Are you struggling to find the perfect social media scheduling tool for your business?
With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose. Each platform comes with its unique set of benefits at various price points, which is why we’ve put together this blog piece to help you choose the right platform for you.
We will be reviewing and evaluating the following top 3 social media scheduling tools:
Planable – CREATIVE in TiME’s favourite!
Here, you will find a breakdown of the platforms, what they offer and what makes each one unique for a more informed decision for your social media scheduling. Or, of course, you can get in touch with CREATIVE in TIME, and we can take the stress of social media marketing and scheduling away from you.
If you’re looking for social media planning software that offers a comprehensive and collaborative approach, look no further than Planable.
This user-friendly tool allows businesses to schedule their social media posts in advance, with the added bonus of creating, previewing, and approving content for multiple platforms in one place. But what sets Planable apart is its unique collaborative features, which allow team members and clients to work together in real-time, providing feedback and suggestions on content before it goes live. However, please be aware that when more than one person is commenting etc on the platform, it will increase your monthly cost. This makes it an excellent option for agencies and businesses with multiple stakeholders involved in the social media planning process.
Compared to Sprout Social and Later, Planable offers a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to social media planning, making it a top choice for businesses with a presence on multiple platforms. While Later is great for scheduling Instagram posts, it lacks the same level of collaboration and feedback options as Planable.
And while Sprout Social offers similar features, it provides a different level of collaboration and integration options, making Planable the go-to choice for businesses looking to streamline their social media planning process.
Later is the social media planning software you’ve been searching for to take your Instagram presence to the next level.
With Later, you can easily schedule your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest posts in advance, all in one place. Plus, you’ll get access to a visual content calendar and Instagram Stories scheduling, making it easier than ever to plan your social media content.
And if you’re a small business or an individual with a limited social media presence, Later has you covered with a free plan that allows you to schedule up to 10 posts per month. With features like a drag-and-drop interface, media library, and hashtag suggestion tool, Later is a comprehensive social media planning tool that won’t break the bank.
While Sprout Social offers similar features, it can be costly for small businesses, with plans starting at $249 (around £199) per month. However, Sprout Social does have more integration options, including LinkedIn and YouTube, making it a better fit for businesses with a presence on these platforms.
And while Planable provides a more collaborative and comprehensive social media planning tool, Later’s Instagram-specific features make it the perfect choice for businesses looking to up their Instagram game.
So, if you’re ready to streamline your social media planning process and take your Instagram presence to the next level, give Later a try.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive social media planning tool, Sprout Social could be the one you’ve been searching for.
This software allows businesses to manage and schedule their social media content across multiple platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. With features like a content calendar, social media inbox, and social listening tool, Sprout Social provides everything you need to stay on top of your social media game.
What sets Sprout Social apart is its focus on social media analytics. With detailed insights into social media performance and audience engagement, Sprout Social provides businesses with the data they need to make informed decisions about their social media strategy.
However, this level of sophistication comes at a cost, with monthly plans starting at $249 (around £199) per month, which may be a drawback for small businesses.
While Later offers a more affordable option for businesses looking to manage their Instagram presence, Sprout Social offers integration with a broader range of platforms and a more extensive suite of features, making it a better option for businesses with a more significant social media presence.
And compared to Planable, Sprout Social offers a more comprehensive social media management tool with a focus on analytics and reporting. Does Sprout Social sound like the ideal tool for you?
How To Know Which Social Media Scheduling Tool to Use
Choosing the right social media scheduling tool is crucial and should align with your availability, business goals, and budget.
Consider the most important features to you, such as team management, scheduling capabilities, and analytics.
You should also choose a tool that fits your budget and provides the features you need to achieve your business goals. By selecting the right tool, you can streamline your social media management and achieve success on your social media platforms.
Social Media Scheduling Tool Roundup
So, we’ve gone over a lot right now and we know it can be overwhelming so here is a more digestible table going over the key differences between the top 3 social media scheduling tools.
A table showing the differences between Planable, Sprout Social and Later with their set list of features.
Take Your Social Media Stress Away with CREATIVE in TiME
While there are social media scheduling tools out there that can make your life much easier, our marketing agency can make it a whole lot easier. Yes, with scheduling tools, the act of actually getting your posts out consistently becomes more manageable, but formulating a social media marketing plan, creating the graphics, sourcing the written imagery, writing the captions, finding the hashtags…it’s a lot of work. But it doesn’t have to be.
CREATIVE in TIME is a creative digital marketing agency that has been developing effective social media marketing campaigns for years with a proven track record of boosting engagements and driving traffic to company websites using social media platforms.
