The young padawan was impressed by some of the tools I had introduced him to that help me manage social media for my own accounts and for clients. From scheduling posts to finding news to share, two of my most important tools in my Social Media Toolbox are the ones that allow me to schedule posts and curate news. In this article, I will share with you my favorite social media dashboards that help me maximize productivity by strategic scheduling of social media posts across social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
A Good Old Scheduler
While I believe that tweeting and posting live and in real time is still essential. Scheduling posts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are a necessary part of your social media calendar. Here are three of my favorites:
How can you resist the owl? Or that pretty straightforward dashboard. With Hootsuite, you can view your Social Media Streams at a glance. You can manage multiple accounts and you can schedule posts in advance. Talk about increasing productivity! If you are an entrepreneur and you feel like managing your social media is just another chore, look to Hootsuite to help you manage your time effectively. With the free version, you can add up to 5 social media profiles. For social media and marketing professionals, the Pro Plan is a reasonable $8.99/month.
Buffer has an easy to use scheduler, in which you can pre-select scheduled times for your posts and tweets. So that when you upload something to your dashboard, Buffer will send it out according to your schedule across the social profiles you choose. You don’t need to input a different time and date each time. The individual plan is FREE, however you can connect multiple social media profiles when you upgrade to their Awesome Plan of $102/year
Now if you are a social media professional and manage multiple social media profiles for multiple accounts, then Sprout Social will help you not only schedule posts but also help you create great analytics reports that you can share with your clients. At $59/per user per month at its most basic level (The Deluxe Plan), Sprout Social is pricier than Hootsuite and BufferApp.
But guess what, I use all three! At this point, I think I’m hanging onto my Hootsuite account because of sentimental reasons. I’ve used Hootsuite the longest and I have no complaints. Also, I am really used to their interface – streamlined columns showing each of your feeds. I like Buffer App for its set it and forget it feature, setting scheduled times for posts to be shared. I use both Hootsuite and BufferApp for my personal blogging and social media activities but for my work at the pr and advertising agency I work for, I prefer to use SproutSocial. It is easy to use like Hootsuite but you can see all clients and profiles in one glance, in a format that looks like email. The reporting capabilities are also pretty good though not very in depth, they make for good presentations to clients.
All three apps are also great for co-working with social media teams, though I personally haven’t had the chance to use them that way. I hope you give some of these schedulers a try but do remember that the most effective social media communications must have the human touch. Be sure to mix up those schedule posts with daily live engagement.
NEXT WEEK: The top news CURATING tools that I use in my Social Media ToolBox.