Growing your social media is key to a successful business, but scheduling posts across the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can easily become overwhelming and somewhat of a chore. Consistency and performance analysis are two factors to consider, especially with the aim of reaching our audiences and achieving the highest levels of engagement.
Time saving in our fast-paced world, and especially in the business world where there are many responsibilities and commitments pulling us here and there, is also needed. But how can you balance these requirements without spending hours upon hours, and potentially embarking on a full-scale marketing degree? Simple, use the technological advances that are now available to streamline this aspect of your business.
There are a substantial amount of tools out there, so let’s not get overwhelmed by that either. We have chosen a few commonly used social media scheduling apps and given you a snapshot of the varied features and benefits to help get you started.
Choosing Your Social Media Platforms?
Before you decide which scheduling (and analytics tool) will best serve you, you need to decide which social media platforms you wish to have your presence, bearing in mind the reach on each and how many you want to actually monitor and maintain.
Facebook has its own scheduling and analysis tools. However, it is updated frequently, making scheduling difficult to stay on top of manually. In-built scheduling tools are a chosen path by some, with people dedicating time up front to understand them and learn how to navigate them to get the best results. Instagram now allows business pages to schedule their posts, however, it is not directly available with the product itself. The likes of Grum and Later specialise in this, continually tweaking their products to align with Instagram’s application-programming interface.
But if you want to get your brand out there to as many people within your target audience as possible, the following apps will assist you greatly with efficiency in doing this.
Comprehensive Scheduling and Analytical Apps
In the vast world of automation tools, Agora Pulse seems to have the most comprehensive range of features. It enables you to directly post planned and recurring content across six different social media networks, while tracking the performance of each with detailed reports. The app is built for team collaboration too, meaning your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube will be consistent, all while saving you lots of time.
Hootsuite comes in a close second in the popularity stakes. It enables individual users or agencies handling numerous accounts to easily schedule posts across all major social media platforms, also letting them add new accounts and account managers effortlessly. The training program is an added bonus that doesn’t just address and guide the use of their tools, but social media marketing overall.
Buffer is another app built for scheduling and managing posts across the most widely used channels. Not only does Buffer post your content automatically, it actually tells you the best time of day to post. Through comprehensive analytics, it tracks your links and gauges what you’re putting out to your followers, showing what content gets the best momentum and engagement.
Also worthy of note is SproutSocial. Despite not having quite the same scope as the social media platforms mentioned above, SproutSocial, a fully fledged social media management software program, is comprehensive in its own right. It has a strong focus on customer support and client engagement, with communication in real-time, social listening, brand advocating and competitor monitoring.
Planable and Grum
At Archipelago Communications, we use Planable and Grum, as these are most suited to the social media platforms we use, the content we produce for clients, and the audiences we’re speaking to. These two tools enable us to not only schedule, but most importantly from our perspective, have an approval function that acts as a verification process. It is a quick, simple and literally a one-click approval process. Their user-friendly interface also allow us to comfortably switch between different accounts and social channels as required.
Tips for Scheduling Success
Speak directly to your audience
Having explored all of the above, you still need an element of personalisation in your posts. It is so easy to fall into the trap of broadcasting to your audience as opposed to engaging with them. Ensure there is also ‘in the moment’ and sincere content reaching out to them from time to time. Ask them questions, converse, help them to feel a part of the community you have created in your industry and niche. Use photos and content that speaks to your audience on a one-to-one level.
Don’t schedule too far ahead
Also be mindful of scheduling too far ahead, as flexibility and awareness around changing trends and your audience’s receptiveness is also important to monitor. As in all aspects of your business, you need to be adaptable and ready to change course (even slightly) based on the current mood and circumstances in the world and internet ether.
Learn from your experiments
Finally, trial and error really is the only way. We all learn from experience and over time you will get to know what works best for you and your business. In the meantime, we hope we have simplified the deluge of information available when researching your options and best places to start.
Feel free to contact us, if you have any struggles or need any advice on your website and content needs — firstname.lastname@example.org.