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.
Be it business profiles or personal accounts which are being used to support your business, social media marketing is important for all businesses.
It can help you build up your brand and generate leads, but there are some things that you need to keep in mind before diving into this enterprise.
One drawback of social media marketing is that it can be very time-consuming. It’s not right for every business—only those who know how to implement a successful campaign.
Did you know that customers spend 20% to 40% more money on brands they’ve interacted with on social media?
Is Social Media Marketing Really That Important?
If you’re looking for a way to reach your target audience and help them discover your brand, social media marketing is a great option.
By building an online presence on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, you can increase brand awareness, boost sales and even build your brand’s reputation.
Social media marketing also gives companies the opportunity to generate leads by offering something of value in exchange for contact information.
This could be anything from free eBooks or webinars to access to exclusive deals or discounts on purchases made through the company’s website or app store listing.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that uses social networks and social media platforms to drive awareness, engagement and sales.
Social media marketing has become an essential part of the overall marketing strategy for most businesses and organisations.
Social media marketing works because people use it every day as a source of information about topics they like or are interested in learning more about.
When you post content on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter that appeals to your target audience’s interests (and when it includes links back to your website), those users will (if you’re doing it right) find it interesting enough to comment on or share with others who might be interested too!
Why Is Social Media Marketing Important?
We may be biased, but social media marketing is important for a number of reasons.
Let’s start with the first reason: connecting with customers.
When you’re looking for someone to hire or buy from you, what do you want? The ability to answer questions quickly and accurately? A great deal on something your company sells? Someone who’s responsive when it comes down to resolving problems?
Social media gives businesses an opportunity to do all of these things by keeping their customers informed about changes in products or services—or even by offering discounts or other incentives (like free shipping).
Another reason that social media marketing is important is that it helps build brand awareness.
It gives potential buyers an easy way to reach out and talk directly with companies they’re interested in buying from—and that means more sales opportunities!
Did you know that it takes 6-8 marketing touchpoints to make a sale?
This makes social media marketing more important than ever to ensure that your potential customers have multiple touch points with your business.
How To Get Started with Social Media Marketing?
These are just a few of the basics of social media marketing. You can do your own research to find out more about this topic, but if you want to get started right away and make sure your profile is complete and professional, here’s what you should do:
Create a social media profile for yourself or your business. This might be on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram or another platform—it doesn’t matter which one so long as it’s relevant to your industry and audience.
Make sure that all the information on your profile (name of the page/profile; contact information) is completely accurate and up to date; this way, people will know whom they’re interacting with when engaging with your profile.
Include your company logo as your profile images to encourage brand awareness.
Remember to include links back towards your website to provide easy access to potential customers.
What Are the Benefits of Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a great way to increase traffic to your website and make it easy for people to find you online. It also allows you to connect with potential customers and grow your audience, which can be very beneficial in terms of growing sales.
It helps companies promote their products or services, build relationships with customers and potential customers, create communities around their brands, drive direct traffic to their websites, get new leads and make more sales.
One benefit is the ability to increase brand awareness.
When people see your products or services advertised on social media platforms, they may become interested in what you have to offer. They could decide that they need what you’re offering themselves, or they might want their friends (or family) to know about it as well.
Either way, this is an effective way for companies like yours to reach new audiences who may not otherwise be aware of what products exist.
Social media marketing is one of the best ways to reach your target audience and build brand awareness.
It’s also important to keep in mind that while social media marketing is a great way to get started with digital marketing, it doesn’t have to be your only strategy. You can still use traditional forms of advertising and promotion as well!
If you would like to broaden your digital marketing horizons, then we would suggest usingSEO (search engine optimisation). If you would like to find out more about SEO, thenclick here.
Instagram is a competitive social media platform but it is not impossible to gain traction…if you do it right!
With an active audience of 1.16 billion people, it is no shock that Instagram can be an amazing place for businesses to gain followers and traffic.
The potential reach of Instagram is only set to grow and did you know that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business?
It isn’t only businesses marketing to consumers that can benefit though, over 36% of businesses use Instagram when researching new services and products.
Think of this as a cheat sheet to use for your business so that you can get your Instagram strategy up there with the best.
