We take a look at some of the top tools for scheduling on social media and how they can help
Timing is everything when posting engaging content on social media.
Different audiences are more likely to read posts and view videos at different times of the day. For example, commuters are more likely to consume social media on their daily journeys to work. Homeworkers may be more eager to read posts in the middle of the day. Meanwhile, parents of young children barely have any time to look at Twitter and Facebook and other social media, especially in the early evening, when meals, baths, and bedtime take priority.
Timing posts to diverse audiences is key. And different social media platform audiences may require tailored content, from the professional users of LinkedIn to the more visually-focussed and younger users of TikTok and Instagram.
To help there is a range of social media scheduling tools, which plan when content is published to ensure they reach target audiences. Here we look at a handful of the best scheduling tools for the different needs and sizes of charities.
Hootsuite is ideal for small and large charities alike thanks to a budget friendly pricing system. The free version lets users manage three social media profiles and schedule as many as 30 posts at any one time, to tailor posts to different audiences swiftly.
For medium-sized charities Hootsuite offers a £25 a month professional plan, where up to ten social media accounts can be managed with one password.
It also offers an interactive planner function to allow users to review and edit scheduled content. Integration with more than 250 apps and analytics is available and there is no limit to how many posts can be scheduled. There is also an autoschedule feature to further reduce time.
For larger charities there are more expensive options that support additional social media profiles and can be used by multiple users. For example the ‘team’ package allows scheduling for 20 profiles and can be used by three users. This costs £99 a month.
Meanwhile, the business plan costs £520 a month. The business plan can cater for 35 profiles and be used by up to ten people. An ‘enterprise’ plan is also available for 50 or more profiles for large charities looking to schedule content from multiple profiles.
Buffer is similar to Hootsuite, with a range of plans for all sizes of charities, including an extensive free version, where three profiles can be connected and up to 30 posts scheduled at any one time.
A key difference with Buffer’s free version compared to Hootsuite is that the dashboard is more streamlined. This reduces the complexity involved and the intuitive interface is easy to use.
While this simplicity does limit functionality, it also makes it ideal for small charities with limited social media experience, looking to schedule a small number of posts from three or fewer profiles. Buffer also allows scheduling of social media posts with links to website and blog posts that have not yet been published.
Pricing plans include a $15 (£11.15 approx) a month deal, which allows for 100 scheduled posts across eight social channels, and the $99 (£74 approx) plan that allows charities to schedule 2,000 posts across 25 social channels.
Both Buffer and Hootsuite can be used in tandem with collaboration tool Airtable.
This includes an interactive spreadsheet that staff and volunteers can use to collaborate and create posts for scheduling. This helps to organise content and boosts workflow efficiency by allowing collaborators within a charity to upload their images for marketing and communications professionals to then schedule.
Through Airtable a social media planning template is created that helps team members to visualise how content will look. This is through a page designer function were the post is mocked-up before publishing.
Airtable’s products include a free plan, through to $10 (£7.50 approx) and $20 a month (£15 approx) plans, and an unlimited package.
All-in-one social media management tools can be useful for scheduling, although they often offer less functionality than a dedicated scheduling product.
Sendible is a social media management tool worth considering as it offers a range of management functions while still offering robust scheduling capability. Content can be scheduled individually in queues or in bulk.
Sendible has a ‘smart posts’ feature to enable tailoring to the different requirements and audiences of a variety of social media platforms.
For charities looking to plan a campaign, content can be scheduled offline and then uploaded in bulk using Sendible’s scheduling functions.
Another of Sendible’s features is an interactive calendar, which is a strong visual way for charity digital marketing professionals to see when posts are being published each month.
Sendible’s pricing ranges from £25 for solo operators and small charities to £245 a month for larger organisations.
The lowest-priced plan allows only one user and up to 12 social media profiles, with the more expensive plans catering for up to 12 users and 192 social media profiles.