Alright here we are, back to a social media topic. I’ll tell you, it was hard to get motivated this week, the sun is out, and the temperature is rising – I didn’t have windows at my last job so being able to see outside is going to be a huge distraction this summer.
How can I be expected to work when it looks like this outside???
Anyway, now that I am here and focused(ish), let’s talk about scheduling platforms. Even if you post a few times a month a scheduling platform is a great thing to have. You can write content whenever you have the time and then you can go off and sit in the sun while they do the work for you! They can also be used for a lot of other tasks which I will get into in more detail below (plus others that I don’t currently have a need for). Before we get started I will say that I use the free versions of all of these, and the way I organize my content and my accounts can be probably be done more efficiently but I have it set up how I like it and how it works for me. Do as I say, not as I do. 😉
This is probably the one everyone knows best. I use it the most even though I do have some issues with it (it can be very slow at times). You can schedule everything, Instagram posts directly unless your image is the wrong ratio and you can also set up a dashboard to search hashtags, mentions etc to add to your news feed, retweet and help engage your online community. It’s easy to set up and if you just have the basic needs it can get you there.
I first started with Buffer so its what I am most comfortable with. I use it for Twitter and Instagram, but it does have other platform options. It also posts directly to Instagram and if your image is the wrong ratio it will send you a notification instead of just not letting you schedule it, like Hootsuite. Its free trial is only 10 posts per platform (Hootsuite is 30 across all your platforms) and it doesn’t have a dashboard but its posting page is simple and clean. It also sends you brief analytics once a week, so you can see how your posts are doing for free and without having to gather the data yourself.
Later (formally Latergram)
Later is what I started using before Buffer had an Instagram option. It can be used for many platforms, but I use it for Instagram and Twitter. It has 30 free posts per month for Instagram, and 50 for Twitter. It posts directly or sends you notifications like Buffer and you can search hashtags etc but only for Instagram. It does however give you the option to repost directly from the platform and schedule that repost which is a great option when you have Instagram posts you want to share on your account throughout your week.
Tweetdeck is a great platform that allows you to set up multiple accounts and see them all at once. This is what I use to look at all my news feeds – you can also use it for Lists, hashtags or word searches, mentions, notifications etc – all on Twitter only of course. You can schedule tweets here as well, from all your accounts and there doesn’t seem to be a limit (or it is very very high). The only tiny downside is if you want to schedule a retweet you have to add a comment, unlike Hootsuite where you can schedule a retweet with the “Edit” option.
You can also schedule posts directly on your Facebook page which is something I use a lot, especially when I run out of free posts on my platforms. When you write content, there is a drop-down menu next to “Post” (or it will ask you if you are using the app) and you can pick a time. It’s super straightforward and now, after the API and privacy changes, probably the best ways to post Facebook content because you can tag people in your posts (that is no longer allowed on scheduling platforms). Again, I have not yet reached a post limit and I can have quite a lot when I’m super on the ball. It’s basic and doesn’t offer much else but it does what it does very well.
There are a ton of other platforms out there that I don’t use but have heard about. I’ve signed up for a few of them when I’m looking for a specific thing but haven’t used them. As with analytics or content creation in general, it’s whatever works best for you, your clients and accounts. Set it up how you like, make sure it works and posts how you were hoping it would, and then head to the beach! Its summer!