The Best Tools for Scheduling Social Media Posts — and Why You Need Them
It’s no secret that social media is a major tool for getting your ideas and products out in the world. In fact, an estimated 50% of sales across 14 leading industries come from social media. There’s so much that goes into developing the perfect social media presence — from designing a consistent look for your posts to doing research on the best hashtags to get your content seen by a wider audience, crafting your social media content can take up a lot of time. And don’t forget — after spending so long working on the visuals and copy, you still need to actually upload your post. It might be tempting to just throw your post online right after you’ve settled on a final product, but it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a technique to knowing when to post, too.
The time and day you post your content at is key to boosting your engagement. And if you’re already working so hard on your content, why not take the extra step and make sure to upload it when the most eyes will be able to see it? Since the average person is online for about 2.5 hours a day, you could have different windows throughout the day to reach your audience. In general, recent research has shown that engagement levels vary from platform to platform. Twitter and Facebook posts tend to perform better on weekday mornings, Instagram engagement tends to peak before or after lunchtime, and YouTube videos posted around 4 p.m. often see higher view counts.
However, there are certain tools that give you insights to when your personal audience is most active on certain platforms, and you can use this information to your posting advantage. Some social platforms have these features built directly into them. Instagram’s Audience section of its Insights offers a breakdown of what days and hours someone’s audience is the most engaged using data from the past 7 or 30 days. Alternatively, third-party apps such as Squarelovin or Twitonomy offer similar analytics. You can use this information to hone in on the days and times that you might want to post. Posting just before your audience is actually active can allow your post to be one of the first they see when logging in, boosting the number of people your content reaches and increasing your engagement rates.
But what happens if you aren’t available to physically post and type up a caption at a specific time every day? And even if you think you may be — life happens. A last-minute meeting or an unexpected responsibility shouldn’t mean your entire social media strategy has to be thrown off track. Although managing your social media does command a large chunk of time, it doesn’t have to consume your entire day. That’s where scheduling your social media posts comes in. There are dozens of programs available to help you identify and manage your posts across one or multiple platforms, resulting in higher engagement rates for the content you work so hard on.
One of the best tools for scheduling posts on Instagram is Later. This website offers plenty of free features, as well as some premium plans for those interested in publishing more than 30 posts a month or adding multiple users to the platform. At the most basic level, Later allows you to schedule one month’s worth of content on Instagram. If you’re lacking inspiration, it even lets you find relevant content through hashtag searches, user-generated content or its stock photo library that you can reshare onto your profile.
Another really useful aspect of Later is its Linkin.bio feature. If your brand sells many different products or often refers to different blog posts or articles, setting up this feature lets you link each individual Instagram post to a different page on your website. This way, you can direct your audience to exactly where you want them to go instead of making them search through your website to find it. Later also offers analytics with up to three months of data, so you can look at things such as how your audience has grown over time, when they are most active, which posts have performed the best and what hashtags you should be using. You can take all of this information and tailor your future posts to better reflect your audience’s habits and interests, serving them better and ultimately benefiting your brand.
TweetDeck is a scheduling platform that is actually owned by Twitter, making it a fairly intuitive product that isn’t too hard to learn if you’re already familiar with the site. On TweetDeck, you’re able to customize your dashboard with columns showing your timeline, messages, mentions, current trends and more. This allows you to have easy access to the most important things on Twitter all in one screen. For example, being able to see what most of your audience is responding to — or what’s currently trending online — can help you understand how to adjust your upcoming content. As far as scheduling goes, you’re able to set content to post even years into the future, and it lets you know that even if TweetDeck is offline when you scheduled your post, it will still send. You can also manage multiple Twitter accounts through TweetDeck, so if you have more than one brand you can easily switch between them.
Despite Facebook Creator Studio offering tools for scheduling posts and tracking analytics, the user interface isn’t always seamless. An alternative to this built-in tool is RecurPost. Like the Creator Studio, RecurPost lets you schedule Facebook posts and track the impressions and other engagements on your existing posts. However, RecurPost also offers several other features that Creator Studio doesn’t. For example, you’re able to bulk schedule posts with RecurPost. This feature allows you to schedule multiple posts at once, which can be a huge time saver if you have a lot of content to post. Another plus of RecurPost is its Hashtag Recommendation feature, which analyzes the most relevant hashtags for your content and audience that will allow you to reach more people and increase your engagement.
While these were just some of the many scheduling tools out there for the main three social media platforms, there are plenty more on the market for every social site your business may be using. For example, Tailwind specializes in Pinterest posting, and LinkedIn posts can be scheduled in advance with apps such as Sprinklr. Knowing your audience and where they are can help you decide which platforms you primarily want to focus on to maximize your brand’s reach.
Some programs even offer the ability to schedule posts across multiple platforms, all from the same place. One such program is Hootsuite. With the free version of this program, you can manage up to two social accounts across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest. Upgrading your plan gives you access to managing even more of your social accounts and allows more than one user to use the platform at a time. Plus, you can leave comments or assign posts to certain team members. You can access all of your messages across all accounts in one straightforward inbox and schedule unlimited posts, including bulk scheduling.
Platforms like Hootsuite are ideal for those with brands that are very active on several social platforms. The key to navigating such a busy yet important element of your business — social media marketing — is organization, and these tools are built with your needs in mind.
Ready … set … schedule!
The great part of having so many options for scheduling tools is that you have the freedom to explore what works best for you and your brand. Depending on the needs of your business and audience, you might want different features in a scheduling app, such as messaging or the ability to add team members to the platform. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different programs until you find the right program for you. And no matter which you decide in the end, almost all of these great platforms come equipped with certain analytics tools that can help boost your posting habits to the next level. Learning how to read these analytics and understanding what it means for your audience is one of the most powerful ways to use digital marketing to your advantage.
And while the point of scheduling social media posts is to save you some time, the entire process can still feel overwhelming when you have so much on your plate. Between coming up with new content ideas and looking through all those analytics, you might still feel like you need a bit of help. If this sounds like your situation, let the specialists take care of it — Creative Juice can help you through your entire social media journey. Reach out to us here to discuss how we can assist you, from social strategy to branding to getting the engagement you’ve always dreamed of. 🍑