Setting Up An Instagram Account
If you already have an Instagram account, then you may not need this section but before you can set up a strategy, you need an Instagram Business account.
Skip ahead if you have a business account already, or look at step 3 if you already have a personal account.
Step 1: Download the Instagram app
Step 2: Sign Up
Open the app
Tap either Create New Account (iOS) or Sign Up With Email or Phone (Android)
Enter your email/phone number and click Next
Choose your username and password
Fill out your profile information and click Next
Step 3: Switch to a Business Account
Go to your profile and tap the three lines at the top right
Click Settings, then Account
Scroll down and click Switch to professional account
Tap Business and follow the prompts!
Best Instagram Marketing Strategies for 2023
Now that you have your Instagram account set up, it is time to look into how you should be using your account and why.
1: Choose Your Goals
Before you start posting, you need to decide why you are posting. You can’t use your Instagram account effectively until you know what you are trying to do.
Instagram marketing isn’t one size fits all, it can mean different things to different businesses.
Do you want to:
Improve your brand awareness?
Drive traffic to your website?
Get new leads?
Establish brand authority?
You can even use multiple of these goals to build a strategy unique to you. If you are unsure of what your strategy goals are then get in touch now to see how we can help you.
2: Understand Your Audience
Once you decide your goals, you need to understand your audience on Instagram.
In the UK, Instagram statistics show that:
30.36 million people in the UK use Instagram
Instagram reaches 60% of the online population in the UK
25-34 year olds make up the largest user group
76% of 15-25 year olds use Instagram
42.5% of users are male and 57.5% are female
From these statistics, you may want to market towards these demographics however this does not mean you have to.
Whatever audience you want to market to, you need to make sure your content is speaking directly to your audience.
3: Optimise your Profile
The dreaded Instagram bio, with only 150 characters, it can seem impossible to make a good first impression and convey your businesses personality.
Those 150 characters really have their work cut out for them!
However, there is a shining light, you also have some other fields on your profile which allow you to showcase your brand such as:
Name: up to 30 characters
Username: up to 30 characters
Website: a clickable URL
Category: A business feature where you can tell people what your business is about without using precious bio characters
Contact information: A way to show people how to contact you
Make sure that all of these features are being utilised and showcase your brand in the best light. Many people will form opinions about your brand from your social media profiles.
4: Create Content
Instagram is a very visual platform and therefore your posts need to look the part.
You don’t need professional photographs or fancy cameras to take good pictures. Just make sure that they are clear, well-lit and in focus. If you are photographing a product then it needs to be well-composed with a simple backdrop reflecting the product.
If you are using other images such as infographics then make sure that your text is easy to read and not too small, that your colours are cohesive and that they are crisp.
Once you have some amazing images, you need to make suer that they are serving a purpose. You wouldn’t cook a 5* dinner if no one is hungry!
Your images need to tell a story, get people engaged or excite people. You need quality posts to make the most out of your images.
If you are stuck on what content to create then don’t fear! Check out this list of content ideas to get your started:
Share blog content
5: Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to increase your visibility and get your profile found by new users. When you use a hashtag, your post will appear on the page for that hashtag. People can also choose to follow hashtags which means you could shows up on users feeds even if they don’t follow you (yet!)
You are able to use up to 30 hashtags in a post however we would recommend using around 11 per post.
Make sure that your hashtags are relevant to your business and specific to your niche.
6: Use Instagram Stories
Video is quickly becoming a large focus of social media strategies and over half of business use stories.
A third of the most viewed stories on Instagram are posted by businesses!
Stories are a great way to be open and raw with your audience as they disappear after 24 hours. It allows you to post whatever content you want without it clogging up your social media profile.
There are a few uses for stories which we think all businesses should make use of:
Show behind-the-scenes clips of people at work
Link out to your website or useful resources
Tell a story
Talk to other people
Let’s Summarise Instagram Marketing
In your social media strategy, you should:
Use a business account
Choose your goals
Understand your audience
Optimise your profile
Create valuable content
And use Instagram stories
Do you need help creating an Instagram marketing strategy for your business? Get in touch now to see how we can help your business to flourish on Instagram.
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?