I don’t know about you but the comparison websites really tee me off. They give you enough info to pull you in but without the details that would stop/kickstart you into making a purchase. That’s because comparing isn’t enough – you need to be inspired or fearful of the alternative. With social media schedulers, the promises come like instant oats (thick and fast – sorry, I like my porridge analogies). But how exactly do they save you time, surely the best promise ever – and what sprinkles do they offer that will make one more palatable than another?
What do all schedulers have in common?
First off, they keep you away from the platform. Which will save you time for a start, no more chasing a fascinating story about Meghan Markle’s makeup/ Kanye West/ the latest fury about Linlithgow high street. You want customers to click on your content, not become the reader yourself. To get the best deal, trial the difference posting from a third party tool and posting directly on the platform. Simply put, if you post enough and analyse your stats (of course you do) you’ll find a sweet spot that works for your business.
The scheduling tools don’t stop you having to do engaging. And neither should they – social media has as its foundation actual connections between individuals. Yes you may represent a company but brands are basically borrowing from how we identify with other people in our personal networks. I love Mother Freckle on Instagram, take a peek for how a pro does engagement whilst still maintaining what I’d describe as a distinct brand. Don’t be fooled by someone being a blogger – they will have their own niche and brand and they are a great starting place for seeing how to get your business engaging with your customers.
What tasty treats do schedulers offer?
ContentCal lets you keep all your marketing in one place, whether it’s leaflets, networking or social media. For a big business you may have an agency account manager who does this (well or badly!) but smaller business owners will find it reduces the stress to be able to eyeball the day-to-day activity AND the bigger strategy. Plus you can actually see the posts as they will are going to be published. Love this feature.
Smarterqueue have a way for you to manage the fact that evergreen content is now a no-no on Twitter. Your content will be recycled as a retweet if you tag it as evergreen. But you can use a specific part of Smarterqueue to edit these particular tweets so you get the chance to rescue content that’s on it’s last legs and breathe new life into your (obviously inspired) tweets. One aspect of Smarterqueue that really does save time is that it lets you find images and GIFs (wee videos) so you stay within the tool and can simply add these to your post, and these are sourced from pixabay, unsplash and Giphy.
dlvr.it lets you plug in your favourite blogs and when they publish new content your social media channels will automatically share it. This is especially helpful for reducing sharing content as an extra task when you publish your own blogs and content. For trusted partners or sister companies it can save legwork whilst keeping you connected.
Social bee lets you pop in several feeds and then you just have to approve which specific posts you want to share. This can help you share fantastic content whilst staying in control of the ‘feel’ of your channel. You can also save any cracking content you find through a tool called Pocket whilst maintaining full control of what appears when. And Hootsuite too is fabulous for letting you see, for example, how a hashtag is being used in real time so it’s worth exploring for twitterchats. Experiment with different tabs as well to get the mix right for you if you’re wanting to chat to people using these sessions.
So which scheduler is worth my time (and money)?
If only all decisions were actually down to money. My number one tip for picking a great scheduler is really simple – how do you get on with the scheduler when you give it a try? The interface (where you actually interact with the tool) should be consistent, responsive, clear and intuitive. If you find it hard work, that will make even the simplest task take more energy from you and more than likely more time. If a tool helps you find content (sometimes called curation) it could be worth using for that aspect alone – or you might find another tool altogether that does this best or even a contact/network you trust that reliably has content you want to share. If you can stay focused on your outcomes rather than trying to find one tool that does everything you’ll be much more likely to have a happy relationship with it. If you’d like a session to get you on top of what’s on offer for automating the daily posting or some time setting your scheduler up so it meets your needs for you to be in control of your social media just get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org