As a small business owner, you need a presence online. And it needs to be consistent. But that’s so hard when you wear all the hats in your business.
Creating—and scheduling—social media content in bulk is the key. All you need is the right set of social media scheduling tools to get you started.
So what’s the best tool out there? What do you pick? Well, that depends. (Great answer, right!?) But it really does depend. On what your goals are, what social platforms (and how many) you use, what your budget is and other factors.
Like any business decision, it’s really up to you to do your research so you can find the best scheduling tools for you and your business. Never mind what everyone else is doing. Personal preference is a huge factor when choosing the right tool for your business.
I’m going to help get you started. Here are some of the tools that fellow business owners and clients have used in the past.
With a free option, Hootsuite is a good starter scheduler. You can schedule up to three social profiles and view basic analytics. The paid version starts at $20 per month with the ability to see real-time analytics and auto scheduling for up to 10 social profiles.
This is kind of the grand-mom of scheduling software as it’s been around the block a few times, but some critics say that the interface is difficult to navigate if you want to reschedule or use the scheduler to interact with your audience. But on the plus side, Hootsuite offers free training for its platform and social media in general.
With a handy Chrome plug-in, Buffer makes it super easy to schedule curated content (content you’re pulling from other sources). When you find a great blog post or website, simply click the plug-in in the top right corner of your browser and voila! It opens the app and you can type in your custom message. Buffer also has a free option for one social account per platform and $10 per month for up to 10 social accounts per platform (and 100 social posts per profile).
If you’re a WordPress user, CoSchedule is by far the easiest way to schedule social posts for your blog. It’s a direct plugin that you use within each blog post, allowing you to schedule one blog across multiple platforms (and even schedule the same post multiple times). The app also has a Chrome plugin to schedule curated content, however we find it to be a bit clunky.
If a beautifully curated Instagram feed is on your dream board, then Plann is for you. It only works with Instagram, but it allows you to plan your feed in advance for visitors to your profile see only the images you want, in the order you want. And the price is right, starting at $3 per month for one account and all available features.
Pinterest is huge today, and many online business owners are finding that new clients are coming from this very visual platform. BoardBooster is designed specifically for you if you’re looking for clean boards, scheduled pins and a clear strategy. Plans are $10 and less per month for 1,000 or fewer pins per month, making it a reasonable investment depending on your Pinterest goals.
If both Instagram and Pinterest are on your social media goals, Tailwind could be a good choice. It has a browser extension that lets you easily schedule multiple posts and optimize your schedules depending on your audience activity. Analytics and insights let you know how your pins and posts are doing. Pricing starts at $9 per month.
Last but not least is this guy! It is basically all of the above rolled into one. It is similar to the very high priced app, Meet Edgar. Why use SmarterQueue? Here are the highlights:
- A drag and drop visual calendar and easily organized categories
- Get more engagement and reach more people by recycling your high performing posts later on
- Find content from across the web and schedule your curated posts in advance
- Try it out for 14 days for free
Of course, your scheduler of choice depends on what social accounts you’re using, how you’re using them and what your end goals are for your business and your social media. I recommend doing your research, then trying out the schedulers during a free trial period to determine what’s going to work for you in the long-term.