Savvy and consistent use of social media is a major part of any successful business, online or other. And whether you use every social media channel you can, or only a couple, the aim is the same — to have real and meaningful interaction with your followers.
When you are a creative business owner, demands on your time are divided between the creative aspect and the actually running of the business. Utilizing social media scheduling tools is a great way to alleviate some of the pressure on your time. It allows you to share blog posts, new products or interesting news without constantly running to your computer for social media updates. Here are seven great social media scheduling tools that can help creative business owners manage their time and still make those meaningful connections with their followers and customers in the online world.
The biggest feature of CoSchedule is its integration with a variety of platforms including WordPress. Unlike other options, which require you to use their website or app, CoSchedule offers a plugin feature that gives you full access from your own dashboard. You can even schedule your sharing of blog posts to social media directly under each blog post once you’ve finished editing. Plus, using CoSchedule’s browser extensions makes it easier to share directly from any web page. With this tool, you also can connect EverNote, Google Docs and Google Calendar. CoSchedule’s prices start at $19 per month, or $180 for 12 months, which allows for one user and five social media channels.
Buffer is a good place to start if you want to try out a social media scheduling tool, but don’t want to commit to a monthly or annual plan. The free plan includes one social media channel (not Pinterest) and 10 scheduled posts per month. That’s enough to, say, schedule blog posts to share to your Facebook group, but if you want a little more, Buffer’s paid plans start at $10 per month allow 10 social media channels with 100 scheduled posts per channel.
Edgar is a different kind of social media scheduling tool. It can be used as a regular scheduling tool — with one post at a specific time — but most people use Edgar as a sort of robotic social media handler. When you add a blog post to Edgar, the tool keeps that blog post in a library, under specific categories such as “sewing tips” or “funny motivational memes” or whatever categories you set for your Edgar library. Once you set a schedule for what category of post to share when and where, Edgar then shares accordingly. Once it’s been posted, the update is returned to the library at the bottom of the queue, to be used at another point in the near or far future. The starter plan, which costs $49 per month, includes up to 10 channels and 1,000 updates.
Hootsuite is one of the original social media scheduling tools, and now includes more than 35 different networks and social media channels. The unique difference with Hootsuite is that you are able to not only schedule and post to social media from the Hootsuite dashboard, but also directly interact with your followers in the comments section of Facebook posts, or with Tweets. The free plan includes three free social media channels, basic analytics and scheduling one post at a time as opposed to bulk upload. Paid plans start at $9.99 per month and give you access to more users, up to 100 social platforms and advanced message scheduling options.
Previously known as Latergramme, Later is an Instagram scheduling tool that can be used to upload and schedule captioned photos and videos from either your computer or phone. Once the scheduled time has arrived, Later will send a notification from the phone app — you have to have the Later phone app on your phone — reminding you to open the post and manually share it to Instagram. Later also allows you to search and repost images from across Instagram. The free plan allows one user 30 photo posts per month to up to two accounts, plus the search and repost function. Paid plans start at $19 per month (or $192 per year), and include two users and up to 250 video and photo posts per month.
ScheduGram makes posting to Instagram just a little bit easier — when the scheduled time arrives, ScheduGram will automatically post to your Instagram account. Unlike Later, with ScheduGram, you no longer need to approve or manually post your photo or video to Instagram. You are able to manage multiple Instagram accounts at a time, plus have multiple team members accessing the same ScheduGram account. ScheduGram includes an image editor so that you can edit your image before you upload, and it even integrates with Canva. The pricing starts at $20 per month for one account with fewer than 10,000 followers, and increases based on how many accounts you are using and how many followers each account has. You receive a discount on ScheduGram if you pay annually instead of monthly.
Tailwind is a scheduling tool for Pinterest — and soon, Instagram — that is known for its Smart Pin Scheduling. This feature automatically schedules Pins for when your followers are most engaged on Pinterest. Tailwind not only allows for bulk Pin uploads and multi-board Pinning, but also provides Pinterest analytics, by tracking repins, comments and clicks. The month-to-month accounts, which cost $15 per month, allow for 400 Pins per month. The annual accounts, which cost $119.88 per year, have unlimited Pinning.
Final Thoughts on Social Media Scheduling
The point of social media is to interact and engage with our readers and followers. When you are scheduling posts ahead of time, it can be easy to just schedule and forget. It is vitally important to remember to take the time to check for — and respond to — any comments on your posts.
Another important thing to remember is the infamous and mysterious Facebook algorithm that determines the reach of each post. Images usually have a higher reach than a text or link post, and this is especially true in the craft industries, where followers are much more likely to be visually motivated due to their creative nature and love of the aesthetic. Despite the convenience of scheduling posts to a Facebook page using your chosen tool, using the Facebook scheduling feature will always have a higher reach than those you post using an outside app.
|Price||$19/month or $180/year||Free for 1 channel||$49/month||Free for 3 channels||Free for 30 posts/month||From $20 per month||$15/month or $119.88/year|
|Integrations||WordPress plugin, EverNote,
||Instagram, Facebook, DropBox,
|Other features||Use Bitly links||Browser extension||Browser extension||Social media analytics||Search & Repost||Auto posting||Browser extension|
Alyce is a self-confessed quilting math geek, pattern designer and blogger at Blossom Heart Quilts. She began to take this quilting thing seriously when her Aussie family moved to Japan for a few years, and the online quilting community became her lifeline to English-speaking people with similar interests. As a qualified primary school teacher, she now uses that teaching passion and knowledge to encourage and teach quilters and bloggers of all skill-levels through her website, patterns, quilt design ebook, and magazine projects and articles.