As a full-service marketing agency, we don’t just specialise in social media marketing; we do it all! From Search Engine Optimisation and Content Marketing to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Website Development, CREATIVE in TIME have the knowledge and expertise to streamline and up-level your business’s overall marketing strategy.
Get in touch today, and we can get started on making the best out of your business’s digital presence.
More goes into creating a social media strategy than just making an Instagram account and posting pictures of your product but what else does it need…
What Are Your Goals?
Before you create a social media strategy, you need to decide what your goals are going to be. You cannot form an effective social media strategy without targets to achieve. Below is a list of example goals to get you thinking, you may choose one of these or decide on your own.
Increase brand awareness – Do you want your name out there? Do you want people to know your brand?
Grow your audience – Do you want more followers? Bringing in new followers means that you are introducing your brand to people who haven’t heard of your brand before.
Generate sales and leads – People don’t purchase your products by accident, they need encouragement and a reason to. Are you showing off your product catalogue? Showing customers new products and promotions? Running new deals?
Boost engagement – Do you want followers to interact more on your social media?
Increase traffic to your site – Do you want more people visiting your site from social media?
Whatever goal you pick, make sure it is realistic for your brand and size. If you have a small business, then it is unlikely to expect to gain thousands of likes if you are currently only getting 10. Set manageable targets that you can reach, once you have reached them, set new targets and so on.
Who is Your Social Media For?
Once you know what your goals are, you need to find out WHO your target audience is and WHO your social media strategy should be for.
Your target audience can determine which social media platforms you should use, what content you should put out and even what time you should post!
Looking at your current social media can be a good start, who is currently following you? Who is engaging with your content?
Many forms of social media have their own insights/analytics section for businesses which can show you your current demographics.
Let me ask you this, do you monitor your metrics? Do you know if/when/how you are being interacted with? Check out our breakdown of important metrics to watch:
Clicks: This is exactly how it sounds; it is the number of clicks you get on your content or account.
Engagement: This is the number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions. This is how willing people are to interact with your content.
Reach: Your reach is the number of unique users who see your post and how much of your content is actually reaching your users’ feeds.
What Platform Should I Be Using?
With the number of social media platforms, it is vital to understand that each social media platform attracts different audiences. Once you know who your target audience is, you need to find out where you should focus your efforts.
Social media is not one size fits all!
We have curated demographics for the most used social media platforms so that you don’t have to! It is always imperative to do your own research, but this should guide you in the right direction.
Facebook:52% of Facebook users are female whilst 48% are male. The largest demographic is between 25 and 34 years old with 11.2 million users in the UK.
Instagram: The largest demographic on Instagram is 25-24 with 30.8% of users and then 18-24 with 23.1%. In 2021, 57.42% of women and 42.68% of men reported using Instagram.
Pinterest: As of January 2021, 75.2% of Pinterest audiences in the UK were female and 19% were male. The main age group using Pinterest is 18-24 with 55%! Pinterest currently has 16.7 million active users in the UK.
LinkedIn: As of 2021, LinkedIn had 33 million users in the UK. 57.2% were between 25-34 years old. 57% of users are male and 43% are female.
YouTube: More than 35.6 million people in the UK use YouTube! 46% of users are female and 54% are male. The main demographic is 25-44 years old.
TikTok: TikTok had over 3.7 million users in the UK in 2021 and the number is climbing. The main demographic of users are between 18-24 which is 26% of all users. In 2020, 65% of users were female and 35% were male.
Twitter: In 2020, 58.5% of users were male and 41.5% were female. The largest demographic group of users is 18-29 which is 37%. The next largest group is 30-49 at 25%.
Create your Content
Now, to top it all off, you need to create your social media content!
Once you have discovered your target audience, the social media platforms you’ll use and which goals you are trying to achieve, it is time to create your own unique content.
When creating your own unique content, you should try to stick to a theme. This is something that all well-loved brands do. It means that when you see a post from that brand, it feels like theirs.
This could mean sticking to a colour palette, tone of voice, writing style or even using the same fonts in all your images. If you have a website, keep your branding cohesive across all your content. This increases brand consistency and avoids any confusion.
When building your brand presence on social media, one of our top tips is to respond to followers on social media ASAP. This is especially important for negative comments or questions. Doing this shows that you care about your customers and their experiences.
Show off your human side! People like people, simple. Show the people behind the business and do not make every single social media post focused on sales. Post behind the scenes images, employee birthdays, the office dog, work get togethers!
One of the main forms of content which you may consider creating is video content, if you are wondering whether it is worthwhile…well we have a whole section below on it so what does that tell you?
