If you answered yes to both, then it’s safe to say it’s time for you to hop onto this Social Media Scheduler train.

If you’re a marketer, chances are you’ve already thought about using social media scheduling tools.

 

Social media can get pretty overwhelming if you don’t have access to the right social media scheduling tools.

 

Managing social media goes beyond just taking a picture, uploading it to a social media platform, captioning it, and hoping a lot of people interact with it.

For digital marketers, social media management entails a myriad of activities, from creating content, scheduling posts, engaging with followers, repurposing content, to analysing data insights we could go on and we haven’t even touched the surface!

 

Whether you’re running your own business or managing the social media accounts of your clients, you need to find the best way to save time and effort in managing an important part in the promotion of your services and products through digital marketing.

Social media scheduling tools have revolutionised the process of social media sharing. Click To Tweet

 

Social media engagement levels are at an all-time high, and in order to keep up, the use of social media management tools is essential to improve efficiency, get you better engagement with your audience, and potentially improve sales.

 

We decided to survey the VAs within the fastest growing area of The Virtual HubSocial Media Content Management – VAs that handle a variety of clients from all over the world,  and asked them what their best picks are when it comes to social media scheduling tools. Through this short study, we hope that we can help you decide which social media scheduler is the most suitable for your brand.

Here are the top social media management apps based on our survey:

 

1. Hootsuite

We love it because:

  • It’s pretty straightforward and easy to navigate once you get used to it.
  • It can manage multiple social media accounts at the same time. (For one thing, the free version offers a maximum of 3 accounts.)
  • It offers a real-time stream of content of your social media account feeds.
  • It has the lowest price
  • It’s good for interaction on social media.
  • Offers a Google Chrome extension, Hootlet, which allows you to share links, pictures, and videos from wherever you are on the web.
  • Offers basic social media analytics with the free version and a more in-depth analytics tool with the Pro version.
  • Allows bulk posting.
  • It has RSS feeds integration.

 

Some things to consider:

  • The free version requires manually checking every post for image attachments.
  • Instagram integration requires mobile registration which can be a hassle.
  • The interface is a bit messy and overwhelming. Redesign may be necessary.
  • Only supports owl.ly shortened URL.

 

2. MeetEdgar

We love it because: 

  • It has a library where you can categorise your scheduled post per social media platform with your preferred title.
  • A team of 3 to 5 users can use the same login at the same time.
  • It features a real-time stream of content of your social media account feeds.
  • The interface makes it easy to edit, manage & create content.
  • Edgar conveniently shows each of your posts in an organized timeline, and allows easy editing.
  • It allows group posts into specific categories.
  • You can schedule content from categories to post to select accounts.
  • If you run out of content, MeetEdgar automatically reposts your content stored in the library. The queue will auto-populate and preview your ready-to-go posts. Edgar recycles your posts intelligently by pulling out the next lineup so you won’t publish the same post consecutively.
  • Meet Edgar’s content recycling system will save you a huge amount of time.
  • It has a basic statistics feature (perfect for people who are not wholly fond of social media analytics) that gives a quick snapshot of what types of posts get the most attention.
  • If you have a bit.ly account, connect it, and Edgar will automatically shorten links.

 

Some things to consider:

  • It has no Free Trial. It’s pricier compared to its older counterparts.
  • If not scheduled correctly, the posts get duplicated.
  • It’s only limited to Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.
  • It’s not as interactive as it cannot manage online conversations (such as retweets, comments, etc.). One-way control, no interaction.
  • It limits the amount of posts that can be added to the library. 1000 for the entry level at $49/month and 5000 for the second level at $99/month. That is for the total number for accounts you have added on to the scheduling app. The more accounts you need to manage, the larger the plan you are going to need to have.

3. Post Planner

We love it because: 

  • It’s easy and straightforward. 
  • This social media manager has the ability to brand your posts with your business logo or other images.
  • It is also cheaper than other social media scheduling tools, if compared, the cheapest plan with other companies, you can already have multiple features that are not in the other social media management tools.
  • It has a powerful feature called ‘Discover’ where you can search for Hashtags and keywords from across other profiles.

 

Some things to consider:

  • The app’s UI is slow to load.
  • The scheduling app experiences a lot of site or server downtime, and after sales support is disorganised and often slow to respond.
  • There are numerous cases of unauthorised charges due to its lack of customer support.
  • It only allows for Facebook and Twitter integration.

 

4. Sprout Social

We love it because:

  • It has a well-organized dashboard as it separates subject matter into six distinct areas: Messages, Tasks, Feeds, Publishing, Discovery, and Reports.
  • It has a Smart Inbox which is a single unified stream for messages across social media accounts.
  • This tool has a great reporting system as it connects with Google Analytics. It does not charge additional fees for reports unlike other social media scheduling tools.

 

Some things to consider:

  • Limited number of social networks. Integration is limited.
  • Higher cost.

 

5. Buffer

We love it because: 

  • It has a clean and simple layout. 
  • Scheduling is easy and super quick with one easy click.
  • It has a free image creation tool, Pablo.
  • It buffers your updates on the best times to post to get maximum engagement.
  • It lets you select your default link shortener like bit.ly, buff.ly and j.mp.
  • It offers a Google Chrome extension, which allows you to share links, images, and videos from wherever you are on the web.

 

Some things to consider:

  • It’s not as interactive as other social media scheduling apps as it cannot manage online conversations (such as retweets, comments, etc.). One-way control, no interaction.
  • No Instagram integration (limited to reminders).

The use of social media management tools improves efficiency, gets you better engagement, and potentially improves sales. Click To Tweet

Before you decide on a Social Media Scheduler, here are a few things to take into account:

 

1. Pricing options

Not all social media manager tools are created equal. Some scheduling apps have free trials which give you an opportunity to test if they’re the right fit for your business, while other tools that offer more premium features don’t. Look at the billing options and limitations as well as their plan cancellation agreements and take advantage of the free trial offer if there is any (some apps even have free plans). Ensure that the plan you are considering will suit your needs and work well for you and your business.

 

2. Integration

We all want a social media scheduler that not only performs how we want it to but is also a bang for our buck. When choosing a social media scheduling app, know the full list of social media platforms that you can integrate with it. Based on our VAs’ experiences, chances are you’ll find that you’ll need one social media manager that integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and another tool entirely for Instagram. If you’re not amenable to invest in two schedulers, choose one that works best with multiple social media accounts.

 

3. Support

For any kind of paid online service, we expect a certain degree of support. Customer support comes in handy when things don’t go well with their service. When looking for the right social media management tool, after sales support must be included in the account plan you choose because you’ll need it when issues with the tool arise.

Final thoughts

This list is just a small fraction of all the social media scheduling tools you’ll find out in the market today. The main purpose of using scheduling apps is to streamline your social media experience, so many of the apps available out there have the same common features.

 

When looking for the best social media scheduler for your business, study the pros and cons of each app. Once you’ve built a considerable list of features that you want (or don’t want) from a scheduling app, think about the long-term benefits of these tools to your brand. Would the investment be worth it? Would the returns justify the cost? If you answered yes to both, then it’s safe to say it’s time for you to hop onto this Social Media Scheduler train.

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