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As entrepreneurs, we quickly realize that social media is a huge part of growing our businesses. And keeping up with social media, especially if you’re active across several platforms – can easily become a full-time job in itself.

Fortunately there are scheduling tools available – which allow you to batch your social media work and appear active while allowing you to stay productive on other tasks and not be consumed by social media (hello, rabbit hole!)

Here is an in-depth guide to scheduling tools, ranged by budget options.

Free or low-cost options:

HOOTSUITE BUFFER SOCIALOOMPH POST PLANNER
FEATURES

  • Geosearch (allows you to find out what people in a certain area are saying)
  • Filter by Klout (allows you to find out what influencers are saying)
  • Categorize influencers by list
  • Hootlet (allows you to keep reading an article while sharing it with your followers without leaving your browser)
  • Suggested Content (curated content that is posted on your social media sites)
  • App directory

FEATURES

  • Photo and video uploader
  • Pablo (allows users to create images in a few seconds and then share with social media accounts)
  • Browser extension for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox
  • Buffer’s Suggestions provide curated content
  • Has a partnership with Tweriod, a service that that suggests times for Twitter posts by analyzing your account

 

FEATURES

  • Secure Twitter access without using passwords
  • Save and reuse drafts
  • Clean up DM inbox
  • Unlimited number of Facebook  and LinkedIn accounts
  • Search tool for finding the right users

 

FEATURES

  • Viral content feature (see the most viral content from pages in your industry then use them for improved engagement)
  •  Set a target audience for your post
  • Post links as images
  • Status idea engine feature (helps you post quick updates using unlimited status ideas to increase engagement)
  • Trending content feature
  • Post content to several groups or pages at once

PROS

  • Schedule updates via Excel file upload or from a calendar
  • Team collaboration
  • RSS integration
  • Customized analytics
  • Multiple account support
  • Easy to respond to mentions
  • Save draft messages

PROS

  • Create daily posting schedules
  • Allows users to select link shortening tool
  • Support for up to 12 profiles
  • 50% off plans for non-profits
  • Video and GIF uploader
  • Small learning curve
  • RSS integration
  • Simple time zone-specific scheduler
  • Intuitive analytics dashboard

PROS

  • Track keywords
  • Manage multiple blogs
  • Auto-follow feature for new followers and manual un-follow
  • Purge Twitter accounts to start over
  • RSS integration

PROS

  • Integration with Canva for graphic design needs
  • Easy step-by-step help function
  • Easy to use
  • Crowdsource content from other Post Planner users
  • Simple analytics
  • Bulk upload
  • RSS integration
  • Unlimited planned posts with higher plans

CONS

  • Pricey analytics reports
  • Interface may be confusing for some especially for Pro account
  • Complex features and long learning curve
  • Users are forced to use Owly to shorten links

CONS

  • Analytics are only available for plans $50/month and up
  • Free plan is only good for 1 profile and 10 scheduled messages
  • Can’t interact directly with Twitter followers
  • Can’t view Twitter feed

CONS

  • Free plans offer very basic features
  • Auto follow can result in spamming
  • Excess followers will lead to account blocking
  • Free account is only for Twitter access

CONS

  • Only works with Facebook and Twitter
  • Still lacking several features
  • No campaign management feature
  • No cross-channel publishing

Free; paid plans start at $9/month

App available

Free; paid plans start at $10/month

Free; paid plans start at $14/month

Starts at $7/month

 

Options below $50/month :

RIGNITE AGORA PULSE EDGAR

FEATURES

  • Watch list (to track competitors)
  • VIP feature (track accounts that post substantial content)
  • Assign cases feature (helpful for social media managers to assign cases to other departments based on social media activity, for example, complaints posted go to customer service)
  • Feedly integration
  • Album gallery

FEATURES

  • All social media content is displayed in an inbox style interface for your review
  • Collects all new content and displays it as new until you have reviewed it
  • Notifications easily show how many items are pending review
  • Easy filter for “new” and “all” content
  • Publishing, CRM, reporting, and monitoring capabilities