Don’t underestimate the impact of video! Did you know that 54% of marketers say that video is the most valuable form of content for reaching your social goals?
Whether this is on YouTube as full videos, stories on Instagram or clips on TikTok, video is the future of social media marketing, and you should definitely include it in your social media strategy if possible.
One great use of video content is to put faces to the business and show that your values and ethics are worth engaging with. Similarly, to other content, showing your personality and employees can help customers feel welcome and comfortable interacting. It is easier to interact with a person than a faceless brand.
Is your Social Media Marketing Strategy sorted out for 2023?
As this guide shows, starting up your social media presence well is more than just posting out content for the sake of it on all social media platforms. Quality over quantity is key here.
That said, this doesn’t mean that your social media must be a chore. Your social media should serve you however, it can be a long process, if you are strapped for time and want someone else to handle your social media for you then get in touch now!
Social media has come to the forefront of most business’ marketing strategies, but does that mean that everyone knows how to use it? Spoiler alert…it doesn’t!!
As a business owner you obviously want to cash in on this gold mine, but if you don’t know how to do it properly you can do more harm than good!
Did you know that 54% of internet users use social media to research products?
Well, you want to make the most of that, right? To make the most of social media you need to draw in new customers and ensure that your current customers stay interested.
Providing the right content to engage both old and new customers is vital to growing your social media presence.
Here are a few simple dos and don’ts for you to follow to get you started with your social media marketing.
The DOs of social media
DO Use the Right Platforms for Your Business, Not All of Them
Don’t get on every social media site ‘just cuz’, you don’t need to be active on every single platform.
Look at your business, your products, and your intended customers to find out which platforms are right for you, and more importantly which are right for them.
You don’t want to be wasting your valuable time on the wrong social media, do you?
DO Post Regularly AND Create a Posting Schedule
WARNING! This may BLOW your mind! Did you know that you can schedule your social media posts?!
Long gone are the days of painstakingly posting every day manually, using a scheduling tool enables you to schedule posts weeks in advance! This may be a revelation to business owners trying to do it all.
Managing and creating a schedule for posting will benefit both you as the business owner running a social media page AND for your followers who want consistency, but not an overload of content.
DO engage with others AND encourage engagement
Engagement is a two-way street, businesses should be making efforts to engage with followers and other companies whenever the opportunity arises.
Engaging on your socials demonstrates involvement and personability in the social media community. But remember…MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO ENGAGE WITH YOUR CONTENT!
Put up some polls or fun quizzes on your Instagram stories or Twitter. This is also beneficial for gaining feedback from your followers. Or throw a social media giveaway contest for those who post the best photo using your product!
As a bonus, this can help your customers to feel valued and recognised…everyone likes to feel important, don’t they?
DO Use Video Whenever Possible
In a recent ‘Instagram LIVE‘, Head of InstagramAdam Mosseri shared that video is “driving an immense amount of growth online for all major platforms” and stated that video will be a key focus area for Instagram over the coming months.
The key takeaway from this is that if you want to grow online, YOU NEED TO START POSTING VIDEO CONTENT.
The same goes for other social media platforms. What do you see as soon as you log in to any social media platform? We’ll guess that it’s a video. This is because video content typically performs BEST with most algorithms, based on the fact it captures a viewer’s attention for longer.
Videos are growing in popularity across all channels, and it’s a fact that they get more exposure and engagement than other forms of content. We suggest that you use video wherever possible.
DO keep your branding consistent
Make sure you maintain brand consistency across all your social media channels, including logos, names and colours, to ensure your customers always know it’s you no matter where they are.
DO analyse and track activity
Social media analytics will help identify the posts that generate the most interactions. By studying posts, you can optimise your content, try to emulate the results, or even adjust them to improve the results. Cool right?!
There are multiple tools that can be used by your business to monitor your activity, but you can also use the built-in analytics tools on the individual platforms.
So now, here are some of the main areas to avoid…
The DONT’s of Social Media
DON’T fall for trolls
It’s easy to fall victim to rude or patronizing comments, but it is not worth jeopardising your business’s reputation. Keep your personal and business thoughts and ideas separate.
Treat a social media user as you would an upset customer in your business, give them excellent customer service and offer ways to resolve their issues.
Click here to learn about how our own Andrea Warner deals with trolls and negative comments.
DON’T forget to do a spelling and grammar check
When promoting your business online, brand perception is everything. You don’t want a customer’s first impression of your business to be tainted because of improper grammar and spelling.
To avoid this, re-read and edit your posts before you send them out. Even better, get a trusted colleague to proof-read posts, two sets of eyes are better than one!
