Social media is a key way for small businesses to reach their audience.
Most brands need to post every day, or at least regularly, if they want to appease the algorithm that dictates what shows up on people’s feeds. But coming up with new content and remembering to post it every day is difficult and time-consuming.
Taking the time to strategically plan out your social media content calendar is a good way to cut down on the time you spend coming up with post ideas. To cut down on posting time, you need a social media scheduling tool.
Social media scheduling platforms are websites or apps that allow you to create and schedule your social media posts ahead of time and it will automatically post them at the time you scheduled. Some platforms also include other tools, like post analytics or being able to answer direct messages all in one place.
Things To Consider
There are many things to consider when choosing a social media scheduling platform. The most important of which might be which social media sites it works with. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all fairly standard. LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok are on some platforms, but not all of them. Some even work with Google My Business. Make sure you know which sites your business posts on.
Along with that, it’s important to know how many social media accounts you want to schedule for. Some scheduling platforms only allow you to connect so many accounts, while other platforms might have a different price tier for a certain amount of accounts.
Pricing is also important to take into account. No scheduling platform is completely free. Some might be ‘freemium,’ where you can use most of the tools for free, but need to pay for certain features. Some platforms will have only one price, while other have different pricing tiers for individuals versus teams or based on how many accounts you connect.
Here, it may be relevant to consider who is going to be using this platform. Is it just you or just your marketing person, or will you have a team? Alternately, you might outsource your social media to a marketing firm, so you would need to decide how they would have access to the platform.
Finally, make sure the platform is easy for your or your marketing person to use. The point of using a social media scheduling tool is to make your job easier, not harder.
Social Media Scheduling Platforms
There are dozens of social media scheduling platforms out there. These are just a few.
Agorapulse starts at a free tier with one user and up to three connected accounts and has additional tiers ranging from $79-200 per month with additional users and connected accounts. Agorapulse connects to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google My Business.
BrandWatch has scheduling, analytic, and social listening tools. It connects with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok. You can reach out to them to negotiate a price and plan that fits your needs, or you can use their basic “Essentials” plan at $108 per month.
Buffer has analytics and landing page-building tools in addition to scheduling on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok. Buffer has a free tier that allows you to connect up to three social media accounts. Additional accounts will bump you up to a paid account, with each channel costing $6-12 per month depending on what features you want.
CoSchedule is a “work management software for marketers.” It has a free marketing calendar tool, but the scheduling tool and many other features are paid. Plans start at $29 per month, with scheduling available for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
CrowdFire not only has a post scheduling tool, it also has tools to share content from your own website and curate relevant outside articles to share to your accounts. CrowdFire posts to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. It has a free tier and paid tiers ranging from $7-75 per month.
Hootsuite is a big name in social media scheduling, with solid basic tools for scheduling and responding to messages across your accounts. It posts to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok. Price tiers range from $49-740 per month, depending on how many users, accounts, and extra features you want.
Later is a visuals-focused social media scheduling platform with extra tools to share related content, analyze post performance, and track click-through rates. It posts to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok. Pricing ranges from $15-80 per month based on how many accounts and users you’ll have and how many posts you can have scheduled at once.
Loomly has good basic tools, with analytics, an inbox, and more in addition to scheduling tools. It schedules to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Medium. Pricing ranges from $35-359 per month.
MavSocial is a social media scheduling, listening, and analytics tool that works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google My Business, and Tumblr. Pricing ranges from $19-199 per month, according to how many users and social media accounts you want.
MeetEdgar is female-founded and caters more to small businesses than marketing agencies. It works with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google My Business. They have $30 and $50 per month plans.
NapoleanCat has scheduling and analytics tools, as well as tools to help automate your interactions with your audience. It works with Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google My Business. Pricing is customized based on how many accounts and users you have but starts at 30 per month.
Onlypult is a scheduling and social listening tool that works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google My Business, and several non-US-based platforms. Plans range from $15-79 per month depending on how many accounts and features you need.
Planoly is another visuals-focused platform, with an emphasis on video content. It works with Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok but also allows you to share content from those platforms to Facebook and Twitter. Pricing for Planoly ranges from $13-43 per month.
Post Planner has curated content streams as well as a scheduling tool, allowing you to easily share trending and relevant content. Pricing ranges from $6-80 per month. Post Planner works with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.
Recurpost has scheduling, reposting, and analytics tools for social media. It works with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google My Business. Price tiers range from $25-80 per month.
Sendible has social media scheduling, optimization, and analytics tools. It supports posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google My Business. Sendible pricing starts at $29 per month and goes up to $400 per month.
SocialBee is another big-name social media scheduling platform that is integrated with Canva’s design tools. It works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and Google My Business. Prices range from $19-79 per month.
Tailwind is a social media and email marketing tool that posts to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. It has a “forever free” account and paid tiers range from $10-40 per month.
Zoho Social is a social media management platform from CRM platform Zoho. It connects with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google My Business. Pricing ranges from $15-65 per month.
Make Your Decision
There are so many different social media scheduling platforms out there, and each one is slightly different from the others. Take the time to really think about what features your business needs and what you might find useful in the future.
Many platforms offer free trials. Take full advantage of this – get to know the tools available to you and schedule a week or two of posts to get a feel for the workflow. If a platform doesn’t have the tools you need or if you find it difficult to use, don’t use it. These tools are supposed to make your job easier, not more difficult.
Once you’ve found a social media scheduling platform that meets your needs and is within your budget, start using it. Just remember that if a platform no longer meets the needs of your business, you can choose another platform at any time.