Here’s the question: Should you or should not schedule your social media posts? If yes, what service is the best?
To be completely honest, the answer just depends. What platform is it? Whats the purpose of the account? If you simply using Instagram to share your pictures with friends and family, there is no need to schedule posts. However, if you are using any social media platform for business you NEED to schedule your posts.
- You need to be consistent. And that means posting at least 2-3 times per day per platform, that’s a lot. Life gets busy, so the more help the better.
- You need to add value. It’s incredibly difficult to create a post which adds value to your followers while sitting at happy hour. Don’t get me wrong, your happy hour pic will get likes but are you driving people to your business or showing off the perfect old fashion?
- Visual appearance. Instagram is all about aesthetics! You can’t just throw a bunch of random pictures together and expect people to take your business seriously. There needs to be a flow, a sense of cohesiveness.
Okay, so now you know if you should schedule your posts; now which service to pick. I am going to write a brief summary of four services I have personally used, Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, and Amplifr.
- Hootsuite: You are able to post to Facebook pages, profiles, and groups ( huge plus). But, you’re only allowed a few profiles to be connected and I was never able to connect my Instagram account, I am not sure if had to do with 2FA. I reached out numerous times via social media and never received a response. So in all honesty, I didn’t really use this platform much as Facebook allows you to schedule post to your Like/Business Page I didn’t really have a need for Hootsuite. Check out their pricing here.
- Buffer: I use this platform for a client to schedule to her Facebook group. Buffer offers one social media account with 10 scheduled posts for free, after that its $10 a month. Check out their pricing here.
- Later: I use this platform to schedule Instagram posts for a client. Later offers one social media platform, one user, and 30 scheduled posts (Instagram, Facebook, or Pintrest) per month for free, after that its $9 to increase the number of posts to 100 per month but still for one account. You are not able to post to Facebook Groups, only pages and profiles. Check out their pricing here.
- Amplifr: Right now they are running a special, $49 for a LIFETIME membership. This allows 30 social media accounts with unlimited scheduling, analytics, and three contributors. There is also a special for $99 for 50 social media accounts and five contributions (I believe). After this special its $5 per social media account per month. Check out their pricing here. I have downloaded the app and scheduled my post through next week. What I like the most is the ability to link multiple Twitter and Instagram accounts, this allows me to work seamlessly in one app for all of aspects of my business.
Okay, i know the is a lot of information and I have used each platform in a different capacity.
But, each platform had its own limitations. For example Later doesn’t allow posting to Facebook groups! Which I believe is a huge mistake, so many people are running million dollar companies using Facebook groups! Hootsuite (in my experience) never connected to Instagram with 2FA. Again, huge mistake, everyone should have 2FA set up on every account.
I will say all of the services are fairly user friendly, a computer savvy person can figure out scheduling within a few minutes. For me it’s really about customer service response time and price. Every business should be concerned about price. As a business owner you have to schedule your social media posts, there really is just no way around it. With that said, I believe in life you get what you what you pay for. So, why not get the most bang for your buck. Choose a service which will allow the most social media accounts and posts, plus analytics!
No brainer in my book.
Please note: Instagram does not allow third party API, so you will not find a service that will posts for you. Instead you will receive a push notification at your desired posting time, at which point you can copy and paste the caption.
Featured image by: Brooke Lark via Unsplash.