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Having a strong brand presence on social media has become essential to your Digital Marketing efforts. Choosing the day, week and hour is crucial when promoting your content, and luckily there are social media scheduling tools to make things much easier.
A strong presence on social media is a sign of trust and acts as an endorsement for your product or service. But to succeed with social media you must be reactive and proactive with your followers. Countless studies and statistics show positive trends in customer engagement and response depending on the time of communication. It can be difficult to plan your day to post content on social media at the optimum time to gain maximum exposure, so one way to make this process easier is to plan and schedule your content promotion using any of these five recommended scheduling platforms.
Hootsuite has a special place in my heart, likely because it’s the first social media management platform that I used at my very first job as a Marketing Director. I would hand draw a chart with each social media platform and then list the basic content for each day so that I had a quick reference and didn’t repeat-post the same thing. This was until I discovered Hootsuite, and my life as a frantic Twitter bird instantly changed.
So what does the Hootsuite free plan include?
- Manage 3 social profiles in one place
- Schedule 30 posts in advance
- Generate leads with social contests
The free plan also includes basic analytics for tracking followers and various growth and content statistics, and two RSS feed integrations. Not too shabby!
You have to go a long way to beat Buffer. The free tool allows you to schedule 10 social updates at once, and they also have a paid version that allows unlimited scheduling. If you are really struggling for content, the tool also gives ready-made updates that you are able to use on your own profiles that link to relevant industry news.
Buffer also includes a time-saving bookmarklet so that when you come across an interesting and relevant news story on the web, clicking on the bookmarklet instantly creates an update that includes the page title and URL you are browsing, with the ability to add a personal touch to the update.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan in order to access link shortening and tracking, as well as their RSS Feed feature. Their paid plans range from $10 to $399 per month.
SocialOomph allows you to make changes to Twitter. You are also able to set up alerts for keywords to track, which will email a summary of usage every day. This feature could be useful for finding out whether people are discussing your brand or product and if they are having a positive experience with your company. The tracking capabilities also extend to URL shortening, where you can monitor the number of users clicking on links in your tweets. As with Hootsuite, you’re able to use multiple Twitter accounts on SocialOomph.
One of the main benefits of using SocialOomph is the ability to make mass changes to Twitter, such as deleting lots of old Direct Messages at once, or if necessary, deleting every previous Tweet from your account. This could be useful if you’re looking to overhaul your feed without losing followers.
4. Social Pilot
If you’re an agency in need of tools for social media management, Social Pilot may be your best bet! This social media management tool will allow you to do manage multiple client social media profiles at once and do things such as bulk schedule posts in various queues, collaborate with team members, manage clients, utilize browser extensions, etc. Their free plan includes 3 connected profiles, 10 posts per day, and 30 posts per queue.
If this doesn’t sound like enough for your agency, start a 14-day free trial with one of their more robust plans, which range between $10 to $100 per month.
Instagram is a strange beast when it comes to social media scheduling tools. That is, third-party solutions which publish directly to Instagram automatically are prohibited by the platform. Although Instagram automation is possible among other social media scheduling tools, brands can’t approach Instagram like they would Facebook or Twitter.
Tools such as Later effectively allow brands to schedule Instagram content through a clever workaround. Users essentially “plan” their posts in advance of publishing and are sent real-time text notifications to send those posts live. Since Instagram only allows for publishing via mobile, this technique stays within the platform’s best practices.
Organization Can Make All the Difference
Later is an ideal option for brands specifically working with visual content and focusing heavily on growing their Instagram presence. Additional features such as real-time post previews, hashtag curation, and basic analytics help brands save time publishing to Instagram while also uncovering opportunities to optimize their posts. Organization is one of the keys to success in marketing, so if you are not managing your social platforms with a social media management tool, that needs to change today.
Not only will using a social media management tool make your life substantially easier, but it also doesn’t need to go through rounds of budgeting approval since you have these robust, free tools out there to help you accomplish all of your social marketing goals!
Which free social media scheduling tool do you think will best suit your company?
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