10 Tools to Help You Plan and Schedule Your Social Media

By on July 2, 2018

Whoever penned the quote that says “you can never have too much of a good thing” obviously wasn’t a social media or content manager.

With social media and messaging accounting for roughly 1 in every 3 minutes users spend online, it’s is no longer good enough to be a master of your craft.

Whether it’s being a musician, a clothing store owner, or offering your best carpet cleaning service, your mastery of “being social” and keeping your followers engaged will more than likely be the difference between a fleeting hobby and a thriving business.

We’ve collected 10 social media management tools to help you determine which dashboard may be the right fit for you and your business goals. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, so I’d love to know what you use to manage your socials in the comments below!

PLATFORM-SPECIFIC

Let’s first take a look at the two most popular social platforms that allow you to natively schedule content: Facebook and Twitter.

  1. Facebook Schedule Post

If you’re a solopreneur running your business mainly off of Facebook, you may not need another to consider another tool.

This is really the best way to ensure your Facebook posts are going to secure the best organic reach! The Facebook API is an ever-changing chameleon for the ‘benefit’ if its users, but one thing will always hold true — you always bet on native content.

Once you schedule a post, you’ll see a notification on the admin view of your timeline, plus you can review Scheduled Posts in your Publishing Tools menu.

  1. Twitter Media Studio

This might be Twitter’s best-kept secret, or at least it’s lesser known little cousin. The media studio is accessed at studio.twitter.com/library and rolled out in August 2016. It replaced the video version as Twitter was investing in longer video options and ways for creators to connect with fans.

In addition to having a new, unified media library to access all of your content, they also introduced Tweet scheduling and planning capabilities directly from the platform.

On that note, if you have multiple Twitter accounts, you can also manage them through the more popular TweetDeck http://tweetdeck.twitter.com which is a social management tool dedicated solely to Twitter.

Once again, if you primarily use Twitter or some combination of Twitter and Facebook, these first two tools may be all you need. Both platforms also provide detailed analytics to help guide you on the most engaging times to post and even types of content that work well with your audience.

WORKING WITH MULTIPLE SOCIAL CHANNELS

The remaining platforms will not only help you plan your posts but will help you manage your socials across several channels at once. Depending on your social mix, one of these might be the time saver you’ve been looking for (be sure to check the Platforms supported).

  1. Hootsuite

Schedule unlimited updates on social media. I’ve used Hootsuite.com quite a bit and it’s definitely made some improvements. I like the ability to set up a custom dashboard and monitor hashtags relating to your brand or target audience.

Keeping up with comments, hashtags, and responding to brand-specific activity (social listening) is one of the things that Hootsuite does as well as, if not better than, most other apps.

  • Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube Channels, WordPress Blogs, Tumblr, Evernote.
  • Free Trial Available? Yes, 30 days (CC Req’d)
  • Free Plan Available? No
  • Paid Plan Starts at $19/mo
  • See pricing & features: Hootsuite
  1. Later

Originally called Latergramme, this platform was originally designed as your go-to Instagram solution. Since then, it has expanded to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Later lets you visually plan & schedule your Instagram posts and I absolutely love the “Preview Mode”. it allows you to see how your scheduled posts will appear on your Instagram feed. This is especially helpful for brands who want to have a particular aesthetic to their channel.

  • Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
  • Free Trial Available? (Free Plan)
  • Free Plan Available? Yes
  • Paid Plan Starts at $9/mo
  • See pricing & features: Later.com
  1. Sprout Social

Social media management and engagement software with an all-in-one social inbox. Helps you post and monitor your mentions online.

  • Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Google+
  • Free Trial Available? Yes / 30 Days (No Credit Card Req’d)
  • Free Plan Available? No
  • Paid Plan Starts at $99/mo
  • See pricing & features: Sprout Social
  1. Co-Schedule

Co-Schedule is your all-in-one calendar solution. It helps you to create, publish, and share awesome content to social media. You can also add a feature called “Re-queue” for an additional price to repost evergreen content.

One of the free Co-Schedule tools I use quite often is the Headline Analyzer.

  • Platforms supported:
  • Free Trial Available? Yes.14 days (No CC required)
  • Free Plan Available? No
  • Paid Plans Start at $39/mo
  • See pricing & features: CoSchedule
  1. Post Planner

Post Planner is similar to Hootsuite in a way that you can add feeds from your industry into your dashboard. You can also add Instagram hashtags or your favorite blog’s RSS feed. It will pull all of the photos and articles from the feed continuously so it’s always up to date.

  • Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook. (Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+ in the works)
  • Free Trial Available? Yes, 30 Days (No CC required)
  • Free Plan Available? No
  • Paid Plans Start at $99/mo
  • See pricing & features: Post Planner
  1. MeetEdgar

Instead of publishing your social media updates just once and throwing them away, MeetEdgar catalogs them in a library that you build over time. You can reuse content by placing it into buckets that it will pull from continuously.

  • Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin
  • Free Trial Available? No
  • Free Plan Available? No
  • Paid Plans Start at $49/mo for all the features
  • See pricing & features: MeetEdgar
  1. SmarterQueue

Very similar to MeetEdgar, SmarterQueue lets you not only schedule your content, but set it to ‘evergreen’ mode and re-use your best posts. I’m also a fan of the advanced importer functionality where you can bulk load content from blogs in your niche!

  • Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Google+
  • Free Trial Available? Yes, 14 days (No CC Req’d)
  • Free Plan Available? No
  • Paid Plan Starts at $19/mo
  • See pricing & features: SmarterQueue
  1. Recur-Post

Recur-Post is another “evergreen” content option that will help maximize the life of your best content. The site prides itself in continuously sharing your best performing posts on social media at a perfect frequency to keep your audience aware of and engaged with your brand.

  • Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Google+
  • Free Trial Available? (Free Plan)
  • Free Plan Available? Yes
  • Paid Plan Starts at $10/mo
  • See pricing & features: Recurpost Plans

As you can see, all social media dashboards are not created equally. But that’s great because no two business or business owners are the same either.

KEYS TO CONSIDER

I encourage you to look at each tool and see how it ‘feels’. Is the user interface one that makes sense upfront? There are so many options with similar functions, it doesn’t make sense to increase your learning curve.

Also, weigh out the features and functionality that are more important to you and effectively running your business.

  1. Is it engagement – helping you monitor and interact with your audience?
  2. What about scheduling – do you need the ability to recycle posts or is scheduling enough?
  3. Or reporting – what details do you need to analyze your performance?

In essence, you are hiring another teammate or employee. The use of tools you choose will impact how effectively you run your business. Dive further into the social media tools that piqued your interest and sign up for a free trial or two.

About Leonard Patterson

Leonard Patterson is a booking agent, certified content marketer, and the Founder/CEO of IndieBandCoach.com. He works closely with independent musicians, band leaders, and small businesses and shares actionable marketing ideas via his blog and social channels. You can follow Leonard on Instagram or connect with him on Twitter.
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