Do you come up with your best ideas at all the most inconvenient times? Or do you wish your social media presence was more consistent? It’s not easy to plan, coordinate and link your social media messages without the right tools or a significant time investment.
Companies looking to leverage their social media platforms for business building can start with strategically scheduled posts and updates to keep fans engaged. Using a social media management platform to stay organized and on track for success is the way to go, so consider some of these top choices.
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Infographic courtesy of Mitt Ray/Social Marketing Writing.
BufferBuffer offers a clean, simple interface to schedule out tweets months in advance. With one click you can share content and schedule posts via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+. Unlike some other scheduling platforms, users can set up an automatic posting schedule for specific times a day without scheduling each update individually. This allows you keep to a consistent social media schedule all week long without worrying about micro-managing the delivery.
Buffer also allows you to use bit.ly, the well-known link shortener, that assists you with link tracking and research. It also features good analytics about the reach of your posts. Whenever you are on a page you want to share, just click the Buffer icon and add it as a tweet or FB update to your queue. Buffer isn’t a dashboard that shows you other people’s content but you can do some cool things like create and schedule posts via email and post to Facebook groups where you are an administrator. Buffer also offers lots of apps and extensions allowing you to use it in multiple places online.
IFTTTIFTTT (which stands for “If This, Then That”) is an easy-to-use Internet automation site that saves times by managing social media and other tasks through what they call “recipes,” meaning, no code or scripting required. Through building commands via icons, you connect any major network or channel together to automate sharing on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, email, SMS, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Instapaper, Flickr, Foursquare, Vimeo, and more. You can even browse other people’s “recipes” for cool automation and best practices so you don’t have to create from scratch. For example, a “recipe” can help you send out a tweet automatically every time you publish a new blog post or receive an email when your favorite blog, online magazine, or site has a new story.
HootSuiteHootsuite is a dashboard and one of the best out there. With Hootsuite’s free app, you can schedule and maintain fewer than five social profiles including Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. You can also schedule updates for multiple channels at the same time if you want to keep your messaging consistent across your social media profiles.
If you upgrade to the premium version, Hootsuite lets you schedule to 35 different social media channels to help launch campaigns and listen to what your audience is tweeting about. For example, companies like LifeLock can monitor conversations about avoiding travel scams to give customers identity theft tips, offering a message that is relevant to the audience. Hootsuite has cons as well. The robust analytic reports require a costly upgrade. Searching for Twitter followers can also be a slow and awkward process and slow down your marketing campaign productivity. Some people find using Hootsuite as a social media dashboard and monitoring platform while combining Buffer with IFTTT as scheduling and content curation tools.
SocialOomphSocialOomph started out a service for Twitter users but has now expanded to Facebook and LinkenIn as well (although, linking to these other social media accounts comes with a fee). Use SocialOomph with Twitter to schedule tweets and look through your direct mail inbox. The platform can also add Twitter followers for you and avoid spam followers. SocialOomph also gives marketers the power to track keywords, save and reuse drafts to speed up your productivity and purge your tweets as needed.
Unlike other social media platforms, SocialOomph gives you the power to send direct messages to new followers and replicate the followers of others. This can help identify new followers and potential customers in your market by seeing what your competition is up to. The ability to quickly schedule out posts gives companies who want to take inspiration from Old Spice’s quirky and high volume tweet campaign more flexibility and empowerment. What’s great is SocialOomph send you daily digests too which is nice if you are getting a lot of Twitter mentions.
Sprout SocialSprout Social offers a single stream inbox designed to help you never miss a message, and tools to seamlessly post, collaborate and schedule messages to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The platform also has monitoring tools and rich analytics to help you visualize important metrics. Like some of the other tools, you can draft, queue and send messages to all your social media accounts and use their powerful analytics to follow your followers. With Salesforce and Zendesk integration plus features for collaboration, it’s an excellent tool for working across team and for managing customer relationships.
EdgarRelatively new to the scheduling market, Edgar stands out from the crowd by saving your social media updates so you can easily reuse them later. There's also a convenient library so you can categorize and store your updates and images to grab when you need them. And you can create categories across any platform including Facebook and LinkedIn. The categorization options enable users to figure out when your fan base is the most active. This can save hours of scheduling and guess work by identifying exactly when your Twitter posts are the most widely received and effective.
Edgar works to simplify the scheduling process so users can schedule, send a tweet and let the platform do the rest. Edgar earns raving fans, but is expensive in comparison to other tools like Hootsuite. And if you want to use the platform to do more than just tweet, you won't find LinkedIn or Google Plus capability posting on Edgar. The best part about Edgar is it recycles your posts and so if you run out of content, you don’t miss a beat with your presence, Edgar will publish one of your older posts automatically. You might even get to enjoy a worry-free vacation while Edgar does all the work growing your presence.