Seems like every week I hear about a new social media scheduling tool. It’s getting so there are so many options, it’s hard to pick which one is best for your particular situation. So I had a look at a few of these tools and decided to write down my thoughts.
No one scheduling tool is best for everyone. Which one you use will depend a lot on which networks you need to post to, how many posts you want in your queue, and how much time you have. Below are my thoughts on four popular scheduling tools – Hootsuite, Buffer, Meet Edgar, and SmarterQueue.
Hootsuite was one of the first websites you could use to schedule your Facebook and Twitter posts ahead of time. At least it was the first one I heard of, and the first one I used.
Now to be totally honest, I haven’t touched Hootsuite in a few years, except for a quick poke around recently to do this blog post. So I can give you a basic rundown, but not much in the way of in-depth analysis.
Hootsuite’s free plan allows you three social media profiles. You get unlimited posts, which is pretty good for a free plan. Paid plans start from $12.99 a month, and allow you to have 10 or more social profiles connected.
Hootsuite has a lot of options in their menu. And I do mean a LOT. This might be great for you, if you’re the type of person who values function over form. If, however, you get confused by too many options, this may not be the best tool for you.
Buffer is nice and simple. It supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (via reminders), Google+, and LinkedIn. If you sign up for any paid plan, you can add Pinterest to that list.
On the free plan, you can connect one profile per social network – so five in total. You’re allowed 10 posts in your queue at any one time.
By upgrading to the $10/month Awesome plan, you can connect up to 10 social media profiles (of any network), add Pinterest scheduling, and keep 100 posts in your queue.
I used Edgar for a few months, and while I loved many of its features, the real sticking point was the price. At upwards of $49/month, it can be a bit of a stretch to the budget.
There’s no free plan, but they do give you a 30 day free trial to get used to the system. And let me tell you, that 30 days is enough to convince you. What they do, they do well.
Edgar lets you set up different categories for your posts. For instance, I had a ‘blog posts’ category, a ‘questions’ category, and several others. I set up a schedule which would pick the next post from that category and post it at the scheduled time.
And what’s more – Edgar automatically recycles your content. Your list of blog posts that you want to share to Facebook? When one gets used, it goes back to the end of the queue. When all the others before it are used, it gets shared again, and seen by new people.
Edgar supports Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Edgar is the only tool on this list that does not have Android or iPhone apps.
SmarterQueue is a bit like Edgar Lite. For less than half the price of Edgar, you get many of the same features, plus more supported social media networks. It’s definitely a tempting option for those Edgar users who are trying to cut costs.
There’s a 14 day free trial, and then it’s $19.99 a month thereafter for up to 25 accounts, and 200 posts in the queue at any one time. You get to use post categories and recycle your content. You’re also able to add Instagram accounts.
SmarterQueue doesn’t support Pinterest – yet. It’s on their to-do list.
So what will you use to schedule your social media?
I hope you decide to use one of these tools, or another one that I haven’t mentioned. It really does make managing your social media so much easier!