Are you overwhelmed by trying to keep up with scheduling social media content regularly? If you find yourself struggling to post consistently or in a timely manner, the answer is simple; you need a content management system. But with a huge variety of systems available, how can you know which is right for you? That’s where SEM Nexus comes in. We’ve compiled the best social media scheduling tools around based on types of content, management styles, and the difference in working alone, or as part of a team. Read on to discover the best social media scheduling tools now.
Later: the Visual Social Media Scheduling Tool
Later is one of our absolute favorite tools for social media content scheduling. Once a tool specifically for Instagram, Later has grown into an encompassing scheduling tool for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Later’s specialty is visual scheduling. This means that users are able to schedule their content and then preview the content as it will appear on the Instagram page. While this aspect of the visual preview is only available for Instagram, Later is also a powerful tool across the board.
One of Later’s big benefits is that it allows users to upload a piece of content across multiple platforms and then to tailor each specific post’s captions, calls to action, and hashtags. For example, you can upload one post created in Canva for the 4th of July and shorten the caption for Twitter, lengthen it for Facebook, and put hashtags in the first comment on Instagram. This allows users to easily optimize posts according to each platform’s algorithms – a crucial efficiency booster whether you’re in charge of a small business or part of a large department in an even larger company.
Later also keeps track of analytics both on connected Instagram and Twitter accounts. By clicking the analytics tab, you can easily access information such as the growth rate of the accounts, profile views and website clicks, and even the best performing posts on the account in the past 3 months This is invaluable because it allows social media managers to see plainly whether their CTAs are effectively driving traffic and conversions, and even if certain colors or fonts are better received by their audience than others.
Another great feature about Later? It’s pricing plans are wide-ranging. Plans range from free (best for an individual manager or influencer) to advanced (with features designed to make it easier for an entire social media team to work together).
Hootsuite: the Best Scheduling App for Many Platforms
Hootesuite is another great social media scheduling tool when it comes to social media management. Hootesuite also boasts the ability to plan for multiple social platforms, with the ability to connect to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and even YouTube! The variety of options is great for companies whose main platforms might differ from the big three of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or for a company that manages social media for a variety of different clients.
Hootesuite has a user-friendly interface reminiscent of a Trello board with sections separated by platform. The sidebar gives access to features such as social media analytics and an Hootesuite Inbox (which allows you to manage conversations across social media platforms), while the top bar is where users can go to create new posts and add additional social accounts to their account.
Hootesuite’s post planner doesn’t allow users the option to view posts in-feed like Later, but it does allow you to view all posts in a calendar format with both drafts and published posts side by side.
Like Later, Hootesuite has a great setup when it comes to viewing analytics on your profiles. In the analytics section, you can view the amount of followers an account has, post metrics, and audience engagement. There is also an in-depth post performance option under the advanced tab, although this doesn’t go as in-depth as other scheduling platforms. A personal favorite feature is the Share Report tool which you can click to turn the analytics you see into a report that can be easily shared with colleagues via email from inside the Hootesuite dashboard. If you’re interested in being able to keep track of a lot of different types of platforms in one place then Hootseuite is probably the best scheduling tool for you.
Sprout: the Multi-Feature Social Media Scheduling Tool
Sprout is another popular social media scheduling tool. Like other scheduling tools, Sprout serves Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. But it does also have some pretty key features that set it apart in its own right. Sprout’s first and foremost feature is scheduling. The platform allows you to import and schedule multiple posts across platforms and networks in advance.
Exciting core features are where Sprout shines. Below are some of those features laid out:
Optimal Send Times – Sprout allows you to utilize optimization algorithms in order to automatically schedule content to post at days and times proven to get better reach.
Content Suggestions – This feature aggregates shared links from social channels to help users discover articles from trusted sources, posts from industry blogs and other brand-relevant content. And it’s available no matter what Sprout plan you have!
Message Approval Workflows – Users have the ability to create workflows to guide the creation, submission, review, and approval of messages in order to maintain brand standards and simplify collaboration. While a small team might not need this, it is a great advantage of certain Sprout plans for companies with departments large enough to have interns or new employees who might not have the chance to regularly ask directors to approve multiple messages.
URL Tracking – With URL tracking, users can add tracking data to links (like link in bio, blog posts, etc.) to easily see social traffic in Google Analytics and monitor a social media campaign, referral traffic, and conversions from social posts. This is a valuable tool because it really allows social media managers to see everything in one place rather than having to rely on multiple accounts or websites to see how social media is impacting their company overall.
As you can see, Sprout has its own reasons to show off as a content scheduling tool. While some plans run on the pricier end of the scale, it is well worth it if you’re part of a large social media team that needs to be on the same page about every piece of content within your social media strategy.
Buffer: the Beginner Social Media Scheduling Tool
Buffer is a social media school kit designed specifically for small businesses. The Buffer social media approach is simplification; the platform prides itself on being intuitive, affordable, and authentic. True to its pared down brand, Buffer only offers two different plans. One is the free scheduling app that offers basic publishing tools and allows up to three channels on the account. The other is only $5 per month and offers unlimited channel connections and scheduled posts, with the option to add on additional members to the team. Buffer is the perfect solution for someone looking to dip their toes into the water when it comes to social media and gather some data about their strategy before scaling up.
Zoho: the Social Media Scheduling Tool for Agencies
Zoho Social is a social media scheduling tool whose standout point is the way that it caters to agencies. Many scheduling tools are designed for individuals or single businesses, with the option for paid team member add-ons in order for a group to collaborate on the same set of social platforms. Zoho’s approach has been to introduce an entirely different version of their platform that a social media marketing agency working on multiple different business’ accounts at once can use to
Zoho gives agencies the ability to create separate dashboards for each client so that information for their platforms is categorized neatly in order to mitigate the possibility of scheduling errors. Within the dashboard, companies can assign team members to different clients for additional organization.
Zoho’s branding feature allows agencies to label their account with their agency name, logo, and favicon. Client invites are sent with emails that have custom messaging designed for the agency, and agencies have the ability to add their logo to any reports shared with their clients. This reinforces brand awareness and originality for the agency.
Agencies are also able to collaborate with the clients themselves, tagging them in team discussions when their feedback or approval is needed. Social listening is also simplified, with all social media engagement information for client platforms available on the same page for your agency to see.
Zoho Social is the best choice for an agency with many clients that needs an easy way to keep track of it all. Or even businesses that have many collaborators and a very involved social strategy. Whichever category you fall under, Zoho’s detailed features are sure to support you well.
Even among our top picks you have many options to choose from when it comes to using a social media content scheduling system. But if you take the time to explore the different recommendations and try something different, you’ll find in no time that you have a scheduling and management system that works perfectly for you. And soon you’ll begin to reap the benefits of consistently showing up on socials!