FEATURES

  • Recycle previously published posts
  • Auto-filled queue (if one of your scheduled categories runs out of new updates, Edgar will automatically refill using old updates in your library)
  • Sophisticated customization of schedules (promote your site when you are getting the most shares)

PROS

  • Bulk scheduling of posts
  • User-friendly analytics
  • Create Facebook photo contests, coupon campaigns, and other giveaways for social media promotion
  • All pricing plans support unlimited social media accounts
  • RSS integration
  • Team collaboration
  • Create up to 30 profiles

PROS

  • Delivering content to an inbox allows users to never miss  a conversation
  • Centralized dashboard for all social media accounts
  • Create automated moderation rules
  • Assign content to people on your team
  • Create custom tags for content
  • Easy to use

PROS

  • Easy scheduling functionality
  • Categorize posts
  • Unlimited categories and schedules
  • Use images on Twitter
  • Simple user interface
  • Small learning curve

CONS

  • No training support for Gold and Silver plan users
  • No bulk upload feature
  • Users are unable to favorite a tweet or do a Twitter search from the program
  • Pricey

CONS

  • Limited social media channels (no Pinterest, LinkedIn, and blogs)
  • Inability to pick up brand mentions
  • Can’t filter monitoring and inbox sections by date
  • No search functionality
  • Dated user integration

CONS

  • Can only post to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  • Inability to manage online conversations (comments, retweets, etc)
  • Only one way control
  • No interaction capability

Starts at $28/month

App available

$29/month

$49/month

Options above $50/month :

SPROUT SOCIAL SENDIBLE SOCIAL STUDIO

FEATURES

  • Assign cases feature (helpful for social media managers to assign cases to other departments based on social media activity, for example, complaints posted go to customer service)
  • Built-in CRM
  • Helpdesk on social media (for paid plans) for customer support
  • Smart Inbox (displays updates that Sprout Social thinks is important to you displayed in one stream)
  • Integration with Salesforce, Zendesk, and UserVoice
  • ViralPost (tool that analyzes your follower’s engagement trends to tell you when is the best time to post content)

FEATURES

  • Functions integrate email, web publishing, social media monitoring, and text messaging
  • CRM manager
  • Post from bookmarking sites
  • Flexible profile groupings

FEATURES

  • Integration with SalesForce
  • Aggregated content calendar
  • Listening functionality (allows you to analyze conversations to learn what people are saying about various brands and keywords)
  • Workspaces (organize your team around campaigns)
  • Analyze module (lets you create pre-built reporting and dashboard templates)

PROS

  • Attractive but simple interface
  • Generate analytics reports for free
  • Team collaboration
  • Support for multiple companies, departments, and profiles
  • Set permission levels and roles
  • RSS integration
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • All in one inbox
  • Real time monitoring of mentions

PROS

  • Integrate RSS
  • Color-coded editorial calendar
  • Supports over 30 social media networks
  • Search feature lets you retrieve info from blogs, Twitter, Flickr, and trending news
  • White Label package available for agencies
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Create up to 4 branded reports

PROS

  • Short learning curve
  • Can’t retweet without quote
  • User-friendly commands
  • Aggregated content calendar
  • Consumer intelligence
  • Intelligence reporting (to track ROI)

CONS

  • No push notification feature for social media channels
  • Can’t view retweets, comments, shares, and mentions within the software
  • Lacks group publishing for Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Doesn’t offer multiple stream viewing for social media feeds
  • Can’t assign a new bit.ly account for a new profile
  • Expensive

CONS

  • Complicated pricing structure
  • Free trial requires credit card
  • Upgrades and various add-ons need to be purchased
  • Only images can be attached to post; doesn’t support other files
  • Bugs are still experienced by users

CONS

  • Can’t retweet without quote
  • Can’t see mentions
  • Sentiment rating isn’t reliable
  • Program tends to crash when internet connection isn’t strong
  • No native video posting
  • Expensive

Starts at $59/month

Starts at $59/month

Starts at $1,000/month

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