One of the quickest ways business owners can save time with social media marketing is to schedule certain tasks and posts in advance with the help of free and paid tools. Most of the tools in this list will help you queue all your social media posts and automatically post them for you at scheduled times. They will also allow you to see and get an overview of all your social accounts from one dashboard (instead of having to log in to all your different accounts).
The more advanced tools in this list offer additional benefits like calculating and analysing your social media return on investment, monitoring and researching brand mentions and keywords, and integrating with CRM software. It’s not necessary to use all of these tools, but you should be able to find at least one that adds value to your business and saves you time.
Everypost has a simple interface and lets you connect your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Google+ accounts. Once you’ve logged in, you can type up posts and save them to be sent out in the future at a scheduled time or be posted immediately. Everypost searches for images from Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest that you can modify to create your own unique visual images to accompany your posts. It also has an inbuilt function that allows you to shorten URLs (very handy for Twitter especially). Everypost offers five different pricing plans (one of which is free) depending on the level of features you require.
Buffer is the veteran of this list; it’s been around for a while and is still popular today for good reason. It has all the simple post scheduling functions you would expect plus an impressive level of analytics to help generate rich reports about your social media marketing and conversions. Buffer also has a browser extension that you can install that lets you save great content you find online so you can share it later. It also comes as a mobile app.
Sendible is a great tool for teams who share social media responsibilities. You can compose and schedule content for both social media and your company blog, and Sendible will provide you with customised recommendations on the best time to post for optimal engagement. It also comes with a content calendar tool, and lets you assign tasks to different members of your team. It integrates seamlessly with a number of other platforms that you may already use in your business including WordPress, Blogspot, Canva, Dropbox and Google Drive.
MavSocial lets you manage most of the usual social media accounts (with the exception of Pinterest and Instagram), and also lets you post to Chinese social media networks such as RenRen and YouKu. So, if you’re a company that does business in China this tool is likely to be great for you. MavSocial also has partnerships with stock photo sites like Getty Images and BigStock which can help you find high-quality images to boost your posts. Additional features include an in-built photo editing tool, content planning functions and the ability to create and export reports on your social media performance.
One of the limitations of many of the other great tools in this list is that most do not let you pre-schedule pins for Pinterest. So, if Pinterest is one of the main social media platforms your business uses, you will need to use an additional tool such as ViralTag. ViralTag posts to Pinterest, as well as Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Facebook. Simply upload your images, and enter a bulk description and link or customise the message for each platform (most recommended). This tool integrates with Canva, Picasa, Dropbox and RSS feeds, and their Pro Plans start at $29US a month for up to 10 social accounts, with a free 7-day trial.
Grum is about the only tool I’m aware of that lets you schedule Instagram posts from your desktop and not your phone. If you don’t mind scheduling your Instagram posts on your phone, this tool probably doesn’t offer a huge amount of additional benefits, but if you like to be able to set up your Instagram schedule on your desktop this one is for you.
All businesses have different needs and different customer bases. Therefore, the best tool for you will depend on the platforms that your audience is active on and your individual circumstances. Do your own research and take advantage of the free trial periods that some of these tools offer to see if they add value and save you time.