I took a community poll last week and the two big questions I got the fastest were, “How do I make my life easier with content?” and “How do I schedule the content when I find it?”
So, by popular request, we’re talking about life-changing social media scheduling tools today. These are aside from scheduling in the platforms themselves. Facebook has one of the most intuitive scheduling tools, and I love it. It’s easy to see at a glance. If you haven’t been using Facebook to schedule your Facebook posts, I highly recommend it. The drawback is that it’s not available for everything. You can’t do it for your groups, so what do you do? Well, let’s talk about scheduling tools.
This is one of my favorites, and I’ve probably been using it longer than any other tool. Not only does it allow you to have ease of scheduling, it also allows you to monitor your analytics. The dashboard it uses to monitor your analytics is also really easy to read. Hootsuite can schedule Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and WordPress. Scheduling for three platforms is free, but you’ll need to purchase a plan for more than three platforms. If you do purchase, you can have an individual account for $29 a month that allows you to schedule up to 10 platforms.
One of my favorite things about this tool in particular is that it allows you to customize your dashboard. I am super visual; I like to see everything at a glance. I am not Twitter friendly – it’s my least favorite platform. But it’s easier to navigate through Hootsuite because it makes Twitter look much more visual. I can pull up my dashboard in Hootsuite and see at a glance anything that’s mentioned my name on Twitter or sent me a direct message or replied to one of my tweets at a glance. Very easy; I love that.
When I set up my Hootsuite, I set up my whole page with my dashboards scheduled. I can see what’s going to which platform, so if this post is going to LinkedIn on Monday, I may not want it to post on Facebook until the following Tuesday. But you can see all that at once, which makes it so much easier to schedule. It’s very easy to go in and change your scheduling options – edit the date, edit the time.
Hootsuite also has something cool I have not found in any other platform: keywords. You can pick three keywords that are specific to your industry, and it will pull tweets that are specific to those keywords and give you a list. You can go through and click the ones you want to use and it will auto post them at the best available times for your profile. That’s awesome! If you’re going to do Twitter, you have to do multiple tweets a day to be successful. That’s time consuming. To save that time, use Hootsuite.
Hootsuite does Instagram, but it doesn’t automatically schedule them. It sends you a push, then you have to schedule it yourself.
We use Planoly for Instagram. I love the way it looks, because it’s easy to see everything in one swoop. It gives me all my numbers at a glance and will auto post. If you have it set up to your account, it will actually publish for you. If it’s not connected directly to your account, once the grid is done you can go into the tool and click on “post.” It takes all of your wording and your image and puts it into your Instagram feed. I love it because when you’re scheduling Instagram there has to be a flow; there has to be continuity to your posting and it needs to be branded.
When you go into Planoly it shows you the whole grid at one time, which is so much easier. I can drag my cursor across the already completed part of my grid, the stuff that has been posted, and see how many likes it’s gotten. So I can see what worked well and what didn’t. It allows me to give my clients access to the account so they can see what we’re going to post, and they can make edits if they want to. Plus, when you are crafting a caption in Instagram, it is challenging. You want it to be right. Planoly allows me to put my information in there, including my spacers and hashtags; it’s perfect. I don’t have to do this big messy copy and paste, I just push the post out to Instagram. Planoly is $9.99 a month.
Tailwind does Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest is the least appreciated platform, just out there in the cold, but it’s the boss for referrals. If you are blogging, if you are spending the time that it takes to blog, you can go into Tailwind and schedule the images from your blog to automatically post to Pinterest.
The more you dig into Pinterest, the more you realize that the first five pins after midnight are your highest hit. That’s a big deal. If you have five or ten images that you’re posting, you can schedule two of them a day for your Pinterest account and make them a priority. To be successful at Pinterest you’ve got to be pinning several times a day. Tailwind is $9.99 a month.
I like Edgar because it’s intuitive and allows you to recycle your content. The key to really awesome content is to use it again. However, one of my big pet peeves is to take the same piece of content and post it to all the platforms at the same time. That drives me nuts, so don’t do that. But Edgar allows you to have a more intuitive feel for your account. If you use a humor post and it’s awesome, it’s going to be just as awesome in three months. This allows you to reuse that content. It’s a great way to recycle so you don’t have to constantly come up with new content.
Edgar is a scheduling tool that allows you to create categories. Let’s say you’ve created a content schedule for yourself and you have ten different topics. You can go and drop content that you like into each of these topic “buckets” so when you go into your tool and you schedule your information, you know that Monday is X topic day and Tuesday is Y topic day. You can go and schedule it to pull information from the different buckets and it will rotate it based on how often it’s used.
Now, you can do specific scheduling with Edgar, too. It’s very intuitive and learns more about you as you use it. It will tell you what does the best. When you’re creating content, if you can do it in batches, it’s so much faster. You can sit down and knock out a whole month at a time for Facebook, and then you can use that content across other platforms. Edgar is more complicated, so if you’re going to invest the $49 month, take the time to use it.
Those are my big four scheduling tools. If you just want to focus on Facebook and Instagram, Facebook scheduling and Planoly are what you need. If you want to do Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, Hootsuite is a great tool. Use the tools you need most to make it work best for you.