If you are still on the fence about something, there are many different free online grammar and spelling checks like Grammarly for you to use to fine-tune those posts.
DON’T overdo it
Posting too often on your business social profiles can be just as harmful as not posting often enough.
According to research by Sprout Social, 46% of social media users will unfollow a brand for posting too many promotional messages on their profiles, which means you need to restrict your output or risk losing customers (by promotional we mean selling yourself rather than just creating engaging content for your target customer).
Some of the best posts from companies are informative and fun rather than promoting a product, everyone has oodles of personality…use it for good!
DON’T get hung up on numbers
And finally, you should never get too fixated on numbers when it comes to your business social media profiles.
Business owners tend to lose sleep over not having as many Facebook fans or Twitter followers as they’d like but, while these metrics are certainly important, they’re not the be-all and end-all.
This is where quality over quantity really comes into play. You could have 10,000 followers, but if half are spam accounts, then your messages will be falling on deaf ears.
Often the real value is found in the amount of engagement you’re receiving, and the type of people you’re receiving it from. These are the things that can make you the real money, so pay more attention to these instead.
Want to up your social media game but aren’t sure where to start?
In this digital age, social media is now an integral part of most people’s lives. Much of the population now use it for entertainment, communication, and business.
Social media is a great place to grow and promote your business. Studies show that 71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to others if they have had a positive experience with them on social media.
Developing an effective social media strategy is essential to creating a successful brand. Let’s look at some social media marketing tips and tricks that will help you build your brand and up your game ahead of the competition, on social media.
People don’t want to follow a page that just constantly sells. Your page needs to ADD VALUE. Content is key to social media marketing. Depending on your choice of social platform, you may have to produce different content, but it should all be educational, motivational, and engaging to your audience.
Tell your brand story, demonstrate your products in action, show behind the scenes moments and keep your audience ENGAGED. Everything you post should be relevant to your business and stick by the 80/20 principle. If you’re struggling for content ideas, hop on over to our Instagram, and check out our post on content ideas for your business.
You can also use the content pillars to help you. The content pillars are 3-5 topics your business will regularly discuss, amplify, and create content around on social media. This can help to plan/create content, keep your social media consistent, and ensure it is relevant.
Be ACTIVE on your socials! After all, social media is all about being social, right? Interacting with your followers will help you create positive relationships. Communicating with your followers will help you grow a more loyal follower base, and loyal followers can be some of your best advocates.
ENGAGE with your previous and your potential customers! Like, comment, share posts by your customers and other people in your industry.
Engaging with other users’ content can encourage people to reciprocate this. Answering comments and questions will improve brand loyalty and show that your business cares about their opinions.
Engaging with your audience and being active builds a positive public image. You want your business to seem (and be) trustworthy and inviting to new customers so that they are enticed into seeing more.
A consistent social media presence does not have to mean posting every. single. day. Your social media profile shouldn’t feel like a chore.
Remember, QUALITY over QUANTITY.
Posting less content that your audience will love is much better than lots of content with low engagement. Try using current news in your posts and tie it back into your business to boost your engagement.
If you’re just starting out, we suggest posting 2-3 times a week on specific days e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday so your followers start to learn when to expect you. Add to your ‘stories’ in between these days to remain consistent.
Scheduling tools can be a life-saver. Creating a social media schedule will help you produce and post on your social platforms as frequently as you can. Batch produce your content and schedule it to post.
LIMIT YOUR PLATFORMS
New social media platforms are constantly appearing and trying to keep on top of all of them is impossible.
Using too many forms of social media can harm your business in the long run. You will likely receive mediocre results on all of them as you will not have the time to curate quality content.
LESS IS MORE when it comes to social media platforms. You should understand who your target audience is and how they may respond to each platform. Define your audience’s key demographics e.g. age, gender, hobbies, occupation, etc.
Focus on a select number of well-known platforms, learn about how they work and which posts create the most engagement. You won’t get it right all the time, but it’s about enjoying the journey and learning about your audience.
MEASURE YOUR RESULTS
Check out your insights! Your insights can show you which posts are being received successfully and which aren’t. If a certain type of content is performing poorly then consider trying something new or adapt it to fit your customer’s interests.
Which content has the best engagement? Re-purpose your old content and create new posts like it. Ten birds, one stone!
What time are most of your audience online? Post at this time to increase engagement.
Don’t be afraid to change your social media strategy if it is not working for you, be fluid and flexible.
Social media can be vital for businesses to build engagement, if the above seems like a lot of time and effort that you just haven’t got to spare, book a discovery call with CREATIVE in TiME.