I've spent a lot of time finding the perfect social media marketing time management plan. A LOT of time.
Pretty much every tool I've tried has something the previous tool didn't, but is lacking in something that the previous tool had.
And there are so many that it's easy to get bogged down in the minutiae. Obviously costs are important, but most have a variety of payment plans to fit even the most frugal budget.
If you're anything like me you probably find it a bit of a drag to schedule, curate, read, and all the other daily social media prep required to keep your pages ticking over nicely.
Not to mention the constant presentation changes to your Tweets, Facebook posts, etc., to keep them fresh and engaging.
And some say that social media marketing isn't a full-time job! But that's for another post.
So, anyway, I thought I'd write down which I've used and why they worked (or didn't) for me.
They're all great tools, but I think I've finally landed on the one that fulfills my needs, for the moment. So here goes:
The go-to scheduling tool for the newbie.
It's probably the best-known, too. And, let's be honest, it's pretty cool, especially if you really don't have budget for this kind of thing.
It lets you schedule up-to-10 posts for a time that suits you (or, more importantly, your audience).
The option to upgrade isn't expensive either and this let's you schedule as many posts as you like. This means that you can get a ton of content in place to go out to the big hitters: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and so on.
It's strength lies in its simplicity.
It's pretty much just a scheduling tool and nothing else, aside from some basic engagement analytics.
It's the perfect starting point if you're getting into scheduling content, but if you want a bit more then you'll probably move on once you've got the hang of it.
Much like Buffer in terms of analytical info, but way ahead when it comes to scheduling capabilities, Post Planner offers something that the time poor (or disorganised!) will regard as essential. Content recycling.
More and more scheduling tools are including this most valuable of functions.
Essentially, it takes you most recent post and reschedules it once it goes live so it can be used again in the next free slot.
Of course, you'll need to spend time setting up your 'go live' times, but once this initial drudgery is complete and you've loaded in your content, you only need to sit back and watch it go.
The other string to Post Planner's bow is that function that allow the user to curate and post content from around the web via the tool, which is very useful, if a little fiddly. The other downside is PP only supports Twitter and Facebook.
My biggest complaint about Post Planner is that it doesn't allow the user to pay month-to-month.
Once you've trialed the software and paid up, you're in for the long-term, which is annoying as I often find something that doesn't work for me long after the trial has ended.
Sendible is definitely a more complete social media management tool than the others mentioned here. Closer to Hootsuite than Buffer and with an analytics, monitoring and reporting arm it's definitely edging closer to the bigger game than merely just scheduling.
The software is set up with an inbox that displays all messages (interactions on your social media pages that you haven't read) and you can interact with your audience accordingly. In fact, it's hard to fault.
It even has an app that allows you to publish on-the-go
Personally, I didn't really like the look of Sendible. That's not to say it's ugly, I just didn't take to it for some reason. It's a strange thing to admit, I know, but there you go.
However, if you're looking for an up-and-coming tool which covers all the bases, Sendible is hard to beat.
I think this is a fantastic tool and is probably just a couple of tweaks away from being perfect for my needs.
As with all social scheduling tools, it takes a while to get the set up in place, scheduling, RSS feeds, posts uploaded, etc., but once this is done this great looking tool does the rest.
To be honest, I almost enjoyed this most laborious of tasks - particularly as I can schedule by filter (My Blog Posts, Tips, Promotional, Use Once, and so on - you can even create your own). Post Planner also does this, but the filtering offers less options.
I love that new content from my RSS feeds is one click away from being scheduled on whichever channels I pre-chose. One click! Fantastic!
In terms of tweaks, I do wish it was possible to drag-and-drop content as with most of the other tools I've tried.
It's definitely sorely missed, here.
A Post Planner/Sendible-style 'move to top' function for content you want posted next would be great, too. Still, relatively minor quibbles aside, I'm a big fan. Meet Edgar, if you're listening - you know what to do.
Stop the press!
Now, this little number (still in beta, but you can get on the list and live on the tool pretty quickly) does fill in the Meet Edgar blanks. Scheduling - yep! Content curation - yep! Drag-and-drop content - yep! Auto-reschedule - yep! I can't recommend this enough, so check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.