Scheduled Socials: 5 Tools to Simplify Posting

If you're like most small businesses, you have more than one social outlet to maintain. Without a support staff, anything that helps save time can mean the difference between staying on schedule and falling off the tracks. 

Syncing accounts is a simple way to help keep consistent when using tools like Facebook and Twitter. However, if you're managing multiple accounts or feel ready to take the next step up in your social scheduling game, there are additional options to consider as part of your social arsenal.

Just remember that whatever options you choose, make sure you're keeping track regarding which rules you've created to avoid accidentally duplicating any postings. 

Facebook Publishing Tools

FACEBOOK PUBLISHING TOOLS

One of the simplest tools available for Facebook scheduling is FB's own Publishing Tools set. The tools are already there in your account, you just need to enter your copy and accompanying media (photos, video, URL), then select Schedule from the drop-down menu. Pick your date and time, and then schedule. Easy! You'll even get to preview how it will look on desktop and mobile before it goes live.

Tweetdeck Dashboard

TWEETDECK

Twitter has a similar option, though you have to go directly to this link to access it. Compared to Facebook's Publishing Tools, TweetDeck allows a lot more customization regarding what you're able to view and interact with. You can not only schedule posts in advance, but also see incoming messages, activity on your feed, live posts from your account, list activity and more. Keep in mind, when adding images through TweetDeck, an image eats up 20 of the 140 character limit currently permitted by Twitter. 

Hootsuite

HOOTSUITE

Hootsuite is one of the most well-known social media scheduling platforms. With three options to choose from in terms of plans (Free, Pro and Enterprise), there is something to match most budgets and needs. Currently, Hootsuite has over 35 social networks you can connect and manage. They also provide analytics and allow you to add more than one team member to the tool for shared posting access.  

Buffer

BUFFER

Buffer may not be quite as well-known as Hootsuite, but they offer many similar perks. You can either choose the Individual plan (free), which allows for one profile for each social account - up to 10, more than the 3 social accounts Hootsuite's current free plan allows - or, if you need more than that, sign up for a free 30-day trial to see how you like using the Awesome Plan setting before committing to the service. You can get a more detailed explanation here.

IFTTT

IFTTT (IfThisThenThat)

IFTTT is a free service where you can create rules for your social postings, called Recipes, that operate whether you're logged in on IFTTT or not. For example, if you want your Instagram post with a photo to automatically post to your Facebook account with a photo, you create a Recipe for it. If IG, then FB. Once you've set it live, the tool will activate that rule anytime you post.*

IFTTT allows you to create your own Recipes or choose from Recipes created by other users. You may have to create multiple Recipes to get the exact rules you want in place (photo to photo, URL to URL, etc.), but once set, the tool takes care of the rest. With over 229 channels to connect, the options are only limited by your needs.

*While IFTTT can be a great tool when functioning properly, we, along with several other users judging by the complaints online, have found it inconsistent as of late. With some active Recipes not posting as they should, or with inactive/paused Recipes suddenly deciding to post as if they've been activated. If using it, be sure to check on it periodically to make sure it's behaving the way you intended.

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