Social Media Scheduling Tools for Small Business Owners
As a small business owner, you probably have a presence on social media. While the platforms you are present on may vary, having an sort of presence can become a big job. In order to streamline the process and automate some of your activity, you can use a variety of social media scheduling tools. We’ll discuss some of the tools you can use to make this easier.
Note: Recommendations included here are from either what I actually use or from tools I know others have good experiences with. I am not receiving any monetary or other benefits, simply sharing what I can. Your experience with these tools may be different.
Hootsuite is a social media publishing and content curation platform. It is especially helpful because you can add multiple streams that show items such as feeds, mentions, scheduled, etc. Overall, I enjoy Hootsuite because of its ability to integrate the stream and scheduling in one platform.
I use Hootsuite to curate content from my Twitter feed. I can find good, helpful tweets that my network has tweeted through my stream. Then, I schedule retweets to happen in the future. Hootsuite still allows me to credit the sources for these retweets as well.
With the free plan (the one I use), you can add up to three social media account. These accounts could be Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. If you want additional profiles or premium features, you can upgrade to one of the paid plans. However, for starting out, a free plan should be alright.
Buffer is one of my favorite scheduling tools for content I find online. It does not have the option to show a content stream from which you can curate content. However, it is very efficient for curating content off of social media.
Before I enabled Twitter Cards, I used Buffer to schedule Twitter posts for my own blog posts. The platform was especially helpful because I could write the tweet and add pictures as I scheduled the tweet for a certain time. Because Twitter Cards include a picture and small description, I switched this use to TweetDeck.
However, I still use Buffer for curating content from the internet. I have found that this is a better use of If you have Buffer linked to your Twitter account, any time you press the “tweet” button on another webpage or blog post, the option to Buffer the post also shows. This allows you to schedule the tweet for the future instead of tweeting it right away. If you add the Buffer extension for Chrome, this becomes even easier. You can press the icon in Chrome to Buffer a tweet based on the webpage right away.
As with Hootsuite, Buffer also offers both free and premium plans. You can schedule up to 10 posts through Buffer on the free plan, but will have to upgrade for some additional features, such as in-depth analytics.
I first started using TweetDeck to take part in TwitterChats. It’s so helpful because you can create a stream based on a search, hashtag, almost anything. Then, anything that matches this query will show up in this stream.
However, TweetDeck also has other helpful features. For instance, you can schedule posts for a certain date and time. Once I enabled Twitter Cards, I started using TweetDeck to do this. I can schedule a ton of posts, and the picture is already included. Because I can also create a stream based on my scheduled posts, it is also easy to see them all.
Native Facebook Scheduling
If you have a Facebook page or group, you can schedule posts natively on the Facebook website. All you have to do is create the post as you usually would. But instead of pressing “publish,” click on the small arrow next to it. Choose the schedule option and pick your date and time. It’s so simple to do this, and you don’t even need an additional scheduling tool.
WordPress offers scheduling tools in the form of plugins and built in post scheduling. Along with this, you can also have WordPress automatically post to social media. The easiest way to do this is by utilizing the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin will allow you to connect your social media profiles. You can then choose to allow your content to be published to your social media profiles.
Outsourcing is obviously not a scheduling tool in itself. However, it is an option to schedule your social media activity. You can hire an employee, agency, or freelancer to take care of this. This could take the entire process out of your hands, depending on your needs.
Social media can become a huge, time consuming part of running your business. But if you look into scheduling tools like these, your job may become a little easier.